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Customers welcomed with open arms for retail therapy


A new homeware and apparel store in Paeroa is putting its name into practise by providing people with a place to shop without inhibition or apprehension.

Retail Therapy opened (behind AON Insurance) at the corner of Belmont Rd and Hughenden St on November 18, and owner Jodie Phillips hopes it is a destination for all.

“It’s a shop full of the things we love to buy,” she said.

The phrase ‘Retail Therapy’ comes from purchasing items to improve a mood, but as a shopper herself, Jodie knows that not all shopping experiences are created equal.

“In my younger days, I was a beach brand shopper, but after having kids and being fuller-figured, I found it’s really hard to source the stuff that you want in the size that you want,” she said.

“There’s nothing more disappointing than walking into a shop, seeing something you love, and you put it on and it doesn’t fit.

“I think we all have the right to look and feel good.”

It is for that reason that Jodie has tried to stock a lot of one-size-fits-all clothing options, in styles

that are flattering to all body shapes.

Brands include Isle of Mine, eb&ive and HAVEN, and in the New Year she is hoping to have a wider apparel range in fuller figure sizes.

“It’s a shop where I’d like everyone to feel welcome, because sometimes it can be intimidating going into a store and trying stuff on.

“I’d like that kind of destination experience where you come and spend time and have a chat.”

There’s also plenty of lovely furnishings and home décor to look at.

Retail Therapy has been a long-running dream for Jodie, and the Covid-19 pandemic allowed her to gain perspective.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for a couple of years, and I saw the opportunity and I thought: ‘I need to do this. The timing is right’.

“It was about not waiting.  All I did was ask myself what was the worst that could happen if this

didn’t succeed?”

She and her husband Bruiser also own and run their logging crew, Bruiser Contracting, and they, along with their two children Holly and Karlos, moved down to Paeroa from Whangarei in 2013.

Brought up in Whangamata, for Jodie it was like “coming home”.

“There was self doubt that crept in, but I’ve got supportive friends and family” she said.

“I’m wondering if some people walked past when I was working on the building and thought ‘she’s crazy’ – I would love to say thank you to those who stopped and chatted and gave me encouragement, because some days it was just when I needed it,” she said.  

And being in the logging industry, although a stark contrast to the soft furnishings and quality fabrics of the store, taught Jodie a thing or two.

“It’s given me confidence,” she said.

“I have always been pretty shy, so I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone, but I do love talking to people, and I really care about people, and I think [Retail Therapy] will evolve into whatever it’s meant to be.

“This is just the start.”

Retail Therapy is open from Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-2pm and will do Private Appointments if you wish to shop outside of these hours.


PHOTO: Retail Therapy has been a long-running dream for Jodie Phillips, and the Paeroa store had its official opening on November 18.