A passion for high-end, luxury clothing and goods has been the backbone of the retail business ethos for Delvine Wallace and Bruce Gibbs.
The savvy couple launched their first store in Arrowtown twenty-six years ago and have since created a thriving business, developing six stores in the Southern Lakes.
“It’s been an exciting journey since we first opened Wallace & Gibbs back in 1994,” says Bruce. “We’ve focused on creating fashion stores that fit our customers’ lifestyles and that’s reflected in the high-quality labels we sell.”
Their latest creating, Te Huia in Arrowtown, has recently expanded into Queenstown bringing its covetable collection of premium New Zealand and International brands to the resort.
“We have operated the Untouched World business in Queenstown for 17 years, for 12 years under a franchise model and the remainder as an independently operated store. Rebranding as Te Huia gives us scope to expand and increase the variety for our customers. We continue to stock the most extensive range of Untouched World garments locally alongside other leading New Zealand made sustainable designers.”
Located at No 1 The Mall and open from 9.00am until 10.00pm Te Huia attracts a discerning group of national and international visitors.
“The store benefits from its high-profile location in downtown Queenstown being part of the historic Eichardt’s building next to the lakefront. The shop is busy right through into evening and there’s always people popping in on the way to the airport to buy an item they have seen the day before.”
“Visitors recognise the level of craftsmanship that goes into our garments and appreciate the natural fibres in New Zealand made materials such as MerinoMink, Possumdown, Tolaga Bay Cashmere, Optimum Royal Merino and other unique blends.”
“One of the stand-out features of our Te Huia stores are the knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff who provide a personalised shopping experience whether it’s for clothing or gifts.”
Te Huia is also home to premium outdoor apparel brand Canada Goose, stocking the most extensive range in the Southern Hemisphere.
Bruce says it’s been a significant game changer for the business, with the brand sought after by people all over the world.
“We’re dedicated to bringing new product lines into this market and the uptake of Canada Goose has been exceptional. Visitors can purchase from current northern hemisphere ranges and the local market has been steadily growing as the range has increased.”
Te Huia Lives On
New Zealand’s extinct native songbird, Te Huia, was once prolific across the lower North Island and highly sought after for its long-curved beak and deep metallic blue and purple plumage. It was a quiet, graceful bird with pairs bonding for life and sacred to Maori, with only chiefs and their families wearing the distinctive white tipped tail feathers in their hair.
“We chose the name Te Huia for the stores because we were seeking a name that encompassed the mana and prestige of Aotearoa” says Bruce. “It also acknowledges Delvine’s Ngāi Tahu family heritage in the lower South Island.”