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Exploring the unrivalled lifestyle in Christchurch

“I’ve lived in Auckland, Wellington and a few places overseas, and I choose to be here in Christchurch. It’s the best lifestyle I’ve ever had – it’s that simple.”

Adrien Taylor co-founded a design studio with business partner Mark Townshend from the beachside village of Sumner earlier this year. He’s escaped the “not-another-meeting” lifestyle for exploration and freedom. Oh, and he surfs most mornings.

Running Not Another Studio from a beach is a far cry from his previous lives in Auckland and Wellington.

“People get caught up in the rat race, thinking to have a successful life they have to live somewhere like Auckland and make work the thing that defines them. For me, I’m all about lifestyle over work,”

Adrien Taylor - Not Another Studio

“People get caught up in the rat race, thinking to have a successful life they have to live somewhere like Auckland and make work the thing that defines them. For me, I’m all about lifestyle over work,” Taylor said.

This isn’t Taylor’s first venture. He runs Offcut, a company producing hats and other products from scrap materials, and a PR company called PayPer, specialising in storytelling for small businesses doing amazing things.

He also ran Trump Forest for more than two years, a company “planting a global forest to offset Trump’s monumental stupidity” in the face of climate change. Fair to say his endeavours have earnt him fans and clients across the world.

Not Another Studio is his latest project, together with Townshend, designed to deliver “champagne brands on beer budgets”.  They both previously worked for a high-profile creative agency in central Christchurch.

“We work flexibly and deliver exceptional branding for clients in New Zealand and overseas,” Taylor said.

His reason for basing himself in Christchurch? Easy – the lifestyle. The ability to explore remote beaches, lush hillsides and mountains, and an endless coastline made for a happy life, he said.

“I love surfing and in Auckland the closest beach was Piha, an hour’s drive on a good day. Here, I surf before work, I can surf after work, and skate home.”

A keen mountain biker and rock climber, Taylor scampers up the Port Hills to explore rock walls and downhill trails. He recently sailed with friends to a bach in Port Levy for the weekend, leaving Lyttelton at 5.30pm on a Friday and mooring in time for dinner.

“I mean, that’s just unreal,” he said.

Affordability was a major drawcard for Christchurch. Previously based in Herne Bay, Taylor said he was now paying a “fraction of what I was paying in Auckland” with better access to lifestyle offerings.

“I can fit so much more into my day. Life doesn’t have to revolve around work, and I have just as much free time as I do work time,” he said.

“If anything, my lifestyle is infinitely better than what it was in Auckland. I just have more time.”