New Main St store named top Wellington shop

Supreme winner: Rasha Taylor in her Main St shop with some of her wedding dresses and ballgowns.
Supreme winner: Rasha Taylor in her Main St shop with some of her wedding dresses and ballgowns.

It has been an awarding weekend for Upper Hutt people and business.

But probably no-one was more surprised than Rasha Taylor whose Main St business Rasha Taylor Couture took out the supreme Wellington Top Shop title after winning the Paymark Start Up award for a new business.

It is most unusual for a new business to win the supreme award.

Mrs Taylor was one of three finalists for the new business award.

She had just returned to her table at the awards function in Wellington on Friday evening from receiving the Start Up award when her name was called again as the overall winner.

It was "quite a shock".

Judging included mystery shoppers who reported back to competition organisers that the consultations with Mrs Taylor were friendly, informative and demonstrated high product knowledge.

Mrs Taylor, who jointly owns the business with husband Steve Taylor, a double bass player with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, works 70 hours a week giving specialist styling advice, designing and often making gowns for balls of various levels of formality, plus wedding and bridesmaid dresses and outfits for the mothers of the bride and groom.

She began the business in 2011, working from home until moving to Main St opposite The Mall.

Her customers come from around the lower North Island and she has also made gowns for Australian brides.

Her design services are booked out 16-18 months in advance and she is currently taking bookings for garments required after April 2014.

But she also has a range of ready made garments for sale at her shop for those who can't wait.

Meanwhile, in the Westpac Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards nine Upper Hutt firms are in the finals.

They are: Real Steel (manufacturing), Driving Miss Daisy Upper Hutt (professional services), Medent Medical (professional services), Upper Hutt Veterinary Hospital (professional services), The Pet Centre (retail), Quickstart Auto Electrical (trade services), Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club (tourism and hospitality), KTea (sustainhability) and Genevieve McLachlan of Adaptive Technology Solutions (leadership).

Upper Hutt Posse is a finalist in the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and Upper Hutt College student Connor Masseurs will be in the first semifinal of New Zealand's Got Talent on TV One this Sunday evening. Public voting will help choose grand finalists. After the show text your favourite to 8981.

(Live Matches)