In celebration of our new Te Aro stockist, Caughley, we sat down with founder and buyer, Rachael Caughley to learn a little more about how her chic boutique began, her favourite trends for the new season and her must do's when in Wellington.
The lovely Rachael Caughley in her eponymous Wellington boutique, Caughley.
Tell us the story about Caughley - how did it all begin?
I studied in Dunedin and I had a part time job working at Slick Willys, and I loved working there so much! I then ended up as an account manager in Shanghai helping western brands sell online in China. And that made me think I wanted to be back on the shop floor helping everyday people feel great it what they wear. If I was going to be on a shop floor I thought it may as well be on my own!
What designers do you carry (aside from us, of course!)
We carry Wynn Hamlyn, Georgia Alice, Maggie Marilyn as our main NZ higher end designers and then we do Stateside, great denim, Citizens of Humanity and Current Elliot. We stock Rebe and Chaos and Harmony for shoes. Ganni, and HOPE are our biggest international brands. French brand American Vintage. Equipment Shirts, CAUGHLEY - the list goes on!
How do you decide on the brands and specific pieces you select for your clients?
I really try to make sure there is a range of price points in here. Next year we are going to start stocking a classic NZ brand Standard Issue which I am really excited about - I want to wear my GA blazer with a $289 merino jersey underneath.
Yes, we have high end glamour in here but I don't want to lose sight of what real NZ women need in their wardrobe - and that is great basics that slightly elevate you. I'd like to think I have something for everyone in here. My dream is to be a boutique department store like Merci or Colette in Paris.
LR: The beautiful stained glass windows at Caughley flood in the light; a few of our Olympia pieces on display in store.
What do you love most about your work?
The people and the product! I love working with Jen, Sue, my Mum, I love being able to surround myself with such positive "can-do" people. And I honestly am so inspired by my customers. The product still gets me excited when I unwrap something beautiful. It's still a buzz.
Let's talk about your Wellington favourites - who does the best coffee?
Swimsuit in town and for a local, Empire Cinema in Island Bay. Buster does the best Havana flat white.
Top brunch spot?
Prefab for the atmosphere, muesli, & Bridget. Or The Larder in Miramar.
Best place for a date?
A drink at Laundry and then dinner at Havana.
The perfect weekend outfit: Georgia Alice Space Dye Turtle Neck, available at Caughley, our Olympia Beitris Necklace and Allegria Stacker Rings,
Citizens of Humanity Charlotte Jeans, with brunch at Rachael's favourite spot, Prefab (feat. their unbeatable fresh sourdough!)
Where will you be on a Friday night with the girls?
Puffin. It's just across the road from CAUGHLEY - dangerous!
Best way to while away a Sunday afternoon?
A big walk, either the Pukerua Bay to Paekakariki escarpment track, or the Tip Track, which doesn't sound nice, but once you get to the top the views are amazing and you come out at red rocks, and walk along the south coast. On a clear day you'll see the South Island with snow on the mountains. Followed by fish and chips and a beer in the sun!
How would you describe the Caughley style?
Effortless, fun, elevated.
How about your own style?
Probably the same! But honestly somedays I want to wear vans, boyfriend jeans and the most grunge t-shirt I can find. And other days, I feel like wearing something very feminine. So I am a bit all over the show! I just dress for the mood I am in that morning. But contrast is key. The diamonds with the grunge t-shirt, the faded jeans with a Georgia Alice or WYNN blazer. I love to mix things it keeps it cool and less predictable.
Who are your top three inspiring instagram accounts to follow?
@blancamiro - she's just cool. @archdigest for interiors, and @sagliogeraldine for that sexy french style.
What should everyone be buying this season?
Everyone should buy a pair of Charlottes in La Luna by Citizens of humanity. A pale denim jean. They look great in summer dressed up or down. I'm going to invest in the melon halter neck from Maggie Marilyn as I have a few Weddings this summer and it screams just good times on the dance floor!
What are your grail beauty products for warmer weather?
Environ Sunblock, a hat & lots of water...!
Rachael's late night haunts: Laundry Bar, Puffin Wine Bar, and Havana Bar. Shop our after dark must-haves - The Olympia Babette Cocktail Ring and Buena Earrings.
Are there any future plans for Caughley that you can reveal?
We are constantly evolving our brand list and there maybe a new fit-out in the horizon! We have grown a lot in the last 4 years so we need to update our space to accommodate.
What do you love most about working in the fashion industry?
Its ever changing nature.
And finally, what are your favourite pieces from our collection available at Caughley?
The Olympia Bietris Necklace and Babette Ring!