Whether you're searching for the perfect gift, feel like spoiling yourself - or just fancy taking five mintues out of your day to be surrounded by beautiful things - Sarah Clark's Hedgerow will delight the senses in every possible way.
Sarah, how long have you owned Hedgerow?
I've owned Hedgerow since 2005, but the shop itself is a Remuera institution. It's been here almost 28 years!
Was it always called Hedgerow or did you rename it?
It's been called Hedgerow since it first opened down in the Village Green way back when. I considered renaming it but the shop and its reputation are so well-known I couldn't bring myself to re-brand.
Why did you decide to buy it?
I've always loved Hedgerow, and that kind of shop, and after having my second child I wanted to work for myself.
Do your girls show any interest in the business?
My oldest who is 17 occasionally helps out instore, but she has big dreams that girl, so I can't see it becoming a regular thing! And the other two are too young.
How do you source the products and brands you stock in Hedgerow?
I attend gift fairs in Australia a couple of times a year, and the occasional one in America. Also, the internet has made the world a lot 'smaller', so it's a fantastic research tool. As an example: I saw some raincoats on Instagram, googled them and discovered they were from Denmark. The company came back to me within 24 hours, the rep for Oceania was taking my order within the next 24 hours... and I had the product instore and on the shelf another 24 hours later. The whole process was less than 4 days long!
Does the internet and online shopping have an effect on your business?
The information available online makes consumers more knowledgeable, so they come to us knowing exactly what they want, or they buy from our online store. But there will always be a place for bricks and mortar - there are some things you just need to see, feel, smell, touch. I see the internet and physical stores complementing and working well together far into the future.
What are the latest trends in gifts and homewares?
Copper and bronze accents are really strong, as are natural products; plants and greenery "bringing the outside inside". This year's colours are a pastel pink and blue - rose quartz and serenity.
How hard is it to source 'unique' products?
Very hard! There is a lot of competition in that area. I'm lucky I have great relationships with my suppliers, so I'm often offered first option.
Do you live locally?
Yes, I'm a Parnell girl, born and bred. I moved away briefly but am now back.
What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time? Ha! I don't get much of it, but when I do I love keeping fit so I run and do bootcamps. I'm also on the Old Girls' Association for St Cuthbert's, I manage my daughters' sports teams, and try to get up to our beach house at Omaha for some 'family time' as often as possible.
What is the most memorable gift you've ever been given?
I'd have to say it's my engagement ring, it was given to me in a helicopter! People do say I'm hard to buy for though...
What are your future plans for Hedgerow?
I'd like to open more stores - possibly in St Heliers. And once I find the time, I'd like to start a range of Hedgerow branded products.
What do you like most about working in Remuera?
It would have to be the people. We'd be lucky to get one grumpy customer a year! The people are so nice, polite and kind.
Do you have regulars? What do you think it is that keeps them coming back?
Definitely. And hopefully it's our customer service! We always try to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Hedgerow - Gifts and Homewares
371 Remuera RoadPh: 09 524 0843 www.hedgerow.co.nz
Photos by Vanita Andrews and words by Fiona Wilson.