What began as a humble home project for an Upper Hutt duo has mushroomed into a trove of on-trend, Kiwi-designed treasures
Created Homewares is an Upper Hutt store making Kiwi design a priority
Damian Townsend and Jonathan Smeets – Damo and Jono to most who know them – have been on a whirlwind journey which has taken them from designing a few decor pieces for their home to becoming the proud owners of their own store, Created Homewares, which opened last April.
The pair, who have a background in retail and design, wanted to create a shop that celebrated well-made, New Zealand-designed products and showcased work from some of the makers they had met over the years.
They pinpointed Wellington’s Upper Hutt as just the spot for their venture. “This area is a goldmine,” says Jono. “There is a plethora of people moving here as it’s close to the CBD yet housing is still affordable. These people want to shop at our kind of store.”
The pair stock as many New Zealand-made items as they can. “If we can’t get it made in New Zealand, we get it from companies that design in New Zealand,” says Jono. “We offer contemporary homeware (pots, planters, shelves, vases, cushions, New Zealand-made vegan bath products) and great giftware.
“We also stock wares that are unique to Created Homewares by teaming up with the makers and designing custom ranges.” This includes their own brand, Create Something. “While doing up our 1950s house, we wanted decor with a difference so decided to make our own,” Jono explains. “After positive comments from friends and family wanting to buy the pieces we’d made, we set up a website and went on social media.
“The next thing we knew, we had stores contacting us wanting to stock our stuff!” They are now in 15 stores as well as their own and, says Jono, are busy planning their next steps. “We are collaborating with other designers to produce an even bigger range, and custom-designed prints and homewares are on the cards in the future.”
Words by: Penny Lewis. Photography by: Simon Devitt.