Shops with one product only but lots of choice

first_imgDUCK STORE Their best-sellers include Donald Trump, a unicorn, and a cactus. Girls tend to plump for flamingos and princesses, boys prefer Batman and Star Wars, and adults of all ages just can’t get enough of the minions, monks and mermaids which constitute just a few of the 360 varieties. They range from small (just a few centimetres in height) to large (a third of a metre is the biggest), include everything from eco versions (hand-made in Morocco from natural rubber) to battery-powered light-up types, and cover a whole host of categories: professions, movie characters, babies, animals… But what really sets the shop apart is this: every single one of its products is a duck.Yes, ducks. The yellow plastic kind that once shared your bath. The store is, appropriately, called The Duck Store, and it’s a franchise which exists all over Europe and – now – in Limassol too. Eva Antoniou is the brains behind the venture: a financial executive and sales manager by day, she is also a secret lover of all things anatine. “A rubber duck is something anyone from anywhere can recognise as part of their childhood – it conjures up memories, brings out the inner child, and makes you happy!” she enthuses. “Plus, it’s a great gift for everyone, whether you’re looking for a unique christening favour, a quirky graduate duck for your teenager, or a souvenir for the grandparents back home.”To that end, the recent launch of the I Love Cyprus duck has been a huge success, with the masked-and-snorkelled sun-loving duck flying off the shelves. But it’s not all about the sales, says Eva. What makes her happy is to see people sharing in the smiles that only a plastic duck can bring!“When I first opened the shop mid-March, people thought I was crazy,” she laughs. “But I knew there was a market here, and both locals and tourists have really embraced the product and the concept.” Hundreds have been sold since the opening, and over 1,500 sit on the shelves right now – provided by suppliers all over Europe who create the premium quality, toxic free, CE approved wares. Ranging in price from €8.95 to €29.95, they’re an affordable delight which – even for those who come to browse rather than buy – brings a genuine smile to the face.“At the end of the say our ducks are a novelty which some will appreciate and some won’t,” says Elena. “But, for the most part, people seem to love a yellow plastic duck. Even when it’s lightly disguised as Trump!”For more information, call 70070708 or visit the Facebook page ‘Limassol Duck Store’MISS FUNKY NATTY Palm trees on your boobs? It may seem a strange juxtaposition, but that’s because you haven’t seen what Natalie Pehlivani makes! Everything from ice cream to cherries, along with delicate sprays of cornflowers and intricate lace roses feature on her line of feminine undergarments – a range which includes more than 30 unique designs of every woman’s favourite type of support: the bralette.Known around the world for her unusual designs and quirky taste, Natalie first started making bralettes two years ago, and has seen her Etsy shop (which also sells hand-made jewellery) rocket on the strength of her creations. “I originally studied psychology, and never thought of myself as creative,” laughs the 31-year-old Larnaca-based creatrice. “I came to it later, when I realised I needed an outlet: something to do with my hands.”Taking her inspiration from “the world around me, from Pinterest and Instagram, as well as the many talented artists out there”, Natalie began her unusual product line by chance. “I was browsing Pinterest one day and came across bralettes, which were just taking off in terms of fashion. Well, I knew there was a market for them in Cyprus and so I began to make them. It took,” she adds with a smile, “a lot of trial and error! Particularly because the materials are quite difficult to find here.”Shopping for fabric and accessories both online and on her international travels, Natalie uses a sumptuous mixture of elegant lace, tulle, silk chiffon and similarly sheer materials in the creation of pieces which, she adds, are “really popular all over the world – I certainly didn’t expect this much success! I have a lot of orders from the USA, from France and Japan, as well as more locally: both Hot and Posh in Nicosia and Blue Label in Larnaca.”With plenty of repeat customers on her books, Natalie is able to maintain “good quality for an affordable price – between €20 and €25. The feedback is very positive; women tell me the bralettes make them feel feminine, playful, sexy and that’s important to me – it’s important that I’m doing something that makes people feel good about themselves. What I’m doing represents me, my mindset and my belief – creating something from scratch is like giving a piece of yourself, and I’m so glad that’s making people happy!”For more information, visit the Instagram page ‘Miss Funky Natty’, the Etsy store at www.etsy.com/shop/MissFunkyNatty or email [email protected] abound in Nicosia, but there’s nowhere quite like mAKaron. Yes, they make the odd cake, and a few flaounas over Easter, but what they’re really known for – as the name suggests – is their macaroons. Oodles and oodles of macaroons, in every size, flavour and variety you can imagine…Along with the classics (chocolate, vanilla, lemon, hazelnut praline, espresso and pistachio), mAkron caters to local tastes with a white chocolate infused Cyprus rose flavour, amaretto, and even Cypriot chilli and chocolate. Then there are the slightly more daring varieties (red velvet, wild berries, and salted caramel), the seasonal favourites (apple cinnamon in September, pumpkin spice come Hallowe’en, and gin and tonic in summer), and the flavour of the week – which can range from black caviar to milk chocolate foie gras, or pistachio and bitter lemon.“I’m always looking at what’s on trend,” explains owner and expert confectioner Andreas Konstantinou (note how his initials play into the name of the shop!), “and taking on board new ideas from the internet, from food websites, from dishes I try… Once, I created a black truffle and beetroot macaroon based on a restaurant meal of beetroot-stiffed ravioli with truffle oil. Whatever I’m doing, I’m thinking about macaroons! Of course, it doesn’t always work,” he adds with a laugh, recalling the green tea matcha variety which – although big in the States, where Andreas studied Culinary Arts – was a total failure here in Cyprus. “I didn’t sell a single one,” he grins. “But you keep going, you keep trying, and you find flavours that work!”Open since 2014, mAKron has been Andreas’ way of making a name for himself on the island. “I returned just after the haircut, and there were no jobs at all. So I decided to start my own business.” Looking for a novel idea, Andreas hit on a macaroon-making class he’d attended during his studies, and put the knowledge to work. His produce soon garnered him the notoriety he was after – “there are hundreds of Andreas Konstantinous who are chefs, but they call me Andreas Macaroon now!” – and these days, he sells a minimum of 6,000 macaroons a month – at a price of between €1 and €2.50, depending on size and filling.“Christenings, weddings, events of all sorts – everyone wants macaroons,” he admits. “So I’m always looking for new flavours and new recipes wherever I go. To me,” he concludes, “making macaroons isn’t work, it’s pleasure!”For more information, visit the Facebook page ‘mAKaron’ or email [email protected] May LikeJobsAdvisor10 Worst College Degrees For Your Resume EverJobsAdvisorUndoReport Globe8 Cutest Exotic Dog BreedsReport GlobeUndoBuzzFond15 Major Casting Fails That Ruined Entire FilmsBuzzFondUndo From space heroes to artists: women written out of historyUndoUK plays Brexit hardball with ‘stubborn’ EUUndoHeroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

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