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Macaroon Collection, a fashion and gift store, founded by Michelle du Plessis, is set up in a house in Garsfontein

Michelle du Plessis opened Macaroon Collection, a fashion and gift store, in Garsfontein in May last year, as she was drawn to the concept of having a shop. We chat with her to find out more.

How did your business start?
I was a wedding planner for seven years and loved creating the prettiness of a wedding day but always wanted to sell bags and shoes and have my own shop. When I stopped planning weddings, it was a natural progression to choose work where I still enjoy the prettiness in life. I started selling accessories and bags via social media in April 2012 and progressed to an online store in January 2013, adding fashion, gifts and baby items to the range.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I’ve loved living in Garsfontein since 2010 and this property is centrally located and easy to find as most residents know where Jacqueline Street is. I originally had a store in a shopping centre in Lynnwood, but the fast-paced retail environment wasn’t for me.

How did you find your premises?
I decided to find a business-zoned house for the store in a busy, quality area and naturally looked along the busier roads of Garsfontein. I drove through the suburb one day and saw the property being renovated, so I called the landlord to find out about availability to rent.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
I was drawn to the concept of having a store in a salon because customers visiting the salon could also be my clients. Macaroon Collection is at the back of the house, so I’m not competing with hair dryers and chatter. There’s a courtyard behind my shop where we sit, chat and drink a coffee from Birillo, the on-site coffee shop.

Who are your neighbours?
My neighbours are a private gym and a residential home.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
When I was looking in the area for space, the rental space in the area was between R100 and R125 per square metre excluding VAT and utilities.

How many people go through your store each day?
It varies from day to day, ranging from two customers to more than 30 customers per day. Saturdays are quietest with about two to three people popping by.

Do you have any expansion plans?
I have no expansion plans for the property as I’m renting, but in terms of services as of February I offer personal styling services to clients.

Do you operate online as well?
Yes, I started my business online and still work predominately online.

What’s your most popular item?
We’re known for our range of leather handbags, and I like to think my clients know we’re the place to go to when wanting a new handbag.
See for yourself:
Macaroon Collection
082 822 9628

Words: Lisa Dewberry | Images: Supplied & Lisa Dewberry

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