The owners of Te Awamutu based retailer The CoLab Store have branched out and opened a second store in Queenstown allowing them the opportunity to grow their business beyond operating solely in a small town.
The CoLab Store Queenstown opened on Thursday, July 2 and is situated in Queenstown Central Shopping Centre in Frankton.
Owners Jo Rusling and Tash Graham hope the new store will attract both locals and tourists.
"After throwing around a lot of ideas we thought, let's give a second store a try. It's been scary, being in a complex means there's new rules and regulations to follow, we're open seven days a week and are having to rely more on staff," says Jo.
"But we're just swallowing that pill and getting on with it."
"We are targeted at locals down there but I still think there would be tourists that would help our business out as well, we're definitely excited to see what growth this store brings us."
Tash made the move to Queenstown just after Christmas and she will be running the new store while Jo remains in Te Awamutu operating the flagship store.
The new store was supposed to open in January but due to complex hurdles and Covid-19 their opening went over schedule by five months.
"It's a huge relief to finally be open and not only relying on one store," says Jo. "As far as growth, we're going to mostly see that come from the Queenstown store and online now."
The CoLab Store has grown and expanded on from two other brands.
First it was Ash; Tash started this store and operated in from the former Walton St Café. Yoga and Oils now occupies the café building.
Tash then moved Ash to The CoLab Store's current premises on Alexandra St around four years ago.
Jo then joined Tash in the space to operate the Activist, a women's sportswear store.
It was running two stores, two social medias and realising that they work well together that led them to deciding to collaborate and come together under one name, The Colab Store.
Over the years they have expanded on the brands they stock but they have phased out active wear.
They currently stock brands such as Lonely, Kowtow, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Elk, Camilla and Marc, Ksubi, ReCreate and Remain.
A lot are stocked in both stores, but due to proximity to a similar store in Queenstown they are unable to stock all brands.
"We represent our brands really well and it's nice to be able to tell their stories and show our customers what they offer," says Jo.