We caught up with Sam Shaw, Manager of the newly opened Partridge Jewellers store in the ANZ Centre.
So...who are you, where do you come from and when did you arrive in Christchurch?
I'm Sam Shaw and I'm originally from the UK. Two years ago I moved to Christchurch and was pretty shocked when I got here, to be honest. I was staying at the Rendezvous on the eighth floor and there wasn't much of a city to look out onto.
How do you feel about Christchurch nowadays?
There's a completely different feeling in the city now. It feels like something is really happening and new places are opening all the time...it feels hopeful and new. I definitely believe the city is coming back.
What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
I love my job and I get to be surrounded by amazing people and products, I've never had to tear myself out of bed in the morning.
I don't think anyone chooses retail...you kind of fall into it. I got accepted to go to university to be a doctor but wasn't sure it was for me, so I went traveling around New Zealand. When I returned to the UK I applied for retail jobs and from then on I've always worked in luxury retail. It's nice to be able to come over and do a job that I love in a country I love.
What is special about Partridge?
Partridge has a rich history of 153 years. It's a large family company and we're into the sixth generation! All the staff are trained gemmologists, educated through the GIA. We're not just sales people. We sell on quality and we only select the best stones. We know what we're talking about and we want to treat our customers to the very best product and service.
What role does Partridge have to play in the new Christchurch?
Before the earthquake the Partridge family looked several times at where they could position a store in Christchurch. The city was already disjointed before the earthquake and the company found it difficult to place itself amongst the city scape.
The rebuild has given Partridge Jewellers a place to establish itself. We're proud to be the leaders in bringing luxury high-end shops back into the Central City so people have the opportunity to indulge a little now and again.
Where can we find you on your lunch break?
They do a good Karaage chicken at Hachi Hachi on Hereford Street.
Favourite late night Central City gem?
I like to head down New Regent Street for a whiskey at The Last Word.