Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Shops we love: Beckon

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'Beckon' window display - Willis StYou may have noticed that most of the shops featured in the "Shops we love" posts specialise in items that you can eat, drink, read or wear. That's because I'm generally happy to leave interior design and homeware stores to those who actually spend some time at home, but in Beckon's case, I'm willing to make an exception.

This little shop, which opened last week in Willis St just along from Willis St Village, has a few qualities that set it apart. First, unlike chains such as Askew, Iko Iko or the Vault, it's a one-off shop run by and named after its owner (Bec Knox). Secondly, virtually all of the merchandise is designed and made in New Zealand, and much of it has a distinctive local flavour. And finally, most of the items are surprisingly reasonably priced.

This stretch of Willis St (between Manners and Dixon streets) is starting to get a bit livelier again. There are a couple of new cafe/bars at the south end - Eclipse (aka Mystery Bar #3) and Mojo Invincible (aka Mystery bar #9) - and rumour has it that the old Armadillo site (which was briefly Ostro) will reopen soon. The Settlement may be a ghost of its former self, and under threat of demolition, but it'll be interesting to see what happens when DoC moves into the renovated Mid City complex and the apartments on the former Fishbowl site are complete.


At 4:57 pm, November 22, 2005, Blogger Kate Borrell said...

"First, unlike chains such as Askew, Iko Iko or the Vault, it's a one-off shop run by and named after its owner "...

Aren't these just shops that have been successful and had the opportunity to expand? Shame on you for knocking their success! ;) (and) :P

At 5:07 pm, November 22, 2005, Blogger Tom said...

Ah yes, they're not exactly WalMart! ;-P to you too.

How many stores does it take to stop being an individual business and become a soulless anonymous chain? I don't think Iko Iko etc really count as the latter, but if you see the same goods and same branding in another city, it takes something away from the uniqueness. I don't want to knock the other shops, but it's worth supporting someone who's doing something new and individual and supporting local designers.

Yes, I've been known to spend too much on expensive imported designer thinggies at Askew and The Vault. But on the other hand, it's nice to see a shop that they don't have in Auckland!

At 10:18 am, November 23, 2005, Blogger Kate Borrell said...

I keep going into Askew and Artikel to look at the little Tivoli stereos and drooling.

I like Artikel better than Askew after someone told me about a bad shopping experience they had at Askew.


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