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MAMAN WOMEN || Dr Margaret Wilsher

Our Maman Women are the incredible customers who inspire us every day, and who have played an important part in the Maman story to date.  To say there are many wonderful Maman Women in our lives is an understatement, however one who has made a particular impact on us is Dr Margaret (Marg) Wilsher.

Marg first came into the lives of our founders, Kate and Emma, in mid 2013 when their mother, Deb (the inspiration behind Maman) was her patient.

She recalls meeting the girls when Deb was awaiting a lung transplant – and everyone’s joy when it was granted.

“It was such a race to get everything lined up for Deb’s transplant, and we were all so happy when the operation went well. I remember visiting her afterwards, and she was sitting up in bed looking just as pleased as punch!” says Marg.

“It was a rollercoaster,” adds Kate. “We had these little moments of absolute triumph when something went right, but there were many, many battles as well. No matter what we were facing, Marg was right by our side… We felt very safe in her care.”

While an acute rejection meant that Deb later passed away, Emma and Kate remained in touch with Marg. As a fellow fashion-lover and Remuera local, the girls were delighted when Marg became a regular Maman customer after the boutique opened.

Emma adds, “Through Mum’s treatment, Marg became a real part of our family history… Always supporting and encouraging us in her warm way. The fact that we are still able to catch up with her – and in a setting that mum would have adored – is very special to Kate and I.”

With this time of the year particularly hard for Kate and Emma, we thought it poignant to have Marg as our December Maman Women and celebrate such an incredible and humble woman.


 Introducing Dr Margaret Wilsher

Chief Medical Officer at Auckland District Health Board (ADHB)

Dr Margaret (Marg) Wilsher.

Medicine (A variety of roles, including specialist in respiratory medicine, executive leader for ADHB, researcher, and advisor to the Ministry of Health).

What made you decide to study medicine:
Growing up on a farm in the Hawke's Bay, I always thought I would be a vet, however I ended up having the opportunity to study medicine and my career progressed from there.

So, what do you think makes a good doctor:
Medicine is 90% communication and 10% really good science. You've got to be naturally curious, as well as good at reading and interpreting people (especially their non-verbal cues). I always say that doctors are the ultimate nosey detectives.

Your area of specialisation is respiratory illnesses. The Covid-19 pandemic must have made 2020 a very interesting year for you:
Funnily enough, due to the relatively low number of cases here in New Zealand, I haven't seen a case in person. My colleagues internationally can't believe it!

What inspires you:
So many things! People - my patients, colleagues and family. Places - phenomenal national parks here and around the world, creative arts that lift your soul and glorious food that is savoured with close friends.

How would you describe your style:
At work it's important that patients see me as both professional and relatable. How I dress plays a big role in reassuring people and creating the feeling that I'm approachable and easy to talk to. Having said that, I do love fashion, so my work wear often includes colours and prints.

(Kate adds: I vividly remember going to an appointment with mum, and Marg was wearing this long, elegant dress paired with shoes that added the most pop of colour - it made such an impression on me).

When I'm not working, my go-to outfits are always based on what's comfortable, feels good and is easy to wear. I love classic fabrics like linen, but also enjoy outfits with a splash of colour and brightness.

A day in the life of Marg looks like:
I always listen to Radio NZ at 0600 then head into the office just after 7 for a mad rush of meetings, clinics, reading and writing - medical stuff. After work I walk the dog, sometimes go to the theatre, eat dinner (the days of homework supervision have gone thankfully). I fall asleep reading the New York Times at 2200.

Favourite Local Designers:

Favourite International Designers:
Issey Miyake, Xirena, Baum Und Pferdgarten, Isabel Marant and Robert Clergerie for shoes. However since lockdown, Lululemon and Birkenstocks.

Fashion Mantra:
Anything that is comfortable, washable, non-crushable and understated.

Style Inspiration:
Our Prime Minister is best dress in her class! Otherwise - just stand on the street corner in Paris.

Last thing you Googled:
The weather for my holiday next week!

Last book you read:
'The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared.' Improbable, hilarious and the best endings for bad guys. I'm a big fan of non-fiction, especially biographies and books about travel.

What's the one thing you can't live without:
Coffee at 0700. Always a long black.

What is the most precious thing in your wardrobe:
A fabulous winter coat from The Row bought in a heavily discounted sale in the US.

Most coveted fashion item right now:
Comfortable shoes that do not look like my mother's!

What's the biggest fashion mistake you've ever made:
Buying a size too small!

What are you doing for the rest of the day:
Sorting out the chaos in my office.

Current song on rotate:
Jazz Bach - Jacques Loussier Trio.

Are you a 'wish list' or and 'add to cart' kind of girl:
Wish list.

Last picture you took on your phone:
Our new dog.

Best compliment you have ever received:
'you listened...'

Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with:
Right now - Stacey Abrams.

Favourite quote or saying:
For goodness sake!

Best advice anyone has ever given you:
Shut up!

Perfect Holiday Destination:
Very difficult to choose but either Paris in Spring or Hatepe NZ in the Autumn.

Last words:
What I love about Maman is that the personalities of the girls really come through in the experience that I have whenever I come in. It's a warm and inviting place, filled with clothes that people with busy lives can relate to. It's also a place that lots of different women can enjoy - I've brought my daughter in an introduced plenty of friends, many of whom are now loyal customers themselves!

Well done girls - your mum would be very proud!

Location: Maman Boutique and Remuera Precinct

Photographer: Jono Parker

Styling: Dr Margaret Wilsher

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