Great Expectations

By |2020-03-25T14:03:26+00:00March 10th, 2020|

With due dates pending, three mum-to-be’s were showered with love at a party in our Suntoy factory. One of the biggest life events is the birth of a baby. Imagine our excitement when we learnt that the Suntoy team had not one, but three special deliveries in store from expectant mamas: Yvonne, Phumla and Keneilwe. Three bundles of joy: Little Miss Sunshines.

All the Suntoy ladies planned the party while keeping ‘mum’ about the surprise. They transformed the wire assembly area into a party space with pink baby-themed decorations. Fun and a little naughty, the games elicited loads of giggles. Everyone enjoyed the yummy grub. It was a true team effort.

Even Harald donned a skirt in order to be invited! After much laughter, he was sent to his office. He couldn’t fool us ladies with his disguise. Perhaps, if he’d added a pair of high heels and a dollop of red lipstick, he may have been allowed to stay ;-).

We await the arrival of our new little team members. We wish all our mamas a joyful and sunny maternity leave!

Please note: this blog post has been censored. Baby bumps and a mischievous sisterhood resulted in photos not fit for website consumption.

SMT Assembly Machine

By |2020-03-25T15:00:30+00:00January 14th, 2020|

In leveraging our small business success, Suntoy’s strategy for effective growth includes increasing our capacity to produce products more efficiently. We’ve acquired a MyData TP9 Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Assembly Machine. Commonly called a pick-and-place machine, the TP9 is robotic and automates electronic parts assembly by placing surface-mount devices (SMDs), such as LEDs, onto printed circuit boards (PCBs). It offers high speed and high precision and is able to place approximately 8 000 pph (parts per hour).

Although second-hand and over 10-years-old, the TP9 has already assisted us on more than 10 000 printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies since its introduction to our Suntoy factory in January 2013. Two of our employees have been promoted to machine operators. Here’s to welcoming a sunny and sustainable measure to ensure our competency.

Thumbs Up!

By |2020-03-26T08:04:56+00:00January 14th, 2020|

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. Suntoy has the greatest bunch of individual stars – from the factory assemblers to the global resellers. Our commitment to Suntoy has made our young company prosper in just three years. A profitable, planet-friendly and proudly South African business.

As the 400 000th Consol Solar Jar emerged, Team Suntoy attained a goal beyond any initial dream. When the very first solar light was prototyped, nobody imagined the amazing journey this savvy solar product would take.

Suntoy is about the stories this made-in-SA solar light inspires and the committed team that makes it shine.

Cheers to all our team players! Cheers to Consol for believing in us! Cheers to the jam jar that’s caused a solar stir! Cheers to all our customers that have escalated demand! Here’s to a well-earned celebration!


Hamba Kahle Madiba

By |2020-03-26T08:05:36+00:00January 14th, 2020|

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s charisma, intelligence and wisdom inspired beyond boundaries. His courage, ability to forgive and continued hope touched us all. As proud South Africans, we pay tribute to our greatest son and father. His star shall always twinkle brightly and continue to inspire generations to come. Hamba Kahle nTaTa. Siyabonga Madiba.

“The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement.” – Nelson Mandela
“No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn.” – His Day is Done by Dr. Maya Angelou


Happy Holidays!

By |2020-03-26T08:06:01+00:00January 14th, 2020|

Summer holidays have arrived in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s plenty of warm rays and golden beams of sunshine to bottle in a Consol Solar Jar. It’s time to hang out with family and friends in the midst of laughter and relaxation.

Suntoy wishes you a sunny festive season and a prosperous new year. Let there be light! Happy holidays!

Please note: Suntoy is closed from 13 December 2013 until 13 January 2014 for our annual summer vacation.

Meet the Chief

By |2020-03-26T09:25:55+00:00January 13th, 2020|

Yvonne Cossa was one of our first factory employees. She initially joined the Suntoy team as a product assembler. Yvonne had no previous knowledge of solar technology or photovoltaic applications yet she learnt quickly and was promoted to factory supervisor of which there are five.

Yvonne’s drive, determination and tenacity shone along with her leadership skills. She is now Chief Supervisor in the factory with 43 assemblers. She manages production runs, controls quality and meets orders on time. She is currently studying part-time for a certificate in Operations Management at the University of Witwatersrand.

Yvonne is excelling at her ‘queen bee’ role in her sunny chiefdom!

Wire Artisans Shine at Suntoy

By |2020-03-26T09:40:12+00:00January 13th, 2020|

Tourists visiting South Africa often return home to global destinations with beaded wire artefacts: from tiny mementoes, such as key rings, to tall sculptures of giraffes. Wire and bead artisans, creating in various gauges and colours with few tools but their own hands, are common sightings on our Jozi street corners. They may have good sales one month and none the next. Income varies, yet many tenaciously continue, their need for a job pushing them to become entrepreneurs.

One such wire artist stands out from the rest. Maxwell Jaravazo is driven to create the extraordinary from a piece of wire and a handful of beads. His imagination spans beyond the Melville street corner where he used to trade from. Max crafts magic within his hands. For many years, Harald Schulz passed him on the street and they struck up a friendship. When the very first Consol Solar Jar needed a wire handle and bracing, Max was Harald’s first choice as fellow designer. Together, they made the prototype in January 2011 while sitting on the pavement of 7th Street in Melville.

As demand grew, Suntoy grew… and so did Max. Suntoy permanently employed him three years ago. As a significant member of our team, he has job security and a steady monthly income. He was promoted to Factory Supervisor and now trains and overseas a team of 12 fellow wire artisans. These men are now all under one roof from multiple street corners across our city. That’s job creation, the South African way.

Stories Build Suntoy Brand

By |2020-03-26T09:40:18+00:00January 13th, 2020|

In order to flourish in our current South African economy, creative brand leadership is imperative for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) such as Suntoy. An innovative business model with strong social responsibilities drives our brand.

Being a manufacturer, we don’t have a direct link to the end-user as our resellers do. To create awareness, our brand building and cultural movement strategies have had to spark interest unconventionally by engaging content ideas through storytelling. At Suntoy, we’ve introduced our team, our values and culture, the context of our products, our significance as a vehicle for education, job creation and renewable energy solutions through the telling of stories. Our stories tell more than an online product catalogue ever could.

With each tale told, our brand is further established. Our blog not only holds our stories, but the experiences of our customers too. Stories have strengthened our tribe, furthered our reach and enabled us to build a smart, authentic and valued brand with prospective future forecasts beyond the products we assemble. Our customers continue to purchase our brand and buy our story – not just our product. That’s essential to Suntoy’s livelihood.

Three challenging yet exciting years of strategic thought have enhanced our brand equity. With this solid grounding firmly established, our brand is credibly differentiated and experienced. Suntoy, the sunniest team of solar enthusiasts, is ready to launch our next chapter. Keep your eyes peeled. That’s what having fun in the South African sun is all about!

Suntoy Solar Jar Team Adventure

By |2020-03-26T09:47:32+00:00January 10th, 2020|

It was non-stop adventure in the wild of the South African Pilanesberg for some of our Suntoy team members including Distributors Heiner Klaus from Europe, Nick Wiehe and Jean-Philippe Pierre from Mauritius, joined by Suntoy’s CEO Harald Schulz, brand Manager Adam Viles, and production manager Rolf Willenbrock who descended on The Ivory Tree Lodge for some fun in the sun from 26 – 28 Feb. 2016.

Being from the warm shores of Mauritius, Jean-Philippe did not take too kindly to the fresh crispy morning air as we embarked on our first game-drive.  In no time at all, Jean-Philippe was wrapped tightly in a thermal blanket, lying low to avoid the wind?  Sorry Jean-Philippe, us native South African’s could not help finding this amusing in the middle of one of our warmest months of the year. 🙂

We witnessed the most spectacular sunrise and close-up sightings of some of the big five including Elephant, Rhino, Lion and Giraffe to name but a few….

We came across an Elephant in Musth who decided to give charge towards us at a point during the drive when we had stopped to observe the majestic animal…. Never had we experienced a Jeep in high-speed reverse as we did in that moment, and not a moment too soon either…. pretty adrenalin pumping stuff.

It did not end there, as the great African sun, set behind the hills in the west, it coloured the skies with breathtaking shades and shapes, giving birth to the night skies and our next adventure which was an evening game drive that delivered the opportunity for us to view – the all African night owl – amongst other – foxy – animals who prefer to remain unseen or heard.  A whole new kind of excitement…

No sooner had we returned from our evening game drive, the African Gods decided it would be a good time to bestow upon us, their most thunderous hurricane-like storm sending us all rushing inside for shelter…. It was this ominous event of nature that rewarded us with an unexpected gift and opportunity to mingle with other lodgers, and in so doing, displaying our Consol Solar Jar™ on some of the tables in the dining area; leading to much interest shown by locals and international visitors. O what a night….

This unforgettable environment awarded us all with the time needed, to put our heads together and discuss relevant topics such as future branding strategies, global marketing, reseller and distributor challenges as well as upcoming product improvements.

Suntoy thanks all participants for sharing this time with us!

Press Relase: Consol Solar Jars™ used in interactive light show

By |2020-03-26T09:49:34+00:00January 10th, 2020|

To commemorate the 300th anniversary of renowned British Landscape Architect; Lancelot “Capability” Brown, who shaped our vision of the picture-perfect English countryside, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park will be hosting a light art commission using 1000 Consol Solar Jars™ as one of its key set pieces.

Compton Verney Park is a place steeped in rich architectural history, its current state being the result of an 11-year restoration project that will see this magnificent building returned to its 1768 splendour and glory that was designed by one of the most important Landscape Architects of the 18th century, Lancelot “Capability” Brown himself.

Visual artist Laurent from Creatmosphere, a cross-genre studio specialising in the interplay of light as art between architecture and space, has been commissioned to create a light spectacular as has never been seen before using our Consol Solar Jars ™. Applying stunning, ground-breaking technologically, this new interactive light commission entitled “IN LIGHT: Illuminating Capability Brown’s Landscape”, launches on the 29 October and runs until the 13 November.

Compton Verney’s 18th century mansion, ‘Capability’ Brown Chapel and Bridge will be lit in vibrant ways for people to appreciate and play with. There is an interactive element that gives visitors the opportunity to take over the light controls and light up various parts of the house and trees in exciting ways. This is the first time globally, that wireless DMX technology has been used to activate so many solar powered lanterns in an art exhibition of this magnitude.  The technological challenge was made easier in collaboration with UJ (University of Johannesburg) and their research facility RC (Resolution circle).

By using 1000 Consol Solar Jars™; a product proudly conceptualised and manufactured by Suntoy in South Africa, Laurent will be filling an entire field with pinpoints of light to map the rich and diverse history of green spaces in a creative and captivating way.  Three centuries later, Lancelot “Capability” Brown’s work is still celebrated and lives on.

We here at Suntoy, together with our European distributors Sonnenglas, are enormously proud to have our Consol Solar Jar™ play an integral and creative part in this initiative.  Seeing it being used in this way and not just as originally intended (as a reading light and portable solar lantern), demonstrates its potential as a fun, eco-friendly and sustainable alternative light supply that makes it easy to go green. It truly is bottled sunshine!

Event details can be found here:
Life in light

Harald Schulz
Managing Director
South Africa
Ph: +27 87 754 4060

Adam Viles
Suntoy Brand Manager
South Africa
Ph: +27 73 406 1803

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