Ivy Nat is yet another string to Brixton’s independent shopping bow, housing smaller, often Black-owned brands on Acre Lane.
The owner is Ogechi Enemuo, a former accountant.
“I opened Ivy Nat because I wanted a space for small businesses and brands, particularly within the BAME community, to be able to showcase their products and talent – and to connect them with new audiences,” she told the Blog.
“I didn’t just want to create another shop – I wanted a place where when the customer walks in and I am taking them on a journey, through continents via the different vendors’ products.”
Previously, Ivy Nat – named for Ogechi’s daughter Ivy – only existed online.
“We chose Brixton as the site for the first standalone Ivy Nat boutique because of the area’s multiculturalism and sense of community,” said Ogechi.
“We picked up the keys in December 2019, did a lot of refurbishment and were ready to open in March 2020 – then coronavirus and lockdown hit.
“When we were finally able to open our doors in June 2020, the community came in and supported us and continues to do so.”
Ogechi’s own Ivy Nat brand is inside the store. It’s made with pure, natural skincare ingredients such as neem leaf powder and organic marula oil.
“It all began when I gave birth to my daughter and she ended up spending six months in neonatal.
“I was heartbroken and I felt helpless seeing her wired up to so many machines.
“Upon discharge she developed chronic eczema.
“I tried many skincare brands on the market to solve the issue, but to no avail.
“It wasn’t until I came across raw and natural skin care that we found a breakthrough, and I noticed a difference in her skin condition.
“Not only did her eczema clear, her scars diminished, and I was able to touch my baby,” Ogechi said.
“I did not stop there, and this led me to a journey of continuous discovery of different natural plant-based products and their rejuvenating and healing benefits on the skin.
“This led in turn to the creation of Ivy Nat, and the journey of sharing my knowledge with others who have been in similar situations.”
The other Ivy Nat brands span a range of beauty, fashion, homeware, gifts and books.
Inside, the independent labels include Genny Graham, a British-Bajan entrepreneur bringing her pepper jellies to South London.
“There are hand-woven bolga wave baskets from Ghana; one of a kind pieces that can take two weeks to make.”
Also availabke are fiction and non-fiction books by renowned black authors including Chinua Achebe, known as the Father of African writing.
Children’s books which focus on the experience of growing up Black are also on display.
“We are always on the lookout for independent brands,” says Ogechi.
“We use social media platforms, trade events and word of mouth to find them.
“Brixton has an important culture of small, multicultural businesses and curated spaces.
“I believe Brixton is leading the way for independent shopping.
“It houses over 100 independent brands. This makes it an exciting place to visit in London and makes it a perfect place to have our store.
“It is important that customers physically come in the store. Not only do they get to support local independent brands, they also get to be dazzled and discover a collection of outstanding creatives in fashion, beauty, art and literature from a variation of top BAME talent who are trying to build a careers despite the challenges that exist.”
98 Acre Lane, SW2 SNQ
020 7274 3389
Monday to Saturday 10.30am-7pm