window of wanda harland showing colourful clothingFull disclosure: the Wellingtonista is all about nepotism. So we thought it was about jolly time we sat down (well, emailed) our Martha, who has been a very important part of the ‘ista since like 2006 at least (although she is much less of a bad influence on us now than she used to be), to find out about the latest incarnation of her wonderful store Wanda Harland.
1. Who are you, and what is Wanda Harland all about?

Wanda Harland is my store and very much an expression of things I love and desire! Over the years I’ve become more interested in clothing, I won’t say “fashion” because that implies something fleeting, and part of my values is only buying things you’ll love and wear for years to come. This doesn’t mean clothing can’t be fun, but it should be excellent quality and a great fit. Stocking ethical brands is important to me.

2. When Wanda Harland first opened… ten? years ago, it was very child-focused because of your printing label Babylicious. What’s happened over the years?

The shop is almost 11 years old! You’re right, when we opened I had a wholesale business making baby clothes. This was a reflection of my life at the time, which was one surrounded by my own and my peer’s babies. Over the years as my kids have grown my interest turned more to homewares (reflecting my own renovation projects tbh). Then we were approached by Kowtow about stocking their range and a new interest in clothing has grown ever since.

3. How’s the new location (on Wakefield Street opposite the Town Hall) going? Are there differences between it and Petone (On Jackson St next to Knobs & Knockers) in terms of what you’re stocking or your best sellers are?
shop as part of the street
The new location is fantastic, it’s so lively in the city with a constant stream of people in the area. I love the people watching! The offering between the two stores is slightly different, ultimately the same “vibe” but in the city we’re catering more to professional women and Petone has a slightly more casual vibe. It’s fun, we can play around with the style in each store. There are some brands we don’t carry in both stores too, which keeps each one unique and interesting.
4. What’s the most Wellingtony thing that you’re stocking right now?
bright clothing
I’m really focussed on trying to sell as many local brands as possible, so while nothing screams out “Wellington” with actual words we’re very proud to work with Wellington designers including Kowtow, Penny Foggo, Luc, Aida Maeby, Rachel Stichbury jewellery, Twenty-Seven Names and many more.

5. Any plans to stock wider size ranges?

more clothing racks

Yes definitely. Over the years we’ve gone from carrying a basic few sizes and now we stock 7 sizes in some ranges and this will grow over time.