The name means “burning sun,” but you needn’t wait for the heat of summer to experience the bold offerings at Soleil Brulé, Jennifer Vervoort-Smith’s new Wayzata hot spot (726 E. Lake St., 952-476-9600). The shop is a treasure-trove of goods imported from Morocco—and as at an authentic Moroccan marketplace, the vibrant selection represents goods with French, Middle Eastern, and African lineage. These influences come together to create the contemporary Moroccan style called “orientalism”—a blend of Berber tribal and Moorish influences, Asian and French styles, and Morocco’s adaptation to the modern world. The beauty in Soleil Brulé's offerings is Vervoort-Smith’s editing, which is already attracting a who’s-who clientele.
Vervoort-Smith handpicks each item in the store during trips to Morocco. She has a story about every piece. The numerous pages from current issues of Elle Décor, Metropolitan Home, and European magazines that are scattered around the store show how spot-on she is with the trend. The aqua, magenta, mandarin, and scarlet handpainted glasses, silk pillows, table runners, dishes, and candles are the first things to catch your eye. Next you’ll be drawn to beautiful chests of drawers, inlaid with intricate patterns of mother-of-pearl, bureaus made of bone and coral, and numerous embossed-metal accent tables, mirrors, and objects. Plus ceramics that span from traditional to contemporary. And if the body needs decoration, there’s beautiful jewelry and beaded tunics and cover-ups.
“Morocco is very unique, I think that’s why people are drawn to it,” says Vervoort-Smith. “There’s such an energy, and the color, and the madness. All your senses are hit.”
She might as well be talking about her store.