Select Page

The Space, founded 20 years ago by Neil Roake, Colleen Eitzen and Amanda Laird Cherry, has a new boutique sister store. Neil tells us more about their first out-of-mall store, Now Showing, in the heart of De Waterkant.

How did your business start?

The Space started as a standalone Durban store – a local design collaboration showcasing the work of like-minded, established designers. It has since grown to a nationwide brand, allowing us to change our game by giving shoppers something new. Now Showing, our first out-of-mall experience, combines South African fashion and an ever-changing retail/lifestyle/food installation on another level. We launched in August with The Dark Side and then flipped it to The Light Side, including a vegan cafe with great coffee.

Why did you choose this area for your business?

Cape Town is a walkable city and De Waterkant has that walkability, loads of workers in the area and, in season, the tourist trade. It’s also a very historic and quaint area with a great energy.

How did you find your premises?

We originally found premises in Bree Street, but the offer fell through after a few months. Our agent showed us this double-volume Georgian building and it seemed to tick all the right boxes.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?

With 100m2 on each level, we could separate the clothing retail from the food and ever-changing component upstairs. The lower level has huge Georgian beams and 3,7m-high ceilings, which add to the character.

Who are your neighbours?

There’s Origin coffee around the corner and the popular Yoga Life studio up the road. Cafe Manhattan keeps things lively and the Loading Bay adds an element of class.

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

Real estate prices in this area vary from aspirational (read expensive) to very aspirational (very expensive)!

How many people go through your store each day?

Quality is more important to us than quantity. Through personally inviting individuals we think would enjoy the space to launch events and weekly wine tastings, we’ve built up a loyal following. Through word of mouth and after introducing a food element and delicious coffee, we’re attracting a larger following and more walk-ins.

Do you have any expansion plans?

At this stage, we “expand” through change. Now Showing morphs into a new theme and instalment every six to eight weeks. The Light Side is our second, taking over from the Dark Side, and we’re already plotting our third instalment and dedicating all our efforts to getting that right, before seeing what the future holds. One thing I know for sure, it’ll evolve with the times.

Do you operate online as well?

Yes, these days everything is online, so we have to keep up!

What’s your most popular item?

Downstairs it’s the collections of stalwart The Space designers, including Amanda Laird Cherry, Colleen Eitzen, Leigh Schubert and menswear from ALC and Zeitgeist. Upstairs it’s the fun collection of homeware and gifts from local designers.



Now Showing
087 724 6397

Words: Kit Heathcock
Images: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

Join Us!

Sign up for the Your Neighbourhood newsletter!