Father Rabbit is the alter ego of Claudia Zinzan and Nick Hutchinson. He was realised when Claudia and Nick’s son Tony was shiny and new and Claudia was taking some time out from her career as an Interior Designer. Then followed six months of careful planning under the watchful eye of the pedantic rabbit, and Father Rabbit’s online store was open for trading in December 2010. With a demanding rabbit and growing family, Claudia has said goodbye to her Interior Design clients to focus on Father Rabbit full-time. Nick manages his role as Father Rabbit’s Right Hand Man around the ebbs and flows of a career in the film industry as a camera operator. When he’s not staring down the lens or lending his practical nous to the garden and the baby, he works alongside Claudia on product selection, merchandising and the very important task of keeping Father Rabbit’s website spic and span and a Nice Place To Shop.
As the Father Rabbit business grew, so did his domain within the family home. Initially operating out of a rabbit sized corner in the lounge, he then took over the front half of the families Grey Lynn split villa and threw his doors open to welcome shoppers and visitors alike to his Open House. Eventually Father Rabbit had to move on from this space too and you can now find him sharing his time between two Auckland retail stores.
He’s equally at home amongst the modern polished concrete floors of BLOC (20 Normanby Road, Mt Eden) as he is within the heritage surroundings of the store at 232 Jervois Road, Herne Bay. Father Rabbit and his wares sit beautifully in these two contrasting environs and are a testament to the timelessness of his carefully curated selection of products.
With this growth and expansion it’s been more important than ever to adhere to Father Rabbit’s Way Of Doing. While the stores are (almost) always meticulous, at home it’s often another story. At times they will measure up to Father Rabbit’s exacting standards, and it’s at these moments when Claudia and Nick are at their happiest (to be honest, Tony & new baby Michaela are a bit indifferent).
Those fleeting moments when the books are in order, the beds are made, the garden weeded and the clutter cleared away. The cupboards are as organised inside as they are pristine white and free of little kiddy-sized finger marks on the outside. Then there are the times when chaos creeps in and there’s not enough time in the day to achieve the virtuous rabbit’s tick of approval… oh well, tomorrow is a new day.