WHAT WE LOVE: The confluence of coffee shop and botanic paradise where jewelry and design objects from local designers are also hidden among the lush succulents and terrariums. Great coffee from the local roastery Petra, detox teas and a damn good brownie.
WHERE: In Istanbul’s Beyoğlu neighborhood right behind the illustrious Galatasary High School.
WHO: After Gülriz Sansoy became quite successful selling her handmade terrariums, she decided to open her own café and shop in 2014.
What year was Müz established? 2014.
What is Müz’s genre? Botanics, Ceramics and a Coffee Shop.
How would you describe your shop? Müz was inspired by extraordinary plants, minimalist materials and natural items. Its store was designed with a similar approach:a place where you can find a carefully collected selection of terrariums, flowerpots, gardening tools, and accessories.
Why was name Müz chosen? Müz refers to the Greek muses. I wanted a short simple name, that would refer to nature and inspiration.
What are you known for? We are most famous for rare plants and handmade ceramics.
Where is your product made? The pots are made in our own ceramics workshop, the plants are gathered through different channels from Netherlands and Turkey.
What makes your shop unique? We produce most of our products ourselves in the workshop area inside the shop, people also can see where and how we work.
Who are your customers? Plant and design lovers.
How has the internet impacted your business? It has allowed us to reach our potential customers much easier.
What motivated you to open a shop? Before I was a shopkeeper, I worked in film production as a set decorator. I was always interested in different aspects of home décor.Having my own place to inspire other people was my biggest motivation.
Did you have prior retail experience? I had no prior retail experience but I was a good retail customer.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? How to say no.
What is your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? I really enjoy deciding based on my priorities and what I find important. I usually don’t have to do anything I don’t believe in.
What is your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? I believe that the idea you have is the least important part, as long as you are passionate about what you do. You will need a lot of stamina to push through the disbelief and rough patches, your passion will guide you through the hardship.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be… I would be a farmer.
What is your perfect day off in …. My perfect day in the city starts with the Bomonti Organic Bazaar, I go there every Saturday to have breakfast at the pastry (gözleme) stand and then do my weekly shopping. I really enjoy the atmosphere there, shopping from local producers and the familiar faces. It is absolutely the favourite part of my weekly routine. In the same district there is also a newly opened restaurant called ‘Batard’, which is nice for dinner and cocktails.
What are your three top social media tips? Post often, make time for your online presence, and build a visual style.
I wish I could… Do what I do in a less turbulent political environment.
On the Future of Retail
“Online shopping will definitely dominate the retail environment, but I believe that the boutique brick and mortar stores will always have a place for people who look for that kind of specific interest and knowledge only real humans can provide.”
Firuzağa Mh. Hayriye Cd. 18/A, Beyoğlu
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.