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TRACY NEAL
Last updated 15:55 08/04/2014
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Coastal Merchant store moves on

Bridge St design store Coastal Merchant has packed up and left town, but its trademark Kiwi kitsch household wares and artefacts are still available online.

The premises have been taken over by a new store Vibe. Coastal merchant co owner Chris Tupu said Nelson had been good to the business in the 6 years he and his wife Tania had been operating in the city.

The couple have now moved to Wellington.

"We had a loyal following but we've got a 2-year-old now and another baby due in a few weeks."

The couple are originally from Wellington and plan to build up the brand's burgeoning wholesale business. They also wanted to be closer to family, and also to a key customer, Te Papa.

They will also be running trade shows for Ngai Tahu. The store in Nelson also sold Tania Tupu jewellery, which will now be sold online, and will continue to be sold through Vibe.

"We'd like to thank everyone who has supported us. Our soft furnishings, cushions, teatowels and lighting will still be available through the website," Chris Tupu said.

Vibe seeks public input

Nelson newcomers Nick and Kay Catling are the names behind new Bridge St Store Vibe, which is set to become an example of interactive retailing in Nelson.

The couple are still in the throes of setting up the giftware store, and they're keen to hear from the public about what they might want to see sold there.

"We're contemplating a suggestion box for people to drop in their ideas. We're hoping to be open for Easter, but we're asking people to bear with us for now, while we use the winter to see what works," Kay Catling said.

The couple have been retailing in Britain for 20 years, and have moved their family to Nelson after touring New Zealand.

They plan to stock gifts made of upcycled, fair trade materials and New Zealand-sourced items.

Couple start automotive business

A former Tauranga automotive specialist who moved to Nelson nine years ago for better weather, has set up a new business in Vanguard St.

Husband-and-wife team Dean and Karen Fulton have just opened Fulton Automotive at 142 Vanguard St, and aim to keep the operation small so overheads don't get too hefty.

The Fultons used to own a workshop in Tauranga, but decided to move to Nelson for a better climate.

"It's too windy in Tauranga. You get postcard views some days a year, but you get them here most days."

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Cycling opportunities here were also a big drawcard. Dean Fulton said while Nelson had 20-30 mechanics shops, there were about 20,000 vehicles which "all had to go somewhere".

"The trade is in my family and I've gone on and off the idea of running a business again, then this building came up. The location is right and it's a good area."

Celebrating Nelson successes

The Institute of IT Professionals is keen to share some Nelson success stories in the sector, because there are ICT innovations in this region that should be celebrated.

Three examples are FuseIT, SnapIT HD and Cold Storage Nelson.

Representatives of each organisations will give a 15-20 minute presentation on what they do, how they do it at a function at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology on April 8.

There will also be an update on Gigatown with Gavin Gallot from Telecom giving a 10 minute update on Gen-I in the region.

Head to room M307 at the NMIT campus, Alton St, on Tuesday, April 8, from 3.30pm-5.30pm.

- Nelson

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