Mint began life as a real life shop (see pics below), situated in the heart of Glenwood, Durban*. The germ of the idea started when owner, Kirsty Machen, moved into her first house and decorated it entirely with restored retro furniture and accessories). Visitors were excited by the way that the house was furnished and wanted to know where they could find similar items, so to satisfy the demand Kirsty left her steady job, and entered the freefall world of retail. Mint sold everything from retro ice-cream scoops to 1950s light-fittings and Scandinavian dining room tables, with the idea that everything in our homes should be beautiful, functionality never being enough.
* Please note that Mint is now based in Linksfield in Johannesburg
The premise of Mint is that old things were made to last. If you buy something today it might look good now, but it probably won’t be around in a decade’s time. Very few of today’s mass produced items will make it into the retro markets of the future, with the majority of modern goods being designed to self-destruct.
Before the concept of built-in obsolescence was incorporated into the modern economy, attention was paid to both design and durability. The items on sale through Mint are a showcase of twentieth century design, reflecting a time when everything was designed with thought, consideration and style.
Another part of the Mint aesthetic is the recycling principle to which a growing number of retailers are fortunately also paying attention. Instead of adding to the planet’s ever-growing mounds of plastic, Mint finds beautiful objects from the past and loves them back to life.
Sadly Mints’ byline, “The Retired Goods Company”, came to fruition after 8 short months when Kirsty got lured back into the corporate world, and Mint closed its doors.
Somehow though, Kirsty seemed to forget that she no longer had a shop to stock, and continued to trawl the carboot markets and church sales for treasure. After a year of hoarding she realised that she had to ultimately have a way of passing on some of her collection, and so with a push from Niall, her good friend and digital media extraordinaire (check out www.mcnulty.co.za), she started the online version of Mint!