Having been a retailer myself for 30 years I still find myself admiring many an Independently Owned and Managed Shop. Menorca has many hidden gems on the Island – fashion boutiques, art galleries, shoe shops, food, cheese and wine shops. ROQUETA Magazine is going to be championing their cause over the coming years.
Sadly too many smaller shops have closed in the wake of a somewhat seismic change in the Retailing landscape within this last decade. If the Recession itself wasn’t harsh enough then the continuing expansion of out of- town/retail-park retailers certainly hoover-up a big chunk of consumer spend. On top of that the Rents and Rates haven’t really been flexible enough to ease the severe down-turn. Then of course the Internet, even here on the Island, is beginning to eat into the market as well.
Result: retiring shopkeepers are not being replaced by young up and coming talent. Surprise surprise. Like a spring at the source of a stream needs fresh rain then Retailing certainly always needs young fresh talent. Not enough youngsters have been introduced into the industry. So the future of the stylish boutique is at serious risk.
Shopkeeping seemed outmoded and not rewarding enough to consider as a long term career. Shame. Yes, shopkeeping can be Mundane ‘day in day out’ if you regard it as just a job but so is a career in filmmaking or theatre if you just take the work for the pay. New entrants should embrace all the artistic and artisan possibilities – let the creative juices flow – then the small shopkeeper should regard every customer as a potential lifelong client.
A great shop is a physical window on the world. If you’re ambitious then Europe is on your doorstep. If you’re more interested in a less stressful and easier way of life then shopkeeping can still be very vibrant and dynamic. A shop should be a blank canvass each week really. A successful shop is always one that changes its displays and layouts regularly as well as introducing a constant stream of fresh merchandise. I’ve always thought a shopkeeper who can be seen fastidiously tweaking the window display at 8.30 am is one who is admired for their artistic passion for the business and pure love of the product. On top of that an Independent shop should always stay ‘upmarket’ – be a purveyor of beautifully crafted high quality products which can be appreciated over a lifetime. How many inferior cars get scrapped? – all of them – how many Bentleys do? None. So…Buy it well buy it once!
Great Independents on MENORCA LA CERERIA
If you were walking down a cobbled street just off the Left Bank in Paris one might expect to stumble across a shop very like La Cereria. That City has always had an abundance of very stylish and eclectic boutiques usually run by talented fashion designers and artisan shopkeepers. It is an art-form running a successful retail business and Sara Diz certainly has undeniably natural artistic talent. To encounter this shop just off the cobbled square of the Santa Maria in Mahon is a sweet and happy discovery.
Firstly Sara Diz has that most important, very impressionable, quality ‘Welcoming Warmth’. One immediately feels comfortable just perusing and browsing the shop. How many Chain Stores could one say that about in the world ? But the next key draw is the beautiful products assembled together in an unexpected but well edited way – it’s a rare skill to be able to create a kind-of micro fashion department store presenting a little collection of ‘buy-me’ products across about 10 product categories, Womenswear, Footwear, Handbags, Costume-Wares, Jewellery, Menswear, Candles, Picture frames and assorted HomeWears.
Like an Editor of a very cool magazine, Sara is a clever curator of both fashion and gorgeous artisan gifts – a purveyor of lifelong keepsake favourite products which will be cherished for a lifetime. So… Buy it well, Buy it once!
THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS:
- An amazing ladies emerald-teal coloured Angora coat, by Medwinds with chunky leather buttons made in Majorca using Scottish Highland wool.
- A very simple leather pleated clutch bag with a shoulder strap in link-chain, Made on MENORCA by Binichic.
- Yellow Hunter wellies from rainy Blighty – perfect for Cove Crabbing in the Winter!
- Exquisite small glass vases in rare colours made in Spain.
- A-Z hand-painted artisan ceramic tiles from Italy, so desirable.
- An array of candles that will finally persuade you to while away your evenings without ever needing to switch the lights on again! This is for Life in MENORCA
Buy it well, Buy it once!
By James Roberts.