Tara Kim at OLIVIA shop

Newmarket locals - Tara Kim from OLIVIA

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Nestled amongst Teed Street's hospo hot-spots and boutique stores sits OLIVIA, a contemporary space with an offering of classic, cool and unique pieces that reflect the fashion fusion of Korean and New Zealand trends. We spoke to OLIVIA's director and owner Tara Kim to find out a little bit more about her experience in the fashion industry and her favourite part about having a store in Newmarket.

N. Tell us a little bit about how you got into the fashion industry?

I grew up in a 3rd generation textile family business environment, I’ve dreamt of being a fashion designer since I was young. My whole family is in the industry so it is something we always talk about when we are together. I love to dress myself up and used to style my friends, then I naturally got into and studied fashion design. My grandmother and mum were real business women so I think I learnt from them a lot about being a business woman.

N. Was it a natural progression to want to open up a retail space?

After I finished studying fashion and graphic design, I didn’t have a chance to work in the industry. Then me and my husband started selling jewellery and clothing at the Takapuna Sunday market. It went really well and then I decided to open a store when the opportunity came up.




N. Who is the OLIVIA customer?

Our customer is interested in the Korean fashion trends and are usually looking for something outside of the usual mainstream New Zealand brands.

N. Coming into the warmer summer months, what is on your trend radar at the moment?

I am focusing on lots of colours and adding statement jewellery for this summer.


N. Having a fusion of New Zealand and Korean styles and trends, what goes into deciding on the ranges/ pieces you put into the store?

I take a look at international and Korean fashion trends but I also think about New Zealand fashion before I pick the range. I then decide what elements and colours I am going to add to my ranges. But it really depends on my personal taste and choice.


N. Do you find yourself travelling quite a lot for buying? How does this contribute to the creative side of the fashion/retail business for you?

I go to Korea for buying twice a year and I try to go to see other countries to inspire me as well.
In Korea, my family are still in the fashion industry so it is exciting to see the trends coming through and being able to view collections in advance.


N. What do you love most about having a store in Newmarket?

Newmarket is a premier shopping district in Auckland. From high-end boutique and fashion stores, we are proud to be one of them.
Also, our customers are very open, they are willing to try new things.

N. In terms of juggling a business and a busy life, what is the best piece of advice you have received?

Think about why we work hard and what for.
 I have two kids and my husband runs a business as well so we need work-life balance. It has been hard work finding balance, so now we work hard when we are at the workspace but fully focus on family when we get home. We also respect each other’s work situation and try to support as much as we can.

12 Teed Street | olivianz.com