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My Store: Dear Rae

Dear Rae's store design's wow factor is its terracotta tile feature wall and plant-filled terrace.

Country: Johannesburg, South Africa

Name: Karin Rae Matthee

Position: Owner and designer

When was the space completed?

We completed our new studio in June 2019. The original space was an office, so we had our work cut out for us! We did a full revamp in less than two months and simultaneously moved our workshop and retail store across town. We wanted to create a space that reflected our brand best – one that would embody a sense of flow between the outdoor Moroccanstyle terrace, our shop, the office area, and our upstairs workshop. We selected local fittings and fixtures wherever we could.

Who is the target market and how did they influence the store design?

Our clients are quite varied, from locals looking for affordable gifts and engagement rings, to tourists looking for a treasure to take home. We sell to young women and men in their twenties, all the way to people in their fifties. Our more affordable pieces – the brass and silver collections – are found on our wall display for customers to interact with. We then have gold, diamonds and more exclusive items in glass cabinets to showcase their value without it feeling too intimidating. Each display area conveys clean lines and minimalism. We also have a private lounge for customers to meet with a designer and start discussing their dream ring or a one-of-a-kind treasure.

With the relationship between store ambience and consumer purchasing in mind, which features in the store encourage sales?

Our space has a natural aesthetic that acts as a beautiful canvas to display our jewellery, whilst communicating our values. We wanted to make sure that customers would be able to engage easily with products and connect with our staff. Ultimately, it’s a place with a welcoming atmosphere where our customers can take their time and soak in the Dear Rae experience.

What is the store design’s ‘wow factor’?

Our terracotta tile feature wall and our plant-filled terrace; it boasts an extraordinary view of Table Mountain.














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