The store has operated as a paint-your-own ceramics studio for 16 years. Owner Hayley Clement says she decided to start making ready-painted giftware when she saw items from British brand Emma Bridgewater stocked in Kiwi department stores.
“I just thought, ‘Maybe New Zealand retailers should be buying New Zealand-made things.”
She has produced a range of samples sporting a pohutakawa pattern, and will send them out to prospective stockists soon. The company is also making a series of fundraising platters to be signed or painted by Kiwi celebrities. They will be auctioned by Starship children’s hospital.
Clement thinks Paint the Earth is one of about five paint-your-own ceramics studios in New Zealand. The business went through a lull following its move from Takapuna to new premises in Albany in 2011, but Clement says store is definitely getting busier - several people have recently inquired after franchising opportunities.
Paint the Earth has also just invested in a new mobile-optimised website. Clement says she had to switch website providers in the process as the company’s old provider quoted an unacceptably high price when it came to mobile-optimising its old website.
“We decided to completely change everything on the website and have a whole new look.”
The website has become an important part of Paint the Earth’s business, Clement says, as it helps support the store as a “destination shop.”
“So many people phone us up and say, ‘I’m on your website at the moment.’”
Clement says the store’s location in Albany puts off some Aucklanders, who dislike crossing the harbour bridge and think the Northern suburb is “way out,” but Paint the Earth’s location in industrial Rosedale means it can spread out across a bigger space and offer more customer parking.