This week, Small Business editor Caitlin Sykes talks to business owners about work space.

Gosia Piatek is the founder and creative director of Wellington-based fashion brand Kowtow.

When and why did you move into your current workspace?

We moved here about a year-and-a-half ago. Our previous space was really beautiful, but our lease was up and we needed somewhere bigger. We've doubled our staff numbers to 12 in the past couple of years, and we keep all our stock here as well. We have 35,000 units of stock arriving every six months and we have to put it somewhere; this space is about 400 square metres.

What else attracted you to the space?


We were looking for a place with lots of natural light. I was also looking for ocean views, and we've probably got the best view in Wellington, looking out on the harbour. A beautiful view is inspiring, because it gives you a sense of looking out and being expansive in your thoughts.

What changes did you make to the space to meet your needs?

When we moved into this space it had 1980s carpet, perforated ceilings and the walls were painted all different colours. We gutted the entire space and painted everything white, including the concrete floor.

What impact does the workspace aesthetic have on your wider business?

We're a creative business, and I think it helps our staff that their environment aligns with the product or service they're creating. Our clothes are very minimal and we have a simple aesthetic, so the space needed to feel minimal and uncluttered. The space is mostly white, with ply desks and green plants. The desks were made by my dad and people respect that, so they look after them and keep them tidy and uncluttered. We run a tight ship and that attention to detail has a chain effect that carries over to everything - how things are stacked in the workroom, how the clothes hang on the racks, how the paper is folded around our online orders.

Gosia Piatek, founder and creative director of Kowtow.
Gosia Piatek, founder and creative director of Kowtow.

Social media is really important for our business, and I don't know where we'd be without Instagram. It's interesting that our workroom posts are the ones that get the most likes and I think that's because they show the context in which our product is created, and people feel they can relate to them more. I believe 100 percent that our product wouldn't be as successful if it was created in an environment that wasn't aesthetically pleasing.

Do you have any future plans for improvements to the space?

We've been thinking about putting in a living wall. We're in one big space, which is getting a bit hectic with 12 people, so that would break up the space, and the hit of oxygen has to be good for the brain. Having a dedicated space where we could all chill out as a team with nice sofas, a coffee table and inspiring magazines would be really great too. And then eventually we'll get all the boxes out of here and put them in storage somewhere so we're purely a really pretty, inspiring office space.