Talk to the Hand

We fought the war and we lost, even though we won’t be selling online, we listened to our clients and thought it’s time to give our virtual home a spring clean, offer visitors a glimpse into our world. So let’s go window shopping-no virtual money required. We will endeavour to update this page more than once a year, bringing you updates on new lines, sales, gossip from the wall of taxidermy and the occasional bitch about Wellington weather.

If you do see anything you like while checking out the pics of the birds in store, flick us an email and we’ll get one of the chooks to reply as soon as…

Review on Word On The Street.

Word on the Street is a subsidiary of WellingtonNZ.com – the official guide to New Zealand’s capital of cool.

They popped in and had this to say about us.

Even from the footpath, you can tell this place is something different. The huge windows of homewear store Brown & Co, located on Wakefield St near the Museum Hotel, give a view into a world gone by.

Taxidermied creatures with their beady eyes and frozen stance cover every surface that isn’t already cluttered with curios like old fashioned fold-up wooden rulers, gold embossed packs of playing cards, or delicious flavoured toothpaste from Florence, Italy.

When owner Martin mentions that he is also a partner in Crane Brothers, the pieces fall into place. Brown & Co has the same refined masculine atmosphere, and this also explains his exceptionally dapper appearance.

I overhear a customer asking Martin about a stuffed pukeko perched on the large wall cabinet. That one is a particularly delicate specimum, and he directs her towards another one at the other end of the store, more suitable for purchase.

Brown & Co Homewear WellingtonMartin tells her that most of the store’s stock comes from his personal collection of vintage pieces. “It wasn’t very ‘P.C.’ for quite a long time, but times have changed. It feels great to have them out of storage.”

At a table at the front window, there’s an array of scientific looking glassware getting a second chance at life. This lab gear is being snapped up and repurposed as vases or shot glasses.

There’s a small but perfectly formed selection of books on offer too, from Tracey Emin’s 1,000 Drawings to the Alexander McQueen paper doll book. And if it’s furniture you’re after, Brown & Co will tempt you with their hand picked mid-century items. These come via Christchurch’s Mr Mod, which has been in operation for 45 years and specialises in importing gorgeous Scandinavian retro furniture.

“I’m about old school retail. No social media, none of that stuff,” Martin tells me, a comment which makes perfect sense in a store where all the price tags are handwritten.

Brown & Co Homewear Wellington “Our stock turns over so quickly there’s no point in trying to keep a website up to date. Besides, we want people to enjoy the tactile experience, to be able to come here and feel the textures for themselves.”

And word of mouth is working well for them. The previous week Australian Vogue has paid a visit, covering the store in an upcoming issue.

Get along to Brown & Co before they’re swamped by fashionistas from across the ditch!

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Definitely one for the blokes, this establishment opposite Pandoro stopped us in our tracks with its wall of taxidermied trophies. Martin Brown has curated everything a gentleman needs, from the world’s best toothpaste (Marvis Mint) to accoutrements for the well-dressed den.

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