wallah, walla (noun)
A person employed or in charge of a particular occupation or activity [from Hindi]
eg: chai-wallah; rickshaw-wallah; stitch-wallah.
Hilary Niederer’s Stitchwallah textile and accessory brand started from her breadth of experience from travels across the globe in the realm of textiles, costumes and fashion.
After studying fashion design at Wellington Polytechnic in the 1980s, Hilary travelled to London for three years working in costume for opera, theatre and ballet. Returning to New Zealand she freelanced in the local film industry for six years and then relocated to the USA. From the late 1990s for the next 12 years Hilary lived in New York City and Los Angeles tailoring for fashion shoots, supervising the costumes for touring dance companies and working in costume departments for indie and Hollywood movies in the USA and internationally in locations like China, Argentina, Egypt and Jordan.
On a movie job in Mumbai she met her husband and stayed on for the next decade textile and accessory shopping for Hollywood movies and large scale TV series for the UK, Sth. Africa & NZ.
From these roles and earlier travels within India, Hilary has connected with a vast network of textile and accessory artisans across the continent that are the core of what Stitchwallah offers. She sources hand-made, naturally woven and dyed textiles from regions across India that are celebrated for their centuries old traditions. Hilary’s knowledge of these techniques and regional designs can be seen in the items that Stitchwallah sells. She has also developed her own range of products that are available under her own brand name.
Stitchwallah established her 1st store in Arrowtown in 2019 and now sells wholesale and direct to customers from her home studio in Southland, New Zealand.