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.



Who knew I’d sound so good?

An article I featured in from The Otago Daily News Saturday Editon,  has people talking, it’s like noone realised I did what I do.  Or is it because it’s in the news, it’s real? Either way,  I was chuffed and hope all my parents love getting their copy in the mail in the next few days.


The reporter was amazing,  she must have recorded every word, as she quoted me throughly over the phone on Tuesday. 


The photo I emailed through to her wasn’t quite what she wanted to go with the story she told me when she called on Wednesday,  she was sending a photographer from Dunedin to capture me,  with painted fingernails and fur as I’d described to her when she’d called to interview me.  I was about to get changed (after work in my store)into my farm clothes,just as she phoned. 


The photographer arrived at 8.30 on the dot, Thursday morning happy to see my nails done,  allowed me to wear my gumboots but wondered if I had a better jacket to wear.. I proceeded to try on 3 others until he thought the perfect one.  Off we went to the calf sheds..  No hungry calves, rather subdued, sleepy and not interested in us.  (feed an hour earlier so I was ready for work).
I had to sit quietly in my stockings, dress, fur and gumboots.  While Stephen the photographer lay on the ground finding the perfect light and different angles of me and the calves.


Ultimately capturing some amazing pictures, I love!  What a great experience,  a journalist who made me sound great and a photographer who managed to make me look glamorous in gumboots.


Stephen went beyond the call of duty,  found his front covered in calve poo when he stood up.  I true master,  the things you do to get the perfect shot!

the warhol: Chanelle’s Screen Test

the warhol: Chanelle’s Screen Test.


A few months back I got a a very special ph call from my little sister ( from my birth mothers side) to attend our mothers birthday.

Another rushed trip but able to fit so much in.


Chris like many of us woman had had one of those weeks when she felt under appreciated and forgotten un-be-known to her that this had all been planned for her. I got to spend lots of time with her, her sisters and brothers, my Sister and brother inlaw, my 2 darling nephews and my brother and his partner too!

Great times! I got to hang with and get to know a little more about this side of the family, including my siblings, not growing up together doesn’t matter now as we all get older. My little brother taking me along to Andy Wahol at Te Papa was definitely a highlight.

Below  is a link of of me doing the Andy Wahol screen test that Troy and Carlos took me along to, I wanted to see it and so did they, inspirational I think is the best way to describe it, as I went on to create his ‘Factory’ theme  (covered everything we could in tin foil) in my store as a Sale promo and Troy my brother a photographer studied and enjoys all Andys work.

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 ….. They sat me down and explained to me about ‘the screen test’ as well as many other aspects of Andy Wahol ( I’m a little oblivious to the finer things, I just went cause I liked some of his art) Opened my world up though 😀 .

So I sat in front of this camera, supposedly after 2 mins peoples true personalities start to appear (as Andy Wahol saw it)  I did, and I can see my personality peek through 😉  I wonder if you can too?


Leave a comment if you do, let me know if you can see my personality pop through or if viewing me for 2 mins is 2 mins to long haha.

the warhol: Chanelle’s Screen Test.

50 shades of grey and more…….

My closet? Really? A blog about my closet, it was suggested by a fellow tweeter that a few of us participate. Never one to turn down an invitation, I wondered where to begin?

Being in the rag trade, my wardrobe is as you would expect.

Full to overflowing, even after my regular clean outs there still doesn’t seem to be any more room! My Friends are the benefactors.

I have rules!

If I buy a pair of shoes I need to get rid of a pair. I also buy the majority of my clothes from my store.

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Its very rarely that you will ever catch me wearing something purchased elsewhere. Nothing worse then when someone admires what you are wearing and then proceeds to ask where you got it from, and I can’t reply Carvin Streetwear!

I’m my stores best customer or so you would think but I’m actually 4th on the list! Yes, I pay for my clothes (another rule I have) it makes sense to me, because if I wasn’t buying them there I’d be buying them somewhere, it is also a deterrent to me, stops being to over indulgent and makes me think, do I need it for a split second haha. So as you peer at the photos of my wardrobe I can pretty much guarantee 85-90% of my wardrobes contents are from Carvin Streetwear including shoes and accessories.



My clothes are in colour and style order. Jackets and Cardis on the bottom, dresses, shirts and tunics on top. Long Jackets and long dresses (maxi and cocktail) are together on another rack.

Uniform black plastic hangers,that used to be wooden but they were replaced so I could fit more in. The wooden ones now only reside in my husbands wardrobe. Yes we have his and hers wardrobes…he has as many clothes as me!

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My jeans and pants are folded, along with jumpers.I fold tee’s and tops, shorts and sports wear all into their own cubbyholes.

My drawers contain socks,hankerchifs and underwear all matching.

My numerous swimwear and sarongs also have their own cubbyhole.

What does that make me? Organised or OTT (Over the top)

Some things just never date or you love so much ya just can’t biff…….

My fav piece of clothing would have to be my faded light blue denim jacket, it goes well with most things and can make an outfit that is to flash for an occasion, a more casual and comfortable outfit. I’m a casual kinda girl, with my style in a tidy way.

My most admired and oldest piece in my wardrobe is a vintage camel haired jacket. Nz made way back when, with genuine  camel hair made in England. ( I think its about 60-70 years old)

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I inherited from an Aunty Paul (she’s 90 now) when we shifted south, she gave it to and said “here dear, wear this when your in the shed,it’ll keep you warm” .

I wouldn’t have dreamed of ever wearing it in the cowshed, I fell in love with it as soon as she pulled it out. My colour!  The perfect cut and length. They don’t’ make coats like this any more.


Fifty shades of grey….and black….and brown….and blue, but my favourite colour this season has been orange!

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1 year down……


its been 1 year and 1 month since my online store opened for business. Its been a huge learning curve and I’m so thankful I managed to find and employ a great person to help me with it.Its been a huge year for both of us, Andy leaving for a few months to drive tractors in Aussie…leaving me to implement  what he had taught me, oh gaaawd all this technology is hard work for me (not a natural at all) but I do embrace it! He then got married honeymooned and still manages to photograph weddings in his spare time , when he’s not photo-shooting for the the online store, packaging orders, replying to our many questions on Facebook, twitter and blog, he’s busy trying to improve things for the online shoppers all the time…and its working cause we are getting some lovely feed back 🙂 its such a feel good thing to know we are making our customers happy. Its why I got into retail, to make people look good and feel great!

Our latest great bit of feedback: