Estelle Dippie is the founder and director of Commonplace Distribution (CPD) and COMMONPLACE ESSENTIALS, a New Zealand-based fashion sales and brand management agency and lifestyle brand that focuses on thoughtful garments that embody the CPD ethos of being ethical, socially conscious, and kind to the environment. We chat to Estelle and find out more about the town she calls home, Wanaka.
1. Tell us about the area that you live in and why you chose to make it your home.
I live in the picturesque town of Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand. My family is here and I spent my childhood summers here, so it’s somewhere that has always felt like home. It’s a really special place! Wanaka is based in the Southern Alps and has a real lifestyle focus, it’s a resort town with long hot summers (perfect for spending on the lake) and alpine winters (best spent up the mountain on the ski fields). The pace of life is slower and more balanced than in the city, so you tend to find yourself spending lots of time outside. It’s a small town but there is an incredible creative and entrepreneurial community – there are so many fantastic places to eat and shop. There are also countless walks, hikes and trails and Queenstown is just a 50-minute drive over the hill, so there is always something new to do.
2. Where are your favourite places to eat and shop?
My daily go-to is the Good Spot Window for a coconut milk flat white. The best coffee in town! Scroggin is another favourite for weekend coffee and brunch. They also have really delicious cabinet food – the gluten free chocolate chip cookies are a must try if you’re after something sweet! For an easy dinner or lunch, the Food Truck Village has lots of yummy options and a great vibe. With lots of different vendors there is something for everyone here.
Wanaka is fortunate to have a fantastic array of shops. One of my top picks is Deval Boutique, one of our COMMONPLACE stockists and a gorgeous multi-brand boutique stocking brands such as Anine Bing, Agolde, See by Chloe, Friend of Audrey and Flamingos’ Life. With such a great range, it can be hard to leave without making a purchase!
Next Chapter is a locally owned independent book shop. It’s a tiny space but it has the most amazing selection. I also love Bookety Book Books which is another locally owned independent with a beautifully curated range. It’s based online but they offer a free local pick up service.
The Revelogy Concept Store is also another favourite. It’s a space dedicated to mindful living and circular design, stocking a range of useful yet beautiful everyday objects that are all ethically sourced and made from sustainable materials.
3. How would you spend a perfect day in your town/city?
It depends on the season! The whole vibe of the town completely transforms depending on the time of year. Right now we are in the middle of winter so my perfect day would start with a quick walk around the lake to get a coffee, before heading up the hill for a day of skiing at Cardrona. The best way to top off a day’s skiing is to head straight off the mountain and down to the iconic Cardrona Hotel for a mulled wine by the fire. This followed by a sauna or spa and a delicious takeaway dinner from the Food Truck Village would be pretty hard to beat!
4. What is your favourite thing about your town/city?
I love how drastically different each season feels and how much the lifestyle here is focused around appreciating the simple things, such as spending time outside and being in nature. This way of life really aligns with what I think is important, and has helped inform the COMMONPLACE values and ethos of being conscious and kind. It’s also part of the inspiration behind our latest collection ‘TAKE CARE’ which is influenced by the world around us, and spending time taking care of the mind, body and earth.
5. Any other local insider secrets we should know about?
If you are visiting in the wintertime, be sure to book in for dinner at ‘Chef’s Table’, a limited pop up at Rippon Vineyard. Go early while it’s still light so you can take in the famed panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and lake from the Rippon Hall.