Benjamin Farrer Hardy began his career in the fashion industry when he joined the company Rushbrook and Company of Auckland, before moving on to other draperies in Auckland where he gained further experience. Subsequently, in 1902 he was appointed manager of the Melbourne Clothing Company of Stratford .
By 1911 Ben Hardy had his own business in Picton Street Howick, where he remained until 1915 at which point he made a name for himself as a Master Draper in Thames.
Electoral roll records indicate that by 1928 he had moved back to Auckland and was living in Oaklands Road Mt Eden and is still listed as a draper.
Ben Hardy married Martha Neilie in 1899 and they had two children, Norma Madeleine Middlebrook Hardy, ( 1905-1997) and Douglas Nelson Hardy (1905-1992)
The premises on the corner of Pollen and Cochrane Streets now occupied by Mr Ben. Hardy, the enterprising draper, and formally known as Martin's corner, have undergone wonderful changes in the course of a few months. Where formerly stood the old established business of Mr George Martin, has now arisen one of the most up-to-date emporiums in the town, and here Mr Hardy has set up business under modern conditions.
With a large and new building at his disposal and a stock that for excellence would be hard to beat, Mr Hardy has made a choice Xmas display. Everything is new, and consequently fashion followers can obtain all that they require in dress and accessories. The showroom contains some ravishing millinery samples, the newest shades and shapes being exhibited. Madame Fashion has so many vagaries that it is difficult to keep pace with her whims, but Mr Hardy understands what his Thames clients wants, and buys accordingly. Here lies the secret of his success since starting gin business in this town( and his numerous customers recognise his efforts to please them ); the enterprising draper has secured an exclusive array of chic graceful millinery, and his ready to wear costumes are the last word in fashion. In all the leading shades and materials, they are perfectly sweet confections, and we would recommend the race goer in search for an original frock to call and inspect the splendid display at Hardy's. In charming military cut with pleated basques, mess coat style and flared skirts, they are le dernier cri . The whisps of lacy blouses: the effective dress trimmings, and the smart little muslin and voile frocks made in a variety of styles, including the popular pinafore design stamp Hardy's stock as thoroughly representative of what is being work in the fashion centres. In hosiery, gloves, stockings, and sunshades, the shop is replete, also with dainty dress fabrics. There are the usual accompaniments for the ladies in toilet accessories, etc, in which the feminine mind delights. Hardy's is an admirable place for the Xmas shopper and the enterprising proprietor is thoroughly deserving of the increasing patronage which is offerings are bringing him. He has installed one of the latest electric cash registers in the district, it being worked with a minimum of waiting for the customer, and combines efficiency of service with wonderful capabilities for silently recording the sales. It is a striking innovation and is built on an elaborate scale. Mr Hardy is indeed catering for public stores in Thames. His Xmas stock is a fine one.
Thames Star 22nd December 1915