From hair clips to fire pits: some very good things we actually spent our own money on! Because we know how much you love a personal recommendation, and one that isn’t #gifted or #sponcon.
“Call me avant basic, but I love online store Lisa Says Gah. The owner Lisa Bühler came to NZ Fashion Week in 2017 and yes, I fangirled - she just has a brilliant eye for whimsy, an aesthetic that I think is too easily dismissed as being girlish and therefore frivolous (that's another story that I promise I will write, one day...). This '90s-esque oversized heart-shaped barrette embodies that mood and so of course I had to add it to my small collection of hair accessories; I ended up buying it in blue and pink.” - Zoe Walker Ahwa, editorial director
“It had been a tight time to hang out in my bank account over the past year. Startup life that cost me money and earned me none put paid to any disposable income (and any fun) I had. Hence the last time I talked about something I’d recently bought, all I had to offer you was a tub of cookies. So on August 16, the week before my first pay day in over 18 months, I went crazy and bought this beautiful Kate Sylvester frock to wear to the Ensemble first birthday party later that week. Hilariously we went into lockdown the very next day and the dress is hanging in my wardrobe, tags intact. A time capsule reminder of a time that never was (parties! Fashion Week! Social gatherings!).” - Rebecca Wadey, partnerships director
“As someone who once killed nettle (which I was attempting to grow for soups and teas), an ‘unkillable’ floral display sounded very appealing. A self-professed geek, I have long been a LEGO fan and so was chuffed when they launched their Adults Welcome range of products. Truth be told, I was just fine with their kiddie sets, shh.
The Flower Bouquet is 756 pieces of floral fun and features roses, snapdragons, poppies, asters, daisies and grasses. Working in front of a screen, it is always a welcome respite to step away and partake in an activity that does not revolve around yet another screen. I also miss working with my hands so this was a perfect afternoon spent. Plus, you get that beautiful unkillable arrangement at the end of it, which has taken pride of place on my desk alongside my colourful collection of Faber and Faber poetry books. And, if red roses, a bonsai or a potted bird of paradise are more your thing, they have those too. Catering to all are our creative Danish friends.” - Natalia Deyr, editorial assistant
“I don’t really need any more T-shirts (and I definitely don’t need any more slogan tees), but this local T-shirt brand has been recommended to me several times before - so when stylist and Homestyle art director Juliette Wanty shared her recent Buddy purchases on Instagram, I was #influenced. Made from 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton, with a vintage inspired fit, I love the Buddy ethos that they’re made to “last a lifetime, long enough to become vintage”. I got the chilli red shade, my husband got yellow, I’ll wear both.” - ZWA
“There’s nothing I love more than an exercise prop that will live an unsustainable life gathering dust in my garage (see also: My yoga hammock and yoga wheel). I’ve wanted one of these inversion benches since I saw one of my favourite yoga influencers, Jessamyn Stanley, using one last year. Level 3 and 4, with their lack of in-person classes, seemed the perfect time to get one, so I did. Zen time to myself is impossible to come by these days but it’s proven great fun to have in the lounge; my family and I take turns on it while we binge-watch our favourite shows. There’s nothing quite like children to turn yoga into a competitive sport, eek. As an added bonus this prop also works as a side-table, so here’s hoping it never makes it into the garage.” - RW
“My neck, shoulders and lower back are completely ruined, and I blame working from home for 2412124 weeks (and my terrible posture). In pre lockdown times I would have driven straight to St Lukes for a mall massage; instead, I went straight to my laptop to buy something to try and soothe my aches. A quick Google of "wheat pack buy nz" led me to this delightful Titirangi-based business with various options available - because I am twee, I went for the pink daisies and it’s barely left my side. And because I am a sucker, I also ended up buying my elderly cat Jem a pet wheat bag of her own...” - ZWA
Given there’s little differentiation between school holidays and the long weeks that came before it, I wanted to emulate the feeling of a beachside holiday. I decided the easiest way to do that was with s’mores, a fire and some late nights. This is also of course perfect for outdoor entertaining, which is where it’s at these days. In order to add another layer of fun to the outdoor fire, we also bought some flint and initiated a family firemaking challenge. Yes, it’s very glamorous around these parts. - RW