Village People: Oh Deer Gifts


Doris Jiang has changed her life to make a dream come true and give her young kids the best access to her as a mother. In her understated way she makes this sound effortless, but anyone who is a parent knows that this is no easy juggle. Her gift shop OH DEER! at 430 Mt Eden Rd is bursting with eclectic items that have been handpicked from local and international sources. It’s obvious that she’s put time and love into this local business while still being a great mum. Hats off to Doris!

Q. How did you get into running this business?
A. We’ve been running this shop for four years already. I have always wanted to run a small gift shop like this. I had been an accountant for ten years working 9 to 5, doing almost the same thing every day. I just wanted something different and after my second child was born, I wanted to have more flexibility with my working hours so I could be there for my kids. I decided it was time. So, I noticed this little shop in this great area, and it has been a fantastic experience.

Q. Where did you grow up? Tell me about your childhood
A. I was born in China. My parents started working in Japan when I was very little, so I spent all of my primary school years in Japan. After that I finished middle school in China before moving to New Zealand to attend high school. I came out all by myself and stayed with a local family in a homestay in Whanganui. Living in Whanganui was lovely but quite different to Auckland. I do not come from a big city in China but there’s still quite a lot of people, so it was really different. I then moved to Hamilton for my final year of college. I still keep in touch with those families.

Q. And do you have staff to help you? Do you have days off?
A. We’re open 5 days closing Sunday and Monday until it gets to the busy Christmas season when we get help. But normally it’s only me. Sunday is a family day and we take the kids to wherever they want to go. My husband is an IT technician, so he works from home. Monday is date day. We find a nice restaurant, relax and chat, sometimes we go to the gym together. Have a little day off! We live locally – just around the corner so spend a lot of time in the Village.

Q. What’s the job like?
A. It’s a really fun job, the most fun part is selecting the things to sell. I do all of the buying and have many different sources which change seasonally. I love everything in the store. It’s all my taste. In the first year in business I bought a lot of things for myself. My husband said, ‘please buy things for your shop only, not for home, we’ve got too much stuff’. I’m getting better!… But I still buy things for the house or for myself (laughs).

Check out Doris’ style here: