Splinter is an interior decorating store, owned by Claudia de Villiers, a former school teacher, who always had a love for interior design. She opened her new premises at the Olympus Village shopping centre, which is surrounded by vibrant, newly developed estates, in March 2016.
How did your business start?
I worked as a grade 1 teacher but always loved decor and interior design. One holiday I worked at an interior decor shop in Clarens to get experience and immediately knew having my own interior decor shop was what I wanted. The owner of the shop motivated me to open my own business so I prepared a business plan and seven months later opened my store.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
The area surrounding Olympus Village shopping centre is filled with vibrant, newly developed residential estates. I conducted research on the area and found the retail potential fitted my business model. The building of the centre coincided with completion of my business plan and market research so it seemed like a perfect fit that this would be where I would open my shop.
I had a very good agent who helped me secure the lease for my shop. She introduced me to the Olympus Village shopping centre and I immediately knew I had to open my shop in this area. I wouldn’t have been able do it without her.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
Splinter is located in a busy shopping centre with much larger shops which are popular such as Checkers, Clicks and Boma Vleismark. The area surrounding Olympus Village is mainly residential which provides for many customers passing through.
At the centre on my right is a DSTV and Multichoice installation company called MRK Satellite Installations. By the end of July a Vovo Telo coffee shop will be opening on my left, which I’m excited about.
What are the shop rental / sales prices like in this area?
The rental prices are reasonable and the managing agents are accommodating to new businesses like Splinter.
Splinter would like to become an established and exclusive household name within the community of Olympus and surrounding areas. We pride ourselves on high quality, affordable goods and customer satisfaction. On a busy day we have approximately 50 people visiting Splinter which is great, and about nine people on a quieter day. Hopefully we can increase our brand exposure to areas further than Olympus and eventually to the entire Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Definitely, we hope to open at least two to three Splinter shops in and around the Pretoria area in the next two years and possibly in Johannesburg. Things are going well with the store at the moment so the sky is the limit.
Do you operate online as well?
We will hopefully be opening an online sales platform soon. Although most of our suppliers sell their products online already, we hope to be able to produce and manufacture more of our own branded products which we can sell online to our customers.
Apart from our French country styled products including furniture, curtains, pillows and crockery, we also sell smaller gift items which are popular. We provide furniture restoration and re-upholstery services, as well as custom made furniture, bedding and curtains. We also sell locally produced chalk paint which is popular.
083 286 8691
Words: Lisa Dewberry