This is us sharing some information about businesses we like. We sat down and thought about the businesses we know that do what they do extremely well. We've got pretty high standards and at the time of writing this, we're only including businesses which provide a really good product or service and which we have experienced personally. In time, we might slip in a few customers, too, and some good people who deserve a plug.
The Scandinavian Group is an online showplace gallery for Art, Antiques & Design dealers from Scandinavia. One of the best hand selected collections of outstanding European & Scandinavian Antiques, 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Objects as well as Mid Century & Modern Design shown online. It includes some of our glass. :-)
Mark Hill Publishing is a small UK-based publishing company specialising in producing books and stand-alone catalogues (they call them bookalogues) on antiques, collectables and 20th century design. We found them when they announced they were publishing ‘Hi Sklo Lo Sklo – From Masterpiece to Mass Produced’, the catalogue of a Czech glass exhibition mid-2008. This is now available and we strongly recommend it to anyone interested in Czech glass. If you have mystery pieces in your collection - quality glass that you can't pin down to a particular Scandinavian or Murano maker - you may find pictures of them in the pages of this book, as we have.
Obviously, this isn't going to be of interest to our customers from ourside New Zealand, but it's a good example of how to run a business like ours. When Dave or Rex from Vino Fino say, this is the best South Australian shiraz under $15 (or whatever the type of wine or price range may be), their customers know they can trust them.
The other thing they've done, over the years, is educated their customers about wine, just as we're trying to educate our customers about glass. Before we had kids and our social life came to a grinding halt, Viv and I went to their Tuesday night wine tasting every week for years, learning to discriminate between a good wine and a not-quite-so-good wine (and more particularly, trying to identify the $10 wines that were as good as the $20 wines, and so on).
"A vertical tasting did no more than confirm my view that Stephen White is making New Zealand's finest Cabernet-based red wines." - James Halliday, Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand
Steven White is a distant cousin of mine; I think we've met twice. As the critics attest, he has created a fantastic winery. Viv and I holidayed on Waiheke Island a few years ago, found ourselves staying next door to the vineyard, went next door and found a great dance party going on. You're got to love businesses that are about living well and doing what they do really well, not just about making money.
This is Christchurch's wildest party and Glen, our former business partner in Modernistglass.com, is the man behind it. It's a hobby that attracts 800 people and offers some of the most famous burlesque performers from around the world. There are a lot of people who look forward to this all year and it attracts guests from around the world.
These guys have provided visual eye candy at many dance parties I've DJ'd at over the years. They're the best in New Zealand. Check out their site - there's lots of good free stuff to have a look at.
Warren & Mahoney is arguably the leading firm of architects in New Zealand. Bill Gregory, an old school friend, is a director. He and his wife, Liz, (also an architect), made the made the mistake of coming round to pick up some glass they'd bought one Sunday night and we didn't let them leave until they'd designed our stunning "Wall of Light".
Lip Service clothing
Glen's a big fan of Lip Service. Their women's clothing is particularly good at making women look sexy, and of course it has an edge to it.
Situated in beautiful Okuti Valley, Phytofarm runs educational workshops on the philosophies and traditions of natural medicine. Phytofarms owner Valmai Becker is a dear friend of mine, and a true inspiration in many ways.
Hattaway & Associates
This is what I do when I'm not working on modernistglass.com