Q&A: Kate Abbott

Kate Abbott is the owner of Living Room, an upholstery workshop and showroom in Kaiwharawhara Road.

Kate and her husband Chris have owned the business for six years. “The thing I still love most about it is the wonderful people I work with, and the wonderful customers we have,” says Kate. “I meet new people every day and I like to think we mutually colour each other’s lives! On our side, very literally.”

She tells us about her coffee habit, her hidden talent, and her plan to walk the entire country.

What’s the best local purchase you’ve made this year?
I don’t think I can’t settle for just one… Wooden Spoon raspberry ice-cream, ACME sourdough, and cinnamon buns from Goods in Thorndon.
Another favourite local purchase is tea lights from the National Candle Company. Very long-lasting and cosy at this time of year, and I just love it that we have a traditional candle-making company in the middle of Wellington.

What’s a skill you have that people wouldn’t guess?
I can muddle through with sufficient Finnish pleasantries to at least be polite. It’s amazing how far you can go on hello, thank you and excuse me – and at a pinch I could probably order a cup of tea. Not sure if that counts as a skill, but it’s something to build on…

What’s your bad habit?
Not being a coffee drinker. The best Wellingtonians are I’m sure. I’m always up to meet people “for a coffee” but actually it’s usually a hot chocolate or herb tea for me.

What book is beside your bed?
A Walking Guide to New Zealand’s Long Trail: Te Araroa by Geoff Chapple. I’d like to walk Te Araroa over the next decade, each bit with another friend. It’s very unlikely to be in geographical order, but I’m planning to patchwork it together.

Who is your favourite famous Wellingtonian and why?
First equal to Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker and Katherine Mansfield. The first two for the same and obvious reasons – for having the safety of every one of us at the top of their minds, and Katherine Mansfield for being a girl of her times who we can still relate to today.

Read more Q&As here.


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