Over 25 years as a goldsmith Simon Shone has developed a signature style, taking inspiration from nature and wildlife for his jewellery and art pieces. His main retail outlet is at the V&A Waterfront, and he recently opened a shared gallery and workshop closer to his home in Hout Bay which principally serves as a production base for his work.
How did your business start?
I have been manufacturing my jewellery and art from my studio at home for many years. Although convenient and financially viable it can get extremely isolating with no outside stimulation. I was looking for a venue to work from in Hout Bay and the idea of an interactive gallery was appealing. Friends of mine, artist Marleen Visser and photographer Jacques Bernard, were also looking for a venue to display their art, so we decided on Visions Gallery as a joint venture.
Why did you choose this area for your business?
The old barn is a beautiful building and lends itself to being an art gallery. It was close to home, so travelling was minimal. And we thought that being next to a restaurant that specialises in breakfast and lunch and close to FNB we would get some passing trade.
How did you find your premises?
Tobi (a tourist information office) was occupying the building at the time and had indicated that it wanted to leave. We had another venue in mind at first but the price of renting was far too high.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
The Barn has a lot of character with wooden beams in the ceiling and the loft for storage. Art takes up a lot of space and it’s a beautiful building with plenty of hanging space and natural light. It also has an ideal reception counter.
Who are your neighbours?
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
A lot of rental is too high for the area and for the sales achievable. A high rental doesn’t give the retailer a chance to get started. Especially in Hout Bay where you do not have the foot traffic.
What is your shop footprint?
It is out of the way and gets very little traffic. Our shop at the Waterfront is where we do our business; the gallery is the production house at present.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Not at present.
Do you operate online as well?
We are looking to operate online in the future.
What’s your most popular item?
The Baby Elephant pendants by far, and the Africa/Elephant art pieces.
Jewellery Art by Simon
021 421 1843
021 790 7197
Words: Kit Heathcock