Frances Nation has come to be a must-visit destination for those embarking on a shopping spree in Christchurch. Housed within the historic Arts Centre and also with an online store, it is a showcase of the talent and skill possessed by makers in Aotearoa – all of the store’s products are crafted in New Zealand.
Tessa Peach established Frances Nation in 2017, naming it for her grandmother, a woman who valued functionality and quality in all things. Peach studied spatial design in Wellington and, over the years, developed an interest in community-oriented design – designing spaces or events that are about bringing people together – particularly in response to the Christchurch earthquakes. A stint in London gave her inspiration for the impact that ethical, creative retail can have 8 on a city and, upon her return, Frances Nation was born.
The selection of goods demonstrates the diversity of design and artisanal craft in Aotearoa. In the past couple of years, Frances Nation has commissioned a number of exclusive products in collaboration with some of Peach’s favourite makers, from hand-woven baskets to coloured lambskin slippers to rimu egg holders.
LOCALLY MADE MUST-HAVES
1. Slippers made in Geraldine
2. Egg holder made in Christchurch
3. Hanging wire basket made in Christchurch
4. Steel bookends made on the Kāpiti Coast
5. Braided leather dog lead made in Moeraki
6. Navy linen apron made in Whangārei
7. Potato masher made in West Melton
8. Hand-forged key hook made in West Melton
9. Camp toaster made in Auckland
10. Santoku knife made in Waiuku.