In the spotlight - The Garden Party

June 23, 2013

garden party   The lovely Anna Lim, owner of The Garden Party shares her story of how she started her shop and what she loves about being a store owner! Store Name: The Garden Party Your Name: Anna Lim Location: 71 Ponsonby Rd How did the idea of the store come about? My mother and my aunt were keen potters and needed some where to sell their hand painted plates.  (They loved painting them but the piles of plates under the beds were growing too large.  They knew that if they wanted to keep painting ceramics they had to find a way to sell them. I was wondering aimlessly round India and came back to help sell them and open The Garden Party.   We originally sold mainly NZ painted ceramics but quickly grew to sell all sorts of NZ designed and made products.  That was 20 years ago and we now find that there is a much wider variety of fabulous new and original NZ designed and made product than before.  New Zealanders and the rest of the world are appreciating the enormous talent here. Why the name? We liked the idea of parties and gardens and also Katherine Mansfield wrote a wonderful short story called The Garden Party. So we thought the name encapsulated fun, nature, New Zealand art and culture. What kind of products do you sell?  We sell anything we can find that we think is beautiful and amusing and designed in New Zealand.  We also sell some products that aren’t made in NZ but are so good we just have to sell them. What are the best and worst things about owning your shop? I love finding new and interesting stock.  And displaying it. We enjoy our local suppliers and craftspeople. Our customers are pretty lovely too!  Worst thing is getting a phone call at 8am on a Sunday morning from a sick staff member who can’t work that day and knowing your plans for that day have to be shelved. What's your favourite creative outlet?  Cooking followed by gardening and drawing. What are your top 5 websites/blogs at the moment and what makes them stand out? I like to check out ‘The Cool Hunter” regularly as they have phenomenal images of places and architecture.   I like The Denizen as it keeps me up to date with things happening locally. I have just purchased a pair of shoes from Anthropology in the states and I love their website as it has so much great stuff displayed clearly.  I am a big fan of Pinterest and I often get inspiration and repin beautiful images to our own pinterest page.  How do you find new designers / products to stock? I am always on the lookout for new and interesting products so I am always on the hunt.  I go to gift fairs, festivals, markets and lots of crafts people approach me directly.  Also the internet has become a good way of sourcing products. What song or album are you currently playing in the shop? Loving The Passenger, Sola Rosa’s brilliant Low and Behold, High and Behold  and am eagerly awaiting Mahoney Harris’s new album. Where can people find you physical shop and on the web? 71 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland and online

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