by Helen Martin
Situated at the north end of town, the Commercial Rd shop Bub & Up is a treasure trove of new and pre-loved babies’ and childrens’ clothing, toys and an eclectic range of wall hangings, cushions, towels, sheets, books and furniture. Owner Linda Lewis is proud of the quality of her stock and of her realistic prices.
Although when she opened her shop three years ago Linda had not had her own shop before, she’d had many years’ retail management experience at St Lukes’ K Mart and the Westgate Bendon outlet. She had also learned a lot about retail working in Real Estate. Linda’s lifetime experience as a seamstress includes making babies, childrens’ and ski clothes for Auckland businesses, and at home she’s always had more than one project on the go, from overalls for her racing car driver father to bags, curtains, bedspreads, wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses and caravan fit-outs – no sewing project is too daunting for Linda to take on. “My grandmas taught me to crochet, sew and knit and there’s art in the family so it was just natural to me to be able to make anything from scratch. I’ve also always loved finding treasures and up scaling and reinventing them,” Linda says. “I’ll see something I think I can save and I’ll fix it and bring it back to life.”
When she opened her shop Linda planned to sell just pre-loved clothing and other items for babies and children, but since then the range has grown, with some adult clothing also available and new garments like baby hats, bootees and jackets, some of which are made to order by Linda’s knitters. A newborn has just received a burgundy and gold hat, for example, ordered by parents mad on Harry Potter. Sewing new items sometimes Linda will be inspired by a piece of fabric – like the Spider Man skirts that are her latest creation, the fabulous Bob Marley cushion she made from a vintage tee shirt and lovely bags she created from woollen blankets.
A request to shorten some trousers for a customer quickly led to the much-needed alteration and repair service, which provides Linda with a lot of satisfaction. “I like challenges, like the time I repaired a horse nosebag and then was able to make the customer a couple more from off cuts using the original one for a pattern. I’ll give anything a go.”
Bub & Up is open on Saturdays from 10am – 2pm and Tuesday to Friday 10am – 5pm.
You can see some of the items for sale on Facebook at Bub & Up. Contact phone 09 411 7174 and 0211425508.
by Helen Martin