Ibiza living

Aladdin’s Cave

Inside Santa Gertrudis concept store Skandish

Through her stylish concept store, Skandish, in Santa Gertrudis, Nicky Le Boedec-Lambley introduces a contemporary-meets-retro aesthetic perfect for today’s Balearic lifestyle.

There are some people in life for whom mundane simply isn’t enough. These people seek the magic in the ordinary; the rare in the everyday – they push beyond horizons when reality starts to feel like traipsing through sludge. Nicky Le Boedec-Lambley is very much from this ilk. Owner of Skandish, a chic Santa Gertrudis concept store that’s an ode to all things beautiful and stylish, the feeling to up sticks from the UK and move to Ibiza to start a fresh life was irresistible to her. “I’m a great believer in the idea that you only live once,” she says. “So we thought, you know what, let’s do it.”

To many, this may seem like a brave move, but Nicky has lived a life that’s threaded with the cultures of many places – from Japan where she was born, to Hong Kong and the UK, where she lived over the years, and Mallorca, where she spent sun-kissed and happy holidays with her family growing up. Drawing on those special memories, but wanting somewhere more intimate to lay roots, Ibiza seemed like a natural fit. “We wanted somewhere small so that in winter it felt more alive,” the Skandish founder explains. “We’ve been in Ibiza for over seven years now.”

Once settled on the white isle, Nicky started crossing off additional criteria, namely, fulfilling her desire for creativity. A potent presence throughout her life, she studied art foundation and textile design at university, and always displayed an uncanny ability to identify striking aesthetics. When looking for work in Ibiza, the next logical step was to combine all those talents. “People used to love the personal things I had in my home, and while that kind of creativity is very different to buying things for retail, I thought perhaps I could put that skill into a shop,” she says. “I knew I had an eye for nice things so I trusted in that.” And so, Skandish was born…

The store is an emporium dedicated to Nicky’s favourite international styles – one that has proven popular with the current Balearic aesthetic. “Essentially Skandish is a collection of all the things I love,” she explains. “But almost everything has a connection to that British or Scandinavian look. That’s what I connect with.” At the start, Nicky travelled extensively to cities like Copenhagen and Malmö, handpicking the items that she liked, but these days it’s more of an organic process based on the labels she’s discovered and knows she can rely on. That said, whenever she returns to London she can’t resist a day spent wandering the streets. “I love to see what’s new and contemporary, whether it’s clothes or furniture or art,” she adds. “I love shopping so there has to be an element of that!”

A slew of stylish designers sit alongside one another at Skandish, creating a treasure trove you can dive into with gusto. “It’s an Aladdin’s cave,” says Nicky. “People don’t really know where to start looking – because there’s a bit of everything, it can be hard to choose!” But as any avid shopper will attest, that’s a good position to find yourself in – whether you know exactly what you’re looking for, or if you came in for a browse and got caught off-guard and spoilt for choice. “The store is designed so that you can treat yourself,” she says. “But it’s also really great for gifts.”

When you consider the rich list of brands available at Skandish, it’s no surprise the store has become a clued-up islander’s go-to for presents. From the laid-back luxe of American Vintage clothing and the chic but affordable homewares of HK Living, to the all natural toiletries by Plum & Ashby and the handmade wooden brushes from Iris Hantverk, it’s easy to pop in for a birthday gift and leave laden with goodies (quite possibly for yourself). “My aim has always been to bring things to Ibiza that you couldn’t find here,” Nicky explains. “I hate online shopping myself so I thought why not bring the items here instead – and make them different and quirky.”

The pricing policy at Skandish is also a refreshing one for Ibiza. “I try to make sure I cater for everyone,” Nicky says. “I try to keep clothes around the 100€ mark, so that anyone can come in and spoil themselves.” In addition, there’s also a ‘nearly new’ section that’s full of rare finds – the idea being that customers can bring in their old or unworn garments and make a little money themselves, while also finding barely worn items a new home. “I love selling old stuff and recycling old furniture,” she says. “There’s a lovely a balance to it.”

Indeed, there’s a general feeling of cyclicality at Skandish, especially now that Nicky’s 19-year old daughter, Emily, has become more involved in the day to day running of the store. “She’s young and she’s got this amazing sense of style,” says Nicky. “Emily brings an element to the shop that I don’t have. It’s great to have her take on things – she wants to have her own fashion line one day, so it’s helpful for her to see the other side of the business.” Never one to sit back and be comfortable, Nicky is always working to improve the store, in the process offering people in Ibiza something new and different. “Life isn’t always easy” she admits. “But coming to work is always a pleasure, because I’m finally doing something I want to do.”