" It all started with a trip to Bali and a little red dress... "
Embellish, the journey
Back in 1991
I expanded my horizons beyond my home of New Zealand and ventured off to Bali on my OE. Immersed in such a beautiful, diverse and vibrant culture I fell in love with Bali instantly. The people, the creativity and of course its tropical oasis was something that inspired me then, and continues to now.
Embellish started with humble beginnings back in 2012 as a stall at the Farmers Market in Kerikeri, where I sold my handmade jewellery. With the market limiting me to trading once a week I decided that same year to open up a small store tucked down a little alley way off the main street of Kerikeri.
As Bali had such fond memories for me I decided the following year I wanted to share this special place with both my son Jamie and daughter Summer so I took them back. It was on this trip that I purchased what is known as 'the little red dress'. Once I returned friends and strangers would constantly ask me where this red dress came from. Thinking I may be on to something in 2014 I decided to jump on a plane with my daughter as my accomplice and venture back to Bali. I had zero knowledge of how to actually create garments in a foreign country. It was all a little bit daunting but with perseverance we found a manufacturer who was willing to help us. Two weeks later feeling rather smug with ourselves we left Bali with a suit case full of dresses and headed home to sell them in my little store in Kerikeri.
'Babe, you've got this!'
Fast forward to 2015 I met Derek, my now husband, aka ‘ Mr Embellish’. He saw how much I loved retail and right from the start has encouraged me to follow my dream. He always says to me ....‘Babe, just do it, you’ve got this!’. I truly believe that Embellish would not be what it is today without him. He does an incredible amount of work behind the scenes and the support I've received from him over the past 5 years has been amazing!
In 2016 we travelled back to Bali and it didn't take long for Derek to fall in love with this coastal paradise again too. In between surfing, relaxing at the beach and enjoying a cold Bintang we'd be out treasure hunting the streets connecting with talented craftsmen. Those of whom we now consider dear friends. It was on this first trip together that we made our first small shipment of home decor. Which soon after became a full container load and this is when we took the plunge and expanded into our Kerikeri store on Cobham Road.
The Paihia store was our next big step, and in 2018 after a shop premise I'd always had my eye on became available we opened Embellish on Williams Street.
Fast forward to 2020
my daughter and I stumbled across another fantastic premise in Whangarei. This was to be our first Whangarei store, operating on Rathbon St. It just so happened that another, larger premise became available in 2021, which spured the idea of having a store dedicated to our Embellish homewares. We then welcomed our fourth store, Embellish home. [Please note both our Whangarei stores have since been peramently closed]
This was never how the story was supposed to go, Derek and I were only just getting started, infact in early 2023 Derek's life long dream of owning his very own surf shop became a reality as we signed up a lease for Oasis, opposite my Embellish store - I mean talk about fate!
But it's with a heavy heart that we say Derek lost his very corageous battle to cancer earlier this year in 2023. My world got turned upside down (to put it lightly) without my sidekick, partner in crime and my rock I decided that simplfying my life was the next necessary step, and pouring all that I had into making Oasis, Derek's legacy live on to the best of my ability. That being said, I made the decision to close my two Whangarei stores when the lease was up - bitter sweet, but honestly forever grateful to of had the opportunity to grow my business in Whangarei, and the support I received has truly been unwavering.
Each store captures something different and we highly recommend visiting them all. I may be biased but my team are absolutely awesome and they'd love to meet you too!
But in the meantime, we've created this website to encapsulate them all in one place, online.
So there it is, our story.
... you'll find all your fashion favourites, cute babyware and beautiful homewares in Embellish Kerikeri and Paihia and of course online! & you'll find me between the two, or at Oasis in Whangarei!
Thank you for reading our story and thank you so much for your customer support. It does really mean the world to us!
Dressing for YOU and your bodyshape
Let's first start off by saying every BODY is beautiful as it is unique. In fact it's one of the reasons we wanted to put this guide together, because we want you to feel your best in the clothes that you wear.