Jane Sutherland: Fabulous Fashion In Kingston

Fashion designer Jane Sutherland's iconic photo in an armchair by the lake in Kingston.

Last year Jane Sutherland wowed us in Athol with a fashion show at the Hide. It had everything you’d expect: sleek hair, sexy make-up. Lights, music, models — go-getting locals rocked the gorgeous clothes on stage. What a night!

Jane’s known for her signature style. That’s top-quality fabric and timeless design married with hand-made metal jewellery. More than anything I craved the white coat. Wish I didn’t spend half my life hunched over a laptop and the other half with kids or on the farm. 

I know zilch about fashion. So my questions tumbled out when I met Jane at her Kingston studio. After 20+ years in the fashion biz, there was a lot to talk about.

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Temple Tattoo and ROAR Coffee: Lodging In Lumsden

The Masonic Lodge Temple Building now home to ROAR coffee and Temple Tattoo

Kelly and Steve Taylor are the duo behind ROAR Coffee Roasters and Temple Tattoo. They’re committed Southlanders now, but how on earth did a couple from Matakana find their “forever home” in Lumsden?

Imagine the conversation: 

“Happy 30th birthday, darling. I’ve got such a surprise for you.” 

Such a surprise! What possibilities spring to mind? 

Holiday in Hawaii? A Spa retreat? Sparkling diamonds? Or maybe a cosy meal in your favourite restaurant. 

Steve Taylor’s idea of a birthday surprise turned out to be a huge empty Masonic Lodge building in the small, Northern Southland town of Lumsden. 

Kelly’s reaction? 

“Oh, God!”

At that point, she never dreamed that one day she would actually end up living in that big old beautiful building and loving every moment of life in Lumsden.

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ROAR: Coffee Roasters in Southland

Roasted Coffee Beans

The south has long been home to a vibrant café culture. But it wasn’t until Kelly Taylor opened ROAR Coffee Roasters that we finally had our own Southland brew.

Today, cafés up and down the province can serve the freshest-possible delicious coffee. And it’s all thanks to ROAR’S unique blend of beans and service.

I caught up with Kelly and Steve to discover more about Lumsden’s latest local brand.

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Robbies: All For Pickles And Pickles For All

Jars of Robbies Pickles and Preserves on the shop shelf.

I have to confess I’m not a fan of pickled onions, but I do love a good sauce and Robbies has “sauces to die for.” 

I first met Josie and Gus Robinson of ‘Robbies Pickles and Preserves’ at last summer’s Athol Valley Market.

“It tastes just like Nana used to make” is praise they hear time and again, and with good reason. 

Robbies pickles and sauces ARE just like Nana made. In fact, many of them are made from the very same recipes and home-grown ingredients that Josie’s own Nana created in her kitchen so long ago.

Josie Robinson of Robbies Pickles and Preserves with her daily green hill view behind.
Josie Robinson of Robbies Pickles and Preserves.
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Living The Dream At Craft Keepers

Craft Keepers Dream

We all have dreams, but not everyone manages to follow them quite as thoroughly as Tabatha Davison. Just three years ago she was working in Queenstown, travelling the weekend market circuit, and dreaming of life in the country. Today Tabatha’s the proud owner of Craft Keepers here in Garston, where she not only makes and sells her own jewellery but also houses a wonderful collection of arts and crafts.

Southern Made

Walking into Craft Keepers is a visual delight; your eyes are drawn to so many artfully-displayed creations it’s hard to know where to look first. What’s most appealing is the authentic nature of the crafts.

“Every piece is created in Otago or Southland,” Tabatha explains. “When customers ask about the maker, I love to tell those little details that make each piece of work so special.”

It’s hard to resist such enthusiasm so I dive in and ask. I collect gorgeous coffee mugs so naturally that’s where I begin.

“Isn’t it lovely,” Tabatha smiles, picking up a mug. “Even the clay comes from Southland. They are beautifully balanced and the colours are just gorgeous.”

 

Gorgeous Gifts

There is so much to choose from in this crafty converted container that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Created While You Watch

Not only is Craft Keepers a haven of lovely arts and crafts, it’s also Tabatha’s workshop and most days you’ll discover her creating beautiful jewellery there. I’m drawn to the delicate silver chains, but Tabatha’s favourites are the costume pieces.     

“I’ve always loved the flair and variety of costume,” she says. “It’s so easy to be experimental and out there.”

Tabatha’s customers certainly love the Craft Keepers experience. Locals pop in to buy gifts and tourists visit for the perfect NZ-made souvenir. There’s increasing repeat trade from those who regularly travel the busy Te Anau-Queenstown state highway too.

Tabatha Davison outside Craft Keepers.
Come on in.

See For Yourself

Tabatha’s got a great thing going at Craft Keepers, right next to The Coffee Bomb and The Hunny Shop. She’s brought the creative, collaborative vibe of the markets into the middle of Garston.  The next time you need a gift or souvenir with style, don’t rush to a giant impersonal store. Think small, think local and pop into Craft Keepers. You won’t be disappointed.

Find Craft Keepers

ON  FACEBOOK

AT: The Container, Garston-Athol Highway, Southland

 

 

 

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