Visiting the just-reopened Remuera Wool and Sewing Boutique in its first week back, it’s evident that the local icon had been sorely missed during a period of closure when the former owner retired. Now under the stewardship of pharmacists Hayley Tapp and Jonathan Macdonald — also co-owners of the Life Pharmacy next door — the timing couldn’t be better. With the growth in all things crafty over lockdowns, there couldn’t be a better time to re-establish the business as the destination for premium yarns, guidance and more.
Was it a nod to the community and loyal customers that lead you to decide to take the business on, as opposed to just as an extra commercial venture?
Jonathan: Yes, absolutely. It will be wonderful to make a profit of course; but seeing so many people coming into the pharmacy very upset when it closed, really broke Hayley’s heart. The two businesses share a common customer base too, so it was also a way of honouring that.
How did people react when they knew it was coming back?
Hayley: The reaction was incredible. We put a sign up in the pharmacy saying the sewing store was coming back, and within days we had a list pages long of people wanting to be contacted the minute the doors opened.
Hayley, you were the real driver behind this project as you love getting crafty yourself — how did that come about?
Hayley: When we first bought the pharmacy six years ago, I popped in to say hello to the lovely women that were working here. One day they said, “why don’t you give knitting a go?” I’d knitted as a child but somehow, just stopped. It was the push I needed to get started again, and they were amazing. I’d bring in my projects and they’d help me every step of the way, and now I knit all the time. I’ve got a four-year-old daughter I knit for, and it feels like every friend I have seems to have a baby shower just so I can knit for them!
Are some of those same staff who helped you back in store?
Hayley: Yes! We hired them back again, all of the original staff who taught me to knit again all those years ago. They are so supportive and encouraging, guiding you every step of the way. We have plans in place to start hosting classes and workshops in store, and maybe approach some of the local schools to see if they’d like us to help run some courses for their students.
Who made the beautiful pieces on display in the store?
Hayley: The women who work in the shop knit when they’re not busy with customers, so we decided to put some of their work up as inspiration. These will rotate so there’s always something new, and what you see, you can make. Follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/RemueraWool) for what’s happening in store, and to see what classes are on offer.
Hayley & Jonathan
We are your local and friendly owners of Remuera Wool & Sewing Botique, you may have seen our faces around as we also own LIfe Pharmacy next door. We aim to bring you an all inclusive, supportive and encouraging experience here at Remuera Wool & Sewing Boutique. We love being local and being able to ensure our customers have exactly what they need whether it be new knitting needles or sewing patterns.