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 😘

My Second Speech for Toastmasters out of my Competent Communication book, project 2.

Tonight I gave my 2nd speech to my Gore toastmasters group. Even though I have only been attending since April I can’t believe the improvements I have made. All from learning little bits from all the other members. Tonight apart from trying to control the butterflies, my goals were to not clench my fists and not to say umm! I did say 1 um, and instead of clenching my fists I kind of played with my fingertips (hard to describe) but an improvement I think haha. ( please excuse my grammar,spelling and all that’s not right. I could read and understand it, the main thing 😉 .

Below is my Speech I wrote on Saturday inbetween calves and cows, also a photo of my report from my Evaluator, I’m super stoked! And so pleased I went outside my comfy zone! can I inspire you too?

Get out of your comfort zone!

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your horizons.

Be willing to step outside of it once in a while;
Take the risks in life that seem worth taking.
The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.

As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.

I’ve learnt in my life that it’s important to be able to step outside my comfy zone.
Because of my fear of public speaking,I had let friends down when I couldn’t bring myself to speak at a tangi of my dear school friend and another occasion a best friends 40th.
I had never liked the sound of my own voice, let alone the thought of standing up and having a zillion eyes looking and listening to me!
A few years ago, I was asked to join a local radio show .I thought it was an ideal opportunity for my business. I was sick of letting opportunities go and making excuses because of my fear of public speaking.

The show, 3 years on has become my new normal, though the first few months, everytime I went to go on air, I felt like fainting, sweaty palms and that terrible butterfly feeling. I now am a regular on a couple of different radio shows. It is my new normal, but only because I pushed myself to continue.
It’s the hardest thing pushing through anxiety and worry, to get to the new ‘Normal’.

From there came other opportunities, which I hesitantly accepted. First judging then later comparing a wedding show….
It was during this time I got speaking to a friend about my inadequacies, she suggested coming along to toastmasters….
I put it off………. it was right out side my comfort zone!

We all like being comfortable. But there is a time when pushing ourselves is going to be beneficial. Its times like that we need to recognise.

If we trust ourselves we start to sense when the time is right.

For me the time came with a phone call from Conference NZ, asking if I would participate as a speaker on a panel for an upcoming Marketing conference ,being held in Auckland. It would have been comfortable and easy to say thank you but no thank you.
But the time felt right and I instead said thank you and YES!

Next I messaged my friend Chrissy and asked, what time and day is this toastmasters meeting? Tell me more!……It’s time!

The rest is history!

Although I had only been attending a few months before my speaking engagement, I had learnt so many little things from the great group of Gore toastmasters that, when it was my turn to get on stage in front of 200 attendees, (with a mic attached to my ear-yes another first) , I was able to control my nerves, I remembered to breath and while a little shaky to start, once I was up there for a few minutes, relaxed and was able to discuss all the points I needed and answer the audience questions. The questions kept coming to the point that the 50 mins went 15mins over, but to the delight of myself and the conference convenor , it was because the audience wanted it. I have since been asked to speak again next year! Will this be my new normal?

A comfort zone is a problem when we’re stuck in it, when we don’t let ourselves move with the natural flow of life. When we hold ourselves back and hide where we are comfortable and with what we know.

ARE we effectively saying no to life?

For me, public speaking was becoming a hindrance, I was passing up opportunities because I may have needed to stand up in front of a large group and speak!

Stepping out of my comfort zone, enabled me to recently receive several accolades on stage, with no speech prepared.
3 times I was required to get up and except awards.
Going out of my comy zone and coming along to toastmasters enabled me to be able to breath, stop, think and process what I was going to say that was relevant.
Yes my head was spinning on my shoulders, well so I felt, yes my voice was shaky from emotion, as much as anything, but I was able to get up on stage!!! Remember just the thought of that was waaaay out of my comfort zone, not that long ago!

My next challenge has been set, in a few weeks I am helping MC a local fundraiser, again out of my comfy zone, but the more I do this the more this will become my normal.

I challenge you! Do what scares you. When you think of ideas and it scares you. It is a good sign!
Usually a scared feeling is accompanied with the feeling of exhilaration.

The more we can make it a habit of pushing ourselves, the easier it will become.

Be that person you truly want to be, challenge yourself, and weather it learning something new, changing lifestyle or job or doing something that really intrigues you! It will be scary and you will second thought yourself, but do it!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!
Are you missing opportunities? Are you doing what you dream of?

Are you in a comfy zone?


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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