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Shopping is not in her job description

Author: Rachel Healy, Communications Manager
One of the great things about working at The Dowse is you get to meet so many lovely, creative people. Not only The Dowse staff, but the myriad of artists, consultants and small business people we work with on a range of ventures. The concept of exploring new initiatives is embedded in our vision statement now and is real for most of us here. In order to achieve the high standards we aspire to, on the limited public purse, we must come up with new ways of doing things and seek partnerships to make it all happen. At The Dowse, we are fortunate to work in an environment where new ideas are welcomed and 'given a go'.

Recently, I swerved from my job description to get involved with ideas for improving The Dowse foyer and retail space – not only for my love of beautiful things but because I think of The Dowse as a welcoming and accessible public space, but perhaps the foyer, which has to fulfil a number of roles, is not as welcoming in its multi-tasking as it could be. In the last couple of months, I have been working with Mary Daish, a Wellington architect, discussing ways to improve the layout of the foyer as well as those 'in between spaces' where you may just want to sit, read a magazine or hang out with a friend. With the shop in mind, I have met up with Wellington designer Sarah Maxey who is creating graphics to use for labels, signage and merchandising (perhaps one of her last commissions before a move to the UK). I am also excitedly awaiting a package of embroidery kits created just for The Dowse shop by Australian designer Tamara Maynes; one based on the pebble dog that used to sit in the foyer. I love dealing with our talented suppliers; last Friday I got to have a cup of tea with potter Katherine Smyth in her Lyall Bay studio and choose a box of beautiful cups and bowls for the shop; recently Alice Berry popped in with her parents from Tauranga, it was great fun to meet the women behind Smash Palace and it's always a pleasure to correspond with Helen from Tinch Design, to name just a few. Not a bad diversion – Happy shopping.

Rachel Healy, Communications Manager

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