BazarApart – House of Provenance
- - Aarschot : Tom (5th generation), Leen (mater familias), Phara (Leen clone)
- - Hasselt : Anna (6th generation), Auck (Dutch ‘3rd daughter’)
In 1875, Tom’s great-great-grandmother Virginie Wynants started on the same spot in Aarschot (then called Persilstreet, no kidding) her coppersmith’s shop.
The property was split over Virginie’s 4 children, one of which married Louis Verlinden, in Aarschot also known as ‘Zot Louiske’ (‘Madcap Louis’) because he loved to tell jokes and fool people. Louis had studied at the Ritz in Paris chocolatier/confectionery and took a different track.
During WW I the property was completely destroyed by fire. Louis fled with his wife and 3 children to the Netherlands, where they spent 5 years in a refugee camp.
The street was renamed to Martelarenstraat (Martyrs’ Street) and the shop and house were rebuilt as/at number 52. The shop counters at BazarApart date from this era.
Fons Verlinden and his spouse Bertha, along with Fons‘s sister Gaby, started ‘Bazar Verlinden’ : a concept store (before the term existed !) where you could purchase virtually anything, except food and drinks. Many a (wo)man remembers carefully choosing his school supplies, toys, birthday and Santa Claus gifts, Christmas trees and decoration, April fools, fishing gear (including maggots !), and so much more at ‘Zot Louiske’.
As of the 1980s, Fons’s youngest daughter Emmy specialized in writing instruments and leather goods, along Swiss knives and lighters, under the name ‘PenShop Verlinden’.
In 2013, Emmy’s oldest nephew Tom Herbots (son of Betsy Verlinden) started BazarApart (Aarschot) with the same product range, but with the focus on authentic (read : made in EU/Western production). Very soon the product range expanded by adding Opinel knives, glass and porcelain, home- and personal fragrances, beard grooming, jewelry, candles, aprons, soaps, belts, hats and caps, braces, and so much more.
Some years later, upon request of multiple customers, handbags and man-bags were added, which started off the offering of slow and seasonal clothing for women and later also men. Tom’s spouse Leen joined him in this adventure.
Due to a planned substantial construction site right next door in Aarschot a plan B was required which resulted in BazarApart Antwerpen (°1 juli 2016), with Susha as our tower of strength.
The Corona/Covid crisis of 2020, and later, had a huge impact on every aspect of the business. Plan C was to boldly open a third shop in a medium-sized city : BazarApart Hasselt (°5 juni 2021) was born, managed by youngest daughter Anna (6th generation).
BazarApart is a genuine family business : we work in team, and our staff is part of the family and together we share joy and sorrow.
Also many of our suppliers and producers are small, long standing thru multiple generations, hardworking family businesses, who stand for quality and craftmanship, and are justly proud of their heritage and products.
Homely ambiance and service
Our strong family ties and love for authentic products and furniture organically result in a homely interior and ambiance. Our motto is ‘nothing needs, anything goes’, no pressure. Customer is King/Queen (but not God hé )
We all share the same passion for BazarApart and our products ; we therefore love to tell you about them and provide all (back ground) information.
We sincerely hope to offer our customers the experience and adventure one encounters when discovering that one little shop in some alley abroad , but then more locally and more often
We love to have fun, within and outside our business hours.
Hence, we organize a few fun events spread over the year :
- - In-House fashion show on the eve of the Spring Open Door Days in Aarschot : March
- - Local Heroes (musical event): April
- - BazarApart Aarschot Lady Lounge, an evening with plenty of food, drink and surprise acts : May
- - In-House fashion show on the eve of the Autumn Open Door Days in Aarschot : September
- - BazarApart Hasselt invites..... : on regularly announced dates
- - And more, depending on our inspiration.
Would you like to be kept informed ? Subscribe to our Events-Newsletter or follow us on Facebook !
Bazaar/Bazar : Concept store ‘avant la lettre’
Bazar translates, in Dutch, French and English as a store with a wide variety of products. In Dutch it may have a negative connotation for some people in some regions, but we aim to honour its original meaning and at the same time link back to grandfather’s ‘Bazar Verlinden’, where Tom spent the majority of his childhood. BazarApart is a one-stop-shop for presents, also for yourself , leather goods, clothing (M/V/X) and so much more !
Our style is actually defines by our concept : authentic production (read : Western production), originating in many cases from bigger but mainly small business who produce exquisite quality for quite some decades and survived the ‘Oriental Wave’ of low cost/ child sweat shops. The products which we find within our concept, or who find us, are not to be discovered at every street corner, many times not even on the internet, without being too exotic, too extravagant, or too ‘design’. Western quality is beautiful! But not Plane Jane either !
We select our products according to the following :
- Retro - nostalgic from the ‘good old days’ : Everything comes back, especially quality.
- Sustainable - all antique and vintage once started as brand new : quality keeps on giving.
- Correct - best price-quality balance : Western quality isn’t necessarily more expensive
- Green/Eco - as low an ecological foot print as possible
- Artisan - (semi-)hand crafted with respect for traditions
- Ethical/honest - socially and ethically responsible
- Esthetical value - a thing of beauty is a joy forever...
Do not only CHOOSE to SHOP LOCAL, but also CHOOSE for Belgian/European/WESTERN products !
BazarApart offers authentic products.
As such, we prove that “made in BE / EU / the West” is
- of a higher and more sustainable quality (no disposables, no one-time-use, simple repairs when needed, …)
- possible at normal profit margins in all stages of the production and distribution
- still for normal retail prices
- produced by passionate enterpreneurs
- who in many cases carry on a long standing familial business history and tradition
- which makes it really worthwhile checking the provenance of the product you’re buying !
Materials and fabrics
There are of course limits to the ‘made in’ story : we are unable to track down the origins of all the materials used to make our products. We count on the moral compass of our committed manufacturers and distributors.
But, this doesn’t mean we never know : we do know the details or the bigger picture of the production process of the materials and products of many of our brands.
We intensively communicate and collaborate with our highly committed brand contacts and especially with BambooBelgium.be, Captain Cork, Artekim, ... Fina’s, Flor’s, Ina’s, Sonja’s, and so many others’ philosophy with regards to ecology and sustainability is the way forward !
Webshop : SHOP also LOCAL !
Did you know : a ‘.be web shop’ isn’t necessarily Belgian ?
First of all CHECK :
- the shop’s physical address (under ‘contact’)
- and the story behind the shop (‘about us’) – which means you are doing great !
Our web shop is the result of our own hard work. We built it and maintain it ourselves, and fill it with all our lovely products, in many cases unique, artisanal or produced in very small quantities, for which no photo’s or images are available, so we make them ourselves. You can find an extensive part of our product range on the web shop, but not always everything. In such case : blame Tom en Phara...
About 95% of our packaging consists of packaging we received ourselves from our suppliers : boxes, bubble plastic, paper, foam, ....
All ideas on improving our web shop and service are always very welcome !
We don’t like to shout ‘Like / Follow us on Facebook and Instagram’ ! but we would appreciate it if you could
If you would only like to receive information about our events you can chose to subscribe to our event-newsletter by e-mail. Pay attention though : our first e-mail can get stuck in your spam/junk folder...
Slow and seasonal fashion : versus fast fashion
We don’t believe in fast fashion : it is disastrous on so many levels as it is in many cases absolutely not ethical, ecological, human or honest (not towards us, nor towards the end-user due to absurd high profit margins. And no, slow fashion is not more expensive !
We firmly chose for :
- long term collections, or of slow fashion. Our slow fashion collections are collections that don’t throw out their current stock with every fashion whim ( or fart ), but who rather follow and incorporate the long term fashion trends. This also allows you the flexibility to order our slow fashion collections in other sizes or colours than currently available.
- And, we design our own slow fashion ‘designed by BazarApart’ and have them produced according to our standards and concept.
- in combo with seasonal collections and garments of relatively timeless colours and cuts, which can be worn throughout the years without becoming old-fashioned or outdated.
This also applies for our (fashion) accessories such as leather goods, hats and caps, braces, belts, jewelry, gloves and scarfs, umbrella’s, ....
What matters to us is not only the place and the circumstances in which our clothing is produced, but also how it’s fitting : We try on all the pieces ourselves. This may seem logical, but it is not the standard or custom. Due to the absence of fitting rooms at our agents we thus try all clothing we like, standing in our underwear in their showrooms, instead of choosing it by sight, at a desk, sipping a coffee. We only select pieces that are comfortable to wear and easy to maintain, keeping all body types into account. If you are not able to empty your dish washer in a comfortable way, we do not select the garment (some festive garments excluded).
We offer sizes ranging from (BE) 36 to 50 (depending on the brand).
We’d like to encourage our customers to come and try our clothing at one of our physical shops. We are at your service , if desired, to help you out with sizing or other questions.
We therefore only offer our slow fashion garments for sale on our web shop. You can take a peek though at our seasonal fashion in our seasonal lookbooks. The remaining sizes can be found in our outlet corners or racks in our shops or in the outlet section van de web shop.
All garments we wear in our shops are garments we ordered and purchased for ourselves. We don’t wear our garments throughout the day in the shop to hang them back on the racks at night.