Kindred Road is a homewares and furniture store built on the journey of furniture for celebrations and events.
Also the owner of well-known furniture hire company Flock Events, Alice has curated a furniture collection that captures all the best parts of her and her husband's hire company, allowing it for enjoyment in homes.
Kindred Road brings together local, domestic, and international makers of furniture, homewares and art into one place.
We focus on unique concepts and offerings and attempt to fill a void in the market with affordable, modern, ethical furniture.
WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO US?
Kindred Road aims to support local artisans wherever possible. Our homewares are ethical and sustainable, with most being made by local or Pacific artists. We aim to know the background of the brands we stock, or the places we source from. Our furniture, though made overseas, is made in warehouses and factories known and approved by us. We know the conditions in which our furniture is made. We use natural fabrics where possible, and where they aren't, we do our best to choose fabrics within the oeko-tex umbrella.
From our coffee to our products, it's important for us to support local wherever possible. Our coffee is roasted locally, and we aim to stock at least 75% of our products from Hawke's Bay or NZ based businesses or makers. When you buy from Kindred Road, you are either buying our own label, or that of a New Zealand company - and we think that's pretty special.
Kindred Road aims to always bring something new. Be it designs, colours, fabrics, or unique homewares, we have the goal of being different in the market. It's important to us to not saturate the NZ scene, or to copy others. We aim to be unique in as many ways as we can - even through our in-store experience. You'll notice the coffee cups are ceramic, made in Auckland. The cutlery is gold, and the lemonade is made from scratch. Everything we do, we do with thought. We care about the unique details.
Kindred Road's flagship store, showroom and café in Hastings is more than just brick and mortar for its founders.
Once the newsroom and printing plant for the Herald Tribune newspaper, the Tribune Complex located at 201 Queen Street East holds a family connection for Alice and Kris Sip, dating back decades.
“Two great-grandfathers on both my mother's and father's side used to work here,” Alice says.
“My great-grandfather, Jim Ward, was a linotypist and another great-grandfather, Emmett McIvor, was a racing reporter. It's quite amazing to now have a store in a spot that combines both lines of my heritage."
But they were drawn to the site - steeped in history and flooded with natural light - long before they knew a family connection existed.
“We knew we wanted to combine a showroom and café after spending time in both Toronto and the US, where Kris is from," Alice says. "We’d love going to grab a coffee at Starbucks within the Barnes and Noble bookstore, and then browse the shelves – it was a super relaxing thing to do."
"When we saw this spot at Tribune, we quickly realised it was the perfect place to capture the morning sun with a coffee in hand. Homewares and coffee seems like a match made in heaven to me, so we embarked on this journey and haven’t once looked back.”
The new offering boasts carefully designed luxury furniture, manufactured in small runs, sits alongside beautiful, contemporary homewares – with gastronomes Mitzi and Twinn running an onsite cafe serving nourishing salads, tasty sandwiches and homestyle baking.
With the success of their sister business, Flock – which does event styling and furniture hire – both Alice and Kris understand design, international trends and New Zealanders’ specific tastes.
Their appraising eye is evident not only on the shop floor, where plush sofas, elegant occasional tables and stylish ceramics sit alongside wicker baskets, crockery, and a small selection of clothing, but in the exposed steel beams, archways and polished concrete floors.
Words by Fiona Fraser