Frances Nation

Monday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Tuesday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Wednesday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Thursday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Friday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Saturday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Sunday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

The Arts Centre Level 1/28 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch

022 383 2545

When interior and event designer Tessa Peach first made the decision to return from London to open a shop in her hometown of Christchurch, she had a very clear vision in mind. This wasn’t to be any old shop. This was to be Frances Nation – a celebration of New Zealand made daily wares, each with a story to tell and a purpose in the home.

Nestled in the beautifully restored Boys High building of the Christchurch Arts Centre on Worcester Boulevard, Frances Nation (named after Tessa’s grandmother) sells useful goods made by New Zealand artists and makers, all which have been personally scouted out by Tessa. From potato mashers to tool boxes, hand thrown ceramics to harakeke baskets and hand forged fire pokers, the shop is full of made-to-last things and is much loved by anyone who comes into contact with it.

The bones of the shop itself are beautiful, with the original gothic revival styled windows providing lots of light, thick concrete walls creating a temperate climate and every furnishing detail from the centre table (remodelled from her father’s jewellery business’ market stand) to the concrete base sellotape dispenser carefully thought out by Tessa. The aroma of beeswax, handmade soaps and candles alone are enough to lure anyone up the beautiful wooden Arts Centre stairs, and once there, the space is very hard to leave.

Tessa estimates that it took about two years of research, conversations with makers and travel before she opened the doors of Frances Nation in October 2017, and anyone who visits the store will agree, it’s been well worth the wait.

Words by Jane Lyons & Photography by Nancy Zhou

The Arts Centre Level 1/28 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch

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