30.07.2020

Aotea Flagship


Photography by Jono Parker

Good Design (caps intended) has style, substance and sustainability. Style, because aesthetics are important, and we all deserve to have more beauty in our lives. (Plus, when something is pleasing to look at and hold, we also tend to better respect it, take care of it, and be more present for our enjoyment of it, if that makes sense). Next, substance. For something to be well-designed, it should be perfectly fit for purpose. Useful, effective. Life-enhancing in some way. The last part is sustainability. For me, in the context of design, sustainability is a product having longevity, and being made with conscious consideration for people and planet.

Welcome to my TED Talk. But all that to say, that Aotea is one of those New Zealand brands that I feel completely embody Good. Design.

Aotea is a range of therapeutic products inspired by rongoā māori (traditional māori medicine), using native New Zealand flora grown sustainably on Aotea, Great Barrier Island. Ingredients used for hundreds of years and backed today by scientific research – such kawakawa, mānuka, harakeke and kūmarahou – are the hero ingredients in Aotea’s range of small-batch skincare and health products. Their journey began in 2015 at the Parnell Farmer’s Markets with one herbal tonic drink, and Aotea now have over 250 stockists globally. Two Hundred and Fifty! They proactively work to protect Great Barrier’s ecosystem and provide job opportunities for locals, and gift scholarship grants to the island’s māori youth, so they can participate in a high level of schooling (there are no high schools on Great Barrier).

(If you’re interested in learning more about Aotea’s business model and how tikanga māori underpins all they do, or you want to know more about the efficacy and provenance of their products, I can def recommend checking out the Aotea website – it has loads of info.)

OK – so to the reason for today’s post – this beautiful moody space. Aotea recently opened the doors on a flagship retail space at Auckland’s new Commercial Bay precinct. I love how simple they’ve kept this space, and especially the choice of low light – for me this would be a verrrry welcome sensory relief from all the artificial light and noise of the typical ‘mall’ environment.

Like Aotea’s products, the ingredients in this space are simple but substantive – and storied, too. See that centre table? Aotea founder Tama Toki tells me: “The slab is from an old kauri tree that stood on North Hauturu (Little Barrier Island). About twenty years ago it came down in a storm and actually floated into our bay on Aotea called Katherine Bay. My uncle went out in his boat, towed it in and then lifted it out of the water with his tractor. I remember it being quite the scene! From there he cut the tree into slabs and gave them to whānau. This was one of the slabs, and so we decided to restore it for the store.”

You know I have a thing for sinks, and this curvy number gets 10/10 from me. The team were inspired by some of the old communal wash basins they have on their papakāinga. So they wanted to make one similar – but using corrugated iron, because there’s so much of it on the island.

Concept and design by interior architects Wonder Group.

Two hands way up for indigenous international success stories, values-based brands, and Good Design.

 

Visit the Aotea flagship at Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen Street

Aotea online storeAotea Instagram

17.01.2019

Wedding Belles


Soft Minimalist Perfection


Photography by Karen Ishiguro – these are the most delicious images, Karen

Juliette Hogan has opened the doors to a beautiful new dedicated bridal fitting salon, in Auckland’s Morningside. The space was designed by Juliette herself (and project managed by Pip Maxwell Interior Design) and it’s a masterclass in soft-minimalism.

The best of New Zealand design is on show here – dense forest suede Isabella chairs and a creamy linen Arcade sofa by Simon James Design, metal fixtures from MarkAntonia and Douglas & Bec, Arch wall lights also by Douglas & Bec, and dried florals from Muck.  It’s a space that articulates Juliette’s everyday-luxe bridal aesthetic beautifully, don’t you think – being both clean and contemporary and warm and inviting, thanks to those yummy oak floors, an oversized wool rug (made custom for the space), and the bonus of swathes of natural light pouring in. The new space also marks the release of this year’s new Juliette Hogan Bridal collection. Every single dress in the photos above I imagined wearing, then I spent 20 minutes looking through the whole collection online, and now I wish I was getting married again.

The silhouettes, this space… it’s all just perfection. So if you’re getting married – congrats, lucky girl – and you want to serve elegant modern everything and make them all fall down dead in the aisle, book yourself a one-on-one appointment with Juliette’s dedicated Bridal Consultant.

04.07.2018

The Caker – City of Sails to City of Angels


Jordan Rondel – The Caker – outside her Auckland Cake Salon


Baking Kits (including a special collab with Karen Walker) on sale at The Caker salon

Mini Cakes being ganached. 

Young rose buds for cake decoration

Cakes heading out for daily delivery around Auckland

Last week, The New contributor Samantha Donaldson spent some time with cake kween and entrepreneur Jordan Rondel, founder of cult-status-loved The CakerJordan currently divides her time between the City of Sails and the City of Angels, so we were lucky to catch her in her K’Road Cake Salon – baking, decorating, laying out still-warm mini cakes for sale, and getting cakes ready for deliveries around Auckland.

With The Caker brand continuing to rise, Jordan now has a team of ten, and a business partner in her sister Anouk, who left a law career to manage this beautiful empire of sweet treats. When Jordan’s not helping her team bake and decorate, she’s busy with recipe creation (Jordan has two published recipe books and contributes weekly to Sunday magazine), running baking masterclasses, designing new baking mixes to be sold throughout New Zealand (there’s some limited-edition kits about to be released – keep an eye out!), and – oh, #nbd – planning for the global expansion of The Caker… specifically, a Cake Salon in Los Angeles!

She chose LA because it’s somewhere she’s spent – with her partner Stefan Sinclair (a well-known tattoo artist) – a lot of time in recent years. Her second home, really. In Jordan’s own words: “someone smart once suggested that when you decide it’s time to expand your business on an international scale, it’s important to choose a place you actually want to live. And LA is that. The lifestyle and culture just really resonates with me. Plus, despite all the other cake shops that exist in LA, there’s a very obvious niche for what we’re doing with The Caker, so fingers crossed we can fill that”.

They’ve found a location they love, so right now Jordan is working through Visa paperwork and all the legal layers for The Caker L.A.  I for one can’t wait to see this one come out of the oven…

The Caker  website & online store   /   Instagram

Jordan also has a recipes blog which she updates very regularly

Photography for The New by Wedding & Lifestyle photographer Samantha Donaldson
(
Follow Sam on Instagram here)

11.04.2018

Palace


Photography with thanks to Swift & Click

From the young trio that brought – I have to say it – the first decent serve of coffee to Taupo (with Storehouse)… their sophomore eatery Palace, a casual burger and cocktails joint in my hometown of Mount Maunganui.

Owners Sam King, and Melissa and Brad Dellar worked together on the 80’s new wave aesthetic (Brad designed the tables and bench seats for example), pulling in the talents of Brad’s Architect dad (Rosetta Stone Architects), and Design Dairy on the brand and graphic tip.

Fave bit for me: the grid theme running throughout. You know me, love a grid – and they’ve done it down to the last detail with the grid greaseproof paper your burger sits on.

Eat with your eyes, then make sure to visit next time you’re at the beach.

 

Palace Burger website     /   Instagram

 

 

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