Eugenie Drakes has been a great friend of mine for many years – and Piece has been my go-to place for fabulous, unique, African gifts for special people. Visiting this lovely space near Ellis Park is well worth it. See you there.

Piece has been on an incredible journey these past few months and we are excited to share our progress with you.

2016 was a watershed year – and the year that piece decided to make the difficult decision to move its retail operations out of The Firs at Rosebank. This was by no means an easy decision, as in the sixteen years that piece has been in operation, we have built up a dedicated loyal following of local and international supporters and clients. However the sad reality is that rent was on the increase and sales were slowly decreasing and this meant an uncertain future for piece.

New Beginnings – I did not want to let the place and stories that piece has come to represent go to ruin, and a serendipitous meeting with Tyrone Selmon of the Art Eye Gallery resulted in new hopes and ideas for what piece could become. After paying a visit to his gallery in Ellis House in New Doornfontein, I began to feel hopeful and excited for what piece could progress to next. I was completely surprised to find a beautiful space of high standard, panoramic views and a great inner-city experience in the middle of a light industrial area next to Ellis Park. I immediately fell in love with this building and as luck would have it, the premises on the same floor became available a few months later. I immediately scooped up this deal and signed a lease that came to represent a wonderful new chapter in the story of piece.

Larger Communities – Over the years, piece has become a place of one-of-a-kind objects, stories and experiences, and it was important to me that our new space really spoke to that. So we started on the momentous task of bringing this new space to life. The journey was, at times, an overwhelming one, but it has resulted in a beautiful, relaxed and creative space that boasts incredible views over Troyeville to the South, Kensington and Bedfordview to the East and Yeoville/Bertams to the North. I wanted piece to be part of a larger community and its stories and I realized that this space really was an inner-city jewel.

Hidden Jewels- Over the next few months, I became more familiar with the area and its fascinating history. I began to discover all the hidden gems, a great community spirit and many different creative businesses in the area. Although some people might have worried about venturing downtown to explore an inner-city area, it quickly became apparent how great the safety in the area is. This is due to a strong security presence around Ellis Park and The University of Johannesburg New Doornfontein Campus as well as the fact that Ellis House is surrounded by light industry and each business has its own security.

Creative Spaces – The Ellis House building itself is also a hub of creative goodness, as we share the fifth floor with the Art Eye Gallery, and the Dead Bunnies Society is located a few floors down. The building also hosts a number of resident artists such as Wayne Barker, Blessing Ngobene, Ayanda

Experiences – Since we have opened our doors earlier this year, we have had the pleasure of hosting some wonderful events; Meetings Africa held their VIP Stakeholder dinner at piece. This was a wonderful event with food prepared by Anna Trapido, and hosted by the Minister of Tourism and CEO of South African Tourism. We also launched Mpho Tshukudu’s book EAT-TING, with delicious food prepared by Chef Coco. Piece has also re-opened its retail operations and shoppers and browsers can pop in anytime from Monday – Saturday (9am to 4pm). It has been wonderful to share our new space with return local visitors and international tourists who seem to enjoy coming back again and again for some coffee and to experience the beautiful views.

Come and be inspired – we will have a full itinerary of events, launches, tastings, art and craft classes, shopping events and inner-city experiences and would love it if you could come join in on the fun. To make sure that you don’t miss out, please keep your eyes peeled as we will be sending out event details on all our different channels. You can follow the action by keeping up-to-date with our monthly mails, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram feeds and by popping in for a coffee to experience this new chapter in our story.

On behalf of Eugenie, Thabo & Beauty here at piece, we thank you for your continued and loyal support of piece and look forwards to seeing you at our upcoming events.