And the journey continues

And the journey continues

A move to larger premises in Ponsonby enabled an amalgamation of The Poi Room Gallery, offices and warehouse into one beautiful space. Below, Clayton describes the journey to the opening of our new whare at 37 Ponsonby Road.
A couple of years ago after getting the Covid lockdowns all behind us, MJ and I looked about The Poi Room and wondered “What’s next in store?”… We decided it was time to make a move, taking operations out of our home office… we can hardly believe that was 2 years ago.
We set up offices off site but in the back of our minds we wondered how to get more of the team together in one place… wouldn’t it be great if we could centralise stock, making photography and product upload to the website even easier? Sadly that wasn’t going to happen in Newmarket, there’s just not enough space.
At that time we had already outgrown our Ponsonby store and we fancied a Ponsonby Road location… so we set our sights on Ponsonby.
Late in 2022 we began to look in earnest for the right building to house our office/warehouse team and our Ponsonby Gallery… Before long we hit the jackpot with a new shop/office site at 37 Ponsonby Road, it was perfect for our next step!

Above, it's goodbye to Mackelvie Street and hello to Ponsonby Road

This new location is a beautiful shop facing Ponsonby Road with enough space for our office and online warehouse to relocate together. We secured the lease with a decent lead-in period allowing us to plan and execute the move in the right manner. Knowing we could relocate in late May / early June, we set a plan in motion.

The new space had great bones, with a few tweaks required to create a gallery.

We had the concept plans drawn up, then engaged Mark from Conduct Projects to help with the fitout, what a super smooth and seamless process! Mark and Steve nailed the works (no pun intended), transforming the site from a New York Loft environment complete with exposed brick walls to a sparkling white Gallery space.

Smooth, white walls were installed to show off the art of Aotearoa.

While the fitout was under way, the rest of the team all dug deep to move from our previous locations. This meant starting off with setting up the office and warehouse in a seamless manner. I think the previous year of gym workouts helped immensely as those were big days, humping desks, stock and shelving, chairs and tables, oh and artwork… think you get the picture… into the new space. After two weeks’ relocation we were in the office by mid May, in perfect time to liaise with builders, electricians etc while setting up the new systems.

An improved canopy and loads of new lighting were some of the changes made.

Once the store was complete with its new walls and shelving, repainted plinths and POS Counter we finally shut down the old store that had served us so well on Mackelvie Street. A massive 4 days followed to ensure all the wonderful artwork was securely wrapped and moved to the new space. The team worked tirelessly in merchandising the new site, and not a single piece was damaged or lost! Ka pai.

This building is full of beautiful architectural details.

We were super pleased to have a load of new works arrive in time, the likes of Hikurangi’s beautiful Te Raeakiaki and Tane Nui-a-rangi, Pounamu from Dean Majoribanks, prints from our lovely Tess Costil and Michele Bryant, and a massive drop of Podettes from Dominic Burrell that all graced the gallery for opening.

MJ and the team welcomed everyone back in store with a soft opening to the public on Saturday 3rd June.

The new gallery at 37 Ponsonby Road, finally unveiled.

As can be expected, there were kinks to iron out like finding the wrapping paper, purchasing bigger ladders to access our amazing high stud and getting printers printing and scanners going bing! Once sorted it was time for a Friends, Family and Artist evening which happened last Friday 16 May… MJ dropped her Pepeha to start things off, then Scotty and Stacey Morrison welcomed everyone to our new whare with a beautiful karakia. A massive thank you to you Scotty and Stacey.

Scotty and Stacey Morrison kindly joined us to celebrate the opening and place a karakia (blessing) on the space.

Above, left: Sally Herbert with Kirsty Nixon; right: Stacey Morrison with Amy Joe.

It was a fantastic evening. I was gleaming with excitement to show off the new shop and the office/warehouse… I'm so proud of the massive effort by our entire team.

Above, left: Susan Christie and Beatrice Carlson; right: Kate Wright, Hannah Sheehan and Clayton.

Above, left: Hikurangi and Gareth Edwards; right: Hikurangi was interviewed by Te Karere (Māori news) about her work.

And now it's time to make sure our Newmarket store gets some loving!!!!

We're looking forward to showing you all what we have achieved - keep an eye out for the next stage in our Journey! Already in the planning, but that’s a story for another time.

Nga mihi,

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