If it's been a while since you popped into the store, you may not have met our lovely store manager, Lisa Caughey. She's been instrumental in the recent changes and refurbishment that has breathed new life into the shop.
This is Lisa's story, in her own words...
Dreams do come true. Just sometimes not quite the way you imagined them.
For years I have wanted to do a roadie from Kaitaia to the Bluff. A slow drive roadie. No passing lanes, no google maps. I dreamed of stopping whenever I wanted to buy plums from roadside stalls, linger at artisan workshops, meet the people out there living their creative dreams and eventually heading back to the big smoke with a combi full of craft, art and memories.
As a single mum with two kids, how I was going to do a roadie wasn’t all that obvious. I am welded to school zones, timetables and the daily grind of bringing home the bacon. I have no sense of direction and can’t even find Brazil on the world map.
In 2016 I became the most recent Head Elephant at Parnell’s venerable Elephant House store. The Elephant House doesn’t actually have anything to do with elephants. For over 35 years it has championed, promoted and sold art, craft and wares made in NZ. The artisans and crafters that sell through the Elephant House come from Kerikeri to Invercargill!
Clearly I was on my roadie. For the last year I have lived, breathed and dreamed NZ art and craft. The Elephant House sells on behalf of the artisans and being in the store has brought NZ to me.
Last year we gutted, stripped, scrubbed and refitted the Elephant House, giving her a much needed upgrade to reflect the changing quality and improvement of Made in NZ. Opening Two Tusk Gallery in our loft space at the Elephant House to champion emerging NZ artists was a logical addition to our elephant sized desire to showcase the best of our country and support our creative talent.
Our doors are always* open for casual browse or a friendly chat.
*Not literally always, we have opening hours which you can check out here.
Did You Know...
We've got more than just amazing products to share with you, we've got the stories about what goes on behind-the-scenes of what you're buying too