Since we’ve arrived back in Joburg, one of my favourite things to do is to explore little streets or hidden shopping centres & stores. The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre in Melville is an old favourite rediscovered.
The selection of stores – albeit small – gives me such joy! I love it as a solo outing on a weekday morning or as a Saturday morning pit-stop with my two main guys. The best part is that you can get quite a lot done right here at Bamboo. Gift book shopping, check. New outfit, check. Good coffee, check. Hair & nails, check. Deli products, check. You might even be able to skip that trip to the mall after all.
I recommend you park at Bamboo but start your walk across the road on 9th street at the Emporium of Curiosity.
You will find a range of, well, curious but carefully curated items for sale. Anything from old-fashioned ski’s to ceramic skulls, a bird cage, tiny trophies & antique furniture. Such fun.
Next up is Decade with a delightful collection of light fittings, mid-century design furniture & objects.
The shop between Decade & SuperElla (I missed the name) is packed with antique cutlery & crockery but sadly doesn’t keep my interest for very long.
My favourite spot on this strip is SuperElla. Designer Ella Buter is indeed super! In fact, she is more than super. She is kind & friendly & makes gorgeous garments for real women. She’s genuine & helpful. If you decide to pop in at SuperElla – & you should – then be sure to ask for help, because many of her creations are made to be worn in more than one way.
Getting a bit of a demo & seeing how you can style the garments is what will make you stand out in your super SuperElla outfit. The store is located right on the corner, which Ella uses to her advantage by adding quirky sayings & displays in the windows & on the sidewalk.
Now over to The Actual Bamboo Centre.
When you sit down at Service Station you might for a moment think that you are in Cape Town. The communal table, situated in a quieter part of Service Station, is great for those who love to work from a coffee shop. It can also be booked for birthdays, business lunches or baby showers.
The Service Station menu is fresh & yum. I would strongly recommend starting your morning with a freshly squeezed juice along with Eggs Florentine or Benedict. The breakfast & lunch harvest table is always a good choice too.
But what brings me back to Bamboo again & again is the Love Books independent bookstore. They describe themselves as: “…a tightly curated, well-edited range of classy books that make book buying an exciting & inspiring experience.” Their passion for books is evident. The wonderful selection that will get anyone into reading. I often pop in here for a kiddies gift book in Afrikaans or English.
And when you ask for advice on gift ideas the owners’ face lights up. Sometimes she even offers to read the book out loud! Love Books is also child-friendly – with a tiny table, chairs & a basket of second-hand books for kids to read so that the new books stay unharmed.
You might know Convoy from their Bree Street store in Cape Town. The Jozi equivalent is adjacent to Service Station. I am smitten.
It is co-owned by & features six proudly South African designers – each bringing a unique aesthetic to the store:
Black Betty Design – Affordable, handcrafted jewellery by Kristin Weixelbaumer since 2013. Kristin uses precious & semi-precious stones with gold plated silver, sterling silver or 14k gold. The basis of the brand is that the precious stones choose the wearer, encouraging a ideal match.
Heart & Heritage – I’m totally in love with this hand painted range designed by Lesley Whitter. It is all about wearability, unique details, comfort & flattering fits. I need one or two of these in my cupboard! Now.
Selfi – A Cape Town fashion brand for individuals who appreciate modern, functional, bespoke design. Expect unique loose fitting garments inspired by architecture, forms & patterns in nature.
Hannah Lavery – Gorgeous & super comfortable shoes & understated wearable items… Hannah also makes beautiful genuine leather bags.
Anmari Honibal – Easy to wear, unique women’s garments made in Jozi also described as “Detail driven comfort wear for everyday edge”.
MerweMode by Deeva van der Merwe is unique androgynous street fashion from Cape Town. It has been described as “the best of European street style with the creativity, independence & unique flair of South African design…”
There are a few other spaces & places (like upstairs & the little salon downstairs), that I haven’t explored just yet so let me know if you’ve tried any of these.
I’m a bit of a mission to work through all the delightful little art & restaurant strips around Jozi, so watch this space for more inspiration.
Thanx for reading
Convoy image via.
Bamboo Designer Lifestyle Centre: 011 726 1701; 24 9th St, Melville, Johannesburg
SuperElla: 082 845 5551; cnr 7th Avenue & 9th Street, Melville
Decade Store: 083 477 2430
Emporium of Curiosity: 082 555 9555 / 082 312 4807 / 082 334 7314
Service Station: 011 726 1701
Love Books: 011 726 7408. Stay up-to-date with their regular book launches here.
Convoy: 083 548 5321, email@example.com