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By Erica• 24 Aug 2016 • 1 Comments
That is a pretty accurate translation of the noise I made as I drove down Wakefield Street one day and clapped eyes on an empty store with a sign saying ‘Harry’s Coming Soon’.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Harry’s, it’s been one of those well-known secrets of the Eastern suburbs for quite a number of years. A small boutique showcasing a beautiful, luxurious and interesting collection of local and international fashion, tucked away on Dundas Street in Seatoun. Much like Tea Pea, it’s a suburban success story and is sure to make its mark in our nation’s capital. And, on a more selfish note, having just brought a place in Karori, I’m stoked that I won't have to perform the long-haul, cross-Wellington journey to get my Harry’s fix, now that it’s ten minutes from my door. Result.
The new city store is a calm, sleek, white, modernist space. With shelves bearing exquisite Italian porcelain and sublime Jonathan Adler ceramics, the store was inspired by owner Liz Stringer’s love of travel, fashion and art. Harry’s is the exclusive Wellington stockist of boutique labels ‘Maud Dainty’ of Melbourne, ‘Chinti & Parker’ of London and US cashmere label ‘Autumn’. They are also exclusive stockists of Italian label, Seletti’s ‘Studio Job’ pieces of contemporary indoor/outdoor furniture. Guaranteed to give you the most coveted courtyard in Kelburn.
“But who is this Harry?”, I hear you ask. A question that I put to Liz, “Harry was a friendly and energetic black labrador, a much loved family dog and companion for 16 years. He has a special presence in the Seatoun boutique; his ashes sit in an urn marked ‘Harry – not for sale!’”
And keeping Harry’s legacy alive is the ‘When Harry Ran Away’ label which is known for its reasonably priced pure silk shirts, dresses and pure woolen coats. With a vast range of styles in a huge array of colours and prints, everyday glamour is guaranteed.
Liz’s philosophy is that, "beautiful fashion should be accessible to everyone". Harry’s is all about offering “affordable luxury” and there are a few other Wellington stores which embody this same philosophy which are, coincidentally, only a stone’s throw from ‘Harry’s’...
Sitting proudly on the corner of Wakefield and Blair, Small Acorns is an interiors store full of fabrics, upcycled vintage and contemporary design, infused with colour, pattern and a touch of eclectic whimsy. It’s an eternally happy and beautiful place that I always delight in visiting.
For longer than I care to remember, I’ve had a one-sided love affair with all things Orla Kiely and Small Acorns showcases her clothing, accessories and homeware. All the stocked furniture is made here in Aotearoa, while the range of ceramics begins its life here in Wellington. They also stock a sumptuous collection of nap-inviting pillows and bed linens, grin-inducing whimsical artwork and stationery and eye-rollingly delicious smelling candles and soaps. I could go on, but I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Amanda, the owner of the shop, is an incredibly talented and contagiously passionate interior designer. Her aim is “to create perfectly imperfect, beautiful homes with heart – real spaces for real people.” Small Acorns emanates this message. It’s an inspiring place to be; happy and comfortable but as aesthetically pleasing as freshly made sushi.
And a block across on Allen Street, there’s Household Linens which will envelope you in a cocoon of cotton-comfiness. When you wander around, you realise that there’s barely a moment in our every day existence when cotton doesn’t feature in our lives, so it’s an ongoing return for your investment.
A long-standing New Zealand business, it stocks everything you’d expect and more. Along with the usual bedding and bathroom linen, they also have luxury nightwear, cot sheets, tableware, robes, toiletries and even ironing board covers. Household Linens is a cotton-filled combination of functional and beautiful things, there to make your life just that little bit more comfortable.