Liz Stringer does things on gut instinct alone. Twelve weeks ago, she had an instinctual feeling she should open a second outlet of her hugely successful clothing boutique, Harry’s.
Stringer has acted quickly. The new store opens in Wakefield St in Wellington’s CBD on July 21.
Harry’s opened in coastal suburb Seatoun eight years ago and has surprised Stringer with its success. People travel from all over to visit the store, even taking day trips from Palmerston North to have the Harry’s shopping experience. Others stop off on the way to the airport.
Now, they’ll be able to get their fix in the heart of Wellington’s CBD.
“I’m so excited, it’s not something I’d been thinking of for a while, it’s a gut instinct,” Stringer says.
The biggest issue with the quick turnaround between the idea and the new store opening is dealing with limited stock. Stringer has expedited new stock from New York, China and Australia to meet the new demand.
Despite the new store’s prominent location, Stringer insists her heart will always be at the Seatoun store, which will remain the flagship.
“We feel very loyal to our Seatoun customers and we don’t want them to feel like they’re getting short-changed.
“Our hearts will always been with the original Harry’s, it’s a little jewel box out there but it’s so tiny we needed to get a bigger space.”
Harry’s 10 employees will divide their time between the two stores, something Stringer says is important to maintain the integrity of the brand.
“That’s the Harry’s way, we only choose staff who are addicted to clothes and good with people.”
Stringer has thought in the past about opening a new store in other smaller towns, but has never found the right option.
Ideally she would like to make the business grow even more, but after opening the CBD store her next priority is tapping into the online market.
Harry’s previously had a haberdashery store across the road in Seatoun, and the new store will stock some of the haberdashery favourites.
A new order of Jonathan Adler home furnishing is arriving – all in white, Stringer’s latest obsession. There will also be soaps and candles available, but she is cautious not to add too many extra pieces.
“If you have too much haberdashery stuff it starts to look a bit messy so we’re picking and choosing.”
The stock will differ slightly between the two stores, but both will stock the same labels, including Harry’s own label ‘When Harry Ran Away’.