SHOP TALK! MR AND MRS

Sarah Jane Webber of I Love Leroy together with her husband, Cecil Bosman has opened her first shop, Mr and Mrs, in Cape Town.


WHO
After establishing her brand over the past eight years, Sarah Jane has finally fulfilled her dream of opening her own store. Apart from her four brands – I Love Leroy; Holiday (which is exclusively available at Mr & Mrs and comprises fun items made from fabrics sourced internationally), Sarah Jane Bosman (her bridal wear) and Bosman (a menswear brand she recently launched with her husband) – the store sells a number of local brands, including Take Care, Two, Silverspoon, Amanda Laird Cherry, Christopher Strong and Missibaba.

WHAT
Sarah Jane and Cecil spent the past year travelling to Indonesia, Argentina and India and the store is a treasure trove of items that represent every step of their adventure - from beautiful ceramics to bright jewels in gold-plated settings and, of course, a fusion of local fashion. Sarah Jane and Cecil opted not to keep their store exclusively local but rather offer bespoke products that have been carefully selected and styled in the store.


Given that she has been involved in bridal wear for some time, Sarah Jane would like to use the store as a platform to expand this work. “I love the connection I have with a person from making their wedding dress or their bridesmaids’ dresses. I have also started styling decor for weddings.” By collaborating with other wedding suppliers like florist Okasie and photographer couple, Travis and Maike of We Love Pictures; Sarah Jane and Cecil would like to grow their business to offer a full wedding service. “The shop will offer a registry, which will include the items in the store and bespoke crockery that can be made up with the bridal couple’s names stamped on the back of the plates.”


This highlights Sarah Jane and Cecil’s vision for the store – to offer a complete personal touch. “Our plan is completely different; we want people to know that if they come in and they like something but it needs altering we can do that for them. Or if they see a dress they like and it’s the last one, we’ll make them another dress in their size if there is more fabric.”

WHY
“Cecil was offered a job in Malta and although you always dream of moving to an island one day when I was faced with the move and the possibility of no creative outlet, I realised how much I was set to lose.” The couple decided not to make the cross-continental move and look at going into business together. “It then happened so quickly, we were in Malta Airport lounge when we decided to buy our tickets to India. We got back to South Africa; Cecil organised an import/export license; we planned our itinerary and went on a whirlwind buying trip in India.” They explored the north of India for three and half weeks and after purchasing enough to fit into a container they returned to South Africa in search of a shop space.


Being the fashion industry with a well-established brand and many friends who are designers, it was natural for the base of the store to be around fashion. However, Sarah Jane said that the store has already evolved organically and they look forward to adding more dimensions to the store as they travel further.


The store will remain their base; however they will look at sending capsule collections to other boutiques so that they are available throughout the country. They are also planning to launch their online store by January 2012 so that they can truly offer a full bridal service and registry.

HOW
Being based in Kloof Street, Sarah Jane highlighted that the store attracts slightly older customers which dictated the designers she chose to stock in the shop. “The items are classic with a bit of quirk so they appeal to both a slightly older and slightly younger market.” The decor is inviting with concrete walls contrasted with warm, wood panelling. The floating shelves stacked with fabric covered journals and bunny ornaments, which are for sale, give a homey element – as you walk in you feel like you’re visiting your aunt’s house and could really just sink onto one of the stools while trying on rings and cooing over jewels. The vintage bottles and wooden numbers add charm, while the clothing is neat and coloured-coded. The store is inviting and the oversized pottery barrel outside filled with water and flower petals channels the Indian tradition of attracting positivity and well wishes into the store.
 

WHERE
Address: 98 Kloof Street, corner De Lorentz Street, Cape Town
Phone: 021 424 4387

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