How Things Got Cosmic

Rewind back to March the 10th, 1997… Its 9am on an early autumn morning and Mark “Carsy” Carswell has a mind exploding full of the endless possibilities and opportunities on the path ahead. He is about to open the door to his new business, Cosmic Corner…. . 

Originally named Cosmic Corner for being on the corner of High and Cashel Streets in Christchurch, this was the first of many adventures for Mark and his Cosmic journey. It was a buzzing store from the start, but tiny at only 5m x 5m with one small cabinet featuring a handful of pipes and herbal smoking mixes until a customer said to Mark, “Hey, you should get more stuff” - so he did!

Little did he know that not only was Cosmic Corner to become an iconic destination in the youthful heart of Christchurch’s High Street, but a nationwide chain that would become much more than just a store.

“I wanted a place where people choose to try the new and be themselves. A meeting place… a social venue. I wanted staff to be like party hosts for all those who came in” Cosmic Corner quickly grew to be just that, with a heartbeat all of its own propelled forward by the hard work, passion, fun, love, and laughter of Mark, his staff, and the loyalty of their customers.
In 2001 the store graduated from the corner to a much larger three story premises in High Street next to the well-loved Christchurch music store Echo Records (adopting some of their staff along the way). The Cosmic product range expanded to an eclectic and colourful mix of products giving it a marketplace vibe.

Cosmic was and is a polarising force that often sits amidst controversy while gaining notoriety and praise the world over for a strong belief in diversity and freedom of choice. Cosmic and its customers push the boundaries together and hence we proudly continue forward as the original renegade retailers since 1997, and we’re stoked to have you with us on the journey.