It’s no secret I adore my Tory Street neighborhood. It’s like living in a ‘city village’. There are regular faces, the coffee shop knows what you like to have and everyone asks how you are and what you are up to. As far as having a business goes, in the central city you couldn’t ask for more, I have even borrowed milk on occasion. I knew after the Botanical Pop Up that Tory St. was the place I wanted to be and as we were moving into our studio we began noticing some exciting paint work going on down the street. A pink floor and some gold pendant lights caught my attention and I was dying to know what was going in as we peered in through their brown paper. A week or so later Smack Bang opened it’s doors. A fresh take on your average pet store, with bits and bobs for those most loved family members as well as us humans.
Are you from Wellington?
I’m originally from Hamilton, I moved here for university in 2007 and never left! I studied photography at Massey but in hindsight wish I had done spatial design (interiors).
What is your favourite part of town?
I love driving around the Karaka Bays on a sunny day with the windows down.
What’s missing in Wellington?
Sunshine and proper beaches! My childhood summers were spent in Pauanui in the Coromandel (my favourite place on earth) and I really miss the silky white sandy beaches, searing heat and warm water. Don’t get me wrong – everyone knows Wellington is amazing on a good day, I just wish there were more of them and with less wind.
Why did choose the location on Tory St?
We picked lower Tory Street as the next up-and-coming retail area in central Wellington. There’s several gorgeous boutique stores around (Yvette, Shoezies, Harry’s, Brown & Co, Red Currant, Small Acorns etc), and with rumoured retail going in at the old Reading Carpark space and shared pedestrian laneway plans we think this area will become a great shopping destination. Anything that brings more people to this end of town is a bonus for us. We also loved the site for its massive shop front windows (the afternoon sun is INSANE), super high ceilings, and that it’s a clear path to and from the waterfront/Te Papa. Plus I live on Taranaki Street so my walk to work is only 5 minutes – bonus!
Describe your business and how you want people to see it?
Homewares and lifestyle products for pets and their humans. We want to be known for quality, well-designed, handmade products that are equally practical and functional as they are beautiful. We want to get people thinking about the items they purchase for their pets in the same way they think about home decor and interior design. Why settle for ugly, mass-produced, and poor quality products?
What made you want to start a business?
After being in hospitality for nearly 15 years I felt it was time for a change and opening a shop has been a dream for a wee while. The timing was right and everything fell into place! The original idea was for a homewares store but we had to think of something to give us a point of difference and fill a gap that the Wellington market was missing – there entered the idea for high-end, designer pet supplies, something I had been searching for myself for my two Shih Tzu x Maltese pups, Gus and Finn, and our previous doggo, Freddy, who sadly passed away last year. In the next 12 months we want to see the business steadily grow to become the number 1 shop that our target market think of for pet supplies and growing our online store. We’re looking forward to collaborating with some local designers to create bespoke ranges (bowls, collars/leads etc). In the long term we would love to expand to Auckland.
Smack Bang is at 17 Tory Street, open Monday to Sunday – pet or not check them out. YE x