Mint began life as a real-life shop in sunny Durban, South Africa. Initially a passion borne out of necessity – I had bought my first home, and just couldn’t afford to kit the whole place out with new furniture – the idea quickly grew into something bigger. Within a few short months I had quit my corporate job and set up shop in a freshly renovated co-op. Mint sat proudly alongside the Corner Cafe, and Wardrobe, both businesses run by close friends. It was a family affair with great design at the centre of it, a beautiful space to be in really.
Mint sold everything from vintage waffle makers to retro light-fittings and Scandinavian dining room tables, and continues to do so today via our e-commerce store, which operates out of Johannesburg. Our business is based on the premise that old things were made to last. If you buy something brand new it might look great 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 after a few short years.
The items on sale through Mint are a showcase of twentieth century design, reflecting a time when everything was made with thought, consideration and style. And, of course we love the idea of giving new life to forgotten treasures, saving items from ending up in landfills, and not contributing to the mound of new plastic and throwaway items being produced every second of every day!
The Mint Team
My name is Kirsty Machen-Moore, and I’m the head of the Mint family. In the now very distant past, I used to work for one of South Africa’s larger insurance companies, but I’ve been running Mint for more than a decade now, so it’s very much a part of who I am!
I’m very ably assisted by Thandie, who does all of our cleaning and packing, and Kabelo, who expertly restores all of our furniture. We also work with a great upholsterer (please shout if you’d like his contact details), and we rope in my husband, Justin, on weekends, to assist with any difficult furniture repairs, or electrical issues with lights or appliances.
And that’s us. Small, but mighty!