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By Erica• 5 May 2016
A few years back while browsing some crafty weekend markets, I found a brand called Tea Pea. It sold beautiful hand-made items and, quite unusually for me, I never forgot the name. I’ve since watched from afar, as it grew online and then opened a store in Khandallah. It has now spread its wings and found itself a beautiful new home in the CBD. It’s been lovely to watch a small, kindling business come of age and a Wellington brand flourish in such a relatively short space of time.
Tea Pea Home sits proudly on Grey Street opposite the Intercontinental Hotel and is a newly-opened emporium of homeware, gifts and all things lovely. Tea Pea are in the business of ‘paying it forward’ by giving small businesses a platform alongside more established, well-known brands. The store showcases some amazing things that you won’t find anywhere else, from both here in New Zealand and around the world.
It would be hard to explain what you’ll find at Tea Pea without turning this blog into a list of encyclopedic proportions. But in amongst the beautiful things you’d ordinarily find in a homeware and gift shop are an array of small items with big style.... retro shoe shine kits, nail varnishes, felt garlands, handkerchiefs, bunny rabbit candles and water pistols (naturally). Then there's the unusual and more unique pieces...want a crowned swan? A sheepdog lamp? Or, how about that figurehead flamingo you've been looking everywhere for? Those things and much more besides await your perusal.
Tea Pea is an enjoyable and inspirational place to meander around and despite the vast range of things you’ll find, it's not in the least bit cluttered. Everything is thoughtfully presented and arranged. It’s a feast of colour, texture, material and pattern. Full of on-trend felts, wicker and concrete metallics that sit alongside gorgeous raincoats, Kaibosh sunglasses and Seedling kids’ bits and pieces. Like I said, it's quite the emporium.
Of course, this sort of success doesn’t happen by itself; Meg and her husband are the authors of this story and they have worked long and hard to make Tea Pea what it is today.
My main wondering was where does this abundance of beauty all come from? Meg told me that she gets daily requests from creative types asking for Tea Pea to showcase their items, but that she is very particular. Once she realises she needs something for the shop, it can take her years to find the right fit. (The saying ‘patience of a saint’ came to mind). This attention to detail and her welcoming manner seem to have created a winning combination.
It makes me happy to think that a guest staying at the Intercontinental Hotel might head out for a wander around some shops, and that their first retail experience would very likely be at Tea Pea. What a great first impression of Wellington that would be for those lucky tourists.
And Meg, who is thrilled to be finally in amongst the CBD action, is quite fond of all you Wellingtonians too, “We have the world’s most gorgeous customers” she says warmly. Well, Meg, you may also have the world’s most gorgeous store.
There's plenty to see at Tea Pea... comment below to let me know what treasures you discover after you visit.