Back to People
CHCH Central Unwrapped: Pearl Schwalger-Smith

Ballantynes renowned Christmas window display gets unveiled to the city every December. Pearl Schwalger-Smith is the Visual Design Team Leader that brings it to life. We asked Pearl about it and what she loves about Christchurch Central:

Tell us about your role?

I’m Pearl and I am the Visual Design Team Leader at Ballantynes. My team and I have just launched our 2019 Christmas windows “The Journey of the Little Lost Letter”. It’s a story told through 10 window displays about a little letter to Santa, which is blown away when it arrives at the North Pole and that letter’s journey with some cheeky elves, who get into a lot of mischief throughout all of the magical rooms at Santa’s home, while delivering the lost letter back to Santa. 

We design all of the windows, the instore displays and get to be involved in a lot of amazing events throughout the year like ‘Ballantynes Fashion Week’, our annual Home Event and of course all things Christmas from the windows, Santa’s Grotto, our in store decorations and Christmas Shop.

Pearl Schwalger-Smith


Where will you be eating and drinking this December in the CDB? 

Oh there are so many delicious options now! Riverside Market is great for a nice lunch break on a sunny day, The restaurants along The Terrace are perfect for an evening meal and we have just opened a Café and Winebar in Ballantynes called KIN which has some beautiful wines and yummy nibbles. 

The Terrace

What will you be ordering (or any favourite items you love ordering around the CBD)?

Goats cheese cigars, Truffle fries and wine from Amazonita

Where's your go to for getting Christmas presents in the CBD? 

Working at Ballantynes makes it all too easy to do all of my Christmas shopping. I can pick up something perfect for everyone all in one place and avoid ever having to battle a mall carpark. I think my niece would take the entire Childrenswear department if she could! 

Where would you shop for a Christmas outfit in the CBD? 

I have my eye on a few pieces upstairs in our Fashion Atrium for Christmas this year! Finding an outfit is never the issue, there are so many beautiful choices. The challenge is convincing my husband that my new dress is something that I have always owned Challenge accepted!


What's your favourite spot to spend time with friends and family in the CBD? 

I love to grab some delicious food and go and sit down by the river on a beautiful sunny day.


What is your favourite Christmas film?

Definitely Home Alone, A classic!

Favourite part of the Christmas meal? 

My favourite part of a Christmas meal has nothing to do with what we are eating. I just love that it brings everyone together! … but also glazed ham! YUMMY!

 What's the worst Christmas present you've ever received?

The worst present I’ve ever received? Haha once I was given a framed photo of myself, that was a pretty funny one.

What events are you looking forward to over the Christmas break? 

Not exactly over Christmas but I am looking forward to Electric Avenue and also when the Buskers Festival is back in town, what a cool festival that is so iconic to our city.

How do you get around in the CBD?

I am a big user of public transport to get in and out of the city although like to walk around town and check out what’s happening or even the occasional Lime scooter.

What would your Christmas wish be for the Central City?

I hope that everyone who hasn’t been back into the city comes in to discover how lovely the CBD is looking and visits the Christmas Windows which we have put together for the people of Christchurch. We hope you all enjoy them as much as we enjoyed working on them.

Ballantynes Team