Camden is an on-line gifts store that will appeal to anyone who is looking for something different, interesting and affordable. Most of the high quality items in the store are locally made and include home décor, women’s accessories, bags and jewellery items. I spoke to Donné, one of the lovilees behind this on-line gem and the CAMDEN brand.
Q: How did the shop start and who are the lovilees behind the shop?
I wanted to leave my corporate job and was newly married when I decided to open a shop that would satisfy my love for home décor, beautiful things and shopping! Just before, my husband and I, started spending time in a charming little area called Richmond Hill in Port Elizabeth. We managed to buy a little house in the area and in March 2008 CAMDEN was born.
We started with very little stock that we made, gathered and bought from a few local suppliers, soon we started manufacturing our own range of products and exhibiting at trade shows, this is where I found more suppliers. I have been sourcing new products ever since and as my eyes were opened to all the new ideas, concepts and products, so CAMDEN evolved into what it is today. My sister, Nikki, started making products for the shop from the beginning and is extremely creative, she joined me full-time in 2012 and we are now 50-50 partners. Our dream is to do what we love, see each other every day and have the freedom to live a spontaneous life with as little stress as possible.
Q: Tell us more about the on-line store?
In March 2013, we started the on-line outlet, called www.aplacetoshop.co.za. We had requests from our out-of-town customers to send them products and so we decided to offer our range at CAMDEN to the whole of South Africa through an on-line portal. We had no idea that it would grow into what it has. We have recently reached 20 000 likes on Facebook and cannot believe the amazing response from the local shoppers.
We manage our own website and have recently taken on a local photographer and web developer to help us with the growth that we have been experiencing. All products listed on the site are in stock at all times, the shop (CAMDEN) is the so-called store room for the on-line shop. Orders are processed on the same day to ensure customer satisfaction and excellent service.
Q: How do you source your products?
We have hand-picked our main brands over the last six years, their products are consistently of a high-quality and they have protected our interest by offering us exclusivity in Port Elizabeth. We now sell these brands on the on-line shop too, which is available to all South Africans. We spend a lot of time looking for new products, commissioning designers to make once-off consignments and finding new artists or crafters making new and innovative products. Plenty of time is spent on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, contacting agents and speaking to our customers about what they would love to see at CAMDEN.
We offer a unique shopping experience and always have something new on offer when you visit us. We also have limited stock runs, so some products are only available for a short period of time, while others are available at all times. The type of product that we look for have the following attributes (where possible): Made in SA, from high-quality materials, must make an extraordinary gift, must have a talking point & be affordable.
Q: What are some of the well-known brand that you stock?
We stock the locally made Mongoose Handbags, Symbols on Silk Jewelry and Urchin Art Ceramics. We do also have a few imported products in our range. Our product range is ever-evolving, we come across new suppliers on a weekly basis, so we are adding new stock to our website often.
- Website: www.aplacetoshop.co.za
- Facebook: APlaceToShopForSouthAfricans
- E-mail: email@example.com