On September 11, Kylie Hayes celebrated 10 years of her gifts and homewares store Addictions, in Te Aroha.

You’ll know the store by its signature black and white stripes and the owner, by her signature black and white style. “I hardly wear any colour,” said Kylie. “You may occasionally find me in a red dress, but otherwise it’s always black and white, I just love it”.

Kylie originally worked at the pharmacy on Whitaker Street, heading the gift section. When it quickly outgrew the store, the pharmacy set up a gift store across the road with Kylie at the helm and she found herself in her element. “It was great managing my own shop. I loved everything about it, from choosing stock, arranging the shelves and window displays and getting to know my customers,” she said. After a few years, the opportunity came up to take over ownership and she jumped at the chance and soon expanded, setting up two more stores in Paeroa and then Morrinsville.

Although Kylie lives out of town, she chooses to front her original store in Te Aroha. “I just love the people,” she said. “Plus I have really great staff in Paeroa and at the Morrinsville store, I always have.”

The three stores are doing well and post-COVID she’s noticed an increase in customers making an effort to buy local. “Some people are saying they’re nervous about going into the bigger malls at the moment, they feel safer in their local shops,” she said. “It’s been really lovely after lockdown seeing my regular customers and meeting some new faces who wouldn’t ordinarily pop in.” 

Kylie said she’ll be adapting to the COVID conditions in the lead up to Christmas. “Money is likely to be tight so we've gone further afield to get a decent supply of gifts that will be $20 and under,” she said. She’s also introduced a new range of handbags at a lower price point. “My handbags are normally $129 but I’m bringing them in from Australia and they’re priced at $59, which is so well priced.”

Addictions took a hit on Mother's Day in May, one of their busiest times of the year, when the store was closed for lock down. Kylie’s excited to be open for the busy birthday season and in the lead up to Christmas, one of her favourite seasons of the year.

"Oh, my Christmas stock’s arriving,” she laughed. "Containers of it.” She said new stock is arriving every day. “I can’t wait to share all the lovely decorations and gifts with my customers.”

If you looking for a gift or something lovely for yourself, Kylie’s beautiful stores are stocked with a variety of gifts, homewares and jewellery in an assortment of colours to suit all tastes. Before heading out of town or online, pop by to see what wonders she has waiting for you.