Christmas in Berlin

By |2020-03-25T14:47:42+00:00March 2nd, 2020|

South Africa is currently celebrating summer, sunny skies, beaches and braais. Yet, our distributors in Europe, Sonnenglas, are shivering in the winter ice and snow.

In Berlin, Germany, evening markets are festive season highlights. Temperatures plummet to approximately 30 degrees less than our South African norm. No matter how cold, everyone is flocking to the Sonnenglas stall to purchase Consol Solar Jars. Our Consol Solar Jar is an eco-friendly, handmade Christmas gift of bottled warm South African sunshine. What more can winter in Europe ask for?

Freight Container Europe Bound

By |2020-03-26T08:03:09+00:00January 14th, 2020|

Intent on crossing land and sea, our first freight container – packed with 5 940 Consol Solar Jars – has commenced its long-distance journey. Sonnenglas and European resellers in Germany, Spain and France await. Our solar lights have also reached Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Our team has spent the last year ensuring all factors pertaining to international trade and worldwide distribution are in place. Export packaging was tested; labelling, documentation and insurance finalised; an international freight forwarder was appointed and a network of global resellers established. Additional factory staff were hired and trained to meet the upscaling need.

As the exporter, Suntoy is excitedly tracking this shipment. We’re proud to design and manufacture a South African solar product that’s lighting up the world. A significant milestone for our team and worthy cause for celebration.

Shining on Amazon in Europe

By |2020-03-26T08:03:43+00:00January 14th, 2020|

The Consol Solar Jar is now offered for purchase on amazon in Germany amazon.de, United Kingdom amazon.co.uk and France amazon.fr. Harald Schulz evaluates its impact:

The Consol Solar Jar is known as the Sonnenglas in Germany and is shining on European markets. The important thing to note on the amazon.de page is the customer reviews. It has the most customer reviews – or should we say customer applause – than any competitor product. Currently, out of 74 reviews, 72 give it five stars.

The recurring themes in the customer reviews are (translated from German):

Easy to use/operate
Light not too bright, not too dim, romantic/beautiful
Practical, versatile, good runtime, good quality, waterproof
Easy to decorate (seasons, weddings, birthdays etc), decorative object
Great gift
Never fails to delight, best idea in a long time
Used indoors/outdoors
More expensive than others though money well spent
“Made in South Africa!”
The only two non-five star reviews were:

A German tourist who experienced the jar in Namibia (at Namib Desert Lodge) but battled to find it in Germany and eventually bought one on amazon via Sonnenglas. He gave it four stars and was awaiting delivery.

One consumer complained that no automatic on/off or day/night switch was integrated.

“We could not wish for better! On behalf of the Suntoy team, thanks to all involved. You make us proud!” – Harald Schulz, Suntoy Technical and Managing Director, Johannesburg.

Wow! Watertight!

By |2020-03-26T09:19:13+00:00January 14th, 2020|

Sodwana Bay is an unspoiled environmental jewel on the east coast of South Africa along the KwaZulu-Natal shoreline. It is the perfect setting to take the Consol Solar Jar for a scuba dive to discover the rich natural bio diversity on the Indian Ocean’s floor.

Stefan Neubig of Sonnenglas went on a mini-vacation to this beautiful spot. He put a 1kg weight inside a Consol Solar Jar (CSJ) so that it would sink easily. He added an absorbent sachet to prevent moisture within the jar because of the temperature difference on land and at sea (32 degrees on land vs. 26 degrees at 20m under the sea). No modifications were made to the Consol Solar Jar at all.

Stefan and his CSJ took a shallow dip in the pool at the diving school and reached a depth of 5m. Then the duo embarked on their deep-sea adventure. They reached a depth of 19.8m and our amazing solar light shone on the ocean bed. After both adventures, the CSJ returned to the surface without a drop of water inside its glass jar, working perfectly on dry land. Its electronics, including all the marine life, were unharmed. Waterproof proven!

Harald Schulz, Suntoy Technical and Managing Director, explains: “What makes it watertight is that the inside of the Consol Solar Jar is sealed via a rubber ring from the outside. We employ a magnetic switch so there is no pathway for air or water to enter. The jar is thus water and airtight. Stefan’s photographs confirm that very nicely. It is not a technical marvel, as any jar filled with jam will do the same. It is an excellent demonstration of the build quality of the Consol Solar Jar.

Beautifully captured, Stefan! These images are worthy of a huge wow!

Swiss Bio Marché

By |2020-03-26T09:20:51+00:00January 13th, 2020|

At the heart of Switzerland’s largest organic festival, Bio Marché, is a market for organic and fair trade products. With 40,000 visitors in 2,5 days, Bio Marché was the perfect stage to introduce our Consol Solar Jar to the Swiss.

Being the only South African made product included in the festival, our Consol Solar Jar elicited much intrigue. Sonnenglas, the European distributor of the Consol Solar Jar, collaborated with Bio Marché by placing our solar lights in the catering area. Many visitors discovered it there while eating dinner and then went to the Sonnenglas booth to purchase one.

Summer in Zofingen offers evenings with late sunsets and by 9pm, when the market closed, the sun was still shining. In order to adequately demonstrate the abundant light of the Consol Solar Jar, the Sonnenglas booth had a darkbox that simulated nighttime. Customers could lift a curtain to see how the Consol Solar Jar shines.

We’re enjoying spreading our bottled South African sunshine across Europe!

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