Curious new shop opening

Opening preparations . ..Curious Clothing owner Renee Hodge is fitting out her new shop in Gordon Rd. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Moving a clothing shop to “booming” Mosgiel was a “no-brainer”, its owner says.

Curious Clothing owner Renee Hodge said the clothing shop was based in Milton when she bought it as a going concern in February.

She and her husband – diesel mechanic Greg Hodge – were now fitting out a shop in Gordon Rd to relocate the business.

“It was a no-brainer to bring it here.”

The plan was to open the new shop next week.

Rather then “starting from scratch” she bought the Milton business because it had a “really good name”, performed well financially and it was a destination shop.

Many people from across Otago and Southland travelled to shop there – a customer base she was “quietly confident” would remain.

A reason for moving to business to Mosgiel was because the town was “booming’.

The new shop – which is 9m-long and 3.5m-wide – was smaller than she had hoped, but it was the only suitable space available to lease in the town centre at the time.

“We’ll make it work.”

She had no retail experience but “loved clothes” and had employed five part-time staff members, who all lived in Mosgiel, to work in the shop.

The launch of the new shop had stalled because of the pandemic.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse, but we’ve just had to roll with it.”

A positive of the pandemic was that more people were deciding to support local businesses rather than buy from a chain store.

“I’m really optimistic.”

The shop sold clothing from mostly New Zealand designers and included goods such as shoes and handbags.

The vision for the shop was to provide a mix of “elegance and romance” – a “beautiful and little bit glam” experience to make the customer feel “special”.

Mrs Hodge was born and raised on the Taieri, but lived overseas for many years, and met her husband, – who was raised in Ranfurly – in Thailand, before she returned home to settle and raise a family.

“I wouldn’t be anywhere else – I love it.”