The Woodstock Exchange is everything the name implies. Set in Albert Road in Cape Town’s hippest creative neighbourhood, Woodstock, it’s all about exchange – contributing and building towards Cape Town’s creative community. Fondly referred to as the WEX, the Woodstock Exchange is a place where creativity is the currency and where the sharing of knowledge, ideas and the act of networking inform the day-to-day running of businesses.
What makes this hub stand out is that it was one of Cape Town’s first such design and creative hotspots, with the retail component structured around the French concept of ‘the atelier’. Ground floor shops all have a workshop or studio joined to them so that visitors can see the designers and craftsmen in action, giving equal focus to the finished product and its creation.
The shops here comprise some of the most sought after emerging local brands in the furniture, fashion and product design industries such as furniture shops Eleven Past, Saks Corner, Pedersen and Lennard and Dark Horse, as well as lifestyle accessory shops Wolf & Maiden, Revolution Skateboards, Ballo, Urban Africa and Chapel, amongst others.
Aside from the designer retail offering, the contemporary restaurants and cafés –Superette, Rosetta Coffee, Field Office, Honest Chocolate, Lady Bonham’s Tea Parlour and Starling and Hero, amongst others – all look like they’ve been styled for a magazine editorial. The best part, though, is the influx of the creatives from entrepreneurial businesses, design studios, innovation hubs and creative start ups, whose offices, work spaces and workshops fill the upper three levels of the Woodstock Exchange. They set the tone for the creative energy around and make “people watching” a treat for anyone looking for inspiration.