Is the Lindale Village becoming the creative capital of the Kāpiti Coast?
It would seem so with the businesses now operating out of what was once a major tourist attraction.
The centre now boasts two photographers, a recording studio, a radio station, a books wholesaler, an arts & crafts shop, a multi-media PR and marketing agency, a publisher, a specialist sustainable custom sewing and creative classes operation, an on-demand apparel printing outfit and a company that specialises in designing 3D-Print scenery for wargames.
And that’s only a few of the creative industry credentials that Lindale can claim.
Lindale Village spokesperson Samson Samasoni says it’s been a deliberate move over the last 18 months to shift from a retail focus, to tenants well-suited to working with a community of creative businesses.
The name change and rebranding is a key part of that vision, Samasoni says the notion of a 'village' evokes the concept of community and neighbourhood, rather than the clinical moniker of a 'business park'.
“When you consider that New Zealand is ranked the third most creative country in the world and the Kāpiti Coast is ranked the fourth most creative district in New Zealand, it makes sense that somewhere like Lindale should have a creative leaning,” he says.
“The creative economy is a significant contributor to GDP, so local decision-makers should be embracing and championing Kāpiti’s creative credentials,” says Samasoni, who is also a former arts administrator.
One niche creative business that is now housed at Lindale is Printable Scenery, a company that specialises in generating designs for wargame scenery that can be produced on any 3D printer. (Video shows an example of how the printed products from their plans can be used)
Most of the company's business comes from overseas with people ordering their designs and 3D plans online. With more than 16,000 Facebook followers, it’s clearly a popular and growing enterprise.
Printable Scenery has taken over the old restaurant space at Lindale because they needed a large open area to showcase their products.
Sam Campbell (pictured above) of Printable Scenery says that they’re creating a space that will eventually become a destination in its own right and he can definitely see Lindale becoming a major creative hub for the region.
Another creative business that services clients outside the region from its Lindale base, is PR and Marketing firm Umbrella Multimedia.
The company is a multi-dimensional operation that offers a one-stop shop for marketing and PR services, including video and radio production, graphic design and online solutions.
From their new Paraparaumu office, they provide services to Government agencies, NGOs and commercial businesses around the country and the Pacific.
Umbrella Sales Manager Brendon Harris says with the technology available and ease of travel to Wellington and Auckland, distance isn’t an issue.
He says Lindale Village provides the perfect creative environment for their operation, with its park-like setting and the lively cafe scene provided by Anzil Cafe.
“You can feel the creative vibe, in the short time we’ve been here you can sense that creative culture is blossoming,” he says. “Anzil Cafe has become a real hub for the creative community, I’ve picked up two clients just going to grab a coffee.
"When we advertised for staff we wondered if we'd struggle to attract people to Paraparaumu but we've been pleasantly surprised at the calibre of talent living locally or willing to relocate here," he says.
“It’s hugely beneficial to be part of a creative community, for example, we’re now exploring opportunities for collaborations that may not have happened if we weren’t here.”
One such collaboration has resulted in Australian publisher Odyssey Books setting up at Lindale.
Odyssey Books publishes engaging and beautifully written books, with a specific interest in epic journeys, adventurous voyages and intellectual or spiritual quests.
Several Odyssey titles have received commendations, awards and have hit bestseller lists in their genre categories.
Publisher Michelle Lovi says Odyssey was attracted to Lindale Village for its location but also because they’re surrounded by other creative businesses.
“We hope that this can lead to creative collaboration or opportunities to expand our own services, such as the partnership with Umbrella Multimedia to produce audiobooks,” she says.
Harris of Umbrella says the audiobooks partnership can also draw on the expertise of other Lindale-based operations such as recording studio Audiosuite and local broadcaster Beach FM.
Even facilities such as the red barn that used to house the Lindale Animal Farm has found a new creative function as an authentically rustic venue for entertainment.
Notable musicians like Andrew London and the Stable Genuises have already sold out two shows at the barn, working in with Anzil Cafe to provide the catering. They have another show planned for 23 March 2019.
Lindale Village even has its own online ticketing system which enables artists to be paid as tickets are sold, unlike other booking systems which transfers the funds several days after the event is completed.
Umbrella Multimedia set up the ticketing system and handles bookings for the barn. Harris says it’s an excellent multi-purpose venue for groups of up to 80 people.
Lindale spokesperson Samasoni says that some locals reminisce about the past, when sheep shearing displays were part of the Lindale experience but the district’s economic drivers have changed, as have visitor demographics.
“Those days are long gone, people forget that in 2012 Fonterra moved out Kāpiti Cheese and the ice cream store because visitor numbers to the district were already falling - there were fewer tourists travelling in groups, the redesign of the state highway and other factors all contributed - it was a district-wide phenomenon not Lindale-specific.
“Some of the Kāpiti public may think because they don’t see retail shops and tourist buses pulling up there anymore that nothing is happening at Lindale, but that's definitely not the reality.
"Certainly the growing number of creative businesses and enterprising folk attracted to and thriving in the Lindale environment, is not only good for Paraparaumu but also for the region,” he says.
Note: Beach FM is based at Lindale Village. Other creative businesses at Lindale include: