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, 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 Ōtautahi, Christchurch, she had a very clear vision. This wasn’t to be any old shop. This was to be a celebration of New Zealand made daily wares designed with both delight and durability in mind. 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. 

Since then, Frances Nation has earned a loyal following of locals and visitors alike who know that items purchased here are made to love and made to last. In 2020, Frances Nation grew with the addition of Frances Nation Grocer. The home and lifestyle shop is located upstairs and the grocer can be found just beneath it. 

Nestled in the beautifully restored Christchurch Arts Centre on 28 Worcester Boulevard, Frances Nation (named after Tessa’s grandmother) sells useful goods made by New Zealand artisans and manufacturers, all of 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 goods. 

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. Explore the carefully organized shelves and discover, knives made by Peter Lorimer in Omakau, McKinlay’s shoes which have been made in Dunedin since 1879, Temuka pottery, handmade leather belts and so much more. Every item at Frances Nation holds its own and will make a welcome addition to your own home or an excellent gift to be loved for years to come. 

While you shop you might notice the scent of freshly baked bread, just brewed coffee and other delights wafting up the stairs from below. At Frances Nation Grocer you can grab a flatwhite (or whatever your go to is), lunch and do a quick shop, too. Here you’ll find locally produced pantry items like cheese, eggs, honey, jams, bottled fruits, flour, vinegar, olive oil - all of the little things that can elevate your home cooking in no time flat. The tidy shelves and colourful products are a joy to explore and make beautiful, thoughtful gifts, too. You’ll also find Kiwi faves here like fresh fruit ice cream and other picnic-ready options. So pop in, choose a few treats and take them across the road to the Botanic Gardens for a uniquely local afternoon.

From breads to baskets, soap to salves, treats to trinkets - the very best of NZ made can all be found here. If you can’t make it to this special brick and mortar shop, browse the full collection online, with free shipping to all of Aotearoa.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

The Arts Centre Level 1, Christchurch

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