On a particular gray day in Coconut Grove, The Bazaar Project’s newly unveiled Coconut Grove location is a beacon of light. An explosion of textures, patterns and shapes cures the dreary weather’s malaise as founder and owner Yeliz Titiz welcomes me into the shop. “Today is actually only our second day!” she remarks, surrounded by vibrant textiles, funky lamps and campy accessories.
In a charming, high-ceiling boutique outfitted with colorful walls and philodendron wallpaper, Titiz appears sensibly chic, wearing a simple white tee and two delicate, chain-link gold necklaces. Like her original space in the Design District, the Bazaar Project’s Coconut Grove outpost offers those with a discerning sense of style a treasure trove of goods you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Titiz’s Turkish roots guide the shop’s aesthetic.
“I like to mix things together, so the shop is really a mix of east and west, with lots of color. Everyone knows I’m a color person,” she says, her eyes smiling behind her oversized gold-rimmed aviator glasses. Colorful and tenacious, Titiz leans on a lifetime of experience in the fashion, design and retail industries to manage The Bazaar Project, a labor of love for the perennial entertainer and fashionista.
“I always wanted to do a concept and lifestyle store because I love entertaining and I love jewelry,” she says. “So I said to myself, ‘I’m going to open a place with everything I like.’”
Early on, Titiz developed a shrewd eye within the fashion world. Growing up in Istanbul, her parents owned a department store and fabric mills, and she frequently trailed along when they visited trade shows or textile markets. After moving to Miami 18 years ago, Titiz took a position with Perry Ellis, managing the sourcing of textiles and other goods for the company’s multi-brand portfolio. She started her own jewelry line in her spare time.
“At the time there was no Instagram, I was going door to door,” she recalls. While her jewelry line satisfied her creative thirst, Titiz wanted to take things a step further. She dreamed of a lifestyle store that took guests to the brightest corners of the Mediterranean, the chic streets of Milan, and the overwhelmingly vibrant markets of the Middle East. “I found the spot next to Mandolin, and I literally quit my job,” she says, referring to the Bazaar Project’s first location in the Design District.
Get into the Grove
Six-and-half years later, the Bazaar Project is settling into their latest iteration. The Coconut Grove store is surrounded by scores of new retailers and culinary destination, signaling the area’s impending transformation. Titiz is elevating the Bazaar Project experience, as well, with a Bazaar Project line of candles and trinkets, like their signature hand-blown glass evil eye pendants, offered at $75. She has also installed an expansive wine bar in the store, adding to its draw. “Every plate, cocktail glass and platter you’re served will be available for sale in the shop,” Titiz notes.
Among other covetable items is a broad selection of Milanese design brand Seletti’s furnishings and wares, like kitschy graphic mirrors bearing hands holding lipsticks or serpents, priced from $68 to $750 depending on its size. Whimsical cactus sculptures in bold hues, designed by Belgian brand Fancy Home, are an edgy and affordable detail priced at $485. Structured swimwear from Turkish brand Oye, Marzoline silk turbans, and bejeweled, feathered sandals from Elina Linardak add intrigue to a day-to-play wardrobe.
The Bazaar Project remains heavily skewed toward jewelry, offering a range of designers — including Titiz’s own line — priced between $135 to $395. “I think it’s important to work with brands you can’t find anywhere else,” says Titiz.
As she prepares to celebrate this new chapter, Titiz remains focused on awakening an adventurous spirit in her guests. “We’re here for anyone who’s not too traditional, open minded, and has a little bit of an edgy side,” she says. “We know you’ll like what you find.”
2990 McFarlane Road, Miami; thebazaarprojectstore.com.