Kat Kemp knows how to make a fashion statement and her new Little Wing Boutique store in Riverton is possibly her best yet.
Since a teenager in the early 1980s she shunned all the trendy clothes and started op-shopping for more interesting pieces instead.
At her first high school social she wore her father’s fire brigade jersey and some hobnail boots.
Nowadays her personal collection features an entire scotch chest full of rock band t-shirts from way back.
“If anything I’m a bit of a t-shirt hoarder.”
She loves vintage retro clothing and her new store also features a selection of jewellery, art, records and furniture from the 1970s and 80s.
“I’m a wee bit more eclectic in my style but a bit of a bogan at heart.”
Her first pre-loved fashion shop in Invercargill 10 years ago was on Spey St and then she opened another one down Centre St, before moving to a bigger space.
Then there was a stint at the Wrights Bush Community Market for a couple of years, and three months ago she opened in Riverton.
“This had always been a bit of a dream but I just took the bull by the horns,” she said.
She sources her clothing and accessories from scouting around op-shops from Invercargill to Dunedin, as well as online, but personally likes to be able to see what she is buying first.
“I have been really blessed and had a lot of people donating stuff.”
While not a “label basher,” she does stock a few good New Zealand brands as well such as NomD, but tries to keep her prices reasonable.
“You don’t need a tonne of money to look good. And it’s about sustainability as well.”
Jackets and dresses were big sellers and she also makes her own jewellery to sell in the shop – adding a personal touch.
Kat has many strings to her bow, starting out in Christchurch studying Fibre Arts before becoming a glass artist, then making jewellery and there was also a stint as a hairdresser.
She said Riverton was starting to have a real following of regular shoppers now that the main street was filled with different quirky businesses – many of which were open on Sundays.
“I like to keep it real and have had so much positive feedback.”
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Visit Little Wing Boutique at 130 Palmerston Street, Riverton or follow on Facebook page.