Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We have moved to 44 Stanley!

five8ths is now located at 44 Stanley!

Find us on the walkway between Salvation Cafe and Bean There coffee.

44 Stanley Avenue

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Introducing the five8ths Classic bowtie

Just in time for the holiday season, we are pleased to introduce a new five8ths product, bowties

Ever since we have been making neckties, customers (and potential customers!) have been asking about bowties. We have taken the time to develop a bowtie that matches the quality and style of our shirts and neckties, and we are now ready to share it.

 We have started with a classic bowtie shape, also known as a "thistle" or a "butterfly" bowtie. This is a versatile shape that works well for a variety of occasions and face-shapes, and can be worn by men or women.

Our bowties are made by hand, in our Johannesburg workshop, of fine linens and cottons from Italy, Japan, and South Africa.

Our bowties are self-tie, rather than pre-tied. Self-tie bowties are more sophisticated, and allow the wearer to personalize the shape to fit his or her preference. They can be tied straight and neat, or left a bit less tidy. 

Our bowties are made with adjustable hardware, to fit a wide range of neck sizes. We are also happy to make the bowties in a custom size, by request.

You can find a range of bowties at our shop in Maboneng in Johannesburg or on our website.

Monday, February 3, 2014


In January, I had a chance to finish up and refine some details of the shop interior. It has finally come together in the way that I had envisioned it. It's an intimate space (12 square meters) that manages to contain my cutting table, sewing table, ironing station, tools, fabric, and racks. The cutting table is on wheels, which allows me to push it back and forth, giving extra space for shoppers on the retail side, or for myself on the working side, depending on the need at the time. The tailor's racks are on wheels as well, and have space below to store fabric and packaging. Everything now has its place, which creates order in my mind and supports efficient movements within the space. Not only is it a great studio/workshop, the space sets the tone for the products made within it, and with a quick glance around, you can see all the steps involved in making a shirt.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Many thanks to David Peter Simon, from Holiday Matinee, for stopping by my shop last week. He posted our interview  on the HM blog today, for small business Saturday, and included some of the photos that he took inside the shop in Johannesburg.

He starts the interview by saying that he heard my sewing machine clattering when he walked past the shop--for those who haven't been there, I have a window next to my sewing machine that has a little hatch that I open while I'm working. I do get a lot of passers-by who are eager to talk with me about my machine (usually because they also own one and love it). It's a 1972  Bernina 830 Record--widely viewed as one of the best sewing machines ever made. I'm very happy it captured his attention!

Here's one of David's photos that didn't make it into the blog:

And for those who are curious, I will be posting more shop photos once the finishing touches are complete...stay tuned.

Monday, September 16, 2013

retail/workshop space

five8ths has a new home! We will soon be moving into a new combined retail and workshop space in Johannesburg, South Africa!

My husband, Ben, started a new job here, so we will be living most of the year in what is affectionately known as “Jozi”. We have lived in Johannesburg on and off for the past ten years, so it is a place where I feel very much at home. From the climate, that is so similar to Colorado (where I grew up), to the group of friends who we've now known and grown close to over the past ten years, to the lifestyle that calms me down. Not to mention the high style-IQ on the streets. Jozi is a special place, and we are excited to be here. It was here in Johannesburg, during a previous stint, where I began to make custom and handmade clothing, spending my time learning and doing what I love while my husband has conducted research over the years.

My goal has always been to have a workshop space combined with retail, so that customers can see where and how five8ths clothing is made, and so that I can interact with clients in the context of the studio. I will be setting up shop at Maverick corner, a newly developed area of the Maboneng precinct, on the corner of Commissioner and Albrecht. five8ths will be next door to a women's/children's bespoke and handmade clothing boutique on one side, and an Ethiopian restaurant on the other side. Across the courtyard, there is a bespoke bicycle shop with adjacent workshop that will be open to the public for DIY bicycle maintenance. Maverick corner will also be home to a bar, a burger joint, a food-truck that sells sweets, and an African fabric emporium! Across the street, developments are near completion for the “Artisan Lofts” apartments, and within the next year, MOAD (Museum of African Design) will move in along side a restaurant/B&B/cigar bar. Right now, our space is in its final stages of renovation, and we will start moving in later in September. More details to come as the design of the space takes shape!

In addition to the shop in Johannesburg, five8ths will continue to operate as an online boutique, and carry stock in the US. US customers can still order online, and in-stock items will be shipped from there. New custom orders will be shipped mostly from South Africa, unless I am in the US at the time, but shipping prices will not change.

Looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces in the shop and online!

A map of the Maboneng Precinct is below. five8ths will be located at Maverick Corner (#8).