Fashion store fulfils dream

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 12:00 16/08/2012
Hayley MacDonald
EMMA ALLEN

RAG TRADE: Sisters Anna Armstrong, left, and Hayley MacDonald are opening a fashion store in the same spot as their mother did 20 years earlier.

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It will be a dream come true for Hayley MacDonald when she opens a women's fashion store on the ground floor of the Forum in Blenheim.

Having a keen eye for fashion trends is something she shares with her four sisters and her mother Bronny Brownlee, who started up the Blenheim Jean Jones franchise in the very same store in 1993.

Mrs MacDonald said the store will be named No.4 Boutique, which will stock a wide range of clothing in sizes 6 to 18 and accessories and handbags.

"It's something I've always wanted to do and after staying at home with four children for 12 years, the time is right.

"It's incredibly exciting, but it will be full on juggling everything, so I've got my sister Anna on board to help."

Mrs Brownlee said her daughters "picked up a fair bit of the rag trade" when they used to help out at Jean Jones.

When Mrs MacDonald returned to Blenheim after living away for 13 years - she is married to former All Black Leon MacDonald - she missed the variety she had become accustomed to.

One of her favourite stores, global fashion house Zara, which has a huge range of clothing to suit most budgets, has inspired her, she said.

Mrs MacDonald has managed to source a range of fashion labels, from overseas and New Zealand - such as Adidas Originals, Lorna Jane, Mimosa and Honey and Beau - and jewellery from House of Harlow.

Sourcing stock has been a challenge but many stockists have travelled to Blenheim to showcase their stock. Buying the first season of stock before the shop has even opened has taken a large chunk of capital, but she is positive there is a market for her fashion line in Marlborough, she said.

She wants to stock clothing suitable for all Marlborough women from sportswear, smart casual and evening wear.

Because Blenheim is a small town, she has been careful to keep certain styles to a minimum number and colour.

"There's nothing worse than going to a wedding and someone is wearing the same dress as you," she said.

"I've always been a shopper, I love to browse and I loved picking all the clothing - it will be challenging not to buy all the stock I order in."

The sisters take over the shop space of what is currently the Dressing Room on September 17 and will be opening in October.

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- The Marlborough Express

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