From inking skin to skincare

Vintage Honey’s Parlour owner Nicola Chisholm displays her homemade body butters outside her shop in St Kilda. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE
Vintage Honey’s Parlour owner Nicola Chisholm displays her homemade body butters outside her shop in St Kilda. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

After her teacher moved countries, an apprentice tattoo artist decided to start a new business with a different focus on skin.

If you walked into the shop at 82 Prince Albert Rd, St Kilda, six months ago, apprentice tattooist Nicola Chisholm would have offered you some indelible ink.

But when her teacher, Matt Churchward, decided to move to Australia before she had completed her apprenticeship, she decided to continue the lease of the shop and began brainstorming business ideas.

She was inspired by a friend who had sensitive skin and struggled to find suitable skin products.

‘‘That’s when I started looking into making my own.’’

About six weeks ago, she opened her shop, Vintage Honey’s Parlour, to sell a range of skin products. She and her friend Brett Fallows made the products in the St Kilda shop from natural ingredients sourced from across New Zealand.

The products include bath bombs, lip balms, soaps, body scrubs and body butters.

The most popular body butters were lemon cheesecake, coconut lime and vanilla coconut, she said.

She learned how to make the products from the internet and ‘‘lots of trial and error’’.

The shop also sold 1950s rockabilly-style clothing and shoes in a mix of new and second-hand

She had no retail experience and worked as a secondary school teacher in England before moving to Dunedin to be with her future husband, Nick Chisholm, whom she met online.

Since opening the shop, sales had been ‘‘steady’’.

‘‘We are getting a lot of repeat customers, which is good. Once they’ve tried my products, they’re coming back for more.’’

The shop was situated in a quiet part of the city with limited foot traffic, but she doubted it would hinder business.

‘‘If you’ve got a good product then people will come to you.’’

SHAWN.MCAVINUE@thestar.co.nz

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