The store and home of ultrastylish merchant Lisa Storer – founder of The Storer in Johannesburg – is inspired by travel and her love of artisanal making.
A Home (And Style) Inspired By Travel
Both the store and home of merchant Lisa Storer – founder and owner of The Storer in Johannesburg – is inspired by travel as well as her love of artisanal making.
We spent some time exploring this ultrastylish shopkeeper's store, life and tranquil home on Monaghan Farm, outside the city.
Inspired By Travel: The Journey
If you, like us, long to look into the sights and treasures of the world’s craft communities we highly recommend a scroll through Lisa Storer’s globe-trotting Instagram account. From month to month the Johannesburg-based retailer shares envy-inducing snapshots from the far-flung places she journeys through to bring her shop, called The Storer, to life.
It’s via her page that we’re able to explore places few travellers get to, like Tamegroute — a small village located in the Draa River Valley in southern Morocco, famous for their characteristic green ceramics, in which The Storer trades.
‘When I started conceiving The Storer I decided the best place to go to would be to Morocco for the first trip, and it lived up to everything I had been building up and fantasising about.’ Lisa says.
As a fine art and fashion design graduate, Lisa’s appreciation for the handmade comes from a well-trained eye, but also from a family history of adventurers.
‘My dad travelled extensively in South America and used to conjure up these stories that made me want to travel. Going out to remote areas locally also really set the tone for me as a child. Conventional education has always been a challenge for me, because it puts you in boxes, but where I am at now came very much from my formative years, where the adults around me set the interest and yearning to discover these places and people who were outside convention.’
Inspired By Travel: The Storer
Lisa explains that beyond travelling, there is another seam that ties the curation of The Storer’s offerings together.
‘When I travelled I started to see this golden thread in human connection, and one that runs through artisan craft, and that it wasn’t specific to a country. I would go from Morocco to Mexico and see that they were using craft in a specific way, but that it was connected to other craft communities. In Morocco people we met would connect us to other craftspeople in India, or Mexico, and this invisible thread emerged for me that connected the artisans and people around the world.’ In The Storer, objects from all across the globe live side by side.
What’s more, since opening three years ago, the store has gone from retail space to a hub in which the design community can learn, and connect. From in-store workshops with skilled artisans like Ubu Botanicals, to hosting talks by young trend watchers like Kenny Jules Morifi-Winslow, the experience of the space is ever-evolving.
‘We make these experiences because these artists have such amazing stories to be told, we want to share them with the people here,' says Lisa.
'Their story is not just a product, but extends back in history (sometimes nine generations) and part of that story is the feeling, the smell and the texture, which you can’t explain without them being here, in the space with us. As human beings we’re moving away from that, but the duality of the full experience is what makes us who we are, and what makes us interested in discovering new places.’
Inspired By Travel: The House
Lisa’s house on the Monaghan Farm estate in the countryside just outside Joburg takes The Storer’s philosophy into a residential space. The light-filled property, designed by architect Adrian Morris, rotates around a courtyard garden on one side, and expansive views out over the veld setting on the other.
‘The brief was very much about creating a family space,' says Lisa.
'My husband and I travel a lot, and are involved in industries where we spend a lot of time with other people, so we wanted a sanctuary full of light that is nurturing and cleansing, and as it is on Monaghan farm, it was about capturing that old farm aesthetic.
The house is an extension of what The Storer has come to hold. ‘The Storer is a very creative space for me where I get to let everything out and be quite adventurous and daring, and break some of the conventions of putting things together’, says Lisa.
‘My house is a bit of a slower cocooned version of that. It’s a contemplative space where I get down time, and go back to that creative space to give it everything that is in my heart.’
Take a video tour to see more of how Lisa is inspired by travel: