Words: Denise Mhlanga | Images: Dudley Longfield

The small and specialised Bonsai Studio that grows and carefully crafts bonsai for the conscientious urban dweller, has now opened a store at 44 Stanley in Milpark, following a stint as a pop-up shop in the precinct. Founder and bonsai aficionado Henk Swanepoel tells us more.

How did your business start?

I’ve always been passionate about the bonsai business and three years ago, I called Brian Green, co-owner of 44 Stanley, and asked if I could operate a pop-up store at the precinct. He immediately agreed and we went ahead. As interest grew and after we ran the installation for a couple of years, the opportunity came up to realise my dream and vision of what I would like to see in a bonsai shop – not just trees, but also everything that goes with the lifestyle, hence the opening of the first store in August.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?

It’s a calm and relaxed environment and also a good place to find potential clients.

How did you find your premises?

I did not have to look hard. From the first time I saw the space at 44 Stanley, I knew this is where I would like to share my passion with other people, so I wasted no time contacting the centre management.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?

The Bonsai Studio is not just a shop – it’s my studio where I work on my trees and those of clients that bring their own trees for styling and maintenance. In addition, 44 Stanley is an inspirational environment for creative people.

Who are your neighbours?

Five8ths.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?

Very affordable.

How many people visit your store each day?

We see five to 50 people every day.

Do you operate online as well?

Yes, and through our website bonsaistudio.co.za, clients order online. We are also on Facebook and Instagram (@thebonsaistudio).

Do you have any expansion plans?

Not now. Our focus is on maintaining and giving personal attention to our clients.

What’s your most popular service?

Bonsai maintenance.

See for yourself:

Bonsai Studio
084 641 4944
bonsaistudio.co.za