Small business: Your business online - John Constable

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John Constable, of Constable Hurst Architects on collaborating with the Kingsland Business Society on a video about running a business in the area. He has created a hub for creative businesses at his building, 6 Kingsland Tce

John Constable, of Constable Hurst Architects. Photo / Supplied
John Constable, of Constable Hurst Architects. Photo / Supplied

Why did you participate in the video on Kingsland?

I was asked by Christine Foley, Manager of the Kingsland Business Society to partake in the video. We are regular and active attendees at the KBS gatherings, presentations and discussions so Christine no doubt felt that I could add something to the video. I saw the video as a great way to promote both Kingsland, where we own a building and our architectural business.

What is your history with Kingsland and what have you created at your HQ?

We purchased this building around 19 years ago with two other people who run a high end furniture design and import company. At the time, it was a large and empty warehouse, vacant due to the migration of small manufacturing and warehousing businesses out of the city fringe.

We had been looking for a building around one quarter of the size of this one to house the two businesses that the owners have, but realised that there must be other small firms around that required small office and workshop areas in the city fringe just like us.

It made sense to buy this building and let out areas of it to other parties, specifically those in the design and creative industries to create a hub of like-minded businesses.

At that time, Kingsland had one café that had recently opened (Crucial Traders) and we knew the business vitality could only grow with more firms like our own moving to the area, drawing more cafes, eateries, design related retail and other creative firms over time.

Some of our original tenants, the jewellers known as 'Workshop 6,' from that time are still in the building.

Currently the building has a mix of tenants including architects, interior designers, graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers and artists.

What has your creative hub brought you?

There is frequent cross pollination between these firms with sharing of ideas, support / collegiality and utilisation of facilities.

There is also frequent business done between firms within the building.

I chat to all businesses in and around our building and in the main Kingsland retail area.

I like to shop locally, support the businesses around me and I love the local, open and friendly nature of the area and its residents and business people.

There is fantastic communication within Kingsland at a daily level, (whether that is a kerb side chat or dropping into other businesses to discuss specific issues), all wonderfully reinforced by Christine Foley in her role as manager of the Kingsland Business Society and its regular events and email updates.

Would you have any tips to other businesses about how to go about collaborating on marketing ventures such as the video?

I would say that the strength of the recently completed Kingsland video is that it presents Kingsland as a destination, providing a one stop area that will provide a wide range of creative and vibrant business experiences to potential customers, and that the range and depth of creative vibrant businesses already within Kingsland can only grow as more like minded firms feel supported by and are drawn to the area.

I guess the key message to any other companies considering marketing collarations is that there needs to be an upside for the customer; the whole being more than the sum of the parts.


If you are a NZ business selling a product, chances are you have been exporting from the beginning. Tell us your stories of how you are reaching your international markets - is it through distributors or on the ground partners or online and direct? Tell us how you make it work for your business.

- NZ Herald

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