Salt&C Boutique has opened a fascinating outlet at The Phoenicia Malta run by the energetic and thoughtful sisters Carla and Jessica Grima with cousin Bettina Grima. The latest boutique complements the established outlet in Ta’ Xbiex, one of Malta’s most highly regarded business addresses, and revolves around collaborating with local and international personalities based in Malta from the worlds of fashion and culture. The store itself is a brimming bijoux of fashion wear, bamboo tooth brushes, stunning ceramics, designer everything including jewellery, satin covered notebooks, soap, cashmere, sketches by artist Gulja Holland, cushions, and a myriad of other interesting circular economy products.
The synergy and mutual respect amongst the 3 partners is very much in evidence as they talk about how they got this unique Maltese business up-and-running. The origin being one sister exploring collaborations with other artists on the Maltese Islands through co-founding the Malta Creative Collective and then all 3 realising that they can transfer their own innovative ideas to the curated artisanal base to pursue unique sustainable products for Salt&C. The product range is both creative as well as surprisingly extensive.
Salt&C is a playful brand name and one that the 3 ladies will continue to use as an umbrella to expand and explore a range of exciting sustainable products. Every product on display has a definitive provenance and they know with assured inside-knowledge the talents, histories and stories of their collaborators very well, ensuring that any query is answered with insight and passion. Women using vegetable dyes in the highlands of Nepal are as familiar as Swedes making skincare products from natural oils. All traced back to the person who cuts fabrics or paints a ceramic. Salt&C is a response to the enlightened consumer and the modern world as a part of today’s trend, to know how things are made or to ask how they’re made.
Sustainability and designer sensibility combine for example in Maltese-lace inspired children clothes, hand-painted Christmas baubles, leather items, pastizzi projects by Kane Cali which has transformed the humble Maltese delicacy into social comment and high-art. Every visitor to Malta is familiar with pastizzi, a symbol of Malta’s cultural and gastronomic heritage. The traditional diamond-shaped pastry has been reinvented and given a new form in the shape of wall art, the Salt&C store sporting a lime green interpretation clinging to the wall next to Salt&C’s lava stone counter.
The bamboo toothbrushes will likely prove to be a hit with The Phoenicia Malta’s affluent guests. A range of Christmas cards have seeds embedded in them and become compost after their emotional life connected to a recipient is over. Martin ByDyring is also featured in the Salt&C Boutique with a natural shampoo bar and the aforementioned biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes are notably the Mediterranean’s first fully bamboo replaceable head toothbrushes.
The cosy concept store packs a punch on designer resort wear which is the brainchild of fashion designer Carla Grima. Carla is exporting to the world’s most exclusive resorts such as LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc Resort St. Barts in the exclusive French West Indies. The resort, which echoes French refinement in a glorious ambience, is the perfect setting for a range of resort wear that has evolved from Carla’s upbringing on sunny Mediterranean islands. Other destinations for the exclusive designs of this talented Maltese fashion designer include Antigua, Thailand and Mykonos in Greece.
Carla’s distinctive resort wear is imbued in the colours and spirit of the Mediterranean, but with a nod to the ancient Greeks in some pieces, as well as an eclectic range of influences that inform a subtle sense of style and comfort. Each piece is carefully crafted in high-quality silk, cotton and wool fibres, and is the unique fusion of watercolour techniques, photography and textile printing.
Jessica’s earrings were absolutely stunning, with some pieces available from the new boutique sitting alongside the offerings of a number of other jewellery designers including Gioia Clavenzani and Ivano Ghinelli. Gioia and Ivano moved to Malta in 2015 from their native Italy, with both countries now driving their design experimentation where art and nature are infinite sources of inspiration. Art and design are their “fuel”, whilst the sense of nature is also part of their jewels through their rough and dull surfaces and irregular edges.
Bettina Grima speaks animatedly about all the ceramics on display, partly as the next generation of Mediterranean Ceramics along with her cousin Jessica, and partly from a true love for creating beautiful ceramics and filtering them into people’s lives. Bettina was instrumental in securing a prestigious project in Dubai on the XXII Carat Estate at Palm Jumeriah creating murals to cover each of the 22 villa and hotel facades. This required Bettina and her team of 7 artists to fire over 10,000 tiles in Malta which were all hand-painted and to work closely with architects and other key project stakeholders to deliver a uniquely-adorned luxury gated community on the beachfront. Salt&C is packed with beautifully rendered ceramics and wall plates, all of which will make the perfect gift.
During the inauguration party for the new store The Phoenicia Malta’s General Manager Brice Kemper said: “The ties that bind fashion and art are part of The Phoenicia Malta’s DNA: from collaborations with famous artists to our sponsorship of international cultural events. I am delighted that Salt&C are part of a refreshing new wave at The Phoenicia Malta and that they have chosen to bring their talent and panache to this truly iconic hotel.”