Fashion label Bettie Monroe is about so much more than dressing women; it’s about empowering them. Metropol talks to one half of this design duo – locally based Helen Fraser about creating beauty and drawing inspiration.
How would you describe Bettie Monroe’s design philosophy?
It’s about empowering women to feel confident and happy through their clothing and expression of personal style. We are not an age or size; we are fun, playful, whimsical and timeless. Our clothes last the distance, are feminine and versatile. Being proudly New Zealand made enables us to deliver garments at the highest quality and sustainably.
What attracted you to fashion design?
I’ve been sewing and making clothes since I was seven years old, my mum taught me. It’s who I am, the creativity and fun of putting something together and enjoying wearing it. I have an eye for colour and design and I love to make people smile, whether it’s styling ladies for an event or a pretty, uplifting fabric which is loved.
Why do you think people have connected so much with what you do?
I was bought up on a dairy farm, in the clean country air, where I loved nature, the beauty of colours and landscapes. I have woven these intrinsic values to my business, through vibrant colours, playful prints and versatile clothing. Some of our dresses and tops can be worn several ways, easy to style and are super comfy. An outfit to can take you from daytime fun to an evening out, just change your shoes, it’s that simple and fits the busy lifestyles we lead.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Nature… I love the simplicity of it, the beauty of colours. We have lots of floral prints, as well as the vibrant base colours to style with and get more out of your outfit. I never stop, I may see a cool design someone is wearing, or a photo on Pinterest, or the way a fabric drapes. I love what I do, therefore I am inspired to create pieces that evolve and will add fun to our customers’ lives.
Banter, a busy mobile Sydenham based café that’s got the recipe perfect, is run solely by two talented best mates.
Jasmine Mears and Emma Croxson have been friends for five years and have always dreamed of merging their chef and organic horticulture backgrounds to open a business together.
By 6am the cabinet is crammed full with scrumptious food including vegan and gluten free options and they use organic, local and seasonal where possible.
As well as the ready to go toasties, bagels and salad bowls with homemade sauerkraut, the girls offer a porridge with toppings such as cinnamon apple crumble with custard, as well as a daily soup served with Grizzly bagel toast from around the corner.
Serving Supreme coffee, Mikaku tea organically grown in Banks Peninsula, as well as a fresh lemon, honey and ginger, there is a hot drink choice to satisfy everyone. Superfood smoothies are also a winner if you are in need of a vitamin boost.
Although super convenient for a takeaway, just by the overbridge, there are woolly blankets and hot water bottles for those wanting to hang out.
Open 6am-2pm weekdays, they also offer workplace deliveries Wednesday to Friday. You can text your coffee order through to 021 0820 9942, and plenty of on street parking makes it easy to swoop on by at 500d Colombo Street, right next to The Drawing Room.
Samantha Rose Flowers celebrated its first successful year as Ashburton’s budding new business.
On 28 May, Samantha Rose Trott gave out 100 roses around town for the occasion. The now 30-year-old excelled in both her floristry course at Christchurch Academy and her decade’s experience here and in Australia. However, the creative entrepreneur’s destiny was to return home to fill the mid-Canterbury gap in the market for beautiful blooms.
Her design flair incorporates her sense of colour and theme and looks unique against the shop’s modern-industrial style – designed by her architect partner. With help from Sophie and Toni, she arranges the freshest flowers for all sorts of occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries and sympathy, and can also set up on site. From Rakaia to Rangitata, with a twice-daily delivery to Christchurch on weekdays, same day delivery requests are welcomed.
Samantha offers a private room for discretely planning wedding flowers. Meghan and Harry’s wedding bouquets included delicate forget-me-nots, lily of the valley, sweet pea and jasmine, whereas Samantha was busy last season with popular blush-toned blooms.
Winter offers long-lasting Cymbidium orchids in lime-yellows, pinks and whites – with spring flowers blossoming very soon. She encourages men to give flowers as a romantic gesture. “It would be so nice to see it happen more! It doesn’t have to be extravagant – even a bunch of lilies.”
Samantha Rose Flowers also sells the luxury-scented Living Light candles and atomisers, handmade in Golden Bay, along with baby giftware, plants and cards.
Open at 179 Burnett Street Ashburton Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-1pm. Phone 03-307 4020 or visit www.samantharoseflowers.co.nz, Facebook and Instagram.
Angela Stone was just 14 when she started her modelling career, working with top retailers and international brands across Sydney, Melbourne, Milan and London and, at just 21, opened the doors of Portfolio Model Agency here in Christchurch, before starting her own styling business, Angela Stone Consulting Ltd seven years later.
Today stylist, fashion designer, author, lifestyle guru and full-time mother are just some of the very stylish hats she wears.
Metropol talks to this fashionable entrepreneur ahead of her attendance at the Women Inspiring Women luncheon at the Addington Event Centre which brings together some of the country’s most inspiring women in support of some of the city’s most worthy causes.
Can you tell us about your early career and how you got yourself established in an industry which is said to take no prisoners?
My career has always been so much more than fashion, for me it’s been more about making a difference to how people feel about themselves. I dress people from the inside out. Looking after one’s self on the inside ensures for an even better dressed person.
How does a day in the life of Angela Stone look these days?
I get up at 5am every day, I arrive at the gym at 5.30am, home at 7am, I get dressed and ready for my day which starts at 8am and the rest is unlike any other day. I could be flying somewhere, on a photoshoot, working on events, personal shopping, corporate styling… seriously no two days are the same.
What’s the most enjoyable or fulfilling part of what you do?
I love training. I run a number of training courses and I get to work with people who are looking for next level empowerment.
How do you define style?
Classic, feminine and professional
Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
I love researching our top 100 companies. I listen to inspirational speakers every day while I am working out at the gym. My personal trainer Jamil and my children, because they keep everything real.
What do you see as some of your biggest accomplishments?
The great gains just keep on coming. I am grateful for every up and every down as this has shaped my life.
What are you looking forward to over the next year?
I am so excited to be kicking off my nationwide tour – Teens, Style & Etiquette Course! It’s going to be action-packed.
The secret is out about Villa 23 Café, New Zealand’s first and only Dutch vegetarian café with the ambient charm of a rare city treasure. Hedwig Dunbar-Keek and family have infused creativity into this gorgeous stand-alone villa. It’s now seeking a new owner, with new passions.
“It’s a central location, with little competition, between Blenheim and Riccarton Road. It would be perfect for any restaurant, culinary dream, or a combined office space,” she says.
An interior designer from Amsterdam, Hedwig wishes to move on to her next project spending precious time with her gorgeous new granddaughter while concentrating solely on her Dutch-style catering business.
The landlord let Hedwig recreate the once drab, unnoticeable villa with colourful imagination. Amazing Dutch-designed wallpapers add delightful difference to the disco-glam ‘Arabian nights’ room, the light-filled ‘colour room’ and the must-see optical illusion bathroom. Husband Gregory restored its soft-pink exterior, polished floors and sturdy structure to its 1911 glory.
Her son and barista Quentin greets customers, while Hedwig conjures no-nonsense-great food from the spacious new kitchen. The café oasis serves Peruvian-origin coffee to the lucky customers working in the area – and many pop in for Dutch grocery items. The healthy award-winning smoothies, little Dutch poffertjes and oliebollen are delectable and specialties which are also sold at their Dutch stall at Deans Bush market on Saturdays.
Hedwig is off to Amsterdam this winter for her annual inspirational research. However, for interested parties, she can be contacted at email@example.com, anytime.
Villa 23 Café, 23 Mandeville Street, Riccarton (next to Flow Hot Yoga). Phone 03-343 3375. See Facebook/Instagram for details.
It’s been said that to achieve greatness, one must keep great company, which is the very premise behind one of the city’s most inspiring upcoming events.
On Wednesday 16 May from 12-3pm at the Addington Event Centre, the Women Inspiring Women luncheon brings together some of the country’s most inspiring women. From entrepreneurs and company directors to wellness warriors and television personalities, names from Toni Street and Angela Stone, to Lynette McFadden and Traci Houpapa will be on hand for inspiration.
Hosted by Inspired Events NZ and featuring MC Hilary Muir, the event supports some of the city’s most worthy causes.
Pay It Forward, with the charity Dress for Success, will have a clothing donation booth on site. Dress for Success invites attendees, and those unable to attend, to gift a ‘buddy ticket’, to enable a disadvantaged woman to attend, while In the Community Charitable Trust creates opportunities to do something special for mums with breast cancer.
Christine Korako and former Silver Ferns player and Motivationz Director Marg Foster are the names behind Inspired Events NZ. Established to inspire and motivate others, they believe investing in personal and professional development enhances individual and group motivation, leading to greater success and happiness.
“It’s all about connecting engaging and participating,” Christine says.
“We flourish when we have the right people around us who can advise us, support and strengthen our individual capability, grow our confidence and challenge us to reach our goals.
“People with a positive mindset are irresistible and that is why we came together to create Inspired Events. We unpack layers of motivation and inspiration through speakers and workshops to create a point of difference in people’s lives.”
For more information and tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @inspiredevents on Facebook.
When stepping into La Bella Nails & Lashes in Papanui, the serene oasis is a sensory surprise. Embellished in oak wood and neutral hues, the salon has been operated by Bella Tran and her five professional therapists for eight months.
Using superior natural products, the menu is affordable and divine – from perfectly applied nail polish for $15, to a 75-minute ‘Escape to Heaven’ package for $85. There’s amazing silken eyelash extensions and waxing treatments.
It is Canterbury’s only professional salon that’s trained and authorised for the popular SNS nail system, which melds gel and acrylic qualities in more than 350 powder-coated shades. “It can last up-to three weeks; the Vitamin E and calcium help nails grow beautifully strong,” Bella says.
She suggests bridal groups have their nails done a couple of days before the wedding.
Gift vouchers will make Mother’s Day bliss. Mothers and daughters often recline side by side for pedicures on what Bella likens to beach beds by the pool with adjustable lumbar support. Little princesses can have their nails done and, for men, MAN-icures and sport pedicures.
Bella takes hygiene very seriously, using a medical-grade autoclave sterilisation system. Also avoiding nasty chemicals and using organic where possible is imperative, such as the organic mandarin and mango rich moisture crème and the famed Butter London nail-polish.
“From the bottom of my heart, I can say making my clients truly happy is the most important part of my business.”
Conveniently open from Tuesday-Sunday 12A Main North Road (parking around the back), phone 03-352 9789, or booking online is easy at
A less is more approach isn’t one traditionally taken by a successful fashion label, but then Untouched World founder Peri Drysdale isn’t one to play by the rules. Doing things differently is, after all, what has cemented her place in the upper echelons of entrepreneurial royalty.
Metropol talks to Peri about her recent achievements and striking a sartorial chord.
How does it feel to have been recognised at such a high level, as one of the 2018 Company of Women Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Inductees?
It was humbling to be recognised amongst such a group of enormously courageous and successful NZ women. However, I am only the face of our company and our success is the result of incredible input from amazing people I have had working alongside me now and in the past, and with fantastic family input and support.
Can you take us back to the start of Untouched World, what sparked the idea for the business?
As I travelled around the world selling our knitwear I had become extremely concerned about the trajectory the planet was on. I could see environmental degradation going on from visit to visit. Government and business talk the world over was all about GDP and financial bottom line. I worried about what could one person, one company could do. The problem was so big, but I came to the conclusion that we had to do something about it. So, long story short, we decided to create a sustainable lifestyle fashion brand.
I wanted a brand that would model a new way of doing business, that would highlight that style and quality could be achieved without pollution to water and air, filling landfills or treating workers poorly. Back in those days sustainable clothing had a hemp sack reputation, but I wanted to reach people who were in a position of influence to really make a change. So we had to create luxurious, high quality products that would appeal to that market. I also wanted a brand that would give back, put its money where its mouth is and wanted a project to coalesce the stakeholders and get them thinking about what was happening to the planet. So, Untouched World was born – with the bold vision to use fashion as a vehicle to champion what is possible for our planet and its people.
Why do you think the business story of Untouched World struck such a chord and, as a result, has become such an incredible success?
Untouched World is a brand of enormous depth, the kite logo and brand story has an incredible resonance with people all over the world. It is creative, different and has a great energy. People talk about finding Untouched World inspiring. The fact that we built the brand on a sustainable model, though ahead of its time from a commercial point of view, meant that we have been global leaders in this space, so have always had highly engaged followers. Strangely after nearly two decades, Untouched World still feels fresh and ‘new’ to me.
You are one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, what has been the winning formula for you – hard work, dedication, passion, a great product?
Ha ha! All of the above! I think stickability; an utter belief in what you are doing and being prepared to do things differently are key.
What has been some of the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Early on, it was to not go into partnership with someone else. We looked at partnerships a few times. I was given the sound advice that a partner who shared the same motivation and goals during a start-up phase, wouldn’t necessarily share the same vision in years to come, which could ultimately result in more effort going into running the partnership than the business. Early on it is tempting to take partners on as you don’t know what you are doing. Keeping control has meant we have been able to stick to the values that underpin the business, the raison d’etre that gets me up in the morning.
What’s the best part about what you do?
Pretty much everything! I love it all. I love the people – our team, our customers, our suppliers, our foundation team. I love the design and creative process as well as production. I wake up and look forward to another day.
Lynn Woods is a name and a business that Christchurch respects. Synonymous with timeless fashion and informed sartorial advice, Lynn and her eponymous business are an asset to the business landscape. Metropol talks to the style maven about what makes her tick.
After having been in fashion for so long, what still inspires you?
I started my career selling Auckland label Trish Gregory from a studio attached to my home. My mother inspired my love of fashion and my father educated me about business. While a lot has changed in fashion since then, what inspires me has remained the same – beautiful fabrics, great New Zealand design and of course our customers.
Lynn Woods is an iconic brand, how have you evolved the business, so it moves with the ever-changing times?
The business is continually evolving with social media, digital marketing and online shopping. Last year the online laybuy service for our customers launched – this enables them the ease and convenience of taking garments straight away and they can pay them off in monthly installments, a great service that is becoming increasingly popular.
Who is your style icon?
Iris Apfel. Iris is an American businesswoman, interior design and fashion icon. At 96 years old, Iris Apfel has a captive audience all over the world who celebrate and adore her memorable and quirky style.
What advice would you offer around personal style?
‘Wear everything with confidence’ is my style philosophy. Most importantly, remember tailoring, the measurement. Proportions make all the difference.
Uber hit the global market some time ago, revolutionising the transport industry overnight. Now we’re being spoon fed generous amounts of its culinary innovation via Uber Eats. Shattering glass ceilings in the tech industry, the Country Manager Emma Foley talks with Metropol about what it’s like to run one of the most iconic brands in the world.
The Uber Eats concept is revolutionary – what does it mean for the culinary industry in Christchurch?
Uber Eats offers Christchurch locals unprecedented convenience, selection and reliability to get the food they love, delivered to where they happen to be. There are currently more than 100 restaurants and more than 5,000 freshly prepared menu items available on the Uber Eats app.
Since we launched in October 2017 we’ve expanded the Uber Eats Christchurch service area by more than 55 percent. We covered 100 square kms at launch, and we now deliver to an area spanning 155 square kms.
How is Uber Eats harnessing the best of technological innovation?
Uber Eats is an on-demand food delivery app and website that helps bring millions of people around the world the food they want, at the tap of a button.
If you compare our platform to retailers who embraced the move to online and to customers wanting to use multiple channels, they are doing the best today. We are passionate about helping restaurants thrive. We do this by offering 24/7 support, access to innovative marketing campaigns, data about the meals they sell, and reliable access to delivery services.
Women in tech remains a hot topic given the gender imbalance across the industry – how does it feel to be the Country Manager for one of the world’s most recognisable tech companies?
I absolutely love my job and feel lucky to be surrounded by passionate people. Currently my manager and her manager are both female, so I feel lucky to have some great role models to look up to.
I would love to see even more women going into careers in technology. While the obvious path is continuing to study STEM subjects through school and university, it’s also great to realise that it’s never too late to give it a go. I’m a passionate member of our ‘WomANZ’ committee (our Australia and NZ women’s employee group). One of the projects is determining how we can use our skills and experience to encourage more young women into tech careers.
What does a day in your life look like?
There’s no typical day leading the Uber Eats NZ business, and it’s one of the things I love most about my role. I’d say my role is a 50/50 mix of people management and business strategy – but every day looks different!
I might start the day with a check-in meeting with my team, discussing our key business metrics and diving into any issues or project details. In the afternoon, you might find me on a call with a colleague in Brisbane talking about our virtual restaurant initiatives (where restaurants can run new brands out of one kitchen), a meeting with one of our large restaurant partners, then in a call with one of our product team in Singapore discussing the rollout of one of our new app features.
And of course, finding some time for emails! It takes a lot to stay on top of all the exciting things happening with Uber, so connecting with my colleagues around the world is a must.