WHAT WE LOVE: A beautifully curated space showcasing a carefully edited selection of timeless vintage pieces to build a modern wardrobe.
WHO: Artist and barista Dóra Földes.
WHERE: In the Leopoldplatz district of Berlin.
What year was Grus Grus established? Grus Grus Vintage was established in October 2018.
Why did you choose the name Grus Grus? Grus Grus is the latin name for the Common Crane, an animal that find inspiring. It also reflects the style of clothing that we present: effortless, plain, yet majestic. Like the grey crane.
Who designed the shop? Owner Dóra Földes designed it, by basically transferring her home’s atmosphere (and some actual pieces of furniture) to her shop.
What is Grus Grus best known for? The shop is probably most known for its interior and unique atmosphere that encourages slow shopping. Grus Grus stands against the stream of fast fashion by choosing to reduce, reuse and proudly wear clothes that have been circling around since decades on planet Earth.
Where do you source your products? Our clothes are carefully selected and sourced piece by piece from private collections in Germany and Europe.
What makes Grus Grus unique? We believe that everything is already out there. You can recreate all looks with vintage, since fashion trends are just repeating themselves. You don’t need to buy a trendy piece that has been unsustainably produced last year, when you can find the same ‘original’ piece from the 80’s. At Grus Grus we find these pieces, show you how to wear them. We select our clothes with special focus on natural materials and condition. There is a selection of only around 100 pieces available in store, which minimise the chances of impulse buying, and makes the customer able to buy only what she needs. The clothes we present are pieces that can become basic pieces of a capsule wardrobe. Classic pieces that can be mixed well, that are timeless, mostly casual but styled right, could easily become statement pieces.
Who shops at Grus Grus? Women between 18-60 who are already or want to become more conscious in their shopping practices. Berliners and visitors of the city alike.
How has the internet impacted your business? Immensely. From day zero we only used Instagram as a channel to reach out to our customers. It allowed us to be discovered and attract people to make it to this more remote part of the city. It all happened organically. Bloggers and media picked up and published our story online and helped us build a steady and ever growing customer base.
Dóra Földes shopkeeper at Grus Grus
Who inspires you? Although I could list thousands of people who inspire me, as a self-made business women, vintage shop owner and mother I am gonna now mention Sarah Shabacon, mother of two, founder and runner of her vintage business Bohème Goods.
What inspires you? Plants, colors of the sky and earth, the curves and shapes of the female body, children art, folk art and outsider art.
Before I was a shopkeeper, I…. was ( and still am) an artist. I also worked several years as a barista and manager of a specialty coffee shop Bonanza Coffee in Berlin.
What motivated you to open a shop? I was already only shopping second hand clothing for myself and my family for years. As soon as I got to know about the environmental and ethical aspects of the fashion industry, I got to realise there has to be better ways. As I still enjoyed expressing my creativity with fashion and the outfits I was wearing, I decided to do all of it with used clothes. It is of course a hobby and passion of mine. Thrifting and finding treasures. So I managed to make it my profession as well.
Did you have prior retail experience? I worked at Bonanza Coffee for four years. The knowledge and experience gathered there as a manager helped me to open my business alone from scratch. Just before opening Grus Grus I stayed at home for a year with my child. In the second part of my maternity leave I started to sell vintage pieces online, and since that went very well, I had this idea in the back of my mind that one day I am going to open my own boutique, I realised now is the time. Gathered all my courage and optimism and jumped on board to open my business.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? Yes, you are your own queen, but also you are the sole bearer of all responsibility and the stress that can come with it. There are ups and downs, and it is important to be able to share these with someone.
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? The independence itself.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? There is a time for planning – and it is crucial! There is no way you can skip writing a proper business plan and check (also through someone independent) the feasibility of your business. But it is to restrict this time, so that it wont take forever and stand in your way to actually starting your business. If you don’t have some, give yourself some deadlines, meet them and then jump!
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be..? With my art studio in the back of my store, and being able to sell my art through my shop, I am honestly living the dream. Doing all the things I enjoy.
What is your perfect day off in Berlin? The way I enjoy Berlin has changed a lot in the past years. I start the day enjoying nature in the outskirts of Berlin on a family farm, sipping coffee in the sun on a terrace with my husband, while our kid plays in the sandbox. In the afternoon we go to the Botanical Garden before having traditional Chinese dumplings for dinner.
Schererstraße 7, 13347 Berlin
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth is a Berlin-based freelance writer and the author of The 500 Hidden Secrets of Istanbul. Her favorite shops are Souq Dükkan in Istanbul for the best of local design, Ryoko in Berlin for artisan Japanese goods, and Homemade Aromaterapi in Istanbul for 100% natural beauty products.
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