Boutique - but with a difference

By James Fuller


Tauranga fashion entrepreneur Rodelle Payne says she will give the city something it's never seen before when she unveils a new shopping experience on March 1.

An all-in-one department-style store with top fashion labels in a prime location is what is being promised.

"It will have men's, women's, denim, shoes, handbags, homewear and accessories as well as a pamper room where women can sit, relax and be indulged with make-up, nails and eyelash extensions.

"There will also be a built-in fashion runway as well as a DJ area for in-house events," said Mrs Payne.

The department store concept came from a two-and-a-half year stint Mrs Payne spent in London in her mid-20s. For someone who is "obsessed with clothes" England's capital proved an ideal location creatively.

"I was introduced to the likes of Selfridges, Topshop and Urban Outfitters and that lead to a love of the all-in-one store concept - something which I noticed was missing when I came back to New Zealand."

Mrs Payne opened her first boutique on Maunganui Road nearly six years ago. She subsequently moved Sisters to a store at the Maunganui Road/Nikau Crescent intersection.

The new premises will be in the former ANZ building on the corner of Salisbury Avenue and Maunganui Rd. The business' new name will be unveiled at the invite-only opening event. The event will feature a DJ, fashion show and launch of the new season collections.

"It's great to be able to bring premium fashion to Tauranga and the Mount," said the born-and-raised Tauranga woman.

The designers of the store's own label, also called Sisters, will be working out of the new premises.

"The design team will be here in the store, so customers will be able to see what is being created - a first for any department."

"Retail has taken a hammering from online and a year after opening Sisters the global recession hit. But every business has its ups and downs. What drives me on is my customers and the great team I work with."

The store's refit is being overseen by a team of local designers. It includes Kyle Goldsack, of Archistudio, and interior designer Irene James, who also worked on the Elizabeth Cafe & Larder, in Cameron Road.

"It will be a high-end destination and it will be different," said Mr Goldsack. "If you need something for a big event, whether it's say the races or a fundraising event, this will be the place to come."

He said the store's feel would be "sleek, modern and uncluttered".

"It's a really cool shell to start from and it will be very welcoming. You will be able to sit down, interact and socialise. It's something people haven't seen in Tauranga before."

Areas would be segregated by designer, said Mr Goldsack, but fittings would be adaptable and moveable to create a flexible working space.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Max Mason said the news was excellent, "and further evidence that Tauranga has a great future".

Mount Mainstreet manager Leanne Brown said the location of the new store was one of the best and largest in the street "and they have always had a strong marketing focus, quality products and brands, and exceptional customer service".

"The combination of these qualities will be instrumental in their success," she said.

"The proposed new store will be a fabulous asset to the street and add value to our specialty boutique reputation."

- Bay of Plenty Times

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 27 Nov 2014 00:06:43 Processing Time: 687ms