From Queenstown to Hokitika

Hokitika's Hidden Gem Focusing on Local Artisans

Two years ago, Ely Stuart decided to leave behind the hustle and bustle of Queenstown and return to the West Coast.

Having spent years in the fast-paced world of retail, Ely yearned for a change. "I ended up downsizing my life quite a lot coming from a background in retail," she explains.

"When I came here, I needed to downsize my wardrobe space because I bought a tiny house," she said.

With limited wardrobe space in her tiny home, Ely began her entrepreneurial journey by joining local markets in Kumara and Greymouth, where her unique offerings garnered attention and positive feedback.

Encouraged by the response, she took a leap of faith and found a small premise in Hokitika to realise her vision.

Rata and Rose was born.

The boutique has become a hub for locally crafted products and jewellery - a platform to showcase the work of talented local artists.

Ely's inspiration for the store's name stems from her deep connection to the natural beauty of the West Coast.

“The driftwood that I find on the beach is my favourite – Rata.”

Rata, a native tree, represents the locally sourced products that fill the shelves of her boutique. The Rose, introduced but beloved, symbolises the second-hand clothing she’s collected from all over.

Rata and Rose truly encapsulates Ely's commitment to promoting sustainability and supporting local artisans.

When asked about her favourite aspects of coastal life, Ely speaks fondly of the close-knit community and the proximity to nature. "We’ve got the bush on our back doorstep. We've got the beach on the front, and it's just a really nice pace of life, which is what I was looking for," she reflects.

For Ely, thriving on the Coast requires resourcefulness and a love for life's simple pleasures. Rata and Rose embodies these values, offering visitors a unique experience that reflects Hokitika's coastal community.

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