When you’ve worked together on a business venture for three years, you know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For Melinda Kleyn and Louise Kelly it was time to indulge their passion for threads.
How did your business start?
We’re both local girls in Salt Rock and, because we’ve been in business together previously, we knew we’d complement each other and work well as a team, particularly in an arena we both loved – clothing. We chose the name Mellou (MELinda and LOUise), and opened our doors in March this year.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
We were approached by the popular Tiffany’s Shopping Centre, and after refitting the shop with clean and contemporary fixtures, we’re really very happy with the light and bright site.
How did you find your premises?
Tiffany’s is a strip mall with ample parking which is a big bonus that visitors can access the shops directly from the parking lot.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
Aside from the shopping centre’s popularity and accessibility, our shop has wonderful natural daylight which we believe shows off our clothing range to its best advantage and is really conducive lighting in which to strut your stuff. Spar is the anchor tenant here, which is naturally a drawcard for shoppers. The open-plan design also means that our customers feel safe and secure. Bottom line, our position means we’re able to offer convenience shopping to women.
Who are your neighbours?
We are situated next to the FNB ATM machine, and between two really great restaurants and al fresco coffee shops.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
In this prime position, the rates naturally match the high foot traffic.
What is your shop footprint?
We understand it’s around 2,000 people a day through the centre, so our foot traffic – and interest – is high.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Once we’re settled in and our systems are running smoothly, we fully intend to expand the business model.
Do you operate online as well?
Our Facebook page and Instagram – together with direct mail – are our online media platforms.
What’s your most popular item?
We support local, so our designers are from Durban and Cape Town. They know our market and design accordingly, so we’re able to cater across the board from teenagers to the older clientele. We aim to be exclusive and flexible, so you won’t find racks of the same dress or bikini, and our clothing is really versatile. We believe our pricing is reasonable, and as a plus, we – unlike the chain stores – are climate friendly. We giftwrap beautifully (we love it), so our accessories are flying.
032 815 2714
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Words: Anne Schauffer | Images: supplied