Meet the Buyer: Rachael Caughley

Rachael Caughley

CAUGHLEY opened in October 2015, after owner Rachael Caughley found herself wanting to be back on the shop floor. Rachael worked at Slick Willys in Dunedin while studying, and after university spent a couple of years in the Shanghai e-commerce industry. 

With no formal training in buying, at Caughley Rachael tries to stock brands that are a little different. 

We are focused on great cuts, fabrics and service. Making people feel great in what they wear each day.”

Having met most of the designers behind their stocked brands, the team at the Wellington boutique are personally invested in the product they are selling. A lot of care and attention is put into their stocked items.

When looking at designers, Rachael focuses on their understanding of how women want to feel when they get dressed each morning. Quality, marketing, branding, passion and detail all stand out, along with making sure the brand truly aligns with the retail space. She advises designers hoping to be stocked in unique retailers to be prepared, with pricing and terms and conditions as well as an aesthetic that sits well within the shop.

“If you are a small brand, make those terms and conditions favourable to the retailer. Come with what you can offer the retailer, how you can help the retailer, what benefit is your brand going to bring to that retailer…”

At Caughley, the boutique does not necessarily follow seasonal trends when considering its stock list. Though recognising that customers want coats, boots and knitwear in winter and dresses, sandals and t-shirts in summer, Caughley stocks international brands that do not always align with the New Zealand seasons. 

Buying numbers also vary between brands, depending on what Rachael sees as suitable for her store. She seeks variety in styles, rather than adopting a singular essence and feels that trends in general are on the decline.

“I want to buy less and buy better for the store. We don't want to pigeon hole ourselves too much. People definitely want comfort and are more casual. But I still think there is room for those special pieces and for dressing up! ” 

Rachael’s experience in e-commerce has set Caughley up well for the growing online presence of the retail industry. 

“Online and Instagram are such massive parts of retail these days. You just can't exist or grow a business without them.”

Caughley Wellington

New Zealand and Australian designers keen to join the Caughley portfolio can contact jen@caughley.nz