Sending a greeting card is just one way of keeping in touch and showing you care - especially this year. No one knows this more than fabulous card makers, Oxted - their stylish, gorgeous cards for every occasion are the perfect way to send a little bit of magic and love someone's way. (And we've got heaps of their best at both of our bookshops!). Oxted's Christopher Tubbs sat down with us to talk about the family business, his luxury fashion and music inspired designs and how a card beats a text message every time.
What is your day job?
I am a marketing director, come product finder, come supplier contact, come strategist. I guess I wear lots of hats like anyone in a family business!
What is your connection to Vic Books?
Vic Books is one of our wonderful customers. Our cards and some of our giftware lines feature at both the Kelburn and Pipitea outlets.
What are you working on at the moment?
As a company we are trying to make sure that we have stock of products. Shipping and logistics mid-COVID are a bit hairy at the moment!
Oxted is a family business, how did the business start? Who’s involved? When did you join?
It was started by my older sister Lucia and my mother Mary. They are long time greeting card nuts and couldn’t abide what was available back in the 80s. So they did something about it! Tamara, my wife, and I joined the team in 2014.
You lived in England for a long time, what did you do there and how did that influence your approach to a family business in New Zealand?
I worked in fashion and music. I soundtracked runway shows for Junya Watanabe / Commes des Garcons and spent summers DJing in Ibiza. Tamara worked in luxury fashion in Europe. We came back with some ideas to reinvigorate the business, in terms of aesthetics and bringing in brands that would have longevity and imbue our offer with freshness. Tamara is key accounts manager for Oxted.
Do you have some favourite brands that Oxted represents?
Oh gosh, there are a few. In terms of cards: Lagom. I know you’re rather partial to them too! For giftware: Bordallo Pinheiro and Burgon & Ball. High quality products, brands steeped in tradition that bridge the gap between heritage and modernity.
What is it that is really special about a greeting card?
It’s analogue, it’s a sensory experience (feeling the quality of the paper) and they mean so much more than a text message!
Some quick fire book recommendations please! ‘
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco for grown ups, and
Over Sea Under Stone series by Susan Cooper for kids
What are you reading at the moment? What do you like about it?
I’m reading Inside Story by Martin Amis. It’s full of ‘gee whiz’ writing as Clive James would put it but it’s also very resonant and personal. I love it.
Which literary character do you most identify with? Why?
Falstaff. Ask my friends.
Hardback or paperback?
Flat white in the morning; single espresso after a meal.