Quirky Me is a treasure trove of unique decor items, artwork and gifts sourced from local designers, as well as Ingrid’s own designs, now solving every gift dilemma at her third store in Constantia Village Courtyard.
How did your business start?
After a 10-year career in print media, I was looking for something new. I started working on a small range of my own designs, sourced some clever and quirky things from local designers, and set up a little pop-up shop from home, inviting friends to sales. A few months later, I opened my first shop at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
Why did you choose this area for your third shop?
The mall is well frequented all year round, and has a regular and affluent clientele. I was convinced that there was a gap in the market for my sort of offbeat offering – there was nothing else like my shop in the mall.
How did you find your premises?
I had my name on the waiting list at Constantia Village for 3 years! A year ago Constantia Village Courtyard asked if I wanted to take a space that was becoming available. The corner position was great, directly at the entrance. However, I had opened my second shop at The Watershed just a few months earlier and wasn’t sure that I could take the risk financially to open a third store so soon. After a few sleepless nights, and a long chat with my dad (aka my financial advisor and biggest fan), I took the plunge and have not regretted it.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
We’ve built up quite a following in the past year, and have a regular clientele who are always popping in to see what we’ve got that’s new.
Who are your neighbours?
I’ve got great neighbours: Melissa’s is just down the road, and Madison Boutique, a high-end clothing store where I splurge every now and then; we’ve also got Kids Emporium, Clicks, Sorbet, and YogaSpirit studio, and Spirit Cafe.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Definitely on the high side. The cost per square metre is one of the highest in Cape Town.
What is your shop footprint?
The lateral malls, such as Constantia Village Courtyard, where I am, don’t get as much foot traffic as the main mall. It’s a pity because there are great stores in this part of the mall, including fashion, food and services.
Do you have any expansion plans?
I’ve opened two new stores in the last year; so, no, no more expansion plans just yet! I do dream of opening a store in Joburg… people keep asking.
Do you operate online as well?
Our website features an online catalogue showing a large percentage of our product. Customers place an online enquiry before purchase. We have a great courier system and can send stuff pretty much anywhere in the country.
What’s your most popular item?
My new Happy Meals on Safari placemats have proven really popular. I sell a lot of art and illustration by local talent, loads of Skinny laMinx cushion covers and tea towels, and A Love Supreme’s disposable placemats and notebooks.
082 417 1885
Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Kristina Stojiljkovic