Kerry Osborne’s Story Boutique has a captive audience from within Simbithi Eco Estate. But as word spreads to the greater Ballito, women are drawn to her shop at The Green.
YN: How did your business start?
Kerry: I have run a clothing pop-up concept for a number of years, so when the opportunity to own my own store within Simbithi Eco Estate arose, I jumped at it.
YN: Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Kerry: Ballito is one of the fastest growing nodes in the country and retail is booming. Coupled with this, I have developed a good customer database on the North Coast over the years, so it was a natural choice for me.
YN: How did you find your premises?
Kerry: I was chatting to Charl Venter, my landlord who also lives in Simbithi, and casually mentioned I was thinking of opening a store. He had seen another shop I owned with a partner a few years ago and he loved the concept, so he said, “Well, why not open in my centre that’s going up over there?”
YN: Why are they ideally suited to your business?
Kerry: The Green – the retail portion of the office complex – is primarily focused on the female shopper, so it’s really ideal. I also live in the estate, so it’s super convenient for me.
YN: Who are your neighbours?
Kerry: Story Boutique leads into four other outlets, so it’s a nice big flowing space. On one side it leads into Catherine Pitt Interiors (a gorgeous decor and interior design space), then also into There Goes The Neighbourhood (a quirky gifting and furniture store), as well as #Shades (a sunglasses store), and Simon Sez (a casual menswear store).
YN: What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Kerry: They are a little higher than other destination complexes in the area, but about half of the bigger shopping complexes.
YN: What is your shop footprint?
Kerry: As it’s a destination, the flow varies considerably with our marketing efforts and events, and also with what’s happening in the other shops around me.
YN: Do you have any expansion plans?
Kerry: Yes, I do. I would love to grow the Story concept and brand into other lines, as well as supply other outlets and build the pop-up Story shop. I am also considering another permanent location.
YN: Do you operate online as well?
Kerry: No, but it’s also in the pipeline.
YN: What’s your most popular item?
Kerry: Our dresses, followed by designer jeans.
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Words: Anne Schauffer