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The Shopaholic: Tarynne Keown on Custom Garments, Friends, and Self Care

the shopaholic

The rise of online shopping isn’t new, and neither is the online/Instagram boutique. Between foreign exchange, shipping, and customs, ordering from overseas boutiques can be a hassle and a half! However buying clothes from well known stores can be a let down when you see someone in your exact outfit. While looking for local designers, specifically for a pair of those satin pajama sets I was seeing all over Tumblr and Twitter, I came across The Shopaholic…

Imports and customs…

Tarynne Keown, owner and designer behind The Shopaholic, started her boutique as a retailer for imported garments from Asia…just like a lot of the boutiques littering the Instagram explore page.

Eventually she made the move to custom made garments. Not only was it difficult to manage importing stock from overseas, but she noticed “the sizes were not the same as South Africa’s.”

According to Tarynne, what sets The Shopaholic apart from many other stores is her commitment to fit. “When I buy clothes I like them to fit perfectly,” she says. When she switched to making custom pieces in 2014, she thought it would be well appreciated by other women who share her sentiments and style.

Business and pleasure

As a third year FEDISA student, Tarynne’s business and academics cross paths every day. On top of that, Tarynne has built her business with the help of her friends. From the photographers, the models, even the person behind her website, she only works with her friends.

Tarynne prefers to work with friends. She “wouldn’t really put someone that I don’t know very well in such a big position of trust.” She does acknowledge that it gets hard to separate work and play, but that it is worth it in the end.

The Young Creatives Market and collaborative work

Tarynne undertook her biggest event yet on December 3rd… organizing a creative market! She felt like “the industry is about who you know” and noticed that it was hard for young people she knew to get into markets. The Young Creatives Market was not only intended to be a market for vendors to sell their goods, but it also served as a spot for people to network.

The real #DeliveryTwitter includes people who post pictures/videos of the packages they receive from different brands they actually work with. The Shopaholic has trendy clothes that many girls are keen to represent, according to Tarynne. She has been approached girls claiming to want to ‘collaborate’ but really wanting free clothes with little to offer, aside from likes, in return.

Collaborations have to benefit both parties, otherwise that’s just a “one-sided thing.” One of her most recent collaborations was with The Collection, a custom denim and thrift boutique. Now that The Shopaholic is closed for the holidays Tarynne plans to spend her time resting, hanging out with friends, and keeping a lookout for new brands to work with.

Self care is important


Tarynne started working on The Shopaholic when she was 16, and now she is 20 years old. The best advice she has received is that “you need to make time for yourself and not make your whole life’s mission you career.”

Most noteworthy is that Tarynne closed her store this holiday. For the young designer, “there is no amount of money that is worth my sanity.” Most of all, her closing for the holidays sets her apart from stores in the mall.

Based in the mother city, Cape Town, South Africa, Tarynne is in the perfect place for some much needed R&R. “Maintaining that personal touch is very important,’ to Tarynne and the fact that she’s taking her first vacation from work shows the human element behind it.

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