Local designer’s clothing to fill Ballantyne’s shelves

UP AND COMING: Ballantynes chief executive Maria O’Holloran, left, looking at competition winner Delwyn Wright's children's clothing designs.

When Delwyn Wright’s daughters were little, she struggled to find nice winter coats for them – so she designed some herself.

Now the school teacher and mother-of-two’s designs are set to fill the shelves of the
Ballantynes department store.

Ms Wright’s 100 per cent New Zealand wool garments were picked out of about 80 applicants to win the Ballantynes Bring it to the Boardroom competition, which gave designers from across the country a chance to pitch their products.

“I thought I had nothing to lose and Bring It to the Boardroom was a great opportunity to pitch my product to Ballantynes. I think [the judges] liked some of the detail in the designs and saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the children’s wear market.”

She said her main source of inspiration came from her daughters.

“Warm, quality New Zealand-made clothing is not that easy to find and there appears to be a gap in the market when girls reach six-years-old.”

“I got into clothing design when my daughters were young and I couldn’t find them warm winter coats to wear. In the end, I made them a coat each and things really just grew from there. I started to sell a few coats, and then I gradually built up a loyal customer base that wanted other items like skirts and dresses.”

Ms Wright’s designs range from coats and capes to dresses. They will line the shelves of Ballantynes’ children’s wear department for a year. She will keep all profits made from her sales.

“Over the next year, I am hoping to gain lots of advice and guidance around the designing and marketing of my product. It would be great to grow my brand, gain some wider exposure and then I will just see where this leads.”

“Ultimately, I remain committed to being NZ-made and locally-produced.”