Stok. is a boutique store located in the hustle and bustle of Parnell’s iconic colonial strip, Parnell Road. Elisabeth and Bruce Ric Hansen, the founders of this hidden gem, had a chat to Verve about everything to do with their new addition to Parnell Road, from their favourite trends, to the ‘shop local’ movement Stok. strongly represents.
What do you like best about owning a boutique fashion and lifestyle store on Parnell’s historic strip?
When we saw the space we fell in love immediately. It even has a fireplace which added to the homely feel we wanted to create in the store. Hearing the history of The Parnell Village resonated with our vision for the community oriented ‘shop local’ boutique. With all the coffee shops and offices there is a steady flow of people with a gap to do some browsing. We even have a dog bowl outside for all the passing dog walkers.
How does your business philosophy manifest itself in the labels you sell?
Community. We have always supported the ‘shop local’ movement of small businesses and artisans. With the global backlash against fast-fashion New Zealand is quickly becoming a front-runner in all things sustainable. Both the types of people supporting ‘shop local’ and the talented folk creating it — are all connected to the same global milieu. All our designers work within their local communities. They are conscious and focus on sustainability, minimising waste and sourcing responsibly.
Feedback so far?
We have had such positive feedback from customers. We have intentionally curated a store with items across his, hers, home and kids, including accessories, art and lighting. We want the store to feel like a little piece of home — we even have granny’s persian carpet on the floor. We want this to be a store that people pop into regularly. A store where you can spoil yourself, or find something unique to spoil someone else.
Leigh Schubert’s range is doing really well. We have hand picked each designer’s garments to curate a range that is ageless and timeless and just seem to flatter every body shape. For men it’s a little easier, so the differentiation is all in the prints and details. The Holmes Brothers’ design everything with quirky print or detail that seem to resonate with each person individually, whether they are vintage car collectors, weekend surfers or regular blokes they seem to find their personal style in the range.
Which trends are you into personally right now?
We have always been into textures and an eclectic mix of old and new. Great staples and basics are key to every wardrobe. We love any garment that goes well with sneakers. Monochromes will always be the go to, but bold and striking prints are what differentiate many of our designs. All of our prints are designed by our designers, not sourced online.
Your vision for stok.?
Expansion into other parts of New Zealand, with stores in like-minded spaces. We’re working on some exciting collabs and pop-ups. We also have new designers arriving in this quarter and some great product extensions. Our online store will always carry a more extensive range than what we can show in the Parnell store. The store is a teaser and a launch pad for what’s new.