In our Ask a Shopkeeper series, we’re calling on the coolest shop owners we know for a tour of their space and asking them what items are trending right now and beyond. For this episode, Morgan-Ashley Bryant and Vanessa Coore Vernon, co-founders of Atlanta’s bohemian souktake us to their globally inspired shop.
Souk Bohemian started as an online store. What made you decide to get into brick and mortar?
Vanessa CooreVernon: A big part of what we love is providing a space that can activate all of your senses. Being able to touch and feel items that have different textures and origin stories is just something that online shopping can never provide.
Morgan Ashley Bryant: We have always wanted to have a store where our customers could feel at home. Our shop is truly community driven – so many people in our lives have helped us open up the space!
What was the inspiration behind the design of the store?
Veron: The space demands that you move through it with intention because we wanted wandering and curiosity to be more important than the feeling of just shopping in a retail store. It’s supposed to give the impression of being in a loft or a very well maintained house, where everything is also for sale.
What is your mission with Souk Bohemian?
Veron: Our mission is above all to be a space where black and brown people see themselves reflected. While this space is certainly for everyone, it is important for our community to not only feel seen but to be recognized in this way.
What brands do you sell that customers can’t get anywhere else?
Bryant: We work with artisans in Morocco to make goat fur shoes, a family in Guatemala who weave straw fans, and so many other makers who create bespoke pieces for us.
Veron: Our house brand! We collaborate with local graphic designers to create artwork that pays homage to our global aesthetic. It’s a big part of what we’ve become known for.
Why is it important for people to have handcrafted pieces in their homes?
Veron: It’s important for people to fill their spaces with objects that speak to them on a deeper level. There is a level of craftsmanship that can only come from the hands of a maker, and there are materials that can only come from certain places in the world. And, by supporting that creativity comes full circle, it offers these artisans the opportunity to care for their families and communities.
What are the top selling home/decor pieces or trends you see taking off in the store?
Bryant: Our customers love our natural incense, handmade incense holders and N210 mood oil. We have created a signature fragrance for the boutique that customers can purchase based on sandalwood, amber, cedarwood and red currant. It’s a bestseller for us!
Veron: We received an incredible response to our vascular wall. It stands approximately 14 feet tall and is filled from top to bottom with different handcrafted carvings, bowls, and unique pieces.