New & Niche

New & Niche
  • Written by
  • Deepika Sulekh

For Taupo businesses, being niche may seem like a challenge, but with our growing town and supportive community, challenge has become opportunity.

When you’re starting a new business, you need to consider the fundamentals and do your homework, but most importantly, brave the courage to take the leap.

Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”. Meet some entrepreneurs who have done just that…

Central Property Stylists

Quality home & business staging

Combining Lisa Lovelock’s interior designing and Sarah Voyce’s architecture business skills, Central Property Stylists carved its niche in home and business staging in Taupo. With these services previously outsourced by locals, Lisa and Sarah saw the need for our homes and spaces to be presented to their maximum potential – helping to maximise the sale price of a property, partial or full staging, or providing advice and expertise.

When you’re selling your home, having it staged creates an experience for the buyer, making it look functional, appealing, and a place where they can imagine themselves living. Central Property Stylists do just that to help you get the best sale price and sell your home quicker.

The challenges?

“Creating interest and awareness in the early phase, and helping people to understand the benefits of home staging.”

Your advice?

“Do your due diligence, don’t over-expand too early and keep everything manageable.”

For more information, email


Lush Lane

Simple but lush: Indoor plants for homes and businesses

Holly McDowell started this venture in Wellington when no one could find quality indoor plants. Her love for plants, a ‘comeback’ of plants in interior design, and inspiration from the local indoor plant nursery gave Lush Lane the perfect opportunity to take off. Operating through Instagram, Facebook and various plant pop-up events, she showcases her collections and keeps in touch with her followers largely on social media.

Moving to Taupo for family, friends and lifestyle didn’t slow anything down. In fact, Holly now gives her touch of lushness to office fitouts and home redesigns. Initially worried about demand in a small town, Holly actively networked, participated in local events, and met new people to establish herself in Taupo.

The challenges?

“My self-doubt. I wasn’t sure if it would work or if I could manage it, I really had to push myself outside of my comfort zone. But I kept myself motivated to start small and work from there.”

Your advice?

“Just do it. If it’s something you really love, just give it a go.”

Follow Lush Lane on Instagram: @lushlane


Love Music

All your musical instrument needs

When David and Emily opened the doors to Love Music 2 years ago, they were ecstatic to see the immediate support and encouragement from the locals. With David’s 15 years’ experience in the industry, previously working in Auckland, he moved to Taupo with his wife Emily to start their own independent music business and continue their passion.

David’s extensive knowledge and strong network allowed him to curate his own collection of instruments and stock the best products for Love Music. Alongside instruments, you can also get books, accessories, repairs, and music lessons too. One of the few independent music shops in the country, it’s the positive word of mouth, loyal customer base, and a passion for music that keeps Love Music ticking.

The challenges?

“Moving to a new town and starting the new business at the same time. And learning that what works here is different to Auckland, it took time to understand what people want and stocking the right products. But the rewarding part was seeing the buy-in from locals, they loved that they could buy instruments in Taupo.”

Your advice?

“Learn what the trends are locally and work out what people want. And be willing to admit what you don’t know, we learn so much from our customers.”

Find out more at


XOX Floral

Wild, rustic florals straight from the garden

Kristen Somerville doesn’t stock the traditional range of flowers most florists do, instead she prefers to go out and gather her own so customers can buy what’s fresh and seasonally available. Bouquets are put together using what’s been foraged from gardens, the roadside and other wanderings, which give them a wild, fresh, vintage feel.

Initially starting out as a specialist wedding florist service, XOX Floral has gained momentum in the last year becoming the full service florist it is today with a studio newly opened.  “It wouldn’t be the business it is today if I didn’t live in Taupo. There are some unique challenges that come with living here because there are no local flower markets or growers to rely on, and everything has to come on an overnight courier so I had to find a way to make my business work by doing things differently.”

The challenges?

You need perseverance and the ability to back yourself because it does take time to get established here.  But the reaction from my customers has been incredible and that’s what has made me believe I’ve got something worthwhile to offer.”

Your advice?

Taupo is definitely a challenging market, but everyone’s very supportive and keen to see you make it work.  Take the time to figure out your product, because what works elsewhere isn’t always what works here, but your business will be the better for it.”

Find out more at

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