Olive Hill, Lesley Court, LeeAnne Wilson, Ngaio Bell and Renee Morrow receiving the People’s Choice Metropol Fashion Retailer of the Year Award

Farewelling Smith and Boston

by Ann van Engelen

In summer 2005, sisters Ngaio Bell and Olive Hill created Smith and Boston as a way to engage a relaxed career but due to family circumstances, the time came to close the store last week.

“Our father died last year, and Ngaio has been very busy helping mum on the farm, so we made the decision to change our life direction and care for our family,” says Olive.

“Our label was inspired by our grandmother. She was a Smith, and her mother was a Boston, and both women dressed beautifully.

“When we started our adventure, we didn’t know anything.” Ngaio and Olive had a lucky break and met Graham from Lichfield shirts.

“Graham introduced us to designer Benjamin Taylor, and they helped us learn.

“Then we met Renee Morrow, a third generation seamstress and she became our production manager, and with our mother’s help, we grew together and quickly fell into the niche market of ‘mother of the bride and groom’ fashion. We are very grateful to our staff LeeAnne Wilson, Lesley Court and Jenny Taylor as well as our models Abbey and Michelle.

“We have had loads of fun and won the Metropol Fashion Retailer of the Year People’s Choice in 2013, which was a complete surprise. We have shed lots of tears and will miss the store, but for now, we are focussing on helping our mum on the farm and trading the heels for gumboots for a while.”