Weylandts! Authentic, Raw, Refined.

Starting off in 1964 as a humble traditional furniture store in Windhoek, Namibia, Weylandts has quickly grown into South Africa’s leading furniture and homeware retailer. 

Chris Weylandt has inherited his father’s keen eye for exquisite furniture and deep appreciation for good living, “My father, Edgar Weylandt, ran a furniture store and being part of the family business from a young age laid the foundation and helped me establish the philosophy for the current business” he says.

He grew up in Windhoek, and has always been inspired by the wide open spaces of Namibia, he tells me. Chris and his wife, Kim, have four children, two of whom, Anna and Courtney, have joined the family brand to keep everything within the family.

Anna, their eldest, is an interior designer who her father, Chris, describes as the driving force behind furniture buying and product development at Weylandts. Their only son, Courtney, works alongside Kim, specialising in homeware buying. Chris and Kim’s other two children are just as successful, “Alex is doing her articles to enter the legal profession, while Georgina is studying at UCT,” they tell us. In his free time, Chris enjoys the occasional trip, from one exciting destination to another on what he swears are business-related visits, saying “I travel a lot, often to design fairs and on buying trips.” Other than that, you’ll probably find Chris off-road on a motorbike — but after a recent accident resulting in a shoulder injury, he isn’t so sure about that any more.

He has taken his father’s legacy and developed a brand that is bold, confident and timeless. It all began after completing his studies on South African soil and, whilst en route to Europe, made a detour to Windhoek to visit family there. Things don’t always go as planned, however, and the visit stretched to five years, during which time Chris and his older brother not only purchased but also expanded a small manufacturing plant. They began exporting to South Africa and soon Chris moved to Cape Town to develop and manufacture a new breed of furniture. When asked about what inspires him, he says that he “finds it in the raw beauty of Mother Nature and the fusion of ideas from across the globe”.

In 1999, after a trip to Indonesia, he felt it was time to enter the retail world and opened the first Weylandts store in Durbanville, Cape Town, where Weylandts’ extensive range of Indonesian furniture was an instant success. Nineteen years and ten stores nationwide later, Weylandts is welcoming their eleventh branch at Ballito’s very own Lifestyle Centre. “We have been exploring the viability of opening a Weylandts store in Ballito for over two years,” says Chris, “and now it is finally here.”

The Ballito store boasts Chris’s “Authentic. Raw. Refined.” taste in furniture and when the space became available, he says, there was a definite synergy between the centre’s new-look offering and the Weylandts brand. The store is developed around the concept of “living fossils” which was inspired by the layered textures of the coastline’s shore. When I asked — of course I asked — about redoing a home here on the North Coast, Chris’s advice was to find a way to focus on laid-back, relaxed and raw in a way that is still refined and sophisticated. His top tips when decorating? He says you should trust your own eye and not be afraid to use layers of toned-down colours. You should also use texture to create warmth and authenticity.

Chris hopes that the new store will serve as a means of inspiring people to express their unique personalities in their living spaces, as that is what the Weylandts brand is all about. That, and good living, as they believe that beautiful living and exceptional quality should be easy and accessible. In closing, Chris expressed his grateful thanks to the Weylandts Ballito team and to the Ballito community “for allowing us to inspire and be inspired”.

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