Welcome to my October Blog:
Carrying on with the theme: Spaces and Places,
This month, I've been talking to the lovely Ella Pairman, from Coexist, www.coexist.co.nz
Coexist is a shop + workshop, nestled amongst the small boutique stores at Victoria Park Market, an area of Auckland that has been undergoing some interesting changes.
Ella and her business Partner Xi have created a unique space that is refreshingly slick and understated, while at the same time oozes warmth and personality in the clusters of carefully curated objects they sell. Take a peak at them here: www.facebook.com/coexistgallery/
Hi Ella, how would you describe your business?
Coexist is a small eco-conscious homeware and jewellery store. All our products are made in New Zealand by either myself, Xi (the other half of Coexist) or one of our lovely New Zealand artisans. We focus on products made from reclaimed, upcycled or environmentally friendly materials. Our workshop takes up about half of the Coexist shop so that people can come in any time and see our products being made.
It is an interesting space in the Old Vic Park Market. How are you finding it? what attracted you to the area?
Yes, not being originally from Auckland I never experienced the old Vic Park Market.
I was drawn to the idea behind this space. The new owner of VPM is bringing in all New Zealand Made and New Zealand Designed stores.
The feeling of the space is fantastic with its old brickwork, concrete floors and little alleyways and we also loved the idea of being surrounded by other creatives.
In that way it has worked out wonderfully, the spaces aren’t all filled yet, but there are new places opening monthly and the atmosphere between all the stores is really supportive and of course there is a ton of creative energy when you stick us all together.
Handmade, Local, Eco-Conscious
Where do you think the future of retail is heading in general?
We feel that people are moving away from the mass produced low quality products that have flooded into our lives and shops. We are seeing more and more people wanting to buy a few quality items that are beautiful, special and will last, rather than a quantity of low quality pieces that won’t last and have no sentimental value to them. Our customers really value being able to support local artists and artisans and being able to work with us to develop specially designed pieces just for them.
Is it a challenge to be a maker and shop owner rolled into one?
Most of the time it’s not. I love chatting with people about what I’m working on, and I think people appreciate being able to see the work in progress.
So in that way I need to be more organised than when I was working from home, but generally speaking I find it easier than working from home. Personally having my work and living spaces separate is better all round.
Otherwise I find it pretty hard to either stop or start working!
I’ve always really loved the work of jewellers Barry Clarke and Anne Culy. I studied Fine Arts so I have also been influenced by a range of painters, sculptor’s photographers and designers.
I always jump at the chance to visit the Auckland art galleries for inspiration and particularly enjoy the works of Bill Hammond, Francis Upritchard and Rohan Wealleans.
The other fantastic part of working in the shop is the conversations I can have with our customers. We often get people stopping in to talk about our workshop and I get a lot of my inspiration just from these discussions.
So, I reckon Coexist is a very worthy place to visit! If you are out of Auckland, you can visit their website online store www.coexist.co.nz instead.
I was chuffed with Ellas choice of colours for the handprinted cushions and loved making these especially for the shop. They sit so perfectly with the jewellery, leather goods, artworks and hand crafted wooden objects.
You're gonna want it all!
Now, I cant wait to share next months special store/story, keep tuned in.