A genuine warm welcome meets you when you enter the doors of Artisan Boutique. Anjana is in conversation with a customer and her mother Aroon who also helps out in the store greets me with the largest smile and the warmest embrace. Anjana spots me and soon I, Paulo, am embracing the lovely owner of Artisan Boutique.
I have been blogging and working in the digital realm for a large part of my career, and so I'm delighted to jump on board (and online) the Artisan Boutique team to help keep customers informed, up-to-date and thoroughly entertained with anything related to Artisan Boutique.
Experience is everything, and there is no online tool that can effectively convey the experience of visiting a physical store. And seeing as I hadn't yet visited the new store in Pukekohe, I hopped into my Honda Accord on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and drove to the address of the new premises.
Finding parking was a breeze, and after my warm welcome I began to browse through the store.
A quick look around turned into almost an hour, with so much to see, it’s a wondrous eclectic haven.
I was mesmerised by the intricate detail of the Pearl and Rhinestone oval jars and tissue boxes, the elaborate design of the mermaid wine holders, enchanted with the sparkle of the chains and magnificent jewellery, the shimmer and gleam of the rings and bracelets. Beautifully contrasted with the finely crafted hand-made soaps, the vast range of floral headwear (perfect for weddings and a day at the Races), the nostalgic vintage suitcases and chests, and the fluorescent rainbow of sari's along the wall. Doing a second-take on products soon became the norm.
Anjana's hand selection and eye for detail is truly evident as I look around the store. It’s the uniqueness and rarity of the items that amaze you and keep you captive. Every step I took transported me to a world of new themes and new designs; it is a smorgasbord of gems, and every item had a purpose. This is a collection that has been well thought through.
My general retail browse quickly turned to fascination and appreciation. And I wasn’t alone in this. I heard the mumble of appreciation from parents and visitors, the silence and devoted focus from the children at the beads aisle, the teenager deep in thought between two designs of silver clutch bags for her ball that evening, and the wide-eyed gasp from a young mother who Anjana and Aroon were unravelling a beautiful golden sari for. The community was here in the store this afternoon.
A part of what makes the store so great is the fear of missing out; the feeling that it needs to be purchased now because of the urgency the products' rarity creates with customers; Uniqueness speaks to the Artisan brand.
“You can spend hours here”, was the last thing I heard a lady say as she strolled out with her two daughters. And I agree. In fact, I could spend more.
I could spend days.
Thank you Anjana. We will be back soon!