Inspired by the ethically-made homeware she discovered while living in South Africa, this entrepreneurial Kiwi has opened a retail outlet in rural Matakana
What started as a pipe dream for Mooi Mooi business owner Kim Hewitt has morphed into a successful homewares retail outlet, run solely on her terms out of her rural property in Matakana.
The idea was 18 months in the making whilst Kim was living in Cape Town with her South African husband and three children. “While living in South Africa for eight years I discovered a lot of beautiful locally and ethically made homewares and children’s wear that was well-made and affordable. When we decided to return to New Zealand, it was an opportunity for me to start up a business importing some of these beautiful things,” explains Kim.
Kim started her retail concept from a big old shed which used to store the plywood for ITM Building Supplies in Matakana. She spotted the shed online when she was in South Africa, and although it was down a long driveway it was still visible from the road. The reasonable rent, and location just off the roundabout heading into Matakana Village, made this the perfect site for her retail concept.
Once back in New Zealand, Kim and her husband Jeremy erected a ‘retail’ façade and Mooi Mooi spent its first two years trading from this site until 2013 when the landlord decided not to renew the lease. “This unexpected break from retail gave me time to focus on wholesaling ‘Wonki Ware’, which I have the agency for in New Zealand, and to re-think how retail, wholesale and an online business could best work for me,” says Kim. Mooi Mooi has now moved up the road, and trades out of a renovated Skyline shed next-door to the Hewitt’s family home; it’s also part of the Matakana Collectables Trail. “We were on a fairly strict budget when doing the shed makeover so I did have to compromise along the way. I am very lucky to have a super-practical husband who, although not always excited about all my ideas, can quite easily knock them all together for me,” smiles Kim.
Kim’s vision included a lot of ply, painted concrete floors, pegboard and fence palings to add texture – the outcome being a space Kim loves that showcases her South African-sourced homewares and childrenswear beautifully and simply. Mooi Mooi means ‘beautiful’ or ‘nice’ in Afrikaans and Dutch. “My Afrikaans friends would say Mooi multiple times if they really liked something,” explains Kim. Mooi! Mooi!
650 Matakana Road,
09 422 9009 | 021 424 999
Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Emma MacDonald.