After owner Ruben Bryant finished his graphic design degree here in Wellington he did what most graduates do and left NZ in search of foreign fun-times. Having always been into design and fashion he found himself working in the retail industry for a few years in Aspen, Colorado and London. During these formative years he began to hatch a somewhat risky but dang clever plan, beginning with a simple fact: there’s so much good shit in the world, and most of it we still couldn’t get in NZ. Why not?
He talked a couple of friends into opening a store and in September 2004 they proudly flung the doors open. The store was then situated in a small space in Victoria St; modest, concrete, mint retro furniture, a wee café in the rear and jam packed with rad brands, toys, art, mags from around the globe.
Over the first year Rubes and his partners worked at creating not just a store but a community around their vision. There were parties, exhibitions and brand launches a plenty. Many people to meet and many, many hangovers to endure. In 2005 the business partners left to forge their millions in Auckland, leaving Ruben to fly the good ship lollipop solo.
This unexpected autonomy allowed him the freedom to strengthen his plans for the store. He wanted to create a place where people could come to get some of the worlds finest clothing and accessories, while having a yarn to super friendly, down-to-earth staff who are passionate and who know their shit backwards and forwards (sometimes we are more backward than forwards but we ALWAYS care…).
With the little minty shop ticking along very nicely, Ruben turned his attention to online pursuits. He recruited some of the country’s top design talents to help launch the Good as Gold Online Store in 2006. Since then it has had a couple of makeovers and grown from a one-man band into a team machine. The highly competitive and fast paced world of online shopping inspired him to bring something a little different. Again to create community but to also offer the personal touch of down-to-earth customer service so often missing from other online stores. The language is everyday, the information is candid and the staff members very attractive.
By 2011 Ruben started to get itchy feet and decided to move the store into a new phase, thus began the treehouse years. He worked with his architect father to design a store born from nostalgic memories of building tree forts. He wanted create a store that was warm, fun and functional for staff and customers. The fit-out took 3 months, 2 builders, help from many friends and family, A LOT of native NZ timber and plenty of sweat and tears.
His first-born arrived just in time for the opening and with another now in the mix, these days Ruben is spending most of his time enjoying his growing family. So the store keeps on keeping, but there are always a million ideas whirling around the bossman’s noggin’ so be expecting more to this story in the not so distant future...
If you need any help on the online shop or in-store please ask!
Photos : Steven Boniface