Cherry from Matchbox


Encompassing a gallery space, workshop space AND a retail store, Matchbox has fast become a mainstay on Cuba Street. We’re lucky enough to get Cherry Holahan, one of the co-founder of Matchbox Studio answer some of our questions.

Let’s start with the basics: name/occupation

Cherry Holahan- Co-founder and director at Matchbox Studios

You run an extremely successful shop and gallery space in Cuba Street, can you tell us a little bit about this and why you decided to start Matchbox Galleries?

We (Me & Lauren) wanted to create an accessible space where artists and designers could showcase their work. We both feel very passionately about representing New Zealand’s creative community, whilst also offering something a bit different to our customers. We both also share a love for art, design and craft which makes shopping an occupational hazard too I’m afraid!

You have multiple strands to your business including a gallery, a workshop space and a retail store. Can you tell us a bit about managing all these different elements and how they interact with each other?

Although Matchbox has several different strings to its bow, they all work together as one creative hub where people can come to make things, exhibit and sell their wares. Many people who have exhibited with us also makes things for the shop and lots of our customers are also interested in learning to make things or are artists themselves. There can be a lot to manage and co-ordinate at time but we’ve got a great team of dedicated staff and volunteers, their constant energy and ideas are inspiring!

What’s your favourite thing about working in your industry?

I’d have to say that my favourite bit is being surrounded by beautiful things and inspiring people all of the time! Matchbox’s environment is ever-changing so it’s very hard to get bored as there is always something new and exciting to see.

You’re based on Cuba Street in Wellington, does your location have an impact on your business in terms of what you do?

Absolutely, I love Cuba Street, it’s our second home and the creative vibe and people suit Matchbox down to a T!

Where do you always take visitors to Wellington?

I take everyone to Aunty Mena’s, it’s like my second kitchen and I love the food!

What are you looking forward to about 2014?

I’m really looking forward to some new creative ideas and projects we have in store for the gallery space this year… stay tuned!

Lastly, because I’m sure many people are curious, how do you decide what to stock in the shop and show in the gallery?

I really just pick what I’m into. So many times have I bought things for myself and then ended up stocking them in the shop! I love colourful patterns & shapes and anything with cute animals on them!