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Grab a beer and wander around new men's store run by an ex-miner, writes Annemarie Quill

Who said mining was all gummies and gas masks?

Running a fashion store is not necessarily what you might expect for a one-time miner, but it was a natural step for Bay man Logan Payne, who has spent most of his life working in the Waihi mines and now runs the Bay's latest addition to menswear, Boys Next Door, at the Mount.

"I was senior shot firer, which was in charge of explosives underground," explains Logan.

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That all changed when the wife went to see a clairvoyant and now he sells "everyday threads, denim, shoes and accessories". The wife is Rodelle Payne, owner of fashion mecca store Sisters & Co in the Mount, which has been bringing top fashion brands to Tauranga women for a while. Last year, Rodelle started Boys Next Door as a small section within Sisters & Co, but which has now opened its own store next door, run by Logan.

"I had gone to see a clairvoyant and she had mentioned something about someone I loved needed to stop working with machinery. "It played on my mind. Then later that day I noticed that the store next door to Sisters had become available. I took it as a sign that it was meant to be."

Although Logan wasn't wholly sold on the clairvoyant's message, he jumped at the chance to work closer to Rodelle's business.

"My wife is the one who is into clairvoyants but it was definitely a motivating factor and floated around in the back of our minds. Rodelle always had great male brands in Sisters but they needed their own space. "So when the shop next door came up for lease Rodelle pounced on the opportunity, which meant I could leave my job in the Waihi mines and try my hand in the rag trade."

Specifically distributing menswear, Boys Next Door stocks some of the world's leading brands, such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, I Love Ugly, Bassike, Stolen Girlfriends Club and more. The variety of high-fashion brands on offer ensures the store's fashion-conscious customers can keep their outfits on point each season.

Logan says the store caters to the way men like to shop.

"Thanks to Good George (brewers of exceptional craft beer), shoppers can stay freshly hydrated through their shopping endeavours, sipping a cheeky brew as they browse."

Logan's "boys"- Little B and Brian, can also be seen wandering watchfully in and out of the store. One's a bull mastiff and the other is a bulldog.

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Rodelle and Logan Payne. Photo/George Novak
Rodelle and Logan Payne. Photo/George Novak

We sat down to talk fashion with Logan. What did you used to wear in the mines?
Heavy duty overalls, industrial gumboots and a hard hat.

What do you wear now?
I Love Ugly jeans, Zanerobe tops.

Does Rodelle choose your clothes or you?
She pretty much chooses everything in the store so I suppose she does, but I definitely put my own outfits together in the morning. And I am the same height - and weight - as the women catwalk models so she is always telling me I am a clothes horse.

What five essential items do men need in their wardrobes?
Pair of sneakers.
Pair of jeans.
Pair of chinos.
Couple of good tees.
A nice shirt.
You can mix all of these and you have casual outfits, weekend wear, work wear and an outfit to go out. Easy!

What's your go-to outfit for casual, and for dress up?
Dress up I wear a suit. We are getting in some amazing ones soon so watch this space. And casual it's jeans (I Love Ugly are my favourite) and a loose, plain T-shirt, and Bassike and Zanerobe are my faves.

What's your favourite band?
My favourite band is Sublime, but my fave brand is Zanerobe.

So you've recently come out of the mines. How are you finding the transition?
It's polar opposites physically, but in regards to being organised and having the correct quantities, there some similarities.
I definitely feel a lot better healthwise and a lot less tired, that's for sure.

What have you found easy, what have you found hard?
I find it easy to drink beer with the customers and have a laugh.
The hardest part for me is the quiet times.

How is it working closely with your wife?
It's great, we have so many laughs together.
We go on business trips to great places, which is great.
I see my boys a lot more and get to play lots of golf every week.