At the sign of the Crabapple Tree
So many of the amazing brands which have dazzled customers and electrified stock exchanges in the 21st Century had far more humble beginnings in the previous century – Apple, Mattel, Disney and GAP to name a few. Each of these brands hit the commercial road as small enterprises, often from the back of garages, but almost always with the clear vision of it’s founders at its heart. Crabtree & Evelyn was no different in many ways.
In 1968, the very origins of Crabtree & Evelyn began as ‘The Soap Box’ – a tiny shop in a corner of the famous Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was owned by Cyrus Harvey, an American film distributor and co-founder of Janus Films. In this retail space no larger than a broom-cupboard, Cyrus stocked a fascinating collection of soaps from around the world under the brand name “Truc”. The keen gardener, opera lover and corgi devotee, travelled the globe to curate this eclectic collection of soaps, adding bath preparations, home fragrance items and fine food to what would become Crabtree & Evelyn.
Small, well-loved and meticulously curated brands often attract a disproportionately enthusiastic and fiercely loyal following. That often has to do with the brand’s varied and colourful journey from a few shelves in a broom-cupboard to a fragrance launch in the prestigious Fragrance Halls of Harrods. It’s always good to look back fondly at that journey and reminisce with some of the people who been stewards, ambassadors, curators, magicians and humble supporters of a brand we have all come to love.
With the relaunch of our interactive blog, we would like to share some of the amazing stories that are woven into the fabric of this exquisite brand. There’s a rich history that encompasses beautifully designed packaging, celebrity clients, unusual products and inspiration from all around the world. We would like to highlight the quirky anecdotes of customers who have followed our path, be it globally or right here in South Africa.
This year marks an important milestone in the life of Crabtree & Evelyn here in South Africa. The brand celebrates 20 years of enhancing the everyday with inspired botanical creations in this country. In many ways, C&E pioneered the entry of international bath and beauty brands into this incredibly exciting market, with the opening of the first store at the newly revamped V&A Waterfront in 1996. Today the Crabtree & Evelyn collections are available through six company owned stores, key independent retailers and over thirty Dis-Chem stores in throughout South Africa. The success of a small British Brand on the tip of the African continent comes back to the passion of the team behind the scenes as much as the exquisite products enticing customers. Our blog hopes to bring out the very best of that journey and of all its passionate cheerleaders!
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