Krista: I grew up in beautiful Vancouver. Tim and I met in 2006, while he was travelling the Great White North. Our first conversation was about how amazing it would be to live in a New York loft. It was clear from the beginning that we had a lot in common and we knew within a couple of weeks that we were a perfect match. Beyond our mutual love of design, our bigger-picture values and goals lined up seamlessly, which is rare to find.

I moved to New Zealand to be with Tim, and we settled in Mount Maunganui. We had talked about opening a lifestyle design store for years, so when a shop on the busy Maunganui Rd became available, we jumped at the opportunity. What we love about the Mount is that it is full of down-to-earth, creative people whom I find so inspiring as we grow our own creative business.

Our roles at Paper Plane are evolving as our team grows. Currently, Tim’s focus is on design and general operations while I work on business development and marketing. Working well together requires emotional maturity and clearly defined roles. We treat Paper Plane like a third party rather than an extension of ourselves or our relationship.

We share a united vision for Paper Plane, but we have different ways of reaching that vision. Being open-minded with each other keeps propelling business forward in a unique way. I work part time from our home office which allows us some space apart. It’s nice to have time to miss each other, right?

Growing up, I always said I’d marry a guitar-playing surfer and live under a palm tree. Amazingly, that’s exactly what I got! Tim is spontaneous, full of energy, and always up for an adventure. He gently pushes me out of my comfort zone which can be uncomfortable at times, but is the best thing for me.

Tim: Growing up in the beachside town of Whakatāne, my days were filled with surfing, fishing and rugby. I became a builder, then, like a lot of Kiwis, traveled the world for a number of years before meeting Krista. When we got married and settled in New Zealand, I transitioned into furniture design which eventually led to the launch of our design store, Paper Plane.

We put our whole hearts into Paper Plane, which makes every aspect of it authentic and uniquely ‘us’. We sell practical, beautifully constructed and timeless pieces. We encourage our customers to value their items, to buy less and buy well. We love collaborating with talented creatives we admire on exclusive, limited-edition collections and we are excited to keep exploring these opportunities.

We have to remind ourselves that the purpose of this venture was to enable a lifestyle, so while the possibilities are endless for Paper Plane, we are happy to take our time and enjoy it. Finally, after four years, we have the flexibility to work a little less. I spend as much time as I can outside — mountain biking, fishing with mates and travelling with Krista.

Last year we went to Japan and both fell in love with it. The subtle architecture and design details, the plethora of quality, the vintage fashion, and the divine food are second to none. We were overwhelmed by Japanese hospitality on a daily basis. We felt like honoured guests in their beautiful country and cannot wait to go back.

Krista and I feel lucky to share a professional passion. It’s quite unique for a couple to be so connected and in sync at work and at home. It’s easy to talk about business day and night, but we always remember to nurture the other parts of our relationship. In order to be happy as a couple, you need to be happy as individuals. We are learning to prioritise our own physical, emotional and spiritual health. I’m a fairly complex person, so I really appreciate Krista’s understanding and encouragement. She is my biggest cheerleader.

Interview by Isabella Van Heusden | Images by Coralee Stone