SAM is situated above the bustling restaurant and fashion district on Bree Street, accessible up a beautiful raw-brick ramp from street level. The grand loft space provides plenty of opportunity to showcase the full spectrum of local design, from cool, edgy fashion collections from the likes of Selfi, West, Janesews, Margot Molyneux, Shana, through to the stationery and illustrations of Lauren Fowler, Soet, Essie Letterpress, the furniture of Xandre Kriel, Jakob Basson, Piers Mansfield, Cameron Barnes, home ware from Skermunkil, Handmade By Me, Love Milo, Ivy White and the jewellery from Oh Dear Megan, A Ring To It, Papillon Belle, Black Bird, Skermunkil, Black Betty, Henriette Botha and Famke.
SAM was set up by business partners Berlinda White and Naomi Bossert to provide a platform for South African fashion, furniture, jewellery and décor designers to retail their most accomplished work to the local and tourist market. As designers themselves, Berlinda and Naomi became frustrated by the lack of a single beautiful space that was specifically aimed at driving the sales of South African design in a way that served both the designer and the customer. Designers don’t always want their products mixed in together for the benefit of the store. So they set up SAM so that all type of creatives can have their own store-within-a-store, each specifically and uniquely curated to show off their work at its best.
Berlinda and Naomi came up with the concept of SAM more than two years ago, in 2011. But since they wanted to ensure that they had the perfect marriage of online and offline for their store, they waited for the market to be ready before launching. Having robustly tested the market over the past year, they have a clear idea of what people are looking for and what will work across both platforms.