It was not so long ago when I first stepped foot inside the “jewel box”. Walls coloured in pink, orange and turquoise, a fun palm tree printed carpet, plants and paintings and a display of beautiful handbags and accessories. Rainy Days and Mondays by the Carpenters playing in the background with the beautiful colours and designs around me, I was left with an unforgettable memory of my first encounter with Missibaba.
Missibaba Handmade, founded in 2005 is a local brand that specializes in bespoke handmade leather handbags and accessories.
Wednesday, the 5th of October 2016 was the official launch of the Missibaba store at the TRUMPPET building at Keyes Art Mile. The new store, neighbour to the all African Milk Bar and opposite the Everard Read gallery had a soothing atmosphere as champagne was served with the sunset in the background. Guests and loyal customers of Missibaba all gathered to celebrate the launch. From the names of blogger Kenny J. Winslow of the Third Citizen, local singer Lira and leading fashion designer Marianne Fassler were among the guests who attended.
Keyes Art Mile is ‘curated Neighbourhood living’ in the heart of Rosebank, Johannesburg. A new avenue filled with art, design leisure, luxury, friends and food. The perfect location for the new Missibaba store for those who love all things creative and local.
The creative force behind the brand is designer Chloe Townsend and Lizel Strydom who work together with a small team of only women. With a studio and store based on Bree Street in Cape Town and 19 Keyes Avenue Rosebank in Johannesburg, Missibaba strives to ‘become a globally recognized brand, associated with quality, creativity and good business ethics’ which is something they most definitely have achieved. The brand has also been listed as one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 young South Africans to watch and has featured in Elle magazine and other publications a numerous amount of times in recent months and over the years.
The story behind the creative and detailed designs of the Missibaba handbags and accessories is what makes this local brand so unique. Inspired by many of Chloe and Lizel’s African adventure’s and travels to places such as Kenya, where they found inspiration for their infamous jungle, banana and graphic diamond print patterns, and none other than the local Sea Point Library in Cape Town is where their inspiration behind their beautifully designed tulip pattern came about. The unique cut out applique, patterns, shapes and designs all created based on inspirational, fun and beautiful experiences with the leathers ethically sourced both locally and internationally makes Missibaba a local retailer that offers good quality across all boarders. Their interaction and close relationship with their customers is created from the process behind customizing their bags and accessories based on the designs, prints and trimmings that their customers most desire.
Missibaba as a local brand has come a long way and continues to excite their customers with their new bags, accessories and now beautifully tailored and detailed leather jackets with amazing embroidered and stitched fun pieces that they show off on their vibrant Instagram page. Being a new member of the Missibaba team has opened my eyes to the many opportunities, influences and memorable experiences that local brands can have, and I am excited to see where this journey takes me.