Words: Zena le Roux | Images: Supplied
Saranie Harvey runs a seasonal pop-up boutique from her home where she sells unique clothes and furniture from South African designers. This way she creates a platform in her neighbourhood for people to connect and enjoy a cup of coffee or even a glass of bubbly while they peruse the wares. She tells us more about her unique shopping experience.
How did your business start?
I started with this initiative almost three years ago as I struggled to find clothes that I liked in any chain stores. It was also a challenge to find good-quality craftsmanship in furniture (Industrial by Nature is one of the furniture designers I showcase). After doing a bit of research, I discovered some South African designers who make the most beautiful clothes and furniture. That’s when I decided to start hosting pop-up boutiques. I run the Vuyela Popup Boutique seasonally with the next instalment taking place on 31 August. There will be a new surprise designer on showcase – hint: she often appears on SA Fashion Week and caters to women over 35 with fuller figures.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I run the pop-up boutiques from my home in Rietondale. I choose this area to live in because of the lovely park and the beautiful trees. It also works great for the pop-up boutiques as many of the women who live in the area enjoy the convenience of buying clothing in a home environment rather than going to a shopping centre or mall.
How did you find your premises?
An estate agent assisted us in finding the property. I simply clear the lounge and dining room and have enough space to put clothing rails up.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
I run my business from home and it is ideal as I don’t have the expense of renting a premise. The lounge and dining room have a great flow to the outside deck where visitors can enjoy co¬ffee or bubbles while connecting with like-minded people. There’s also enough space for people to move about without feeling too crowded.
Who are your neighbours?
What are the rental/sales prices like in this area?
It has always been quite affordable, but it went up since the Department of International Relations and Cooperation building was built in Soutpansberg Road.
How many people visit your business each day?
I can expect about 50 to 60 people at any of my events.
Do you have any expansion plans?
I am working on a few new ideas, but so far, I have been very lucky in the sense that the business promoted itself. My customers tend to tell other customers, and so the business grows.
Do you operate online as well?
No – I’m only the distributor, but the fashion designers all operate online.
What’s your most popular item?
It must be the unique style and bold artistic prints of Sway, they are Cape Town-based designers.
Vuyela Pop-up Boutique
082 771 5466