Making It Happen: Cara Hill, Style Blogger & Best Dressed in Wellington

Cara Hill, herself.“Best dressed” lists can seem remote and unreal. But Wellingtonian Cara Hill, recipient of two best dressed accolades in 2012 and 2013, makes being beautifully dressed sound fun and accessible. Her striking style is just one facet of her expressing herself to the fullest. I talked with Cara about her style journey, being body positive, the practical side of being well dressed, and hating alterations but loving fashion risks.

We’ve all seen you darting around town, the strikingly lovely brunette with the ravishing tattoos and fabulous outfits. But, tell us…who is Cara Hill?

Hmmmm, isn’t that always the toughest question? Let’s see … Cara Hill is a Canadian expat who has lived in NZ for almost 4 years now. I love the theatre and therefore have spent a big chunk of my career working in one. I’m married to the love of my life with whom I have more fun than I ever thought possible. I love tattoos, books, movies, body positivity and feminism. And I love, LOVE pretty clothes!

 And you’re also a published author, of the book Supernatural Winnipeg, which was quite successful in Canada.  I mention it because I think there are lots of misconceptions about women who, as you say, love pretty clothes – that we’re insubstantial or unintelligent —

True, good point. Although, it is a travel guide to haunted places, so that might discredit me!  I kid.

 (five minutes of digression talking about Bigfoot and taniwhas)

We should probably talk about paranormal stuff sometime, but we’re here today to talk about your magnificent sense of style. You run a highly popular style tumblr, and you were also voted as Best Dressed in Wellington 2012 last September by the readers of Wellington’s Capital Times. AND you just got cited in Fishhead Magazine this month as one of Wellington’s best dressed.

It’s a bit overwhelming actually, the best dressed things.[Read more]

0 comment

Making It Happen: Jo Coffey, Chocolatier of L’Affaire au Chocolat

The chocolate of my dreams...Jo Coffey already made itDo you have imaginary businesses? I know I do. One of them would be a chocolate boutique. Making exquisite yet amusing bon-bons. With beautifully designed boxes for the confections, and using El Rey chocolate, and …then I wake up. Oh, I’ve made chocolates at home. The simple yet messy processes of dipping strawberries and rolling truffles taught me to respect actual chocolatiers. There are two or three excellent ones in Wellington, and I’m so pleased to be able to interview one of my favorites, Jo Coffey of L’Affaire au Chocolat.

I first encountered L’Affaire au Chocolat at the City Market; the fine truffles and varietal chocolate bars made an impression of me. Finally, I made it to the store, where I was charmed, not only by the cozy refinement of the little shop, but by the master chocolatier behind it, Jo Coffey herself. There is both warmth and stainless steel behind the chocolate to make this dream of a business succeed. My purchase of a few saffron truffles one day turned into a conversation – Coffey and I are both aficionados of South American chocolate varietals –  and this interview is the follow up.

The day I went to meet with Coffey in her store, there was a constant stream of customers, saying, “I hear you’ve got the best hot chocolate in town…” And it’s true: she does. Made with simply frothed milk and a ladleful of melted fine dark chocolate, served with a dark chocolate morsel on the side,  it’s hot chocolate perfection. The serried ranks of glossy chocolates in the case became depleted as the morning went on, too.  Coffey gave me a peek behind the scenes at her chocolate vats (vats! of chocolate!) and took the time to answer these questions.

Jo Coffey, chocolatier and business owner.

Behind the cut, Coffey remembers sweets for tuppence, describes the men who buy chocolate, and shares with us why French food is suddenly everywhere, again, and how to be a more intelligent chocolate consumer.

[Read more]

Glamour shot by Toya Heatley of burlesque dancer Phoenix Flame.
1 comment

Making It Happen: Interview With Toya Heatley, Photographer

Glamour shot by Toya Heatley of burlesque dancer Phoenix Flame.I love it when a woman achieves her dreams – expresses herself, starts up a business, gets creative. And this blog is going to have occasional interviews with talented women like this who I am fortunate enough to know.

Our series debut is an interview with Toya Heatley of Digitalpix Photography. She is a prizewinning photographer in the Wellington area. Her photography website is, and her wedding photography site is Is she available to take pictures for you? Yes, she is, especially over the winter season.

This delightful interview  includes photographs, what it feels like to win competitions, and a behind the scenes look at wedding and glamour photography, so click below to Read More![Read more]