What is bullying?

I was asked to tell my experience by Jo an very lovely and active community person. We had talked about it one lunchtime (not realising she had truly listened to my contribution to a conversation we were having with other mates ). I agreed, and am so happy now that she asked me, it was more therapeutic then I thought! I thought I had got over it years ago, but it brought up some buried emotions again. Here’s the link to the article that featured in The Ensign our local little paper in Gore.


TOP SHOP awards an accolade after 10 years in business August/October 2014

I am now in my 10th year in Retail. Since forming Carvin Ltd and starting from scratch, researching the Market, population and the brands I wanted to get in my new store. Carvin Streetwear opened the doors September 29th 2005 (my husbands birthday which as the time was to piss him off because he was not happy about it at all, wanted me to stay working on the farm along side him and wanted not a thing to do with it) . Anyway alot of water has washed under the bridge since then (tidal waves sometimes) 10 years later and alot learnt about retail, Carvin Streetwear a individually owned store from Gore was judged a top 3 finalist in the Southland and Otago region for The Fashion Footwear category, we were beaten by Barkers of Dunedin and Zierra Footwear of Dunedin (both which are national brands). We were also a top 3 Finalist in the Peoples Choice which was over all sections of the Awards and WON!!! Not only was it an awesome accolade and achievement , but I am so proud of my staff for their achievements also. One of the things I set out to do from the very beginning was to maintain constant good customer service and to always help the customer not just serve them. Making customers look good and feel great was my original Motto and it is still on the front of every bodies Job description.
I am also very proud of Jess my now Manager she has not only won the Regional (as did Sheree Freer my store Manager prior to Jess starting 2.5 years ago) for the Service IQ Professional of the year(through doing a retail apprenticeship) but she came very close to taking out the National title as well!


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My first ever Toastmasters Speech ‘Ice breaker speech’ June 2015

The time given for this speech was 4-6 minutes:

My Time on the very first read was 4.38.34 and after practising, my time on the presentation night was 5 min 15 seconds. My feed back was very positive although I did start with an um before I started my speech! My hair was over my eye which my evaluator felt was distracting and my hands were clenched together at the start before I used gestures. All and all I was pretty stoked, the nervous adrenalin was amazing and the nice comments from fellow toastmasters felt very heart warming.

Below is my Ice breaker speech is supposed to be about yourself.

My ice breaker speech, a little about me, but more about my name…….

What is in a name?

I have always believed there’s a lot in a name, it determines who you are, how people perceive you, it defines who you are as I’m about to share with you, or does it?

My name is Chanelle now, but it has been Nicola, Christine, Chanel spelt C-H-A-N-E-L and now Chanelle with an extra L and E on the end.

I was born in a hospital in Epsom Auckland for unwed mothers. My birth mother named me Nicola, the nuns changed it a few days later to Christine (so they knew which girl I belonged to, yes! Christine is my birth mothers name. And my first birth certificate states Christine Nicola, not Nicola as my birth mother desired.

I was picked up by an amazing family of 5 from Taranaki who choose the name, as the story goes, on the long car trip up to Auckland and called me Chanel…… spelt as I said earlier C-H-A-N-E-L, this wasn’t my last name change..

Now I was named Chanel after my Aunty back in 1973, she was 45 at the time, my grandmother wasn’t a  fashionista but must of loved the name for other reasons because Chanel back in 1928 was not a very known name, nor in 1973 in NZ. It was more Mary, Dorothy or Margaret in 1928! or in 1973, Michelle, Lisa or Julie!  I still get called Shantel and Michelle constantly! I will remind you my name is Chanelle.

By the time I was ready to learn to spell my name before I went to school my adopted mother decided to listen to a nun,,,, with her wisdom had suggested adding L-E  on the end to make it more feminine because Chanel reminded her of St Peter Chanel a man.  He was gentle, kind and encouraging not unlike my namesake Aunty Chanel actually, he was also the patron Saint of Oceania…..but he was a man!

Is it coincidence that nuns have had such part in my names?

What is in a name?

So I did what we all do now days! I googled it!

Google tells me it’s actually a French surname which meant pipe.

It has been used as a American given name since the 1970s, influenced by the Chanel brand (a line of woman’s clothing and perfume), which was named by French Fashion designer Coco Chanel ( born 1883) .

Are any of you familiar with William Shakespeare?

His famous words

“a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

Implies that the name of things, does not affect what they really are.

I disagree!

Is it coincidence that I love fashion? And married a fitter welder of Pipe!

I grew up confused!   I had many name changes!  😉 but also had a great family and lots of worldly experiences.

A colourful child hood and adolescence, perhaps in part because of my confusing name changes.

I was asked to leave school at 15 managed to hang in till I was 16, leaving unqualified but looking forward to the big wide world.

I left my little town for the big city and started my career as a hairdresser, first training in Palmerston North then getting an apprenticeship in New Plymouth. By the time I was 20 I was fully qualified, married to my Pipe man the fitter welder and managing a hair salon before we decided to go farming and have our 1st child at 22.

A big decision deciding to ditch the 8-5 townie day to (and I still agree) very ghastly early starts!

2 more babies later, a few shifts including the biggest one, to leave our family and friends and travel South (gypsy day known  by you Southlanders) .

A farm bought and a farm sold we made our family life down here. We’ve travelled the Pacific and the world in between.

I am now a fashion retailer of an awesome independent store right here in Gore and still manage to put my gumboots on too!

Is it coincidence that St Peter Chanel travelled the seven seas and became Patron St of Oceania (the Pacific)? I might not be saintly but I do absolutely

Love the pacific, my favourite place is Tahiti! Moorea to be exact!

What’s in a name? A lot I say, do all my name changes go with all my interests, careers and changes?  Or is it just coincidence? I ask you?


Time 4.38.34 on the first read after practicing, my time on the presentation night was 5min 15 seconds. The time given was 4-6 minute speech.