Fairy doors find big market

Another world: Karin Brown and Stephen McEwen make "fairy doors" using found objects and recycled timber.
Another world: Karin Brown and Stephen McEwen make "fairy doors" using found objects and recycled timber.

If you believe in fairies, a Titahi Bay couple is offering entry into the fairy world.

Stephen McEwen and Karin Brown have created more than 1000 ornate fairy doors since McEwen came up with the idea after making daughters Anabelle, 6, and Kadie, 5, a door for a fairies' tea party in the garden three years ago.

"He made a couple of doors for our garden – which are still out there – and friends saw them and thought they were really cool, so we made them for friends," Brown says.

McEwen says the fairy doors allow people to believe in magic, no matter how old they are.

What began as a hobby quickly grew into a cottage industry and these days McEwen spends most evenings and weekends in the garage making doors, while Brown manages online communication and requests.

Their business, Imagination Doors, has more than 1600 likes on Facebook and doors have been sent around the world, to places including Switzerland, Ireland, Australia and Canada.

Brown says the feedback they receive from customers makes all the hard work worth it.

"People tell us amazing stories about the impact fairies have on their lives. We both really enjoy bringing joy to people's lives, bringing love."

McEwen has almost 30 years' building experience, and says making the doors allows his imagination to run wild.

He has a particular interest in Irish folklore fairies, ones which create mischief, and Labyrinth-style goblins.

"I don't want to lose that imagination. Magic is still around and I like that idea. Although it's not true, it's imagination."

The tattooed McEwen says he often plays Iron Maiden while he's making the dainty, glittery doors. "People look at me and not even have the faintest idea that's what I would do. It's cool to be not an example of what people perceive, with tattoos and that."

The doors can be made to order, with elaborate designs and themes, which is what he enjoys doing best, he says.

"He's a builder by trade and an artist by heart," Brown says.

The couple created a fairy walk around Titahi Bay by the beach, where families can search out the ornate other-worldly doors.

They have also been installed in children's playgrounds and cafes around Wellington including Martha's Pantry, Memphis Belle and Fidels.


To see more, visit imaginationdoors.co.nz

The Dominion Post