Design is in Annabelle Plowman’s genes. The daughter of fashion and design enthusiast Nicki Plowman is making a name for herself with her Havelock North homeware store, Annabelle’s
Text by Catherine Steel. Photography by Florence Charvin.
When Annabelle Plowman opened her eponymous store in October 2016, she was already familiar with the ins and outs of the design world. When she was growing up she often accompanied her mother, Nicki Plowman (who has run fashion, jewellery and furniture businesses), on buying trips around the world and soon developed a keen eye for beautiful design. “Mum was always travelling and importing unique pieces,” she says. Annabelle also learned how to develop and maintain supplier contacts in the Middle East, India and Asia, which still serve her well today.
As a young woman, Annabelle was keen to take over her mother’s business. Having learned a lot from her about running a company, Annabelle deepened her knowledge with a business degree, while also helping with the buying and design of stock for her mum’s businesses.
On a recent holiday to Indonesia Annabelle encountered so much beautiful homeware that she returned on a buying trip just a few weeks later, and opened her store in Havelock North soon afterwards. The shop’s aesthetic is natural and organic with splashes of serene blues and greens, the latter being Annabelle’s favourite colour. Containers arrive every few months from overseas with new stock, keeping the shop looking fresh and interesting. “Each container is different to the last,” Annabelle says, and customers can always expect surprises.
Annabelle’s stocks furniture, textiles, lighting and decor in a truly bohemian yet modern style. Wooden sideboards and cabinets carry rattan trays and bold, beautiful ceramics. Rattan pendants hang over tables covered in hand-blown coloured glass.
In 2016, Annabelle opened a pop-up shop in Havelock North while she searched for premises for her current permanent shop – an attractive, airy, light-filled space located within the Porters Boutique Hotel complex on Havelock Road. Plans are afoot to open a store in Auckland when the time is right.