A glimpse at my SME Presentation at kiwi.forum 2016

If am the owner of Carvin Streetwear. After 12 years in the retail trade I have the battle scars and awards to prove it. This slideshow is a glimpse of my perspective, the things I shared at RetailNZ shop.kiwi conference (Tuesday February 2016) and my acknowledgment of the importance of Staff, Service and Rural Retail

It’s been a while since my last post!

With the “10 year” photo challenge going around social media at the moment,it brought back memories of my blogging on Bebo, before I signed up to Facebook and got hooked!

Tonight I dug out my old Bebo blogs (had printed them out -old school I know) if I get a chance over the next wee while I’ll re write them up here….. spelling

Last profile pic I had on Bebo before it became defunct

and grammar mistakes included for authenticity!

I hope you have missed my yarns,poor grammar and spelling/typos.

Port Douglas, we made it! …. A quick much needed break away 

After a full on 12 months, things were getting tremendous in our world. An executive decision was made about 10days ago to get away. 

I was already going to be on Annual leave in Auckland for the inaugural ‘Woman in Leadership Symposium’  (deserving of a whole nother blog). 

My personal Auckland driver (Talia – daughter) delivered me to the airport, where Phil-husband from Dunedin, met me. 

The destination we’d decided to head to had a few requirements. 

It needed to be Air NZ friendly so we could use our overflowing air points. Needed to be within a 4 hour time zone change (have no time for that adjustment shit) and I wanted all the bells and whistles, because quite frankly I’m getting high maintenance in my middle aged years, and dam it, I deserve it! 

 Port Douglas it was! 

The quick trip across the Tasman isn’t as quick as you would ASSUME (You know one of my favorite sayings is’don’t assume, CONFIRM!). It took 15 hours from Auckland, who knew? Not me, hadn’t even had time to look when I booked. 

I was grateful to be heading away, in a time when I need ‘time out from life’. 

Business class Air NZ, yes! 

Champagne on arrival while the herds of people are shuffled to the cheap seats (not really so cheap but less expensive then the one I was sitting in). Recliner chair even Phil (6foot6) can lie in, movies galore as the food keeps coming with the champagne topped up. Heavenly start to what I hope will be a trip of renewing goals, unclenching my jaw (stress) and some executive decisions made.

Sydney for way to long…. 

Next flight Virgin Australia, to my disappointment and Phils too (who claims business class is a waste of money), we were put in the 1st 2 rows, the equivalent to business class. No champagne, just water. We were offered beer or rum later…. Beer! The rum was Bundy- Aussie love the stuff iiick! 

Food was delicious, but the flight was freezing, had a loud English chap that thought the sound of his own voice was what we all wanted to hear, 2 screaming kids, and a very attentive flight attendent. Kids should not be allowed in business class-just saying. 

We arrived! Hello Cairns. To a balmy damp twilight feel. Bags got, 4×4 hired and off we set to Port Douglas. Only one wrong turn, twice haha. A 7am start NZT arriving at our Resort at 10.12pm NZT. 

So we’re here, a good sleep and now  4.15am local time,blogging because I’m awake and not used to doing anything….. I hope by the end I’ll be relaxed and able to enjoy doing nothing….  the beginning of a holiday. I’m looking forward to exploring and hanging out with Phil. It’s been to long. 


I had a ‘ dilemma‘, weather to go or not…. It wasn’t getting too ‘ hot in here‘ but ‘I’m leaving my place‘….. In my’ air force ones ‘. 

Come ‘ Ride wit me‘ in my ‘hey Porshe‘, I’m off to ‘shake my Tailfeather‘  as ‘N Dey Say‘ in Auckland . 

Off to find the ‘Party People‘  with their ‘Grillz‘ …….. Is this ‘just a dream‘? ‘ Over and over‘again? 

Will my ‘Country Grammer‘, ‘flap your wings‘? 

Nobody knows‘?   Is one of my favs ❤️

Thanks Talia for taking me,  he might be one of my favorites, I know he’s not yours, I appreciate what you’re  doing for your mum 😘

Getting Out of my Comfort Zone and into New Experiences

Last year when I left a #ConferenzNZ ‘Marketing to Farmers’ conference after being part of a panel, I had no idea what was in front of me …… apart from cows and about 200 hungry calves and a night at the Southern South Island #TOPSHOP awards in Dunedin.

It was the 2nd year I had entered my business in the Retail NZ competition and Jess into the Retail professional award, after successfully gaining recognition the previous year.

I flew Auckland to Dunedin via Wellington.  It was that flight between Wellington and Dunedin that gave me this amazing opportunity I have just had, presenting ‘My Story’ to my retail peers and Retail Royalty from NZ and around the world!

I’m still pinching myself!

That flight, I had sat at the very back of the plane so I could be 1st off, as I was in a hurry to catch up with my Carvin girls who were road tripping up from Gore to Dunedin for #TOPSHOP awards that evening.

Was it chance or was it meant to be that a gentleman by the name of Mark Johnston sat next to me? We chatted, general chitchat, he asked about the conference I had just attended, I asked what he did? He said he was CEO for Retail NZ. I Proceeded to tell him I was off to the awards as a finalist. He already knew that (he had recognised my face) but hadn’t let on! And still didn’t! He had booked his seat for a fast getaway to the awards too. We chatted the whole trip, great banter, with him knowing I was actually sitting at his table, and the awards Carvin had won! I still had no clue, he definitely had a good poker face!

Fast forward to the awards, he spotted me and did suggest I don’t drink too much! I thought he was being cheeky! In hindsight he was forewarning me I was about to get up and do several acceptance speeches!

What a wonderful evening and I was fortunate enough to meet many great new people!

Next,Christchurch and the National awards……. Carvin Streetwear Runner up to the Supreme Award of TOPSHOP 2015!  Mark suggested that night he/they at Retail NZ maybe in touch, they were planning the inaugural Retail NZ conference.

4 months later….

Mark Johnston – Retail NZ CEO



Yesterday (16/02/16 ) I presented at the inaugural Retail NZ Conference #shopkiwi , but not before I had- had an interesting evening with some of retails Royalty from around NZ, Australia and America. Dining at one of Auckland finest restaurants “ The Sugar Club” ………….       high in the sky!

Mikayla Whetton, Events & Promotions Manager Retail NZ and I

I was a breakout speaker yesterday 1 of 6. Sharing my retail success as a SME (small medium enterprise)

The Epsom room had seating for 80! By the time my head had stopped spinning on my shoulders through sheer fear and nerves (completely out of my comfort zone), I realised all seats were full (except a couple up the front- noone likes the front haha) and standing room only, people were filed along the back of the room also!


Were they really there to listen to me?

They were!

(2 people even told me they had attended the event because they wanted to listen and meet me! I actually had people waiting to meet me after and another one even wanted a photo! OMG!)

And what more, they were engaged in my presentation!

At the end of my presentation, the questions came thick and fast, it was amazing, so much so, we went overtime of my 40min time slot. Below are photos of the programme line up and a little about what we were all speaking about.

Matthew Shay – National Retail Federation, President and CEO

What a truly great experience, worth all the worry, anxiety and nerves. I choose the blue pill, to get uncomfortable  (see *)

I wanted to blog this, not just because it’s been a truly amazing few days and I wanted to share my experience with you all,  but because I hope that it may inspire just one of you who are taking the time to read my blog ☺


 20160217_134408 One of the main speakers (Paul Taylor) talked of health , wellbeing and your mind. Apart from actually almost getting me to shit my pants, get emotional about running a marathon and teaching me that 8 min exercise in the morning is great for you, he talked of Morpheus (from Matrix – the movie) and spoke about how choices are what define us. We make our own luck! Many people tell me I’m lucky .

Paul talked about getting uncomfortable until we are comfortable and then pushing forward again to be uncomfortable, all the time improving, this relates to anything in life, whether it be exercise, relationships, work , life in general.

*Morpheus said in his movie, there’s 2 pills…. a red one which you can take and life will be the same- easy, what you are used too, or the blue one that will change everything forever! It might be great or it might not. It’s your choice !

I choose to take the blue one every time, I really enjoyed his analogy,it was putting how I see life into context. (Sometimes it’s not so good, but then I get uncomfortable again).

So if you are wondering or umming and aahing, about life and things you want to have, achieve or do, just think are you happy with status quo? What is it you actually want for you, your family,your life and your well being? It’s not going to come to you as you are at status quo, you actually have to get out there and feel uncomfortable to get it.

Which pill do you choose to take?

The red or the blue?

Are you too comfortable?

It’s your choice,it’s your destiny.

I’m blue!

If you think you’re unlucky all the time, maybe it’s time you looked at why? Maybe you need to choose the Blue Pill too!


Our MC for the day Hilary Barry-Journalist

The inaugural Retail NZ Conference #shopkiwi was a huge success! The exhibitors were amazing and all very relevant, we got spoilt with TIPTOP icecreams and as many coffees from Z coffee cart as we wanted, not to mention all the great competitions, networking, yum Food at the breaks and learning about what’s available out there to us retailers! A must to attend!

The break out sessions. Mine was at 11.10am

A few snap shots of the programme,  click on them to read close.