How to keep growing after 43 years

Joy Clarke runs the Souvenir Factory Shop, a popular family business located near the film lovers’ suburb Miramar, in Wellington. She started in 1975 as a graphic artist for printed t-shirts, with screen printing machines that her husband built. In 2005, Joy introduced souvenirs to her range, and thus Souvenir Factory Shop was born!

How did she do it?

When Joy saw her sales of souvenirs rising, she decided to focus on delivering more Kiwi keepsakes. Joy is very in tune with what her customers want, and makes decisions with them at the forefront of her mind.

“It’s important to know who you are, and stay focused”

Joy asserts “We’re not a gift shop, we’re the Souvenir Factory Shop”. While providing high quality souvenirs, she’s maintained the outlet style of her store, which reflects her factory brand identity.

Resourceful, innovative and with a positive outlook, Joy has seen her store blossom through the growing pains. Her attitude is “there’s always a way through”, and she will do what it takes to turn problems into something good. By listening and responding to her customers, she made thoughtful projections for the future. Even during tough times, she made sure she always gave her customers abundant options.

“How do we develop from here? How do we build on what we have?”

An attitude that leads to success

With 43 years of business under her belt, and a well-established and successful business, Joy still describes herself as a “newbie” of today, always keen to be learning new things. The dynamic retail world is an evermoving one – “there’s so much to know”. She’s attended several retail workshops in her time and learned key principles, for instance: “budgets are vital – not having a budget is like sailing into a storm without a compass”.

The value of relationships

As well as progressing her business repertoire, Joy also realises the power of relationships. Joy has a good rapport with not only her customers, but everyone she connects with in her business. She has built a strong confidence with her suppliers, who trust her completely. They know she’ll showcase their products to customers, with a warm and thoughtful store experience.

To the delight of travellers, the local tour bus guides make Souvenir Factory Shop a part of the Wellington experience. The tour guides discovered her through word of mouth, and she formed great relationships with them – benefitting her customers, the tour guides and her business!

And now, from being a small graphic art t-shirt studio shop, the Souvenir Factor Shop has grown into a much-loved destination for travelers and locals alike.

What connections can you make to grow your business?

Thanks Joy and the team at Souvenir Factory Shop, brilliant work.


We offer a range of retail workshops, to help you develop and stay relevant. Look out for them here.


By Tammy Kuo
Marketing Exec | Retail NZ

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