Cars line both sides of Broadway in Marton as people go about their daily routines, grabbing coffee from cafes, doing their banking or going grocery shopping.

Over the past week, many locals will have noticed that a new business has opened in an old store on the main street, nestled between Countdown and Ballentynes Fashion Central.

Fat Rabbit is a home, gift and style store full of as many hand-made, New Zealand-made products as possible as well as others that are ethically sourced.

Founder and operator Kym Glasgow said there is no hidden meaning behind the name, the store is simply named after her male rabbit called Janis.

Advertisement

"I've always wanted to do this. The ideal opportunity came up here in Marton and I was able to lease this fabulous building," Glasgow said.

"Things are changing in Marton, we've got beautiful coffee shops, lovely little shops and there's a bit of a vibe. Marton's ready for something like this."

The building was formerly used as a pop-up gallery by PUG Creative - Marton and Glasgow has arranged it with plenty of artwork, lighting and other decoration.

It makes sense that so much attention would be paid to this aspect, given Glasgow spent years working in retail and visual merchandising in Australia.

When she was 20, Glasgow planned on visiting Australia for three weeks before going to Europe, but she never made it and returned to New Zealand from the Sunshine Coast 25 years later.

"I came back to Marton five years ago, bought a little villa and bought an Aussie back with me," Glasgow said.

"I love living in Marton, it's like coming back home. I'm originally from Turakina. We're a Turakina farming family, everyone knows the Glasgows."

Glasgow attended Turakina School and Whanganui Girls' College growing up with parents, mum Andrea, who is an artist and dad Bruce.

Her partner Troy Neilsen is a purchasing officer at ANZCO Foods and brother Brad has a business of his own in Marton, G-Mech Ltd on Hammond St.

Fat Rabbit sells products such as jewellery, handcare products, scarves, specialty T-shirts, local woodwork and art prints.

They also sell children's clothing with plans to expand their clothing range, as well as potentially running mini art exhibitions or hosting shared space pop-up stores.

An early favourite is Merino Possum Knitwear from Palmerston North.

"That is definitely something that has been really popular, especially as we get the colder weather," Glasgow said.

"Also, the solid fragrance is quite cool, it's wax-based and made in Australia. It's called Solid State and it's a men's fragrance."

One of her favourite parts of the job is meeting the customers and chatting to them about what products are and where they come from.

Glasgow is always looking for new products, often browsing online at night after work. She has already been contacted by a few people since the store opened.

Eventually she will launch her own website where products will be sold, but she believes things are changing with the mindset of some shoppers.

"We've all bought things online, everyone does it and it's great.

"But I do think there is a swing back towards going for coffee, wandering through shops, looking, touching, smelling. You walk in here and you can smell the shop.

"It's an all senses experience."