Nieuwe kledingwinkel voor vervloekte Nelson cafe-sitmaart 12, 2020
MARTIN DE RUYTER
Robyn Reynolds is moving her fashion business from Bridge St, to the former Flock Cafe building in Church St, Nelson.
A Nelson clothing designer is aiming to break the curse of a Church Street store.
The site of former Flock Board Cafe and Bar is making way for Robyn Reynolds boutique women’s fashion after a string of cafes have failed to succeed in the building slightly off the beaten track in Nelson’s CBD.
The board game cafe shut up shop without warning in January.
Robyn Reynolds, the owner behind the label of the same name, said the move to the new site felt like she was going home.
“I feel like I belong in Church Street.”
The move wasn’t something Reynolds had planned, she said, but it all just “fell into place”.
“When Stella and Thomas [from Volume] moved into Church St, I said to Stella if anything came up in Church St I’d be keen.”
That was three years ago.
The designer has been down an alleyway off Bridge St for about seven years, breathing life into the building she said had been “vacant for ages”.
And despite having no shop front, she said she “made it work”.
“So I can make it work even more, being more exposed.”
“I like places that are either in cool streets, or you have to go down an alley way to find it – that really appeals to me.”
Before she settled on the Bridge Street lane premises, Reynolds had been in a few places in the CBD, starting off at the Nelson Market 21 years ago.
Another site in Bridge Street was her first store until it was pulled down, forcing her to move to Bank Lane where she occupied two different stores at separate stages of her career.
She said nobody was down the lane leading into Montgomery Square “for years” but it had recently been revived with a funky vibe of clothing stores.
Reynolds is not going it alone in the Church St premises, taking her sewer and cutter with her, Henri Cook, from The Grey Door Alteration Service, currently down the road from Reynolds.
“It will be a little hub. She’ll be down the hallway – it will work well having her on the premises.”
She said having a bigger space to work with meant she would be able to branch out with other items including jewellery and cardigans by the Australian sustainable conscious label Lazybones which are stocked by the women’s clothing store, Frock and Soul on Hardy Street.
“Everyone I’ve spoken down Church St is really rapt – I’ll just fit in like a little jigsaw piece.”
Reynolds will officially open her new store on April 1.
Meanwhile, Frock and Soul is closing its doors after opening nearly four years ago.
Frock and Soul owner Jenni Richardson is moving back to England to be with her family, she said.
And while she’s ending on a happy note with a closing down sale going better than she thought it would, she said retailers in Nelson were doing it hard.
“I’m going on a new adventure [but] there’s still the retailers in Nelson who need a lot more support.”
She said many customers told her they would rather drive to Richmond for their shopping where there’s free parking rather than paying for parking in town.
Frock and Soul will close its doors in three to five weeks during March, depending on when stock was emptied.
She said clothing was selling quicker than expected.
“When it’s gone, it’s gone, and so am I.”