Square Case Study
A shop of wonders set in Hackney, Mahala offers an eclectic range of clothing, beauty and home goods, all with their own unique charm, as imparted by owner Emily. With a workshop under the stairs of her cosy shop, Emily creates her goods by hand and has created a treasure trove of one-off items along the Hackney street that Mahala calls home.
A long-time Hackney local, Emily first arrived in the area in 1999 to study accessory and footwear design at the local Cordwainers College. Her CV includes big fashion brands, stints in interior design and styling, but despite her high-flying career with highly sought-after brands, Emily began to see that there was a different way to enjoy fashion and has employed the philosophy of “slow fashion”. Mahala does not, like many high-street shops, sell clothes that are only good for one season and ready to be replaced the next, but offers products that will last a lifetime, designed to be timeless and durable.
From hand-made, unisex handbags to handmade leather boots, Emily’s creations are a reflection of her passion for design, her hard-working ethos (inspired by her great-grandmother after whom the shop is named) and her commitment to sustainable fashion. Other garments, designed and finished in store, are sold under the brand Roomi Apparel, inspired by traditional Sufi Clothing and, like all of Mahala’s designs, intended to be a welcome departure from the ever-changing trends of mainstream fashion. Pieces are made to be inclusive for all, and free from gendering or specific sizing while the skill and care of a local tailor with over 40 years’ experience help create something truly unique.
Other items on offer include natural beauty items, exclusively developed for Mahala using carefully sourced, natural ingredients. Even washing up liquid is given an eco-friendly spin, offering an ethical, cruelty-free formula made from sustainable, natural ingredients.
With so many unique items to entice people into her store and inspire more than a few impulse buys when presented with such one-of-a-kind items, Emily needs technology to help it all run smoothly. With Square allowing her to accept any way customers want to pay, she never has to worry about missing out on a sale. So, even if her customer had no intention of buying a pair of hand-made leather clogs that day, thanks to Square, there’s no reason why they can’t!
Learn more about Mahala