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Kia Ora Magazine, October 2016

Women's Weekly September 2016 www.tierforteens.co.nz

Viva September 2016 www.tierforteens.co.nz

 

                     

 

Dominion Post - Weekend Magazine - Feb 2016

                                                                            Dominion Post - Weekend Magazine - Feb 2016

 

Canvas Magazine July 2015           |       New Idea Magazine June 2015

 

Viva Magazine June 2015         |      Womens Weekly April 2015

 

Viva Magazine Article:

ANN PORTER AND VICTORIA PORTER-ANDREWS

“I’d love it if Nellie Tier continued and the children were involved,” says the boutique brand’s Victoria Porter-Andrews, whose mother Ann Porter co-founded the company.

With family of Ann’s long-time business partner Sara Sadd living overseas, the matriarchal Porter line looks best placed to carry on the business — should the next generation be so inclined. Already 20-year-old Kushla Porter, Ann’s granddaughter and Victoria’s niece, works at Nellie Tier as office and online manager.

Victoria’s daughters Luka, 12, and Clover, 11, help out during the school holidays, donning hair nets and pouring bath salts. “At the moment one wants to be a teacher and the other a vet, but wouldn’t it be lovely ... They’re always very proud of seeing our stuff in the shops,” says Victoria.

“What are you working on now, grandmum?” is a frequent question, says Ann. So, says Victoria, is being asked what it’s like working with family. Plenty of people have told her: “I could never work with my mother.” Victoria insists it is “delightful” and says the pair have always been close.

The mother and daughter share smart bobs and easy laughs. Victoria rings Ann daily at 7.30am. She came on board as sales and marketing manager when pregnant with Clover, just after her mother had decided to turn a kitchen-table hobby making hand cream into a business venture. “I could see how passionate she was.”

The women were encouraged by then-neighbour Jo Leggat, who was setting up the Isabel Harris gift store and placed a first order for six jars of green tea and geranium hand cream after “the gin testing on Friday night”.

These quickly sold out and Ann realised she needed to develop more products. She persuaded Sara, with whom she had run Masterworks Gallery for several decades, to turn her hand to soap-making. Within a few years, Ann and Sara sold the gallery to focus fully on Nellie Tier, which is named in tribute to Ann’s grandmother.

Eleanor (Nellie) Tier, was a pioneer settler in Motueka who died aged 27, leaving nine children, some of whom made their own lotions and potions. The names of these resourceful women — and more recent female Porter arrivals — feature on the background of the product labels. Lest you think Sara is missing out, her family members are listed also.

To keep growing families happy, labels are updated and boys’ names have been added to some of the more unisex products.

Both Ann and Victoria say they do not want the company to grow too big, for fear it will lose the family feel. Accordingly, exports aren’t a big focus, although they are pleased with expansion into luxury lodges, boutique hotels and day spas.

“We always saw it as a small thing,” says Ann, “like you make pots of jam and give them away.”

Nellie Tier has eight staff, and products are still genuinely handmade in a small factory near St Lukes, not too far from Victoria’s home in Mt Albert. Ann lives on Waiheke, but spends several days a week in the city. She is in the factory on Mondays and Tuesdays and then works from home, where she formulates essential oils.

“In terms of developing the fragrance, no-one could do as well as mum,” says Victoria.

When Ann, who had made a face oil for herself, wanted to get into skincare, Victoria was dubious, figuring the market was too competitive. “She came to me with fish and chips and a bottle of red wine, in the end I figured we could give it a go.” Face care is now the fastest-growing part of the business.

Does mother know best then? Victoria says they talk things out. “We can tell each other openly when we are driving each other insane, but it’s not very often.”

If they’re not in the office together, the early morning call is supplemented by others during the day. Being in such regular touch means Mother’s Day this Sunday won’t be a big deal. “Every day is Mother’s Day around here,” says Victoria.

 

                   

 

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