The antique store’s Christmas window display has been something to behold for more than a decade, but this year the impressive splash of colour has much more meaning.
Eclectic Antique Centre in Nelson’s Hardy Street shows off chandeliers, baubles and antique furniture with a Christmas tree taking centre stage – and its decorations hint at the loss being felt by many during the festive season, including Eclectic store owner, Maria Henare.
One year after Henare’s husband and business partner, Shane Henare died, the window pays tribute to him while also raising funds for an organisation close to Maria’s heart, the Nelson Tasman Hospice.
During Shane’s final months, he went in to Hospice four times “and came out three”, she said.
And through the hospice journey, she said her preconceptions of the organisation changed.
“If you went into hospice, you didn’t come out of hospice but we really learnt that their aim is to get you well enough to go home again if that’s what you want.
“In the end with Shane, he was the one that chose to go back there when he knew he wasn’t going to make it.”
She said the journey with hospice was a “real learning curve and we met some lovely people in there who were dealing with the same sort of situation we were”.
“This is my way of saying thank you and giving back.”
The store has a donation box for Nelson Tasman Hospice, a QR Code which can be scanned, giving $4 to the organisation, and a crystal decanter with whiskey glasses on a silver tray is being raffled off with all proceeds going to hospice.
Shane and Maria were teenage sweethearts who went on to go into the antique business together and travelling the world for items to sell.
Maria said she met Shane at 14, got engaged at 17, and married at 18, adding up to more than 33 years together.
“He was my forever man, I miss him terribly.”
And the loss carries over into the work space.
Shane was always a “huge part” of helping put the display together, she said, along with the everyday tasks of running an antique business for nearly 30 years including furniture restoring, pick up and delivery, and the “computer side of things”
“It’s been a huge loss both personally and business wise.
“If I had chandeliers to put up, he would be the one to … do all that for me.”
Kitting out the window this year was done with Shane’s love of colour in mind, she said.
“He loved colour, so this window is very colourful.”
A memory tree in the store gives patrons the opportunity to hang photos of loved one who have died, “giving people the chance to remember them at this time”, she said.
The Eclectic Antique Centre window Christmas window display will come down on January 10 and the raffle closes December 22.