Behind The Neon: Meet The Team At Smack Bang

Welcome to our first blog post! If you’ve come this far you probably have a fair idea of what we’re about - in a nutshell, homewares and lifestyle products for pets and their humans. We wanted a place for discerning pet owners to shop for high-quality items for their pets that compliment their home’s interior style. Where some homeware stores have sections for babies and children we’ve swapped that out for the furry kind of babies!

We believe in harmony between function and aesthetics - why can’t something be functional and look good at the same time? Why do dog beds need to be covered in paw prints? Your dog only cares that their bed is comfortable and warm, we’re the ones who have to stare at it.

This first post is a wee introduction to the pink and gold ray of sunshine that is Smack Bang and the team behind it.

So, a little about us. My name is Amelia - aka Amy - and I’ll be turning the big three-oh in October. Hailing from the bustling metropolis of Hamilton - Hamiltron, City of the Future, the Tron etc, I moved to Wellington in 2007 for uni and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Design (Hons), majoring in photography from Massey.

Since I was 15 I’ve worked in hospitality, working my way up from dishy in the St Andrew’s Golf Club café in Hamilton, to Duty Manager at the iconic Lovelocks Sports Bar, to the General Manager of Cue Room and Minibar on Wellington’s infamous Courtenay Place.

After almost 15 years of hospo I felt it was time for a change. Opening a homewares store had been in the back of my mind for a few years and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the career move. I’ve swapped late nights, drunk people, gropey men, and vomit for dogs, design, sunshine, and sober customers.

Of course, none of this would’ve been possible without the help and support of my husband Chris, aka Gonzo. A Wellington born and bred, full-blooded Greek. We got hitched in February this year in a low-key forest/beach ceremony in Opoutere, Coromandel. He’s a bar and nightclub owner since forever ago. For those old enough to remember, he was involved with Arena, Spats, Shooters, Cue Room, and more recently Pan de Muerto. Nowadays it’s Minibar and property developing with debt collecting as a side hustle. 

You’ll often see him walking our two 18-month old Shih Tzu x Maltese brothers Gus and Finn around the waterfront. Polar opposites and cute as hell. All toys and treats go through them before hitting the shop floor. If a toy can survive 24 hours with Finn then it’s a winner.

And before you ask, yes, they have a teepee. They like to fight in it.

Well, that’s about it from us for now! In future posts we’ll be talking about new products, spotlights on our favourite brands, industry insights, trends, customer and staff profiles and whatever else we feel like having a yarn about! We thrive and learn by listening to our customer’s knowledge and opinions so we encourage anyone to leave comments. But anything we consider “trolling” or nasty won’t be published - this is a happy place!

Dog bless.


Amelia and Chris Opoutere Wedding by Coralee Stone SMACK BANG BLOG

Our Opoutere beach wedding in February this year, shot by the insanely talented Coralee Stone. And our little shits, Gus (right) and Finn (left).

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