It has been only two years since Eve Wilson set up shop in the charming little thatch-roofed heritage cottage in Mitchell Street and in the space of this short period Provenance gained a solid reputation as a destination shop for all things bright and beautiful.
As the owner of Provenance Oils, Eve manufactures a popular range of natural skincare products made from essential oils and organic plant extracts, which are supplied to select retailers and guesthouses in Hermanus, Cape Town and further afield. They are also for sale in her shop, along with a delightful mix of exclusive gifts, homeware, linen, clothing, jewellery and accessories.
The Mitchell Street premises, although charming, soon became too small for Eve’s burgeoning business, especially the area she was utilising as her workshop. When the opportunity arose for her to relocate to new premises in the CBD, she made the leap and can now be found next to the Pam Golding office and bookmark in Main Road .
Eve is thrilled with her new shop and says she had her best day of trading, ever, on 1 March, the day she opened. “We love everything about living in Hermanus,” she says. “It is like a city and a village all rolled into one, with the advantages of both. The town has all the necessary infrastructure but at the same time there is a laid-back village atmosphere and the town is still small enough for you to get to know your customers by name and build relationships.”
Eve and Peter originally hail from the Garden Route, where they owned a 6 ha property on the banks of the Bitou River near Plettenberg Bay for 18 years. They sold the property in 2009 to live out their dream of farming plants such as rose geranium and lavender to distill their essential oils. They found a farm in the Koo Valley near Montagu, which they called ‘Provenance’ from the French verb provenir, which means ‘to originate or arise from’ – a fitting name for their farm and their products.
Farming, however, was extremely hard work and by 2014 Eve says they realised they were not as young as they used to be. They decided to sell the farm after five years and moved to a new home in the picturesque town of Montagu, where Eve opened her first Provenance shop and continued to manufacture their popular range of body-care products from a small factory at the back of their house.
“The main reason we moved to Hermanus was because my husband, Peter, who has been a surfer his whole life, badly missed the sea and felt he could no longer live away from the ocean,” says Eve, clearly pleased about the new direction their lives have taken.
Pop into Provenance at Shop 2, Twin Gables, 171 Main Road or call 083 292 3359. Visit www.provenanceoils.co.za for all the details on their products and to do your online shopping directly from the website.