Every Handcrafted Vessel Has Its Own Nook in This Atlanta Boutique’s 14 Foot Wall

In our Ask a Shopkeeper series, we tap the coolest store owners we know for a tour of their space and to ask them what items are trending right now—and beyond. For this installment, Morgan-Ashley Bryant and Vanessa Coore Vernon, the cofounders of Atlanta’s Souk Bohemian, take us inside their globally inspired shop.

Souk Bohemian started as an online shop. What made you decide to go brick-and-mortar? 
Vanessa Coore Vernon: A large part of what we love is providing a space that can activate all your senses. Being able to touch and feel items that have different textures and origin stories is just something that online shopping can never provide.  

Morgan-Ashley Bryant: We always had the desire to have a store where our customers could feel at home. Our shop is truly community driven—so many people in our lives helped us get the space open!

What was the inspiration behind the store design? 
Vernon: The space requires you to move through it with intention because we wanted wandering and curiosity to be more prominent than the feeling of just shopping in a retail store. It’s meant to feel like you’re in a very well-curated loft or home, where everything also happens to be for sale. 

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What is your mission with Souk Bohemian?
Vernon: Our mission first and foremost is to be a space where Black and brown people see themselves reflected. Although this space is certainly for everyone, it’s important for our community to not only feel seen but be acknowledged in this way. 

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What brands are you selling that customers can’t get anywhere else?
Bryant: We work with artisans in Morocco who craft shoes made from goat fur, a family in Guatemala who weaves straw fans, and so many other makers who create custom pieces for us.

Vernon: Our in-house brand! We collaborate with local graphic designers to create artwork that pays homage to our global aesthetic. That’s a big part of what we became known for.

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Why is it important for people to have artisan-made pieces in their homes? 
Vernon: It’s important for people to fill their spaces with items that speak to them on a deeper level. There is a level of craftsmanship that can only come from the hands of a maker, and there are materials that can only be sourced from certain places in the world. And supporting that creativity is full circle—it provides an opportunity for those artisans to care for their families and communities.

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What are some best-selling home/decor pieces or trends you’re seeing take off in the store? 
Bryant: Our customers are loving our natural incense, handmade incense holders, and N210 room oil. We created a signature fragrance for the shop that customers can purchase made with santal, amber, cedarwood, and red currant. It’s a best-seller for us!

Vernon: We have received such an incredible response to our vessel wall. It stands about 14 feet tall and is filled top to bottom with different artisan-made sculptures, bowls, and one-of-a-kind pieces. 

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Shop Talk 

Music that’s always playing in our store: Our playlist features global music inspired by our travels. Some of our favorite artists include Melanie De Biasio, Bonnie Banene, Luedji Luna, Bonga, and Jamilah Barry.

Instagram account we go to for inspiration: @KellyWearstler is one of our favorite interior designers. She creates some of the most aspirational spaces.

Dream person to walk into Souk Bohemian? We would love to see Solange in our shop. She has such a great eye, and we think she would really appreciate what we’ve built for our community. 

Favorite nearby shop that’s not our own: Bella Cucina. The store owner, Alisa Barry, has curated her space so perfectly for any lifestyle. She carries vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, beautiful art, all-natural foods, and so much more. 

Favorite home/decor piece in stock right now: Our vintage kilim pillows from Morocco. Most, if not all, of the brands we carry are also small, women-owned businesses, so our partnership with TwentyThird by Deanne fits perfectly with our ethos. Each pillow is one of a kind and so aesthetically pleasing.

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