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Iconic Dunedin Design Shop Back In Business

Iconic, 107-year-old Dunedin design shop Miller Studios is being reborn and some lost jobs reinstated as the new local owners inject fresh life into the business.

More recently known as Miller Creative, an award-winning signwriting and design business with a rich Otago history and a strong reputation, it was unfortunately forced to close down in March due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Former Miller Creative production manager Oliver Kloogh, who has teamed up with southern-based investor and businessman Reece McChlery, has proudly stepped up to reopen the doors. Oliver is supported by some of the talented team who worked alongside him in the former Miller Creative Group, all grateful to have their jobs restored.

Miller Studios production manager Oliver Kloogh back on the job in Dunedin

“It’s a really exciting time for us and we’re happy to get back to doing what we love to do,” says Oliver. “Dunedin is a city with a strong creative heritage and Millers has been a major part of that for more than 100 years,” he says. “We hope this is the start of some great things. We’re looking forward to catching up with our regular clients and getting the business back on track.”

Reece, born and bred in a Southland farming community, says he’s confident that New Zealand’s primary industries will remain strong in the times ahead. “We see a big future in Dunedin so we’re backing it,” he says. “This is a massive opportunity to support the city and the regions.”

Oliver and Reece will invest in and refresh the Miller Studios business, building on the world class standard of craftsmanship that it was founded on.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins says he’s impressed with the foresight of the new Miller Studios investment.

“At a time when business confidence has taken a blow due to the effects of COVID-19, it’s tremendous to see smart investors embracing opportunities in the regions,” says Aaron.

“Over recent weeks Enterprise Dunedin has fielded inquiries from a number of businesses regarding setting up a base in the city,” he says. “It’s truly heart-warming to now see an iconic business such as Miller Studios re-establishing itself in Dunedin.”

Commercial fit out and signage experts, Miller Studios, as it was originally named, was founded in 1913 by highly-skilled signwriting craftsman Oswald Miller. He passed on his creative talents and craft to his very able sons. Miller Studios was involved in creating stained glass windows for some of New Zealand’s beautiful historic churches and buildings.

Since then the business has been continually evolving to provide a world class standard in design, fit outs and signage. “With a renewed focus for the future of the company, we will continue to do just that,” says Oliver.

Miller Studios is now back up and running at its Anzac Avenue site with a growing team of passionate signwriters and skilled design professionals on hand.

At the ready, from left, Julian Ford, Barry Oliver, Nils Petersen and Oliver Kloogh, of Miller Studios

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