Local stores make retail finals


When Living Light Candles entered the Small Store category at the New Zealand Top Shop Awards they weren’t expecting to be coaxed into the online category too let alone become a finalist in both.

Living light is one of six Nelson retailers to have made it into the regional finals along with KILT, Aboki, Silvermoon, Cruiseabout, Spark Richmond and Vodafone Motueka.

“I was absolutely delighted, I was blown away. You never quite know how it’s going to go when you enter these types of awards,” Living Light store manager Jude Biggs says. “The rest of the team were over the moon. Cynthia Baur our owner and directer was simply delighted she was really wrapped.”

Jude says initially there was a lot of paperwork to fill out about the team, the products and customer service.

“There is a panel of four judges who look at a secret shopper report as well as the information you have submitted and they make your decision from there.”

She says she had no clue who the mystery shopper was

“It’s always hard to tell, the girls and I have talked about it and it could have been anybody. There’s a lot of new people who come into Nelson and want to talk about our product. You don’t know if it’s a regular or somebody employed to come in off the street.”

The awards will be held in Christchurch in early September and Jude says she is feeling hopeful.

“We work really hard with customer service and product knowledge. We’re just unique, we have a handcrafted product that is made locally in golden bay and hand poured. We use natural waxes and our fragrances and oils are all of the highest quality .”