Women we love Amelia Lin­go­nis, re­tailer to dis­cern­ing cats, dogs and hu­mans

Amelia Lin­go­nis loves stylish, unique home­ware al­most as much as she loves dogs. Her Welling­ton shop is a haven for pugs and rugs, kit­ties, kitchen­ware and more

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - In­ter­view by Sharon Stephen­son. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Ni­cola Ed­monds.

‘Home is where the dog is’ in huge gold let­ters adorns the wall be­hind the counter at Smack Bang, Amelia Lin­go­nis’ shop on Welling­ton’s Tory Street.

The new store, a pink and gold haven for peo­ple and their four-legged friends, sees dog and cat col­lars from New York and pet te­pees from South Korea shar­ing space with skele­ton can­dles and lux­u­ri­ous hand-knit­ted throws.

When the op­por­tu­nity arose to com­bine her two loves – home­ware and pets – the 29-yearold jumped at the chance. Smack Bang opened in Oc­to­ber last year and is al­ready carv­ing out a unique place in the mar­ket.

Have you al­ways loved home­ware? As a child in Hamil­ton, while oth­ers my age were play­ing with dolls, I’d be cut­ting out pictures of fur­ni­ture I liked and stick­ing them in scrap­books! I’ve al­ways had a good eye and moved to Welling­ton in 2007 to do a Bach­e­lor of De­sign ma­jor­ing in pho­tog­ra­phy.

How did Smack Bang come about? Af­ter I fin­ished univer­sity, I drifted into hospo jobs, not re­ally know­ing what I wanted to do. It’s how I met my hus­band Chris, who’s owned bars and restau­rants for years. One day I was try­ing to find a dog bed that wasn’t cheap and nasty or cov­ered in paw prints when I re­alised there weren’t any stylish, good-qual­ity pet ac­ces­sories made in New Zealand or avail­able here. Peo­ple spend a lot of money styling their homes but then they have to make do with un­sightly dog bowls and beds. So I spent six months trawl­ing the in­ter­net for up­mar­ket, on-trend pet beds, leads, cloth­ing and toys. I also found home­ware, jew­ellery, books, can­dles, cards and prints that I couldn’t find here.

What did you do then? In the midst of all the re­search, we were look­ing around for premises and found some in this build­ing, which dates from 1925.

Were there any set­backs? In Novem­ber 2016, just be­fore we took pos­ses­sion, the Kaik­oura earth­quake struck. Luck­ily the build­ing was fine but it was cor­doned off, which meant we couldn’t get in to mea­sure up for the shelv­ing. I ended up de­sign­ing it from pho­tos and it was not till four months later

that my lovely builder was able to do the fit-out.

How much of your store caters for pets and how much for hu­mans? I started off with mostly home­ware but then dis­cov­ered all these in­cred­i­ble pet brands and it’s now around 60 per­cent pets to 40 per­cent hu­mans!

Where does your stock come from? I sell as many New Zealand-made items and pet prod­ucts as pos­si­ble, but I also source from the US, Europe, Asia and Aus­tralia. I love find­ing quirky new pro­duc­ers and when the courier ar­rives it’s like Christ­mas!

Amelia’s eclec­tic shop stocks a range of prac­ti­cal and play­ful items for the home, as well as an im­pres­sive ar­ray of gifts and pet ac­ces­sories.

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