Cool Spaces: Dear Rae

WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES Amy Keevy

An ever-growing brand lead local jewellery design studio Dear Rae to leave its Woodstock premises and open a new 220 workshop and retail space on Cape Town’s Bree Street.

“Creating a home for Dear Rae has always been an important and enjoyable process for me,” says founder Karin Rae Matthee, who designed the new space together with the brand’s team, including Brand and Retail Manager Amy Keevy and furniture designer Cameron Barnes. “Traditionally jewellery workshops are dark and dingy, and jewellery stores can often be quite pretentious and formal. I love the idea of creating a beautiful, light workshop / studio that encourages people to collaborate creatively, and in the same breath, welcome clients into the shop, like a friend visiting a comfortable home.”

The space, inspired in part by Karin’s love of texture, colour and nature, is divided into different areas with specific purposes, from manufacturing and packaging to consulting. “It was quite a challenge to figure out the layout at first,” says Karin. “It was pokey with lots of different rooms and corners, but this suited us fine.”

Karin happened upon 164 Bree while walking down the popular street with a friend. “My eye immediately spotted the TO LET sign on the quaint Victorian style corner building,” she says. “I knocked on the door, had a look around and knew instantly that this space was perfect for Dear Rae’s new season. We moved in two months later – it just felt right.”

Inside, the shop features a subtle colour palette, combined with pale wood shop fittings, plants and a selection of both vintage and new furniture, inspired by something Karin describes as “a mix of elements that we have collected along the way – like a treasure chest that manages to hold objects and memories from many journeys.”

Outside, clients are invited to relax on the terrace. “The garden terrace is by far my favourite part of the building,” says Karin. “It allows clients to enjoy a peaceful resting space surrounded by indigenous plants and a beautiful view as part of the retail experience.”

Having the use of both an indoor and outdoor area is something the brand wants to explore more in the near future. “My hope is to create a quiet and inspiring haven in a busy city,” says Karin.

Visit Dear Rae at 164 Bree Street, Cape Town, or shop online at