For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to own a store that stocks beautiful things that I have collected from all over the world. Annabelle’s is a result of more than a decade of dreaming, and is a curation of furniture, textiles, lighting and decor, clothing, jewellery and accessories - everything that I love.
How it all began
When I was at school, I would sometimes travel on buying trips with my mum, Nicki Plowman, who had two businesses that she was buying jewellery and textiles for. This exposure helped spark a love for travel and collecting beautiful things.
After school, I decided to go to university to study business. From working alongside my mum, I could see that sometimes the commerce and administration side of owning a business was a challenge for the more “creative” types (like me!), so I was determined to get a good head start and try wrap my head around all things “business” before I embarked on my own business journey.
After university I worked in the corporate world in Auckland for eighteen months before heading over to France to work on the super yachts. In the three years on the boats I focused on saving, with the ambition to come back to New Zealand and start something along the lines of a clothing, textiles and lifestyle brand.
On my way back to New Zealand I stopped over in Bali. The first time I visited Bali was for my twenty-first birthday, which was when I was first struck by how beautiful the textiles, furniture and homewares were over there. (I was a little bit like a kid in a candy store!) So I knew I had to go back.
The start of Annabelle’s
While I’ve always loved textiles and clothing, this trip to Bali ignited a passion for homewares and interiors. I had gone there with no intentions, but came home with ideas and huge excitement for my next step. When I got home I crunched the numbers and decided to go back three weeks later to choose some pieces to bring back to New Zealand.
I opened a pop up shop in Havelock North (my home town), which I planned to do for six months. This was a bit of an experiment to see how it would go, whether there was an appetite for my stock and whether I enjoyed it. The shop was a huge success, and I loved it!
The next big step was to find a permanent home for Annabelle’s. In April 2017 we opened in Havelock North’s brand new Porter’s Hotel development in the heart of the village.
The store has doubled in size, and I now travel to China, Indonesia and India to keep our collections broad and beautiful. Now, Annabelle’s stocks textiles, interiors and furniture from all over the world.
Annabelle’s is very much reflective of my own personal style - bohemian, luxe, ethnic and contemporary. And I love being able to share this style of products with customers. If you’re in the area, please do stop by (or visit us online)!
Below are some photos showing the evolution of Annabelle's, from our time in our pop up shop through to our new shop: