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Homewares Legacy

Written by Margo Berryman

A new chapter has opened for Wānaka homewares & furniture company Brown & Co. Home after a recent name change and brand transformation has revitalised the long-established family business.

“It was time to refresh our original name Janet Brown, which my mother established over 25 years ago, and step into a new era for the business,” says owner Anna Young. “I wanted to ensure my mother’s legacy was reflected in the new name while bringing a new lease of life to the brand.”

The well-known furniture and homewares retailer has grown substantially over the past two decades garnering a national following for its unique, imported furniture and homewares sourced from some of the world’s most intrepid locations.

“My mother, Janet Brown, established the business importing furniture and homewares in 1995 when I was 18-years-old. She started out importing and selling goods from her Wānaka garage and then began travelling to Asia and Indonesia on buying trips seeking out one-of-a-kind antiques, character pieces and homewares.”

“ I loved going along on the trips with my Mum spending time in these amazing countries with her exploring back alleyways and meeting many of the artists and local families she forged relationships with. As the business evolved and the opportunity arose to take it over, I knew all of these exclusive places and suppliers to source homewares from which we continue our relationship with today.”

Anna has a flair for interior design and recently sold her other store Tussocks Homeware to concentrate on the day-to-day operations of the Brown & Co. Home large emporium on Wānaka’s Ballantyne Road. She has also recently launched its new online store. 

“Although our name has evolved, our values and philosophy remain the same as my mothers with the only difference being we now import ant multiple containers, rather than cartons of gorgeous homewares and furniture from around the world,” says Anna.

Character Furniture Instore

Brown & Co. Home is relishing the arrival of multiple new shipments full of exotic homewares & furniture.

The store’s large emporium of over 350 square metres is like a treasure trove says owner Anna Young 

“Three containers of furniture and homewares recently landed in Wānaka and we unpacked over 150 cubic metres of new stock directly into store. It all gets stacked on top of each other creating alleyways of furniture that our customers love exploring.”

“One of the containers was filled with our own Hamptons linen slipcover sofas made from beautiful 100% linen Italian fabric in our hand selected colours. Another had over 100 larger furniture pieces such as cabinets, shelves, tables, boxes, benches and large coffee tables.”

Anna says most of the furniture items are unique individual pieces and not reproduction – each has its own character which is hugely appealing to the New Zealand market.

“Some cabinets are over 100-years-old and sanded back to a beautiful, light white dry finish while others feature high gloss colours that are also popular. I like to showcase unique and special finds that you won’t see in other New Zealand stores and because we are the direct importer with no middleman our pricing is very competitive.

Woven baskets, mirrors, bowls, lamps, placemats, cushions, stools, bedside tables, and ceramics are sought after homewares and one item that continues to be very popular are the white wooden rabbits designed by Anna’s mother Janet.

“I can’t believe how popular our rabbits are after all these years – they are very cool. I am always seeing them in home and garden magazines, in holiday houses and even restaurants around the country,” says Anna. “They pop up everywhere.”

About the author

Margo Berryman