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Introducing PoléPolé, a New Botanically Focused Decor Store in Cape Town

New lifestyle and decor concept store in the Woodstock Exchange PoléPolé is all about indoor plants, curated collectables and everyday ease.


PoléPolé is a new botanically focused decor store in Cape Town | House and Leisure

Launched at the end of 2018, PoléPolé is a new botanically focused store that is a must-visit for anyone who counts themselves as part of the growing cadre of indoor plant obsessives in Cape Town. Located in the Woodstock Exchange at 66 Albert Road, Woodstock, PoléPolé features a huge array of greenery options, ranging from covetable tillandsias (air plants) to cacti, ferns, orchids and succulents – for which the store is fast becoming known.

Alongside the plants is a variety of contemporary and vintage pieces that run the decor-design gamut from handcrafted jewellery to ceramics by Sue Weston and oil paintings by Trevor Coleman, plus a carefully chosen selection of soaps, candles, leather bags and accessories, and vintage botanical stands.

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PoléPolé | House and Leisure
PoléPolé owner Paul Harris.
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PoléPolé owner Paul Harris has returned to his home town with over 20 years of experience in retail, having been a partner and co-creator of the much-loved Lunar range of clothing, which began life from home in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, before relocating to trendy 44 Stanley Avenue in Johannesburg. He’s also well known both in front of and behind the camera, and is an avid traveller with a sharp photographer’s eye who was also once a television cameraman. 

Harris’ latest venture combines the things he loves best: working creatively with his hands – he moulds the plants themselves into exquisite works of art in terracotta pots and wire holders – as well as carefully selecting the rest of his merchandise with the passion for colours and textures that made him so popular as a clothing designer. He explains that the term ‘polépolé’ originates from Swahili and is often heard in Zanzibar and Tanzania (which he loves to visit) or by climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro. ‘It’s a word that beckons one to slow down and take it easy. There is no need to rush through life,’ he explains.

It’s this philosophical approach – the idea that things happen in their own time and space – that first drew Harris towards the air plants he nurtures at the centre of the his venture. ‘Air plants originate from Central and South America and share characteristics with succulents,’ he says. ‘Being rugged and requiring very little water, they absorb their nutrients from the air and water, and their small root structures allow them to cling to trees or natural surfaces. Because of these characteristics, they can be incorporated sculpturally into a variety of vessels, and I find them as exciting and satisfying to work with as any fabric I’ve ever held in my hands.’

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