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Laurinda Sutcliffe: The right fit for work and play
By Donna McIntyre • 20/11/2016
Laurinda Sutcliffe, co-owner and designer behind Loobie's Story and Madly Sweetly
You drive a navy Hyundai Santa Fe?
It's a 2015 Elite, 2.2 litre, seven-seater, turbo diesel SUV. Its size and the flexible seating meant it was a great business and family vehicle. I'm petite so I like sitting in a higher car as I feel safer and I have more control, with better vision. I love the luxury features, such as leather upholstery, exact seating memory for the driver's seat, outstanding satellite navigation with real-time traffic updates and the rear parking/reversing camera.
How does the Santa Fe fit in with your work needs?
It's brilliant as I often need to use it to take garments and clothing racks to photo shoots. When I travel, which I do frequently, I often have a lot of luggage. The rear seats fold down to provide exceptional space and the boot design means it's easy to get things in and out without a lot of muscle power. We frequently use the seven seats when we're away at our bach with another family as we can all travel together for day trips exploring the beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula.
Who else is allowed to drive your Hyundai?
My husband and occasionally one of our team if they need to transport samples from A to B.
Do you have a special number plate?
I used to have "Loobie" plates, which my husband Brent bought me, on another car but I lost one in a house move. I need to have it replaced as I'd love to have them on this car.
How often do you clean it?
Not as often as I should!
What do you always have in your car?
Water bottles, hand cream, Panadol.
Are you brand loyal when it comes to vehicles?
Before we launched Loobie's Story most of mine have been company cars, where I don't get too much of a choice as to brand. Given how much I love my Santa Fe, I would have loyalty to Hyundai. And my parents have always owned BMWs, which I have driven a lot, so I have to say I'm fond of those, too.
As a designer, how important is design when you are choosing a vehicle?
Hugely important, I would never drive anything that wasn't aesthetically pleasing to me or that didn't have a functional well-designed interior.
My first "memorable" car was a company car about 20 years ago. It was the first model of the Honda CRV and I thought I was it and a bit driving it. I remember being super excited about the collapsible picnic table stored underneath the boot, which I used all of about twice.
Who taught you to drive?
My mum and dad and when that got too stressful, the driving school in Melbourne, where I lived as a teenager. I would have had my full licence at 18. I got it the first time I tried, that's about all I can remember. I do remember, however, using my mum's car all the time and her friends joking that she had to ask me to borrow it.
Any tips for young drivers?
Even though you think you're bullet-proof, you're not.
Do you prefer manual or automatic?
I don't mind driving a manual car and did for years, but as I often use my driving time to make phone calls (hands-free, of course) it's simpler driving an automatic.
Most memorable road trip?
The first time we drove from Queenstown to Glenorchy, it was a spectacular cloudless autumn day and my parents were with us from Australia. The lake was like a mill pond and the colours and views were spectacular. I remember feeling really proud to show off my adopted country. Despite being super-patriotic Aussies, they were blown away.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
We love heading up north in summer, stopping off at the Matakana farmers market to get provisions for a picnic and then heading out to the Tawharanui Peninsula for a day at that beautiful beach. In winter we love going out to the west coast beaches for a huge walk to blow the cobwebs away.
What irritates you most about other drivers?
Being inconsiderate and oblivious to other drivers on the road.