Remuera Real Estate Register Blog - Out and About

In any community, there's more than meets the eye. We'll keep you updated on all the happenings in real estate and otherwise in Remuera.

3/3/2016

Bakers Delight: A Bundraising Business

The team at Bakers Delight don't loaf around when it comes to providing for 'their' community. Such is his passion and commitment to Remuera and its residents, owner Chun Chung, who already provides free baked delights to numerous local schools, community clubs and kindys for sausage sizzles and fundraising, says his door is "always open for more approaches".

What is behind the huge amount of support you give to local groups and events?

One of my personal mantras is "consistency"; in our service standards, our products... and in what we do. We're really proud of our involvement with local groups, and have consistently been there for them since we opened 11 years ago.

What's your background Chun - are you a baker?

As much as I'd like to take credit for our wonderful breads, I have amazing bakers who look after that part of the business for me. I was previously an accountant, and although I've done stints in all areas of the bakery, I'm purely management these days.

How many bakers do you have onsite?

We have five bakers, and around 15 staff overall. Our part-time staff are mainly local kids, working weekends, after school, holidays etc. I'm fortunate to have great staff, and it seems our customers agree as we have a lot of regulars who compliment the service they get!

What happens to the leftover bread?

We bake fresh daily, and all leftovers go to charity - churches, Auckland City Mission etc. At a conservative estimate of around $800 of bread a day for the past 11 years... that's over $3m worth of bread that has helped the less fortunate. We have really strong social and environmental values, and it's a tremendous feeling to be able to help in this way..

Why did you decide to open in Remuera?

The chance to be right in the middle of such a vibrant, friendly community was too good to pass up!

Do you live locally?

Yes, I've lived in Remuera for around 8 years now, and my kids have all grown up here.

Do the kids show any interest in the business?

In the food? Yes! Not so much the business as they are probably a bit young for that, although my oldest does come in and sweep the floor occasionally.

Do you have any future plans for Bakers Delight, or is it ticking along nicely as it is?

We are always looking forward to developing and extending the relationships we have with the community, but other than that, our huge range of products meets the needs of all our customers so there is no real requirement to change anything.

Easter is around the corner, so we're guessing you'll be pumping out hot cross buns by the hundreds?

By the thousands! Hot cross buns are one of our biggest sellers, with the traditional bun beating out the chocolate version by a whisker.

What's your favourite product?

The plain old fresh white block. Toasted with butter and peanut butter - you can't go wrong.

What seems to be a favourite with the customers?

Cheeseymites are always popular, as are the custard and apple scrolls. Bread-wise it would have to be the hi-fibre, low GI, white block. Anything that keeps the kids fuller for longer is bound to be popular!.

Bakers Delight

1 Victoria Avenue

Ph:  09 524 5760

Photography by Vanita Andrews (photos to come) and words by Fiona Wilson

Blog article courtesy of www.remuera.org.nz and www.thehobson.co.nz

 

 

 

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3/3/2016

The Wild Bunch: Pick of the Bunch

It's turned into a very good thing that Jo Mann found herself a floristry job over a Christmas break some 25 years ago. Originally a time-filler between leaving school and starting university, that holiday job has seen her train, work and study with some incredibly talented master florists, both here in New Zealand and in Europe.

How long has The Wild Bunch been around?

We turned sweet 16 last Christmas!

Would you say having to get up early to visit the flower market is the hardest part of being a florist?

Although that is a common perception, I'd say here in NZ it is the availability vs demand for fresh product and variety.

Where does your creativity and inspiration come from?

I'm lucky enough to come from an artistic background. My father has always painted, and mum was a florist (who at 80 years old still tends an acre of garden!). I love the excitement of working on something from design stage through to installation, and I get inspiration from everywhere: from the products that come through the store, from flowers and nature, from fashion and design.

What are some more memorable, or unique, projects you have done?

There have been a few! I created a fresh flower monkey for the 2016 "Year of the Monkey" celebrations, I've decorated cars and created hanging gardens, designed a horse with fresh leaves and a floral harness, and just last week decorated a wedding with 20 metres of fresh flower garlands.

Have you seen many changes in floristry over the years?

Absolutely. Floristry is like the fashion industry where trends come and go with the seasons. Currently the loose, just picked look, full of glorious foliage and florals, is huge. Garden flowers are always very popular: roses, foxgloves, delphiniums, hydrangeas... even gypsophila is back!

Does The Wild Bunch have an online presence?

We've just relaunched our website, and we're currently creating an online option to offer our clients simply presented, market-fresh flowers, delivered direct to home or office at fantastic prices. We'll also be posting weekly specials, updates, and keeping our clients in the know with current trends and products. We have an awful lot of fun with social media too - Facebook and Instagram are fabulous for connecting with the public.

Is it just you in the store?

I am lucky to have a fabulous team at The Wild Bunch, full of unrivalled enthusiasm and professionalism. We really enjoy sharing our love of flowers and design ideas with each other and our customers.

What do you like about working in Remuera?

The friendly village vibe - you can't walk down the street without greeting or chatting to someone. When my son was born a few years ago, a few of my lovely customers used to come and walk him in his stroller while I worked, and others brought in home-baked goodies for morning tea. There is definitely a true 'family' feel to Remuera..

What keeps your regulars coming back?

Our attention to detail, pride in design and freshness of our product all contribute to returning customers. And although we are based in Remuera, we service a varied collection of clients Auckland-wide, supplying stylish florals for office and boardrooms, installing reception flowers in elegant venues or simply wrapping single stems or pretty posies.

What do you enjoy most about your typical day?

Each day can be so different! You can one minute be purchasing fresh product on the auction floor, then the next be up a ladder suspending a floral chandelier.

Finally, what's your favourite flower?

Hmm, I could answer this seasonally, or by colour, but I really can't thin it down to just one flower! Perhaps the perfume of a bloom might just be my favourite thing.

The Wild Bunch

419 Remuera Road

Ph:  09 529 9547

www.thewildbunch.com

Photography by Vanita Andrews (photos to come) and words by Fiona Wilson

Blog article courtesy of www.remuera.org.nz and www.thehobson.co.nz

 

 

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15/1/2016

Remuera Gallery: Picture This

An eye for art, a love of retail and a background in picture framing gave Scott Dargaville the perfect credentials to take over the ownership of the Remuera Gallery.

How long has Remuera Gallery been established?

It’s been a landmark in Auckland for over 30 years now. It was originally the Dunham Gallery, before being bought by Murray Gow and renamed as the John Leech Gallery in 1980, then I took over in 2005.

What is your background?

I had a picture framing business called Scott’s Framing in Upland Road for 15 years, and prior to that I had a gallery in Sydney for a couple of years.

How did you originally get into this business?

In my younger years I worked for an Italian guy framing and selling art. I’d love to say it was a career move, but it was more a means to an end … I needed a job! It wasn’t until my aunt left me some paintings in her will, and I sold them, that I got a ‘taste’ for it.

You also have another gallery in Cambridge. How does that compare to having a business in Auckland?

Since opening in Cambridge (in 2013) we’ve discovered that it’s a much slower pace of life down there – we see a smaller dollar spend, but far more foot traffic. I come up to Auckland when I need a bit of spice in my life!

You have an unusual surname - do you have any connection to Dargaville the town?

Yes, and it’s probably my biggest claim to fame! My great, great-grandfather was the original settler there, and the town was named after him.

How about here in Remuera – do you have any connections?

My family has lived here for about 90 years. So I grew up here, went to school here and have been the chairman of the Remuera Business Association for four years now. It was only natural to start my business here too.

Are you very creative yourself?

Put it this way – I leave the painting to the artists. I have an eye for, and an appreciation of, art but that’s as far as my creative skills extend.

What’s the most unusual, or rare, piece of artwork you’ve sold?

We’ve bought and sold a couple of Goldies, and we come across treasures all the time.

What’s been your favourite exhibition, and why?

Ron Stenberg. For the last 10 years we’ve held an exhibition on his birthday … he is in his 96th year and still painting!

Does your own home reflect that you own an art gallery?

We have around 100 (and counting!) paintings, and probably have 50 hanging at any one time. I rotate them frequently but can’t sell any as the kids notice straight away when one has been moved.

Do your kids show any interest in joining the family business?

My daughter Charlotte is very artistic, and is already involved in the business behind the scenes, looking after our website. So although I can’t tell them what to do, I’m still hopeful the gallery will continue on in the family.

What do you like most about having your business here in Remuera?

It has to be the village atmosphere. And all the people are so friendly!

You have a ‘Stock Sale’ coming up in January. How does that work?

Our showroom upstairs is where we keep all the exhibition art that hasn’t sold. Every January we bring it downstairs and it’s reduced by 30-40%.

Remuera Gallery

360 Remuera Road

Ph:  09 524 7403

www.remuera-gallery.com

Photography by Vanita Andrews (photos to come) and words by Fiona Wilson

Blog article courtesy of www.remuera.org.nz and www.thehobson.co.nz

 

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15/1/2016

Mikko Shoes: If The Shoe Fits

Marilyn Monroe famously said, "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world". In Michaela Longstaff's case the right shoes were high spec, high quality, comfortable, stylish and European - and she's well on her way to conquering the traditionally male-dominated world of the shoe industry..

Mikko is an unusual name. What's the story behind it?

When I started out my focus was on European shoes, so I wanted a name that was both European in origin, and that I had a connection to. Mikko (pronounced mee-ko) is Finnish and translates to Michael, which is the male version of my name.

What is your background?

My first real passion was clothes, so I did a Bachelor of Design and Fashion at AUT. I started out as a patternmaker then moved into clothing wholesale, finally ending up in the footwear business.

How did you end up owning your own stores?

It was a natural.progression really - retail is in my blood! We're a family of retailers, and in this case I had the passion, and my family had the knowledge and support. So we're a true local, family owned business.

So why the change from fashion to shoes?

The creation of shoes is a niche market, with the technology and craftmanship handed down through generations. It's definitely not a skill that is easily trained - there is no degree for shoe making in NZ - and each different shoe goes through about 200 processes before the final product emerges! My research showed a gap in the market for high quality European footwear that was also stylish and comfortable, and once I started the ball rolling I very quickly became obsessed.

Does this obsession extend to a wardrobe full of shoes?

I don't over do it. I probably have 50-60 pairs of shoes, and whilst I'd love to use the shop as a wardrobe, it is a business after all. Besides, I figure I have years ahead of me to generate a collection!

Has the advent of online shopping affected you?

While we do have an online store, I think with shoes in particular there's been a real resurgence back to bricks and mortar stores. Fit is so important! We have fantastic, talented staff, with an eye for detail and size, and our customer service focus is very strong. We provide an 'experience', a 'connection' that you just don't get online.

Do you travel to Europe much to buy shoes? That sounds quite glam!

Not often, as we have international agents who come to us. I do it every couple of years though, as it's a good chance to see what's happening in retail on the other side of the world. It's quite hard work and not at all glamorous - we fly in, walk a lot of miles at a shoe fair and then fly out!

Why did you choose to open in Remuera?

I really like the village aspect, which is similar to our flagship store in Milford. Remuera has its own identity and personality, and we love getting to know our customers..

Do you have many regulars?

We get a lot of repeat business, our customers are very loyal. We're on a first-name basis with most of them, and htis connection to the people in our community is really important to us.

What are your future plans for Mikko?

It's a constant work in progress. We've been in operation for 3 years now, so have developed a real 'feel' for what works, both for us and our customers. We have five branches (Milford, Remuera, Pakuranga, Pukekohe and Hamilton) and we often have customers wanting us to open in other centres, but we want to protect our boutique nature. We don't want to become mainstream and lose our personality! People always come and shop with us when they are in Auckland.

Are there plans for a summer sale?

Our summer sale has started already! We have reductions on summer shoes instore and online now. But as always with Mikko, we bring in very limited numbers so sizes sell out quite swiftly. You'll need to be quick!

Mikko Shoes

402 Remuera Road

Ph:  09 972 2357

www.mikkoshoes.com

Photography by Vanita Andrews (photos to come) and words by Fiona Wilson

Blog article courtesy of www.remuera.org.nz and www.thehobson.co.nz

 

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25/11/2015

Browns Eatery & Store: Great Food, Great Style

Now under new ownership, Browns Eatery & Store (formerly Browns Espresso) is undergoing some big changes, and they’re not just in name. But Jenefer Bilkey is loving the challenge, and the good vibe that the café is now humming with!

Jenefer, what made you buy the café?

A couple of years ago I ventured away from the family businesses and set up a wholesale clothing business, designing and selling to stores throughout New Zealand. I loved meeting new people and the challenge of starting a new business, but I really missed being part of Remuera! I had been involved in the organisation of so many events for the Remuera Business Association, and knew so many people, that I decided I wanted to be part of it again.

You've changed the name from Browns Espresso to Browns Eatery & Store.  What does this change mean?

Browns started out as a small espresso bar serving cupcakes and coffee in takeaway cups, in the middle of a clothing store.  Browns Eatery & Store reflects the fact that we now have a lot more food options, as well as a 'general store' feel with our range of homeware for sale.

We love the design changes you’ve made. What other visions do you have for the café?

I am passionate about creating a space for people to sit together, chat together and eat together. I love our big communal table that I had made from an old French farm trestle table, and my vision is to have an atmosphere reminiscent of a New York or Melbourne-style local deli. Our next big thing is the kitchen – we have run out of space! And with the new kitchen will come a new menu with an abundance of fresh, simple, organic, healthy food, beautifully cooked.

Where do your design ideas for the shop interior come from?

I am quite definite about what I like and the look I want. It's definitely eclectic.  I love a mix of antique and new, the simplicity of the white tiles and marble. I read a lot of magazines and keep an eye on Pinterest and Facebook, and when I’m travelling I see a lot of cafes I like and usually bring home a little bit of each one to incorporate in my designs.

Do you have future renovation plans?

I have so many – I wish I could do them all at once! But I didn’t want to close down when I renovated, so it’s been a work in progress while remaining open.  Painters and plasterers have been in at night and customers watched as the wall was tiled over a weekend.  I think that people love watching the action, and that every time they come in there is something different to see.   I also love reinventing, so it will never stay the same!

What’s your favourite part of the café?

I love the spaces – the high ceilings, the courtyard, the secret garden out the back. And I love the vintage hand-blown lights that have just gone up.  But mostly it’s the regulars. It’s amazing how much you become part of peoples’ lives! We have lots of laughs with our customers, and we have a few older customers that we look after and make sure they are okay.  One of our regulars phoned just last week, after he'd finished at bowls, to see if his family was around.  Funnily enough they were here, having lunch!  I love it when the cafe is full of noise and laughter.

Are there many challenges owning a cafe in Remuera?

Not really - I love the location and the people.  Thre are lots of kids in Remuera too, and I love that they feel welcome coming here.

Who else works at Browns Eatery & Store?

We have an amazing team of people who all have a passion for hospitality.  All of our baristas are Allpress trained and have had years of experience.  the kitchen team is fantatic too.  Everyone has their own skills and we all enjoy working together.

What are your favour products in the store?

I love our Allpress coffee!  Also the date scones, club sandwiches and Lesley's delicious salads.  On the homeware front I love the enamelware.  It has a gorgeous vintage look, but is so practical.  We all do our baking in it!

What seem to be the most popular products with your customers?

Everything is popular, but I think people are starting to realise that our scones and muffins sell out early.  They are too hard to resist when they're fresh out of the oven in the morning.

Do you have any plans for the store for Christmas?

This will be my first proper Christmas in the café, and I can’t wait. I love Christmas and definitely go a bit over the top! I have lots of Christmas homeware and decorations, and food will be plentiful. Christmas mince pies, gingerbread, delicious hams, lots of take-home treats…

Browns Eatery & Store, 409 Remuera Road
Ph: 09 524 5966

Photography by Vanita Andrews (photos to come) and words by Fiona Wilson

Blog article courtesy of www.remuera.org.nz and www.thehobson.co.nz

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25/11/2015

Life Pharmacy: The Right Medicine

Jonathan Macdonald and Hayley Tapp are – excuse the pun – making the most of Life. They recently became joint owners of Life Pharmacy Remuera, and aside from dispensing medicine and healthcare advice, they also have big plans for the beauty side of the business.

How did you end up becoming business partners?

Hayley: I have worked with Jonathan for over 10 years. I started off as a shop assistant at his Newmarket pharmacy then progressed up the ranks, eventually going to Uni and getting my Bachelor of Pharmacy. I ended up managing the pharmacy and dispensing, but felt the time had come for a new challenge.

Jonathan: I looked at buying this business 8 years ago when it was for sale, but at the time the numbers weren’t viable. This time round, knowing what Hayley could do, as well as her drive and determination, I knew we could make it work.

Jonathan you’re a Remuera “old boy”. Did this connection have any bearing on your decision to buy a business here?

Jonathan: Well my family have lived in Remuera for close to 100 years … I grew up here, went to school here, met my wife here and am now bringing my children up here. So yes, I’ve always wanted to have a business here as well.

Do you intend for it to become a family business?

Jonathan: Both my father and my grandfather were surgeons, and I guess that has had a bearing on me being in the healthcare business. But I’ve never wanted my kids to feel obliged to do the same, and to be honest the only thing they’re interested in at present is playing sport!

You’ve made some physical changes here already with the shop layout. Do you have any other visions for the business?

Hayley: I’m passionate about staff training, so our Lancome, Elizabeth Arden and Clarins counter managers (one of who is a trained beautician) attend quarterly brand training and weekly in-house training. We want to build on this by stocking more prestige brands, and eventually becoming a “one-stop-shop” that also offers brow, nail and beauty treatments. In fact people might not know this, but we already have a beauty room here where staff give complimentary facials with certain product purchases. We also have free roof-top parking so our customers can relax while they get a treatment.

Have you had much feedback about the changes?

Hayley: Yes, and so far it’s all been positive! We’ve managed to successfully integrate new staff in with some of the existing staff – something that’s not always easy to do when you have loyal, long-time customers. And the comments to date have all been wonderful, with plenty of return business. I think it’s really helped that we’ve opened up the road frontage with windows and doors – people feel more welcome, and we feel more a part of the community.

You do have a huge range of top-end brands and cosmetics. Isn’t this unusual for a pharmacy?

Jonathan: It is. But our range is so extensive because of customer demand - we’re the only business in the area that offers our customers the facility to get all their beauty needs in one place.

What other things do you offer, that locals may not know about?

Hayley: Well our fully qualified pharmacists are able to provide quite comprehensive health advice, and on the floor Sharon has been highly trained in vitamins and natural health. We also do makeup for balls, weddings and other occasions, as well as running special event nights where our customers can mix and mingle, get special loyalty discounts, and learn pro tips about products and their application. And we offer passport and ID photos with a difference … our intelligent software can produce these for any country in the world! The software also vets the photos for correctness, which means there is no need to return for a reshoot, as the software will tell us on the spot if the photo is going to pass muster.

What do you find most rewarding about working in Remuera?

Hayley: Our client base is growing by the day – the Remuera locals really are very loyal, and I love that everyone knows each other … whether it’s here in the shop, or in a café, there is always someone you know and everybody is so friendly!

Life Pharmacy Remuera, 320 Remuera Road
Ph: 09 524 5433

Photography by Vanita Andrews (photos to come) and words by Fiona Wilson

Blog article courtesy of www.remuera.org.nz and www.thehobson.co.nz

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29/10/2015

4&20 Bakery: Our Daily Bread

 

You won’t find the poetic four and twenty blackbirds baked in their pies but over a great cup of organic Havana coffee and a delicious cinnamon morning bun we learned a little about 4&20, Remuera’s organic bakery, run by Deborah Chait and Andy Tse.

Where did the name 4&20 come from?

That name was chosen because it was our son Charlie’s favourite nursery rhyme.

Why did you open your bakery in Remuera?

We were drawn by the great community feeling in Remuera, we loved how people understood and appreciated organics and high quality products. We’re grateful to many people with similar philosophies; Adrian Barkla of New World Remuera, the Jack Lum family business next door to us and Kim Wickstead from Victoria Ave Butchery. It’s also great to see familiar faces from my days at Zarbo in Newmarket. We were really lucky as an old Remuera friend and respected food writer, Lauraine Jacobs, knew us, had tasted our bread, and used all her social media contacts to spread the word. Even before we opened!

What was your vision?

To create products that are delicious from scratch, using quality ingredients without preservatives or additives. Also using organic, free-range and locally-sourced products where possible. We also source different flours and ancient grains including spelt, organic rye and sprouted rye berries for our sourdough bread. 

How does 4&20 in Remuera compare with Zarbo all those years ago?

4&20 has begun as a much more focused business but the range seems to grow daily, and I'm not sure how we're going to fit it all in.  At Zarbo half the space was a dedicated cafe whereas at 4&20 we have seating for about ten people only.  We have a bigger take-out operation in Remuera. 

What is it like working as a husband and wife team?

I think working together is easier in some ways and more challenging in others.  You never leave work behind but when you're there you know you have your back covered and someone is looking out for you.

What are the challenges with an organic bakery, as opposed to a normal bakery?

Sourcing organic products in New Zealand. They are considerably more expensive than most usual products. Organic flour is more than double the price of regular flour.

Is the bread-making process more complicated, when it’s organic?

Yes. As an unrefined and natural product, flour varies at different times of the year. The ingredients are simple, there are only three – organic flour, organic sea salt and filtered water. The breadmaking process is also complex. We take a percentage of starter and add flour and water, and leave it for 12 hours, then the bread making begins and the dough is folded and moulded by hand for the next 4 ½ hours, then it’s fermented for 12 hours before baking the following day. Doing this also breaks down the glutens – we’ve found that people with gluten intolerances can happily eat our bread.

What are your most popular products?

The sunflower & flaxseed loaf and the 100% spelt breads are very popular, along with our free-range roast chicken and avocado sandwiches, and our berry brioche with French custard. We have breads available for tasting every day, and we will also slice bread for our customers.

What’s coming up for Christmas?

An English Christmas plum pudding from a recipe that dates back to the 17 century, which we steam in moulds we imported from Sheffield in England, a Sri Lankan spiced Christmas cake and a non-traditional Austrian cake. And of course traditional stollen and gingerbread houses and Christmas tarts.

What do you like most about working in Remuera?

The people in Remuera are just lovely and we are really lucky to have found a spot here that fitted our oven!  We get to see a bunch of people daily, weekly and when they run out of bread!

Do you have any future plans for 4&20?

Our next offering will be a range of special occasion birthday and celebration cakes … so watch this space!

The Verdict:

You can’t go past 4&20, with the gorgeous flowering plants outside (almost looks like a New York minute) without picking up a sandwich and a coffee while sampling their amazing bread.

4&20 Bakery 3a Clonbern Road, Remuera, Auckland
Ph:  09 529 0307

www.4and20.co.nz

Photography by Vanita Andrews and words by Fiona Wilson

Sources: Remuera Business Association (www.remuera.org.nz) and The Hobson magazine (www.thehobson.co.nz)

 

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29/10/2015

Jems of Remuera - Pearls of Wisdom

 

The dictionary definition of gems is “a precious or semi-precious stone, especially when cut and polished or engraved”. The dictionary definition of jems is, well, there isn’t one. It’s not a word. But if you ask John Lee, owner/operator of Jems of Remuera, why he chose to call his shop Jems and not Gems, his answer makes perfect sense. “Gems are just stones. Whereas [the name] Jems encompasses that, and so much more – it means the best, the finest, pride, jewels, masterpiece, the crème de la crème”.

Your range of products is quite eclectic – a mix of jewellery, antique and new items, home décor and furniture. What is the concept behind Jems?

With the changing times and imports from China giving people more selection, we wanted to create a picture in people’s minds of how old and new can mix together, and how homes of today can look amazing with just one or two special pieces mixed in with contemporary furnishings. And with Jems, we’ve created an environment, or a “showroom”, to do just that.

Where do you source the items you sell?

I do a weekly auction run flying up and down the country, as well as visiting trade fairs, antique fairs and markets. I travel internationally too, and have ‘scouts’ based overseas. We also buy privately from people who bring items into the store.

There must be some interesting stories behind some of the estate pieces…

Absolutely, and that’s one of the things we love about buying privately. There is often a significant history behind the pieces and we get to find out who wore the piece, where it was worn, who bought it for them. One diamond necklace was worn by a Governor General’s wife to official engagements, and for a time we had a huge following of clients who liked to buy ‘mourning jewellery’ from the Georgian period, around the 1790s, complete with locks of the deceased’s hair tucked in behind the enamel.

Say we want a piece of jewellery made for us. What do we have to do?

First you’d come in and see us, tell us what you want. We’d then get you back for a second visit to meet with our jeweller, who would come up with a CAD design (which is basically a 3D image) and then if needed we’d have a wax mould of the piece made up. We source all gems, diamonds, coloured stones and pearls.

How did you get into this line of business, and what inspires you to keep going?

I was inspired by a trip to Europe, where everywhere throughout France a strong sense of heritage and an eye for detail was apparent. I wanted to come home and create a concept here in Auckland which reflected this. So I went back to France, hired a van and started at the outskirts of Paris scouring antiques fairs and flea markets, buying up interesting decorative pieces of jewellery and furnishings. Myself and a partner then opened Now & Again Antiques in Manukau Rd, way back in 1995. I stay inspired because I love buying and selling beautiful pieces, and increasing our ever-evolving range. I’m probably most passionate about jewellery – it is an emotional purchase, so it really connects you with people. It’s romantic and makes people feel good … and there’s just something about the feel of jewellery and gems!

Why did you choose to open your shop in Remuera?

Back in 1995 when I owned Now & Again Antiques in Manukau Road, a very good friend of ours who owned an antique shop was about to retire, and he suggested we come to Remuera and build on his clientele. A move we’ve never regretted to this day!

What do you love about being in Remuera?

The people. The locals are very supportive of our business, and we nurture and support our relationships with them to the point that people become like family. We’ve made so many lifelong friends! And we’re now finding that as parents become older and families grow, we’re getting a new client base in their children. It really is a ‘family’ business.

You obviously don’t do all this on your own…

No, we have a fantastic team here at Jems including myself, my sister DA, our head girl Deanna and Claire and Catherine. We also work with two amazing jewellers, and this allows us to commission exquisite pieces based on a client’s brief.

The verdict:

We suggest you pop into Jems and let John and the team charm you with their pearls of wisdom and intricate knowledge of the items available instore.

Jems of Remuera, 346 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland
Phone:  09 522 8553

www.jemsofremuera.co.nz 

Photography by Vanita Andrews and words by Fiona Wilson

Sources: Remuera Business Association (www.remuera.org.nz) and The Hobson magazine (www.thehobson.co.nz)

 

 

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11/12/2014

Our Neighbourhood - Little Paris Jewellery Boutique

 

A little bit of Paris has come to Remuera with the arrival of Little Paris Jewellery Boutique. The boutique offers the latest fashion collections from Paris and Europe, including Zsiska, Nature Bijoux, Agatha Paris and Najo.

Owner Irina Timoshina has a flagship store in the Pukekohe Mall in Pukekohe, and has plans to expand the Little Paris empire in the wider Auckland area - she opened here in Remuera on November 17, and currently has her sights set on the North Shore.

Irina chose Remuera because of the central location, and she couldn’t believe her luck when she came across the empty space that formerly housed Peppercorn Kitchenware. The long, narrow space was the perfect setting for the beautiful range of fine jewellery that Irina stocks.

One of the highlights for Irina since she’s been here in Remuera has been meeting the locals. She’s had lots of positive feedback about Little Paris, and loves to spend time chatting with her customers … and the high volume of foot traffic walking past means there’s plenty of them!

We’re betting that Irina’s extensive jewellery knowledge doesn’t go astray either. She has been in the jewellery industry for many years, and had previously worked at luxury jeweller Partridge’s before deciding it was time to branch out on her own.

The concept behind Little Paris is simple - source the most gorgeous handmade jewellery from European designers that is not readily available in NZ. This allows Little Paris to offer a high level of exclusivity, particularly as the collections change with the seasons. The designers that Irina has selected only work with genuine gemstones and materials that are unique to each collection.

Irina is looking forward to 2015 so she can travel to Hawkes Bay with her family for a well-earned holiday, but in the meantime you’ll find her at Little Paris Jewellery, 396 Remuera Road, from 9am to 5pm Monday to Sunday.

Little Paris Jewellery Boutique

396 Remuera Road, Remuera

Ph: 09 523 5657

www.littleparis.co.nz

 

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1/5/2014

Remuera Local Cafe Bistro

 

You can’t get more local than, well, the Local. Or to be precise, the Remuera Local Café Bistro.

In the last 12 months owners Buki and Blerta have done an amazing job transforming what was formerly known as Pyrenees, into the cosy, welcoming space that it is today. And they’re not stopping there – come July, the garage space downstairs in the service lane behind the Local is going to be opened as a new bar and eatery. We can’t wait!

Meanwhile, we thought we’d take the opportunity to get to know Buki a little better.

Buki lives and breathes hospitality, and in his own words has ‘been in hospitality all his life - since he was born’. Having previously owned Villa d’Vine in Herne Bay, Buki loves being in Remuera and says his favourite thing is the people, his customers, and the support he gets from local Remuera businesses.

Buki’s philosophy on life is to “work hard – the sky’s the limit” … and based on the glowing reviews the Remuera Local Café Bistro has received, and the wonderfully positive aura that emanates from Buki, we’re pretty sure he’ll be the first to reach it!

If you haven’t yet made the Local your local, we suggest you do. Also, keep an eye on our newsletter, as we’ll be featuring the Local’s Specials of the Week on a regular basis.

As a little tempter, this week’s specials are:

ENTRÉE
Ceviche of Kingfish on a Radish & Cucumber Salad

MAIN
Steak Flank on Spinach & Bacon Potato Puree with Caramelised Baby Onions and Salsa Verde

DESSERT
Traditional Chocolate Fondue served with Pistachio and French Vanilla Ice Cream

 

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7/3/2014

Meet the new owners of Poppies bookshop

 

Tony Moores and Tara Jahn-Werner have only been at the helm of Poppies bookshop for two weeks, but they already have exciting plans for the iconic Remuera store.

Don’t worry though, they won’t be making any drastic changes! In fact they’re doing just the opposite. Their goal is to return to the original Poppies concept – a local, niche book store that provides the personal touch.

It’s all about getting to know their customers and their interests, building trust and relationships with them, supporting local and New Zealand product, and being proud of the fact that when customers leave Poppies, they leave happy.

Tony and Tara are poles apart when it comes to reading tastes, yet it is this difference that allows them to provide such a vast knowledge on a wide range of books. Tara tends towards the classics – think Dickens – and an impressive collection of first editions lines the back wall behind the counter. Tony is more of a contemporary reader, having just finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013 by the New York Times Book Review.

Their backgrounds are also quite different. Tony started working life as a school teacher, only gravitating towards books after his wife got a job in a bookshop. He thought this would be an interesting career path and has been in the book trade ever since, with the likes of London Bookshop, Paperplus Group and Harper Collins Publishers.

Tara has a “business and marketing background with a love of the arts” and this has seen her in various roles including Arts Consultant, Photographer and Composer. She has always loved books though, so coupled with the desire for a change of lifestyle, the opportunity to buy Poppies in partnership with her old friend Tony was not to be passed up!

Tony and Tara know each other’s strengths and weaknesses well, so they complement each other in business and personality. Interestingly though, when asked separately what their favourite area or thing in the shop was, they both instantly chose the “reading room” – the homely brick walled area to the right of the main door, complete with background music and reading couch. Tony likens the area to “someone’s sitting room”, and that’s exactly what it feels like.

We also asked a few “probing” questions, to get to know Tony and Tara a little better.

What do you like most about working in Remuera?

Tony:
“the interesting people … there is such a cross-section of young families and long-time residents. I also love the village feel of Remuera, especially down here in the Village Green”.
Tara: “the genuine friendliness of people. Oh, and the good variety of shops! That’s when I can get away to do some shopping of course. The Carnaval was great too, it bought everyone together and created a real community atmosphere”.

What is your favourite movie, and why?

Tony: “Oh Brother Where Art Thou, by the Cohen brothers. It’s very clever and funny and has all the elements I look for in a movie”.
Tara: “Gravity. I saw it in 3D and the artistry and photography was amazing”.

What is your philosophy on life?

Tony: “to try and leave things better than when you found them”
Tara: “have a sense of humour, and be kind and respect each other”

Poppies Background Info:

The shop has been part of Remuera for over 33 years, and Tony is proud of this heritage. There is a whole room dedicated to children, and Tara is looking forward to bring more value to this area. There are eight Poppies stores in the north island, and Tony owns the franchise, which he says is an “affordable concept and perfect for people who have a love of books and want a lifestyle change”.
 
 

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2/4/2013

Remuera Autumn Market Day

 

Remuera’s next Autumn Market Day will be held on Saturday 6 April from 10am - 3pm so come along with your family and enjoy the village fair atmosphere. There is free music and entertainment for everyone with great Market Day bargains throughout Remuera.

Here are a list of the entertainers:

 

 

 

Activity

Venue

Time

Street entertainers

Roving

10am – 2pm

BBC Jazzmen

Roving

10am – 2pm

Create your own Wax Hands

BNZ Forecourt, 338 Remuera Rd

10am – 2pm

St Cuthberts musicians

BNZ Forecourt

10am – 11:30am

Balloon Twister

Remuera Mall, 319 Remuera Rd

11am – 2pm

Facepainting Artists

The Village Green, 415 Remuera Rd

11am – 2pm

Fire truck on display

Remuera Fire Station

12.30 - 2.30pm

Les Mills Sh’Bam Dance Session

BNZ Forecourt

11.30am and 12.30pm

Ukelele Group

The Village Green, 415 Remuera Rd

11am – 12:30pm

St Kentigern College Rock Band

Outside New World, Clonbern Road

11am – 1pm

St Cuthberts ‘Milestones’ Band

BNZ Forecourt

12pm and 1pm

Gingerbread decorating

The Village Green

11am – 2pm

Remuera Rotary Sausage Sizzle

Outside ANZ Bank, cnr Victoria Ave & Remuera Road

10am – 2pm

St Cuthberts Rock Band

Outside Remuera Library, 429 Remuera Rd

11am – 12.30pm

Bouncy Castle – gold coin donation to Plunket

Outside Remuera Library, 429 Remuera Rd

10am – 2pm

St Kentigern School buskers

Roving

12.30 – 2pm

Remuera Scouts Car Wash

Kellands, 279 Remuera Rd

10am - 2pm

Remuera Artisan Market

St Paul's Church, St Vincent Avenue

10am - 2pm

 

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7/3/2013

How we will sell your home

  1. 1)    Once you have signed an agency agreement with us, we need to get professional photographs taken of your property. Without photographs, we have nothing to show potential buyers and few will take the time out of their busy days to see a house without having previewed it in some form beforehand. The quality of these photos is paramount and we believe our photographer does a superior job of portraying your house exactly as it is.
  2. 2)    Overnight we will receive the photos from the photographer and, in the first instance, these will be used to create and send out an email flyer to all buyers within your target market on our extensive, active buyer database. This should solicit several enquiries, and appointments will be made to show these buyers your home. In many cases, this is all we need to do and your buyer will be found.
  3. 3)    At the same time, text will be written up about your property. This, together with the photos, will be placed on four separate websites, including realestate.co.nz and trademe.co.nz. This should also result in several enquiries, and more appointments will be made.
  4. 4)    A display of photos and text is put together inside a frame and hung in our very visible window in the centre of Remuera.
  5. 5)    Your property will be featured in our weekly newsletter, which goes out to 1,000+ subscribers. It will continue to be listed in the newsletter until it is sold.
  6. 6)    If you agree, a sign is now designed and erected outside your property to let anyone passing know that your home is available. It will guide them to check it online or to call us.
  7. 7)    If, by chance, we haven’t managed to find your perfect buyer during this process, it is time to have a chat about advertising in the print media, typically the Property Press and/or Herald. The larger the size of the ad the better to grab the attention of the buyers who religiously check these newspapers for new properties. It also catches those who don’t go online to look for a new home. Some purchasers are not so proficient on computers. We recommend at least a three-week campaign because not everyone checks every publication – life gets in the way. But we can decide this week by week, if that approach is preferred.
  8. 8)    By now, we should have found your buyer but, if you perhaps have a very particular home, that buyer might not have shown themselves yet, so it is time to persevere. That buyer can come onto the market at any time. We will never give up and will continue to actively market your home until it is sold. 

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5/2/2013

Did you watch Agent Anna?

 

Who watched the first episode of Agent Anna on TV ONE?

There was no glamour in this role for actress, Robyn Malcolm. She stars as Anna Kingston, a less-than-perfect mother of two teenagers whose husband up and leaves her in a sorry state of affairs. He has declared bankruptcy and left the country. With no skills or qualification to do greater things, she turns to real estate to support her family.

Even though the show overdoes her ineptitude in all areas of her life and we are left feeling decidedly uncomfortable when she continues to place herself under an unflattering spotlight, we are strangely drawn to her as an anti-hero. We know we are not that bad, even on our worst days, and we take comfort in that, but from our discomfort for her springs a natural empathy and sympathy for her plight.

The real estate industry, from this very first episode, is shown in a cynical light with back-stabbing, unscrupulous behaviour portrayed as the norm and, of course, our poor hapless Anna is at the mercy of her colleagues. We can only imagine that there is a very tortuous growth path ahead for Anna as she learns to stand up for herself and even perhaps become a little ruthless along the way.

How well this is done is yet to be seen, and hopefully, stereotypes and slapstick don’t get in the way. However, in Malcolm they have a competent actress who could possibly pull off this balancing act.

Watch it this Thursday evening on TV One.



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21/12/2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We are having a short break over Christmas but we are always available on mobile. Terry - 021 484 332 or Diana 021 613 884. The office is closing today 21st December but will open again 7th January.

 

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30/11/2012

The Sitting Room

Behind our shop in the Village Green of Remuera is a gorgeous little design/furniture shop called The Sitting Room. It sells NZ-made loose covered sofas, occasional furniture and a great selection of feather-filled cushions, not to mention homeware, gifts and great design ideas. If you are looking for something to freshen your home or even Christmas gifts, do have a look at this gem. You will find it in the Village Green next to Poppies Book Shop at 415 Remuera Rd. Ph: 520 2200.

 

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22/11/2012

Terry and Diana at the Remuera New World Christmas Party

 

Last night, Terry and Diana served delicious platters of food at the Remuera New World Christmas party. The event was well attended with food and wine being consumed with great gusto. An Elvis Presley impersonator put on a wonderful show to keep everyone entertained. This is a night which should not be missed so watch out for it next year. When more photos come to hand, I will post them here.

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21/11/2012

A Winning House in Remuera

 

The Placemakers and Registered Master Builder’s Award for the House of the Year 2012 award in the over $2m category was won by a cliff-top home in Remuera built by PSL Construction Ltd.

Judges said the home is a work of art with "outstanding craftmanship" and "exceptional finishing".

"Built to perfection, this home more than deserves to proudly wear the mantle of House of the Year for 2012," said the judges. "The seamless connections between indoor and outdoor living, presented with a variety of materials and colour schemes, morph together to provide a superb back drop to the finishing touches by a very discerning owner."

 

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7/11/2012

Peta Mathias at the House of Travel in Remuera

We all know Peta Mathias, a respected and prolific New Zealand chef, author and broadcaster. Her distinctive mop of red hair and her vivacious personality are her trademarks. Tonight she is giving a talk at 6.30pm at the House of Travel, where she will be talking about her gastronomic tours to Spain, Morocco, France and India in 2013. Refreshments will be served so trot along and hear about these wonderful tours she is planning. For more information, call Christine at the House of Travel on 522 3415 or email her on christinewj@hot.co.nz .

 

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7/11/2012

Terry appointed to the Remuera Business Association Executive Committee

The Remuera Business Association has just appointed our Terry King to their Executive Committee. This is the committee which plans and makes decisions for the promoting of Remuera as a desirable shopping centre. We are sure that Terry, with his extensive advertising background, will be a great addition to the team.

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2/11/2012

Auckland Property Report for Oct 2012

 

Source: realestate.co.nz

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31/8/2012

The New Sale & Purchase agreement

Today if you are presented with a Sale & Purchase Agreement, whether a vendor or a purchaser, you will notice a little something extra on the first page. There is a yes/no option for a building report. If you choose yes, then clause 9.3 comes into force, which means that the purchaser has ten working days to get a report, which must be carried out by a qualified building inspector. If the purchaser uses this report to not conclude the agreement, then the vendor has the right to request a copy of the building inspector’s report. This didn’t exist before. This change means that the purchaser cannot use this clause as an excuse to escape from the agreement for any other reason than something highlighted in the building report which is of concern. Otherwise the vendor could challenge the purchaser’s right to not go unconditional.

If no is chosen, a personalised building report clause could still be written into the contract under the further terms of sale but this might not be accepted by the vendor.

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29/8/2012

Albert Psaros from Albert’s Kitchen


 

On Saturday, Remuera acquired a new retail shop and what a great addition it is to the community. Albert’s Kitchen sells artisan bread, ready-made bruschetta and Panini for lunches, delicious cakes, speciality cheeses and hummus etc.

But this is not any old bakery; this is the life blood of Albert Psaros. Born in South Africa from a Greek family, he came to New Zealand ten years ago with his Dutch wife, Adriana with a dream. For a while it manifested itself in a wholesale business selling Greek dips, but Albert is the son of a restaurateur and baking is in the family. About three years ago, Albert took the plunge and dove into the world of baking bread and found his true passion. He studied and read and practised incessantly until he had created a product he was proud of, tested it at Farmers’ Markets and then opened his first bread shop in Pukekohe a year ago, not too far from where he lives in Hunua with his wife and five children, aged from eighteen months to nine years old.

Albert’s bread is made by hand in a process that will blow you away when compared to what the home baker makes at home in their breadmaking machine. First of all, this bread has no sugar, no preservatives and no additives of any kind. A natural yeast culture is used and the bread is left to leaven for six hours and then cooled for 40 hours to bring out the flavour. The taste and texture of this bread is a million miles from most store-bought bread and has to be tried to be believed.

Albert’s search for a location for his second shop has brought him here to Remuera after considerable market research. All the bread and cakes are made at his bakery in Ramarama by four full time bakers and several casual staff, who he has trained himself. Even though he helps with the big bakes on Fridays, his main role now is as the recipe innovator, trainer and controller of processes.  His long term plan is to open four more shops for a total of six satellite shops supplied by the central bakery.

Albert has very little free time for reading in his busy life but when he does read, it is always relevant to his life as a baker. In fact, the last book he read was Baking & Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft by The Culinary Institute of America. Also, his favourite movie is also food related – Ratatouille.  The next one he has lined up is the French film, Le Chef.

His philosophy on life is to live a clean, honest, love-filled life. And to sleep soundly at night, content with the decisions he has made.

You can contact Albert on 523 2251 but I suggest you go along to the shop at 419 Remuera Rd near St Vincent Avenue and meet Albert, a vivacious young man who would love to talk to you about his products. I can assure you, you won’t leave without your arms full.

 

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14/8/2012

Brendal Thompson from Dolly

 

Suggestions flowed along with the wine in front of a blazing fire and the name Dolly was born for Brendal’s new handbag shop two years ago. The name suggests something bright and fun, just like many of Dolly’s handbags, and rolls easily off the tongue. Brendal herself is bright and full of enthusiasm, tall, blonde and leggy – a perfect ambassador for the classy, affordable handbags and wallets she sells.

Her first Dolly shop was created in Kumeu, not far from her home on 50 acres of beautiful native trees near Muriwai Beach. But two recent burglaries in rapid succession have made her look further afield for other opportunities. First it was a pop-up shop in the Westfield Mall at Pakuranga, which went well so she’s now there for a seven-month period to see if it will work as a location long term.

 

Remuera is a shopping centre Brendal has often thought would be a great place for her handbags. One day recently, she noticed that David Elman shoes was wanting out so she offered to take over his lease for the three months until it expired and he agreed. Two weeks ago she moved in and set up shop with her beautiful labels which all fall under the Van Zeeland Incorporated umbrella.

Brenda was the first person to import the Kathy Van Zeeland brand when it was initially launched overseas. New Zealanders took to the unique bags like bees to honey and she has been the sole importer into New Zealand since 2006. She has four reps who keep shops around New Zealand stocked with the Van Zeeland products and now she has her three stores as well.

Brendal is testing the waters in Remuera to see if her bags fit the local market. She would love to stay as she has had a positive experience here so far and is impressed by the friendliness of the people. Let’s hope she decides to renew the lease in three month’s time. We don’t want to lose a lady whose philosophy on life is that you’ve got to laugh and not to take things too seriously.

 

 

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6/8/2012

Matturee at Ruk Thai Massage

 

Matturee trained as a masseuse in her homeland, Thailand, but wanted to gain experience overseas and came to New Zealand six years ago. Since then she has been working at home and has just opened her own massage salon right in the centre of Remuera, down the stairs beside Ray White. This is a natural evolution for her and she would like to establish a solid business here in New Zealand as it is now her home. She has chosen Remuera for her business because it is central and most of her clients live or work in the area and there is great parking nearby.

Matturee loves flowers and initially thought she would like to be a florist but ended up working in a beauty salon in Thailand and saw how many people came specifically for the massages. So she decided to follow that branch of the beauty industry and realised she had a special aptitude for it.

At her salon, you can get a variety of massages from the stronger sports or Ruk Thai massages to the relaxing Swedish or aromatherapy massages. If you don’t have much time, you could just have a 30-minute back, shoulder and scalp massage. Having experienced it, I can assure you the rest of the day seems a lot brighter. Foot massages and facials are also available.

At the moment, the salon has a single room and a double room for massages so you can enjoy the experience alone or together with a friend or partner. The plan is to section off from the large reception area enough space for a third room.

Right now, every waking moment is taken up by Matturee’s business so there is little time for other activities but she does occasionally go to the movies and loves the action genre as a source of relaxation.

Matturee’s aim in life is to keep her clients happy and to send them away relaxed and wanting to come back for more.  In Thai, Ruk means love – an apt name for a place which can relax you so totally.

 

 

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30/7/2012

Elise Harper of Poppies Remuera

 

Elise was a children’s and arts librarian for twenty years before doing a degree in interior architecture. She had been running her own business in interior design for several years when the downward turn in the market happened. One day her husband mentioned the fact that Poppies Remuera was up for sale so she did her research and decided to be a book shop owner. Poppies Remuera has existed for about thirty four years and is the original shop of a franchise group that now has nine stores throughout the North Island.

Elise enjoys everything about Poppies. It is a very special boutique book shop filled with quality books which attract a book-loving clientele and this makes for interesting conversations. The children’s section of the shop has a special place in Elise’s heart because of her past as a children’s librarian but her very favourite part is the non-fiction area because of her love of biographies, poetry, architecture and photography. In fact, her favourite genre of book is biographies. She is often reading several books at once but a book she loved recently is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce about a man’s journey on foot to visit a friend. Her favourite recent movie is The Royal Affair but her all time favourites are Annie Hall and The English Patient.

 

Elise lives in Mission Bay with her husband and two teenage children but knows Remuera well and actually worked in the Remuera library for a while in the 1980’s and used to spend her free time in the Poppies book shop. Little did she know that one day she would own it.

Elise’s philosophy on life comes from the Beatle’s song:  Love is all you need, all you need is love. And a quote which she likes is: To be successful in life you have to get up in the morning.

 

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23/7/2012

Di Lawrence from Kimberleys


 

Di is an attractive, vivacious woman who started out in the restaurant business but her heart has always been in fashion. Her grandmother was an accomplished milliner and seamstress.  Designing her own and her dolls’ clothes was a highlight of her childhood. She trained and qualified through the NZ Fashion Academy and also has training as a makeup artist from “Jane Iredale”.  Di runs a personal style consultancy business as well as working part time at Kimberleys. Her dream is to design clothes for less-than-model-perfect figures. The largest proportion of the population fall into this category and yet few clothes are designed specifically for them. Di gives style seminars at the Chamber of Commerce and loves helping those who have been out of the work force for some time and lack the confidence to build themselves a corporate wardrobe.

Di worked for Identity across the road before moving to Kimberleys. She enjoys the environment in the shop because it is spacious and flooded with light. She feels she has a wonderful rapport with her customers and she gets great satisfaction from helping them put together an outfit. But the exciting part is when the new ranges arrive at the beginning of each season and she unpacks garment after garment and can start to visualise them on her regular customers. That’s when she gets on the phone and lets them know about what she has found for them.

Di has lived in Pakuranga since Easter but before that she spent most of her adult life in Remuera or Meadowbank.  She is very impressed by the work the Remuera Business Association does in Remuera to further the already existing sense of community. This creates a united village feeling here which is quite unique. Her favourite eating places are Pyrenees for dinner, and special lunches and Browns for coffee and work lunches.

Di has currently almost finished reading part three of the spectacularly popular The Hunger Games series. She loves novels by Kathy Reich and our very own Nalini Singh,  her favourite genre being romantic suspense. The movie she has enjoyed the most is Pay it Forward with Kevin Spacey although she mainly likes action movies, with George Clooney as her favourite actor.

Di’s philosophy on life is to have an attitude of gratitude and to consciously take the time to create good memories through holidays, family gatherings, dinner parties and so on.

 

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20/7/2012

Winner of the French Shop Window Competition

The judge from Alliance Francais perused all the wonderfully made up windows on Bastille Day and shortlisted five, from which he chose after much deliberation, Poppies Books, but there are many others, who would also have been worthy recipients. The public will continue to vote for their favourite window in a separate online competition until the end of July.

 

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18/7/2012

Carylln Cheyne – Basler

 

Having been a farmer in a former life does not mean you aren’t stylish. Carylln, the manager at Basler in Remuera, is proof of that. She is elegant from top to toe, a perfect ambassador of the beautifully tailored clothes she sells in New Zealand’s first Basler concept store.

On the 1st of February, Flair, a well established boutique with an eighteen-year history, was bought by Tinine Group, which already had six Basler concept stores in Australia. Marion Lyons, the owner of Flair, was brought on board as a director of the New Zealand store and Carylln, who had worked for Marion for eleven years stayed on, having previously sold the Basler label in Smith and Caugheys.

 

The shop now sells only the exquisitely-made German label and the word has spread fast. The woman who wishes to wear elegant, classic clothes, often with a twist, will find what she wants in this brightly lit and beautifully merchandised shop. When you walk in, you feel like you have entered a ray of sunshine. The clothes are laid out in an easy-to-view manner without any of the cramming of racks that chases many people hyperventilating from a shop. Carylln changes the windows several times a week to keep the look fresh and exciting. She loves working here and enjoys seeing her regular clientele as well as new customers who pop in to have a browse. They have a great database and are working on ways to attract younger women to the shop. Much of the advertising depicts young leggy models wearing the garments to perfection and most of what they stock would work for all age groups.

Carylln lives not far away in Kohimarama and appreciates the short commute to work. One of her favourite places to eat a special meal here in Remuera is The Banque, which she says has delicious food. She is a great reader and is currently reading 50 Shades of Grey by E L James and does have a penchant for historical romances though she reads quite widely through the genres. She is also a frequent movie-goer. Recently she has seen a few movies which she has really enjoyed – Spiderman, Rock of Ages and Ice Age 4. But her favourite movies of all time are Grease, Priscilla and DR Zhivago – quite a disparate collection.

Carylln’s philosophy on life is to enjoy what she has and to make the most of it.

You can find Basler at 319 Remuera Road  or you could call one of the lovely ladies there on 524 9722.

 

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13/7/2012

Vote for your favourite window display

 

Many shops and businesses in Remuera will have French-themed window displays during July. Come and enjoy the Parisian ambiance of Remuera and vote for your favourite shop window. Everyone who votes online for the best window display will be entered into the draw to win fabulous French-inspired prizes including:

·       Dinner for a family of four at Pyrenees Wine Bar, 371 Remuera Road

·       Alliance Francaise – French lessons for one adult

·       Alliance Francaise – French lessons for one child

·       French music CD from Hedgerow

·       Beautiful French soaps from Living at Home

Online voting is open until 31 July, and the winners will be drawn on 2 August and notified by email on 3 August. You can vote here.

I went for a walk around Remuera today, camera in hand, and here are a few of the shop windows which impressed me. Sorry about the reflections in the glass. My point and shoot doesn't cope very well with such technical matters. Do check out our window as well. You will be surprised at what we have for sale.

 

 

 

 

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10/7/2012

Colleen from Vital Skin

 

Colleen has been a beautician for 30 years and has loved it for 30 years. She feels it is a privileged job and it makes her happy. She sees people at their most relaxed, when they are in a state of anticipation for what is a serene and pleasurable experience. How many people can say that about their work?

Colleen’s years of experience and ongoing training means that she has seen innumerable skins and enjoys the challenge of working with allergies and, in particular, in the field of post-operative care.

In early June, Colleen bought the business, Vital Skin, from Christine Corbett after having worked from home for several years while her children were growing up. But now that they have entered their teens, she is ready to branch out and build a business in central Remuera. Her predecessor was an excellent therapist with a great reputation and worked in the same area of expertise as Colleen – skin rejuvenation and post-operative care – so it seemed the perfect opportunity for her. Colleen knows she has big shoes to fit but is confident she can grow the business with her expertise and enthusiasm.

Colleen has lived in Remuera or Parnell for 30 years and loves the mix of all ages here in Remuera. It is a varied and diverse community she enjoys being a part of.

In her spare time, Colleen reads a mixture of mainstream novels and more serious books like 1421, The Year China Discovered the World by Gavin Menzies. She also goes to the movies and has a particular liking of comedies. Her aim is to come out of the cinema smiling. One of her favourite movies is Love Actually with Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson. She likes the way the four different stories looped around and back again, depicting love from various different standpoints.

Colleen has a great philosophy on life: Never leave people in worse shape than when you found them. If everyone took a leaf out of her book, the world would be a more pleasant place to live in.

You can find Vital Skin at 405 Remuera Rd and if you wish to contact Colleen, call her on 09 523 2051.

 

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3/7/2012

Todd Gunson – Auckland Skin & Cancer Foundation


Todd was intrigued by biological science from early on. He thought the body was an amazing instrument and that fixing it would be a suitable occupation, so he went to medical school here in Auckland.His interest in the procedural side of medicine grew and he chose skin as his specialty. He found he loved it and completed his dermatology training in the United Kingdom. He then undertook an American College of Mohs Surgery fellowship in Perth, Western Australia and worked there in private and public dermatology practices for three years before returning to New Zealand in January 2012.

He now works at the Auckland Skin & Cancer Foundation at 247 Remuera Road, where he uses Mohs micrographic surgery to treat and, in up to 99% of cases, cure skin cancer, if it’s caught early enough.This surgery has a greater cure rate than the traditional method, minimizes the removal of normal tissue surrounding the cancer cells and is performed under local anesthetic. The great benefit of this method is that the removed tissue is examined layer-by-layer on the premises while you wait. In the traditional method, a larger portion of tissue is taken (causing a greater defect), you are sent home and then informed a week or two later whether they got it all or whether you have to come back for another procedure. Not only this, but the traditional method examines only a tiny cross-sectional portion of the whole specimen margin in comparison to Mohs surgery in which the aim is to examine 100% of the margin. This means tumour 'roots' growing between the cross-sections could easily be missed with the traditional technique, and hence the cure rate is not as high.

 

Todd has a young family of three boys, two of whom have travelled extensively as they accompanied their parents on the mandatory OE through Europe. Todd and his wife did often wonder what had possessed them to think that this was in any way a good idea, but they have memories they wouldn’t trade for a more traditional parenting route. However, they are ready to settle down now and are about to move into a new home close to work in Remuera.  For them this is the perfect spot to bring up their children in a very special suburb close to everything and in a great school zone.

Todd is proud of his work using Mohs surgery as he knows he is giving his patients the highest chance of a complete recovery from a cancer which has a significant morbidity rate here in New Zealand.

He believes it is important to enjoy your work and your free time. He says he has found what makes him smile in his work and his leisure time, and that makes him a satisfied man.

To find out more about Todd’s work with Mohs Surgery, go to his website, The Dermatologist or visit the Auckland Skin & Cancer Foundation website.

 

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25/6/2012

Christine Lemalu at Smitten

 

Christine had her colours done at twenty and was smitten. Though she deviated off the path for many years as a legal secretary and office manager for Nokia, she eventually returned to her true love of colour, fashion and helping others refine their images. She knew what it had done for her self-esteem and wanted the same for others. Many have told her how life-changing their visits to her have been.

Availing yourself of Christine’s services could involve a session to find out the colours which suit you best and what styles and shapes you should be wearing. Or you could take it a step further and have Christine visit you at your home to sort through your wardrobe. Sound daunting? But Christine finds that once a person has made the decision to get help, there is little resistance. Though there can be tears as clients are weaned off their favourite hide-behind garments. One client had a wardrobe full of knitwear she had created decades before and, understandably, she was reluctant to part with them despite the space they took up in her wardrobe and despite the dated image they bestowed upon her. But the deed had to be done and off they went to charity.

Most people’s wardrobes are cluttered with clothes a size or two too small (just in case) or unsuitable clothes from a different period of their lives that is no longer relevant. Christine helps her clients to make three piles – clothes to keep; clothes to sell, give away or throw in the rubbish; the maybe pile – if they haven’t been worn after a year, they go out.

The third service that Christine offers is to take you on a personal shopping trip – to Newmarket or Remuera perhaps for a corporate wardrobe or St Luke’s or Sylvia Park for smart casual. Armed with the personalised colour charts and style sheets, Christine and her client scour the boutiques and chain stores for the perfect garments to create a capsule wardrobe. It’s a fun trip as well as educational for the clients.

Her clients range in age from 15 to 75. The teenagers who come to her usually only get their colours and make up done and it’s usually a gift from their parents or they are about to start their first jobs and want some advice on a corporate wardrobe. Many clients come only once because then they are sorted but some come back for a refresher or to ask for some help with the new season’s clothes. Much of her business is through referrals.

Christine loves it when her clients feel quite overwhelmed by the change they see and therefore feel in themselves. This is the best reward for her hard work.

Plans are under way for her business and she has already taken a trial group of women on a shopping trip to Sydney and would like to see more growth in this area.

If you are interested in any of her services, give her a call on 09 522 1982 or check out her website: www.smitten.co.nz

 

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21/6/2012

Volume of House Sales Up

The latest May statistics are looking rosy this month. In fact, the volume of house sales has increased 27.6% over May 2011 and 29.4% over April 2012. However, May is traditionally stronger than April, and is, in fact, the third busiest month in real estate sales. But this is stronger than usual and could be attributed to good deals on interest rates during the month. There has also been a price increase over May 2011 of 7.8% with a new high median price of $500,000 in Auckland. The days to sell in Auckland remained steady at 33 days and improved by three days over May 2011. Over the last five years, the median days to sell has been 41 days across New Zealand. Auckland is the second strongest housing market in the country after Canterbury/Westland.

Source: REINZ

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18/6/2012

Angela Wang – The Gift Room

Having passion in one’s life must make getting up in the morning a joy. After a day’s work, Angela sits with her partner in the evening with a glass of wine in hand and classical music drifting through the room, gazing at her Lladro and Swarovski figurines glittering beneath tailor-made spotlights.

The owners of The Gift Room must have blessed their lucky stars the day Angela applied for a job in their shop ten years ago. Her love of figurines from a young age in Japan blossomed into a passionate love affair when she entered the shop filled with Lladro and Swarovski and she has never looked back. Her private collection at home of around 30 pieces gets cleaned and re-arranged into vignettes on a regular basis and this is what she loves most about her work in the shop too. The front windows are her own special artist’s canvas where she can evoke the emotions of the passerbys with her displays.

The latest target of her affections is the tango couple (see photo) and she has already had one put aside out the back room because this is a limited edition figurine and she would hate to miss out.

 

This year is the 20th anniversary of the shop and they had a wonderful function last month to celebrate it, sending out invitations to the almost 7,000 people they have on their database from around the world. There is also the possibility that members of the Lladro family might visit before the end of the year.

Angela is a warm, vibrant woman who finds serving people in Remuera means more than selling to them. Many of their customers come in for a chat or to update them on their latest news. She enjoys getting to know her customers on a deeper level.

Though Angela has little time for reading – too much polishing and re-arranging of her collection – she does enjoy going to the movies. Her favourite lately is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but high on her list is also Love Actually, which starred her favourite actors, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Emma Thompson.

Her philosophy on life is to stay healthy, happy and stress-free. I am sure her figurine collection and the glass of wine help her achieve this.

 

 

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11/6/2012

Christine Wynne-Jones

 

Christine has been in the travel industry for 24 years and with House of Travel for 13 of those. However, she started out as a teacher and practiced in that profession for seven years before sliding into the world of travel when she moved to Melbourne.

Her love of travel is second only to her love for her family and when she can combine the two, she does. In fact, when her two teenage sons were in primary school, she took them out and the family went sailing for six months. Even their headmaster agreed that the education they would get travelling around the islands couldn’t be bettered.

Christine has travelled to the four corners of the earth, including to the Arctic and Antarctica. In particular, she has a great passion for Africa and loves safaris, either at grassroots level or in the more luxurious form. She specialises in adventure travel but she is quick to point out that this doesn’t necessarily involve bungee jumping though it could. It’s basically about the destination – Africa, India, Antarctica, Bolivia etc.

These days, Christine has her own set of clients and those they refer to her. They return time and time again to hear her suggestions for their next holiday. They trust her judgement because she knows where they have been and what sort of adventures they enjoy. Many people go to the same destinations over and over because they don’t know what is out there and Christine gets great joy in guiding her clients towards unexpected areas of the world.

This year, Christine, once again, is one of the Top 12 Consultants in New Zealand - an incredible achievement considering there are approximately 800 House of Travel consultants nationwide.

 

Remuera is a great place to work for Christine because she doesn’t live far away and parking is a breeze compared to many other parts of Auckland.

Being a travel consultant involves long hours and, between that and her family, she has little free time. So, when she does get to read a book or go to a movie, they must be relevant and she usually finds herself reading or watching something connected to travel. One of her favourite books lately is Kuki Gallmann’s I Dreamed of Africa, and if a book exists that is about Africa, she has probably read it. Her favourite movie is Incendies, a foreign movie about the journey of a brother and sister to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfil their mother's last wishes. Again travel is involved.

Christine’s philosophy on travel is to keep an open mind and enjoy every single moment despite things working differently from home.

 

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5/6/2012

Kerryn McCormick – Westpac

Tall, blonde and doe-eyed, Kerryn is not your typical bank manager. There is a down-to-earth, gentle efficiency about her that brings to mind the woman next door who bakes on the weekend and organises her many children’s sports events.

Kerryn has worked in the world of finance for 17 years, including ten years with GE Money and three with Westpac. She has been the manager with the Remuera branch for 14 months and loves her job. You might, like me, ask how you can love working with figures but she said the part she loves is working with people – both the customers and her team, who are ambitious and hard-working. She enjoys seeing their growth and takes pride in helping them advance through the ranks.

Her customers and her team are what brings her to work each day. She finds a certain thrill in helping a young couple buy their first home or a small child who is just starting out on the road to saving for the future.

Westpac Remuera is very much a part of the community and support the Remuera Business Association. They just recently sponsored a park bench for the newly renovated Village Green and also sponsored a writing competition at the library for 7-8 year olds.

Kerryn is busy recruiting new team members so they have enough people on board to meet the customers’ needs. They have created a new role for a mobile personal banker who drives around to meet people, either in their homes or perhaps in a cafe. This banker can offer the same full suite of services that you would get if you visited the bank. Another innovation that is in the pipeline is a new technologically smart ATM machine, where you can bank 24/7, depositing cheques, cash and coins. This will be coming in July.

 

Kerryn has an easy commute to work as she and her partner bought their first home a year ago in Stonefields. Like many others I have interviewed, she loves the local village community feel in Remuera and finds the people here warm and welcoming. She has three favourite places for a bite to eat – The Sushi Club for their great service and delicious food; Robert Harris for their exceptional service when they have their team meetings there; Browns for their friendly service and the soy hot chocolate.

Historical romances are among Kerryn’s preferred books to read. She is presently reading Meridan by Philippa Gregory, the last book in the Wideacre trilogy. Her favourite movie of all time is Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood with Sandra Bullock, who is her favourite actress. She loves stories of courage and the idea of friendship helping one through all of life’s highs and lows. Other movies she has enjoyed are Moulin Rouge, Walk The Line and Armageddon while her favourite actor is Denzel Washington.

Kerryn believes in staying centred through the chaos and busyness of life so she can stay focused on her dreams and what is truly important to her. Not bad advice for all of us.


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28/5/2012

Frans Kamermans – Kamermans & Co. Architects


Frans Kamermans’ passion for architecture started early in life. At 12 years old, his parents left Amsterdam and decided to build in the province of Zeeland in the south west of the Netherlands. (New Zealand was named after this area by Abel Tasman because two of its islands resemble the North and South Islands in shape.) Frans was fascinated by the idea of designing a house and asked to be present at all the meetings with the architect. Many changes were made along the way before settling on the design. For each of these changes, Frans helped his father make a model of the house out of cardboard and a lifelong passion was born.

He attended the prestigious Delft School of Architecture, which has produced many world-acclaimed architects and where he met up again with the man who had designed his parent’s house so many years before. He was one of Frans’ tutors.

When he moved to New Zealand, he only had to do one paper in New Zealand law to be fully qualified here and then started working for a firm on the North Shore. After six and a half years, he was offered a partnership and he realised it was the time to start his own firm and left. He has now had his own business for 27 years and has won several prestigious awards.

Although Frans always strives for his latest project to be his best he has several favourite projects. Among them are the houses he designed in Port Waikato and the Mangawhai Heads (see photos below), which best express his views on architecture. He believes buildings should have a sculptural quality and a certain level of simplicity. This is especially true in the Port Waikato house - the shape is made up of triangles, rectangles and squares, while the Mangawhai Heads house is two lean-to shapes butting into each other to create the perfect combination of indoor/outdoor rooms, which can be used nearly all year round.


Frans uses cladding to emphasis the shape of different volumes such as in the house he designed at Coatesville, which has only one cladding – corrugated iron. While the second house he designed at Omaha has three different claddings to underline the three different volumes. (Photos below)


In his latest project, two townhouses in Meadowbank, he has used just two materials – plaster over concrete block and timber. This house exemplifies sustainable features and natural comfort, principals which drive all his projects. It is an expensive process to turn the polluted water of the Waikato River into a drinkable liquid and it makes no sense to use this for flushing toilets and irrigating gardens. These two homes have 5,000-litre underground tanks which collect the rainwater for these purposes as well as for washing clothes and outside taps.


Frans designs his homes to use passive solar heating. A concrete floor slab absorbs the low winter sun and holds it while the overhangs shade the house from the higher summer sun and the concrete floor keeps the home cool. This, along with the strategic placing of windows to create cross currents and the ability to separate off the main living area from the rest of the house, effectively keeps the house comfortable all year round. In-floor heating in the concrete is a back-up for the coldest winter months but there should be no need for any artificial cooling in the summer or the design of the house has failed.

Frans is in the process of diversifying to include more community and education-style projects. He is currently involved in a two and a half million dollar partly government-funded early childhood and community centre in Takanini, which will also house the headquarters of the Kindergarten Association.


On top of this is an exciting project in Rarotonga – a lifestyle village of at least twelve houses and a communal building which will include a gym, café and nurse’s room. A good-sized piece of land is attached for any of the residents who want to get involved in food production. This is an ideal place for those with a sense of community who want to settle in Rarotonga or perhaps use it as a second home.

Frans is a keen reader of fast-moving thrillers and is currently reading The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, the story of a serial killer. He has similar taste in movies and enjoyed the Bourne series but mainly ignores US movies because he believes Hollywood can’t portray natural interaction between people. They are excellent at special effects and action but mostly skimp on the interpersonal relationships which round out a story and make it worthwhile. On the other hand, Europeans, especially the French, have a special knack for pulling you into a story which has little action but relationships you can identify with. Frans believes you should be able to completely forget yourself and your outside life while reading a book or watching a movie. When that happens, you have found a winner.

Frans has always felt that your work should not just be something you do between twenty-five and sixty-five. It should be continually rewarding in action rather than in the money made. Being productive is therapeutic. He also believes in being truthful and genuine in all respects, especially in his relationships with others. 

For more photos and information on Frans’ amazing projects, check out his website: www.kamermans.co.nz 

If you wish to get in touch with Frans, who also designs unique furniture, you could email him on frans@kamermans.co.nz or give him a call on 09 524 9585.

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16/5/2012

Biltmore - 251 Remuera Road, Remuera

We have just listed an incredible piece of New Zealand history. This 600m² home called Biltmore sits on 1993m² of land. It has been completely redone to highlight its wonderful character. It is 100 years old this year and is believed to have been designed by Branford & Pierce, who were responsible for many famous buildings around Auckland including Coolangatta, The Kiosk in the Domain and Bishop’s Court in St Stephen’s Ave. (Source: Coolangatta A homage by Peter Macky with Paul Waite). Check our listings on the website early next week for more information and photos.

If any of you reading this, have any stories to tell about Biltmore, we would love to hear them. Email us on terry.king@remueraregister.co.nz. 

 

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10/5/2012

Maria Olabe from Save the Children

The route from Maria’s homeland in Spain to saving the children in New Zealand was not a straight line.

This vivacious woman met her Kiwi husband, a power engineer, in her birth town of Bilbao and for years they travelled, including a stint in Zurich, but when she fell pregnant with her son, Danny, who is now 17, they decided it was time to put down roots and in 1994, they came to New Zealand. A few years later, along came daughter, Cristina and now they are firmly entrenched in the country, living in Remuera, with their children attending St Cuthbert’s and Kings.

Maria has 17 years of retail experience. Her last job was as manager at Sabato but it involved long hours and she resigned at Easter. She sent her CV around to local Remuera shops and was quickly picked up by Save the Children, who had not long since decided to appoint paid managers into their shops, which had previously been manned solely by volunteers.

Though Maria has had to tread a little carefully because this proved to be a shock for some of the longstanding volunteers, she is of a sunny, personable disposition with lots of ideas for the shop, so she is sure to win the day. She plans to gradually update the stock and to create a strong team of dedicated volunteers who are all working towards the same goals.

Her favourite area of the shop is the children’s section which includes toys and wonderful little garments. After all, this is a Save the Children shop. If you are looking for a gift for Mother’s Day, you could do no better than to buy one of the Wishlist cards. When you buy one of these (it could be for a buffalo, books, seeds or eggs for a year), the money is donated to children in need and you can give the card to your mother. I’m sure she would appreciate that more than the usual soap or flowers.

 

Maria loves living and working in Remuera, where she knows so many people. Her job is an ideal one because she enjoys retail and is thrilled by the chance to work in an organisation which is giving back.

She reads a lot of fiction with historically accurate characters and background. These are also the movies she tends to prefer – big movies which sweep across time and space. Some of her favourites are Lord of the Rings and Australia.

Maria’s philosophy in life is to surround herself as much as possible by positive people who uplift her rather than drain her energy.

We wish her all the best for her new job. If anyone can succeed in this role, it is Maria.

You can find Save the Children at 359 Remuera Rd. Ph: 520 4722. www.savethechildren.org.nz

 

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4/5/2012

Lindsay Chemaly from Living at Home

Lindsay, a wonderful character dressed in a sweet Pollyanna-style shift with lovely pearls at her throat, glows with graceful energy.

She was born and bred in South Africa but, like many others, in 1986 she left together with her husband and three children to escape the rising crime rate in her home country.

She has owned Living at Home together with her partner, Sue Webber, for the last 17 years. Sue runs the gift and management side of the business while Lindsay is the soft furnishing consultant and will come to your home to give you advice and to measure up for curtains, upholstery etc. She can’t imagine doing anything else and loves owning a business as opposed to working within someone else’s rules. And she knows all about this since she previously worked in a bank for ten years while living in South Africa.

Lindsay’s mother was a milliner and her grandmother a dressmaker, so fabrics run in the family and eventually Lindsay came to the party too. Sue comes from an artsy family and this is also a good fit for her.

Sue and Lindsay stock products for the middle market and they have over 1,000 on their database of mainly Remuera clients. Lindsay would love to expand the curtains and blinds section as this is very much her baby and her greatest passion.

 

Lindsay enjoys working in Remuera as well as living here because it means she has got to know everyone and has found that the local people tend to support the village retailers. Her favourite place for lunch is Browns but she would eat at Banque every day, if she could afford it.

On meeting Lindsay, you could be forgiven for thinking that she would choose to read romance novels, but, in fact, she prefers non-fiction to fiction and has just finished reading Open: An Auto­biography,” by Andre Agassi. She also reads history books. Her favourite movie is Spuds, set in a boy’s boarding school in South Africa, starring John Cleese.

Lindsay appears to be a happy woman who is quite satisfied with her lot in life. She believes that if you are honest and trustworthy, life will be kind to you.

If you need interior design advice or simply to buy something scrumptious for a gift, do drop by their shop at 336 Remuera Rd or contact them on ph: 524 9986.

 

 

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27/4/2012

Steve Danielson – Xclusive Painters and Decorators

Steve, painter extraordinaire, has often regretted leaving school at 14 but not the wild years of living that saw him working odd jobs here and in Wellington with a good mate who went on to become a jockey – until he grew too big, that is. Steve would have liked to follow that path too but his mother wouldn’t have a bar of her son being a jockey despite his apparent lack of another direction.

A great rugby league player, Steve loved the outdoors and when the opportunity arose to work alongside a friend who owned shares in a painting company, he felt he had hit the jackpot as the work kept him mainly outside.  He learned the ropes and, despite a couple of detours elsewhere, he has stuck to this profession ever since.

At 39, his wild years came to an end when he married for the first time and had two children, a boy and a girl. The girl has just played the lead part in the Kings College production, Chicago. His new responsibilities forced him to settle down and change the focus in his life, but he still paints.

Fifteen years ago, he decided he no longer needed the middle man and went into business for himself as Xclusive Painters and Decorators. He now regrets choosing a name starting with an X because he is always near the end on any list of painters but, when he chose it, (he was lying in pain in a dentist’s chair and upon looking at the wall, saw the word Exclusive on a sign), he wasn’t thinking of the finer details of marketing himself.

Steve has always found work through word of mouth and is the main painter for Kings Prep and the preferred painter for the TAB. Over the years, he has worked on many jobs, both large and small and has recently completed the painting of the shops on the corner of Bassett Rd and Remuera Rd. He also painted the inside of our premises here at Remuera Real Estate Register and created the wonderful black and white stripes that are our trademark. (Have a look at the photo above with Steve standing in our office to see the stripes.)

Steve prides himself on his honesty, reliability and tidiness when he works. He says it’s all about communication. His philosophy is Do it once and do it right.

The photo below in Judge Street, Parnell is one of the many houses Steve has painted.

If you want a painting job done, big or small, give Steve a call and he will be on your doorstep within 24 hours.

Mobile: 0274 908 324

Home: 09 523 3784

 

 

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26/4/2012

Village Green Update

This is a quick update on the progress of the renovation of the Village Green. It is starting to look wonderful with paved areas and benches for relaxing on.

 

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18/4/2012

Bianca Bonatto at The Print Shop

Bianca studied animal husbandry in Brazil for four years and during that time realised that learning how to raise and fatten animals so they could be slaughtered was not in line with her love of animals. So with just one year to go, she pulled out.

Her husband Rafael, who had studied design for five years in Italy, refused to go and work in the big cities of Sao Paulo or Rio De Janiero, which were the only places he could find a job, and so they moved to New Zealand.

He came first and, in four months, had managed to find a job, accommodation and had his work visa. Bianca, now with a small baby, followed him and found him set up in a pretty flat in Mt Albert with a bed and a computer. That was all. For Bianca, there followed a long period of deep sadness. Homesick for her family in Brazil, with no English at all and isolated at home with a small baby all day, she wanted desperately to return to her previous life.

But Bianca is made of tough material and, following a stern reprimand during a Skype session with her mother, she finally decided to turn things around for herself. She realised that she had to dwell on what she had and not what she didn’t have. Missing her family was natural because she loved them but she had a new family now here in New Zealand. She started going out and, determined to learn English, she spoke to anyone who would listen to her no matter how poor her grasp of the language. Slowly and then more rapidly she started to learn to speak with some fluency. Now three years later, she speaks beautiful English with the occasional pause to search her mind for a word. She has had a few jobs in the food industry but finds it too exhausting so now works part time for Annette at The Print Shop in Remuera, which she loves. Annette is teaching her many things to do with the shop and is also giving her daily lessons to improve her English reading skills.

 

Bianca loves all things creative and spends happy hours preparing the window displays for the shop. Have a look at The Print Shop window when you are next passing – that is her work. As behoves a creative soul, the movies Bianca prefers are romantic comedies. In fact, her favourite is Marley and Me with Jennifer Anniston. Again that love of animals shines through. In fact, when she looks to the future she can see herself returning to university to study as a vet and many of her past papers in animal husbandry could be transferred across. If this were not to eventuate, she would become a beautician. Two very different dreams but we wish this very special young lady all the best for her dreams and for her family.

 

Bianca is in charge of keeping the shop's Facebook up-to-date. Go have a look here.

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10/4/2012

Audrey at Cachet

1996 was the year that Audrey left Hong Kong with her two young daughters to start a new adventure in New Zealand, where she hoped to find a better environment for the family.

In October 2007, the children almost grown, she decided it was time to step outside the home and find stimulation in the form of a part time job just down the road at the Cachet boutique in Remuera. She loves the beauty of fashion and it gives her immense satisfaction to help her customers find the perfect outfit and to see them leave happy with their purchases.

Cachet has five shops in New Zealand, four of which are here in Auckland. Audrey is proud of her association with the shop because of the excellent quality of the merchandise and the fact that it is a New Zealand brand. The regional manager does all the window displays, creating an ambience which Audrey enjoys. She feels fortunate to be able to work so close to home in a shopping centre where she can find anything she needs.

When Audrey has some spare time, she volunteers at the Museum, directing people about the building. This kind of contact with the public, in the museum and in the shop, is what she enjoys the most.


 

Favourite Remuera eating place: Thai Village where she looks forward to eating the Flaming Chicken.

Favourite book: Audrey doesn’t read much but has many of the Chicken Soup for The Soul series and always keeps one in her car in case she has to wait for someone. She prefers reading the short stories in these books to a full length novel.

Favourite movie: My Fair Lady – she has seen it five or six times. She is drawn to happy movies and musicals in particular. This kind of transformation story is right up her alleyway.

New Year’s Resolution: To buy only what she needs at the supermarket. So far, she has managed to keep this resolution.

Philosophy on life: To always stay happy and enjoy her life with her family, friends and her dog. So far so good.

 

 

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4/4/2012

Beautification of the Village Green

A few months ago I blogged about the fund raiser for the beautification of the Village Green and the work is now underway.

It might be all dirt and orange netting right now but after Easter the new patio and seating will be installed, expanding the useable area of the Green. The people of Remuera already make good use of the gazebo and will welcome more space.


 

 On 28th April, the new Village Green will be officially opened to thank the donors of the furniture and the money required to complete this project. It will make a great difference to this area of Remuera and we look forward to seeing the end result.

 

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22/3/2012

AUTUMN MARKET DAY - SATURDAY MARCH 24

This Saturday 24 March is Remuera’s Autumn Market Day.

At 11.30am, there will be a Sunday Car Parade along Remuera Road. Then ten of the best will park outside the BNZ. There will also be street entertainers, fairies and an Auckland Grammar jazz band outside the BNZ in the morning. Down on the Village Green, a harpist will be playing from 11.30am – 1pm.

 

All in all, an exciting day and the weather should hold out at least until the afternoon.


 

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20/3/2012

Michelle Wilkinson - Remuera Eye Care

Michelle Wilkinson will soon be out of a job after six loyal years working part time for Remuera Eye Care. Her work place will be no more in a couple of weeks when Remuera Eye Care leaves us for good.

Michelle is a mother of two grown children who live in Australia - Louise, a graphic designer and Scott, a sales manager.

She is now looking for another part time job in Remuera or the surrounding areas so that she can remain relatively close to her home in St Heliers. Her skills are in the area of reception, MYOB, Word and Excel. She’s willing to do full days or half days and can be quite flexible.

In her job, she has enjoyed the customer contact and loves working in Remuera because she can find anything she wants here, all in one place.

If you are looking for experience and loyalty in an employee, give her a call on 021 1894588 or you could email her at wilkies@xtra.co.nz .

 

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19/3/2012

Remuera Townhouse - 1/21A Dromorne Road

Are you looking to downsize but to stay in Remuera? Then this townhouse will probably fit the bill.

Shanahan Architects designed this north-facing home on 343m² of land with a flat green lawn to enjoy on a sunny day. With three bedrooms plus a study area and two bathrooms, this will allow room for guests or the grandkids when they come to visit. It would also suit a young family just starting out. Great townhouses of this quality in Remuera like this are rare and there is already a lot of interest in this one.

For more photos and information, click here: 1/21A Dromorne Road


 

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16/3/2012

Remuera Style Fashion Show

Last night, wine was imbibed and nibbles munched as the bolder among Remuera's ladies paraded down a catwalk dressed in fashion from the local boutiques. The library was bursting at the seams as the well-heeled turned out for the suburb's annual Style Fashion Show.

Carol Hirschfeld was replaced at the last moment as MC, but Matai Smith, presenter on Good Morning, did a great job as her stand-in and anyway the evening was all about the clothes. It looked like every boutique plus a few extra shops had contributed to make the evening a success.Down the catwalk came everything from dancewear and kiddies clothes to bridal gowns - and glorious they were too. I think it is a brave woman who gets up on a catwalk without experience and struts her stuff but Remuera is full of such souls and they didn't look out of place at all among the professional models who contributed their time. The parading of clothes was interrupted a few times to auction several kindly donated items - from an afternoon baking with Allyson Gofton to holiday packages. The bidding was energetic as all the proceeds of the evening were donated to Mercy Hospice Auckland.

The flow of alcohol was generous to say the least. Young waiters circulated among the audience topping up glasses and offering large platters of delectable nibbles throughout the evening.

Laura Carr, who was the incredible force behind the organisation of the evening, was presented with a massive bunch of flowers as a big thank you and all those who attended went away with little goodie bags, from which emanated the delicious smell of a bar of Blue Illusion soap.


 


 

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14/3/2012

John Redditt – Remuera Video Centre

John is a long term Remuera shop owner and well known in the area. After 17 years in the building hardware industry, he decided it was time for a new challenge and more or less fell into the video rental business.

Twenty years later, he can’t imagine having done anything else. But another five years should see this period of his life concluded too and it will be time to write that book he has been thinking about. He already knows the title – Bastards I have known. This will include a unique, very elderly gentleman – one of the bombers of the River Kwai in June 1945. John wouldn’t let on about any of the other members of this elite club. He says that he could retire comfortably on the money owed to him over the last twenty years in business. He has recently decided to let a debt collection agency take care of any future bad debts, so watch out those of you who think a few dollars don’t matter – it adds up, as John knows.

Despite the implications inherent in the title of his future book, he has only good things to say about the huge majority of his clients, which have included all sorts from a Supreme Court judge to kitchen hands. He has thoroughly enjoyed watching his client’s children grow up and become clients themselves with their own offspring. The relationships and friendships he has developed are a part of what makes his life so rich.

John himself has three children, only one of whom lives in New Zealand. She is the youngest and works as a marketing manager for Renaissance. His oldest girl trains horses for an equestrian centre in the UK while the middle boy works in the advertising industry, also in the UK.

Despite being surrounded by DVDs during his working hours, he only watches a couple a week and goes to the movies no more than once a month. Most of his recommendations come from the online IMBD website http://www.imdb.com/ , which is a site where viewers rate and give their personal reviews on movies. John has several favourite movies – The Shawshank Redemption, a favourite of many for its feel good quality, and The Lives of Others, which was the favourite of last week’s interviewee too. He mentioned The Usual Suspects, Braveheart and Amazing Grace as well.

Surprisingly for someone who is surrounded on a daily basis by fictional stories of all kinds, John prefers to read non-fiction, preferably about politics or economics.

His philosophy is to enjoy life to the fullest alongside his family and his many good friends. He appears to be a very contented man who takes pleasure in his place in the world – behind the counter of his very own shop during the day and with those he loves the rest of the time.

You can find John in his shop at 404 Remuera Road, Remuera.

 

 

 

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5/3/2012

Amy Yang – Browns Espresso Bar

Amy was a policewoman, coming top in her class at shooting, back in Taiwan before she came to New Zealand for her daughter’s education in the 1990’s and, even though she tried living back in Taiwan again, she found she couldn’t adjust and came here permanently with her daughter, who is now 21 and studying law at university.

In 2005, Amy did her barista’s certificate and initially worked for the Peach Cafe in Remuera but when it closed, she moved to Browns. She loves serving the best coffee possible to her customers and finds pleasure in keeping them happy so they will become regular customers. It only takes a couple of visits for her to remember their preferred coffee.

Amy says she had always been shy before becoming a barista but has surprised herself by how sociable she has become. This is certainly helped by the fact that her customers are polite and appreciative of her efforts.

Browns is planning to expand their selection of food and become more of a cafe than a bar. But they will always serve absolutely fresh food, which is one of the drawing cards of Browns – their delicious sandwiches are legendary.

 

Amy lives nearby, which is just as well since she works long hours from 7.30am to 6pm but she loves Remuera and the people who live here.

When Amy has time, she reads – mainly detective stories, thrillers and mysteries. The book she is reading at the moment if The Hunt of Atlantis, Andy McDermott’s debut novel. Her favourite movie is also a thriller – Taken with Liam Neeson.

She had a New Year resolution this year but it was for her partner – to clear out the garage so they could actually get a car in there. He did eventually do it with some persuasion and support from her.

Amy’s philosophy on life is that you can make a choice to be happy or sad. Don’t expect others to change their attitudes, you have to change yours.

 

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27/2/2012

Laura Carr - Remuera Business Association

 

 

While working at a resort on Vancouver Island, Canadian, Laura Carr, fell in love with a Kiwi lawyer and allowed him to whisk her off for foreign shores and has lived here in either Remuera or Parnell for the last 30 years.

 Laura has an altruistic bent and came to the not-for-profit Remuera Business Association in March 2010 after working for the charity, Nurture Foundation. Her marketing background and long term residency here in Remuera/Parnell were the perfect match for this job which involves organising events like the upcoming Fashion Show on 15th March and keeping Remuera clean and beautiful like the village green upgrade project which starts on 26th March.

The Remuera Business Association has an Executive Committee of Laura, six business owners, a representative of the Orakei local board and one from the city council. They meet on a regular basis to discuss plans for our suburb and to keep things ticking over. Laura enjoys being a part of this energetic and productive committee and is proud of the working relationships the RBA has developed amongst its members.

She can’t think of a better place to work than right here on her home ground. She enjoys the diversity of the community in Remuera and when she doesn’t bring her lunch from home, she makes a beeline for the sushi at Toshi Japanese Restaurant. For dinner, she has been to the Pyrenees Wine Bar where she had a great meal and is planning to try the Thai restaurant soon.

When Laura has time to read, she prefers non-fiction and recently read Four Fish, a discussion on the benefits of wild or farm fishing. Another book which left a lasting impression on her was Infidel, a memoir by Ayaan Hirsi Ali who has waged a personal crusade to improve the lot of Muslim women.

Along the same lines, one of Laura’s favourite movies is Other People’s Lives, a German film which won an Oscar for best foreign film in 2007. In 1984 in East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives. It's a film which demonstrates just how easy it is for the authorities to corrupt people, especially in communist Germany.

There is a theme to Laura’s interests and her work history, which spell out the picture of a woman who has the welfare of others as a predominant feature in her life. We are lucky to have her as the manager of the Remuera Business Association.

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22/2/2012

Sold off the Register - 3 Aldred Road, Remuera 3 Aldred Road, Remuera - Sold

3 Aldred Road, Remuera - Sold

We are thrilled to let you know that we have just sold 3 Aldred Road, Remuera.

We sent an email out to our extensive database in the morning, had two offers by evening and sold it the same day. This is the power of our database, which has over 80 cashed up purchasers on it. As our logo says, we match people to properties and save you the hassle of open homes and the expense of a marketing campaign. The 3 Aldred Rd sale is yet again proof that our register works.

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13/2/2012

Lucy Sanders - Sanders Jewellery Sanders Jewellery

Sanders Jewellery

Lucy Sanders, 22 years old, has worked in the family business full time since October last year but had been on track to a career in horse nutrition.

Yes, I didn’t know such a thing existed either, but apparently today you can do a Bachelor of Science majoring in equine science and then specialise further to nutrition. This seemed a natural progression from her lifelong love of horses but she decided some way into her first year that she wasn’t enjoying the studying. After that she worked as a groom for polo horses, which she loved, but is now learning the ins and outs of working in a jewellery shop.

Lucy enjoys the relationships she has built through the shop and loves the food here in Remuera. In particular the Sushi, and the fish and chips from Remuera Fisheries. The last three interviewees have mentioned these fish and chips as their favourite Remuera food so it is probably time for me to go sample them.

When Lucy is not working in the shop, riding her horse or playing with her Huntaway/Staffy/Doberman cross dog, she is currently reading A History of 9/11 but her favourite book is the last Harry Potter. Her favourite movie is Red Dog but also loves the Harry Potter movies, of course.

Although Lucy makes goals, she has never made a New Year’s resolution, which is probably a good thing since most of us have broken them by now and are in the process of beating ourselves up about our lack of willpower.

Lucy’s philosophy on life at 22 is not to sweat the small stuff. It’s an ambitious but worthy motto to carry with her through life and I wish her well.

If you wish to see some of their fabulous jewellery, drop in at one of their shops at either 385 Remuera Rd or 5 St Heliers Bay Rd. You could also have a look at their website: http://www.sandersjewellers.co.nz

 

 

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10/2/2012

Great News - 128 Arney Road SOLD 128 Arney Road Sold

128 Arney Road Sold

Terry & Diana King on the left with Craig and Nickola Horrocks on the right.

We have just sold 128 Arney Road and as you can see in the photo, the vendors are delighted.

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8/2/2012

Nava Paramaguru - Wheelers Book Shop Wheelers Book Shop

Wheelers Book Shop

If you have dropped into this large and comprehensive bookstore to buy a book, a card, a gift or a toy, you will have seen Nava behind the counter.

He bought Wheelers at the beginning of May last year after a long career as a project manager/engineer in the oil and gas industry both here and in Malaysia, his home country. He transported his family here in 2007 to make sure his three children got a good education. In fact, his oldest boy is now studying computer science at AUT, while his sister is studying medicine in Romania (don’t ask)and the youngest has just applied to study bioengineering at the university here in Auckland.

The idea with buying Wheelers was to slide into retirement with a less stressful job. Not that being a business owner is stress free but it’s a different type of stress and he enjoys having to answer only to himself for his decisions. A bookshop in Remuera  brought together his desire to work in a crime-free area and his interest in books. He loves crime novels and is currently reading 11-22-69 by Stephen King. As he thought, Remuera has turned out to be a peaceful place to work and the people here are very supportive. In return he likes to support new authors with their first books. He recently accepted an autobiography called “Young Man Go South” written by a Remuera author, Hans Swier, and it is selling well.
When I asked him what his favourite movie was, he was embarrassed to say, The Hulk. He has watched both the television series and the movie. He enjoys the main character because of the humility he expresses despite his super powers. I suspect this humility is a part of Nava’s character as well, though I’m not sure about his having super powers.
Nava no longer makes New Year’s resolutions because they are too difficult to keep but he did keep one back in the year 2000. He decided to stop smoking despite having a 50-cigarette-a-day habit and stopped cold-turkey. He never had another. This shows the strength of character of this gentle man whose philosophy on life is to take one day at a time. “We are not permanent,” he says.
If you need a great book to read, do drop in at Wheelers at 395 Remuera Rd and say hi to Nava. He will happily help you with your purchase. Or you could go online and look the shop up here on the website, which is presently receiving a facelift: www.wheelersbooks.co.nz


  

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2/2/2012

We're on the front page of the NZ Herald! Shortage of housing at 4-year high

Shortage of housing at 4-year high

Take a look at today's NZ Herald - a great article about the shortage of housing including an interview and photo of us.

We love it! Read the article here: Shortage of housing at 4-year high.

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31/1/2012

Amanda Evans - Kensington Hairdressing Kensington Hairdressing

Kensington Hairdressing

Amanda’s grandfather was a barber and her mother worked in a hair salon, so it was natural that she cut and coloured her friends’ hair at school. But she was determined not to become a hairdresser. That was only for flaky girls.

After leaving school, she did chef work for six months but became disillusioned with her choice of job and one day she walked out, strode up the road to the hairdressing academy and destiny took over.
Since her training, she has been an educator for L’Oreal and technical manager for Sebastian Professional. She joined the team at Kensington Hairdressing as the manager just four months ago and loves working there. She is amazed at the sheer talent of the staff. They are 100% committed to every client looking their best, every time.
Amanda is particularly proud of the artwork in the shop – spectacular photographs of the work of the team. (See images.) She is also proud of her input into identifying ways to grow the salon. She is excited to see these being implemented.
On asking what Amanda likes about working in Remuera, she said, without too much hesitation, “the fish and chips from Remuera Fisheries”. It doesn’t help that she has to look at them all day as they are directly opposite. Browns, up the road, is definitely her regular fashion boost as she gets to check out the latest stock every morning when she grabs her coffee. And she enjoys Sanders Jewellers because everyone there is always smiling.

Although Amanda doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions, she does like to have a goal each year. This year she would like to complete the crossword on stuff.co.nz without using any of the hints!

Her philosophy on life is to treat others as you would like to be treated and to eat with your mouth closed. Wise words on both accounts.

To find out more about their salon, go to: www.khb.co.nz.

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23/1/2012

Millie Sampson - Maxwell Drycleaning Maxwell Drycleaning

Maxwell Drycleaning

This week I have found out two remarkable things about Millie Sampson.

  • 1) She has worked at the drycleaners shop in Remuera for 25 years. For 18 of those it was NZ Drycleaners and for the last seven it has been Maxwells Drycleaning.
  • 2) Millie was a world class athlete, running the fastest marathon time in the world for women in 1964 and competing in several world championships in cross country running.

Millie came late to running and ran her first race on her 28th birthday, which she won and then she kept winning. She was the NZ cross country women’s champion in 1963, 1964 and 1965 before it was officially recognised as a race even though the women raced alongside the men at the same venue. But that was to change and she was officially the champion in 1966, 1968 and 1972. In 1967 she went off to the English Championships in England and came in third despite having fractured her foot during training. However, the injury was too severe for her to continue running and she missed out on the World Championships. But, at the 1969 World Championships (they were biannual) in Scotland, she won all the lead up races but fell sick with bronchitis and still managed to come in fifth. She also competed in the 1971 and 1973 World Championships in Spain and Belgium respectively but her foot was still troubling her and she decided after that to retire from running.

Millie was always passionate about sport. In fact, one of her school reports said that if Millie dedicated herself to her schoolwork with the same energy she gave to sports she would have excelled academically.

She didn’t only run. Through the 1950’s she played for the Auckland softball team and was in the Auckland basketball team for ten years during the 1960’s. Millie has always loved working in Remuera and being in the middle of it all and has watched her customer’s children grow up and become clients themselves.

She is unmarried and has no children but enjoys her extended family and has heaps of friends so she is never bored or in need of company. She gave up on making New Year’s resolutions years ago and her philosophy on life is to live for today. Great advice indeed from a superb athlete and wonderful lady.

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16/1/2012

Blue Illusion - Pamela Landers Blue Illusion

Blue Illusion

Blue Illusion opened in Remuera last April and what a wonderful addition it is to the great array of shops along the main road. This was the first of the chain to open with Botany, Milford and Riccarton following not far behind. The next one will be in Ponsonby.

Pamela Landers has been the manager in Remuera since it first opened and has helped establish the brand here in New Zealand. She is a soft beauty with a gentle manner but, I suspect, a strong core. Her husband died when her children were young and she brought up her three boys alone, moving them to New Zealand from South Africa four years ago. The eldest of her sons, Garth, is a barrister and solicitor in Kensington Swan's commercial department, the middle one is an economist while the youngest studies psychology at University. She was determined to bring them up as gentlemen and they still open car doors for women and stand up when a woman comes into the room. It’s heart warming to find such manners have not completely died out with the present generation.

Pamela was attracted to working for Blue Illusion because she loves to be surrounded by beautiful objects and knew she would find like-minded people in such a shop. In fact she says she has amazing customers and thoroughly enjoys meeting them. As much as she loves everything she sells, her favourite object at the moment is a lamp with a blown glass base (see photos).

Pamela lives up to her image and chooses to read romances in her spare time but enjoys the occasional suspense as well. Her favourite movie of all time is Blind Side with Sandra Bullock because her sons bought it for her, telling her that the Sandra Bullock character reminded them of her – tough but fair.

Pamela’s New Year’s resolution is to be careful with money because she needs it for travelling. Last year she went on holiday to Fiji and next on the agenda is Bali with Thailand after that.

Her philosophy on life is to do unto others as she would have them do unto her and to always give a smile. A smile has a ripple effect which can brighten the day of many people.

If you wish to see unique clothes with a French flavour or need to buy a special gift for someone, then do pop into Blue Illusion – it is a truly lovely shop and you will get great service.

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9/1/2012

Annette Moore from Jems of Remuera Annette and John Lee, the owner of Jems of Remuera

Annette and John Lee, the owner of Jems of Remuera

If you’ve wandered into Jems of Remuera attracted by all the glitter and shine of estate jewellery, vintage silver, glorious mirrors and the lustre of antique furniture, then you have met Annette. She is the delightful lady behind the counter whose unobtrusive help will ensure you find what you are looking for.

 

Annette’s favourite area of the shop is the jewellery section and I don’t blame her! Behind sparkling glass cases are an incredible array of antique rings, necklaces, broaches, earrings and bracelets. If you have someone who is hard to buy for, this shop is a good place to start. I bought both my son’s and his girlfriend’s 21st birthday presents here not long ago and they were a huge success.

Over the Christmas period, Annette was left in sole charge by her boss, John, who took a well-earned rest in Hawaii, and she is proud to say that she single-handedly made a very important sale.

 

She loves working in Remuera because of the community feeling and has come to know her customers well. She shops here and most days pops across to the Robert Harris Cafe for lunch.

Annette has an air of quiet gentleness and I wasn’t surprised to hear that her favourite movie is Shakespeare in Love – a historical romance. In fact the last book she read was Philippa Gregory’s The Lady of the Rivers – again a historical romance. How perfect that she works surrounded by the beautiful antiques that would be found in the eras she enjoys so much.

Annette is a woman who always has a quick and easy smile for everyone. Her New Year’s resolution this year is to enjoy every day and not take life for granted. We should all take a page from her book.

If you wish to learn a little more about Jems of Remuera, please click here for their website. But even better, drop in at 346 Remuera Road while you are passing and meet Annette.

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9/12/2011

Gorgeous Home in Arney Crescent, Remuera

From our selection of properties on the market, I have chosen a very special 4-5 bedroom house to blog about. This is a home to suit almost anyone whether you are a couple and need space or a family.

The quality is undeniable but the feeling of peace, the privacy, the security, the all day sun and the amazing views are what lift this home far beyond the ordinary. Let me show you some photos to explain what I mean.

Now that summer is finally here, I can just see myself in this home, basking in the sun by the pool, drink in hand. If you want that to be you, click here to go through to the property listing on our website for more information and get in touch with us for a viewing. We are available right through the holiday period.

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5/12/2011

Santa's House in Remuera Santas House

Santas House

Santa is visiting us here in Remuera every Saturday 11am - 1pm until Christmas.

To find him, wander around to the Village Green and you will spot his very own special grotto outside the divine Poppies Book Shop. 

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25/11/2011

Beautify the Village Green Function The Auction

The Auction

Last night the Remuera Business Association held a function to publicise their beautification of the Remuera Village Green campaign. Out on the green at 6pm, they auctioned benches, coffee tables and bricks for the paving. Those who purchased an item at the auction will have their name on it as a thank you for the sometimes substantial contribution to this project. We have purchased a coffee table.

The evening seemed to be a huge success with much excitement during the auction and lovely nibbles served with copious amounts of liquid refreshment.

A big thank you to the Remuera Business Association and in particular to the manager, Laura Carr and also to Megan Jaffe and Hayden Broadbelt of Ray White who ran the auction.

Rashmi Naran (P10); Jayne O'Reilly (Westpac): Kerryn McCormick (Westpac Manager)

Suzie Cox (Ray White) and Laura Carr (Remuera Business Association Manager) with us, Terry and Diana King, in the background.

Apres auction with the last of the evening sun blessing us with its presence

Laura Carr, Hayden Broadbelt (Principal Ray White Stonefields) and Megan Jaffe (Director Ray White Remuera)

Jane Sheetz (P10) serving drinks

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23/11/2011

NZ Herald Editorial - 45 Portland Road, Remuera Herald Homes

Herald Homes

The New Zealand Herald did a fantastic editorial on 45 Portland Rd last Saturday.

If you missed it, click here for a link through to the article.

 

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22/11/2011

Looking to downsize? Buy a townhouse Upland Road Townhouse

Upland Road Townhouse

It happens to us all - the kids move on to the adventures of life without Mum and Dad and we are suddenly floating about in a massive house with too many echoes of children's voices.

It's time to think about downsizing. Not downsizing in terms of quality but in terms of size. How many bedrooms do you really need? How many bathrooms for the two of you? How many lounges if there are no more teenagers to cater for? Probably a lot less than the house you currently live in. Who wants a time-consuming garden to maintain now that you are going to travel more and expand those hobbies that have always taken a backseat to the children's needs? You still want to be able to eat meals out in the sun with your friends but the weekends are no longer for mowing lawns and weeding flower beds. This is the time to finally relax and indulge your own desires.

The ideal abode for you is a townhouse and we have this delightful one for sale in Upland Road. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms - more than adequate. A paved, landscaped courtyard is perfect for entertaining and the living spaces flow beautifully into one another. You could walk into this house and start living straight away - it is immaculate.

117A Upland Road, Remuera is open for viewing this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday 2-2.45pm so get your skates on and take a look.

For more information and photos, click here.

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17/11/2011

Christmas Decorations in Remuera Shops

The streets of Remuera will be decorated next week on the 21st November but meanwhile the shops are gearing up for the silly season. I wandered along the street today and took photos of the shops that already have some standout Christmas decorations in their windows.

Trumps (Left) and Jems (Right)

Remuera Mall

Wyllies Pharmacy

Missoni Home

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14/11/2011

128 Arney Road, Remuera

We have an amazing European-style family home for sale, which includes four or five bedrooms, four bathrooms, one or two studies and three or four living rooms.

At 462m², it is a massive home with spaces for all members of the family and their friends. 128 Arney Road is an oasis of style and peace in the heart of the grammar zone’s most desirable area.

Have a look at this video and get in touch with us if you are interested in having a look in person. You can also see more details about the property here.

 

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7/11/2011

Remuera - a great place to live

Those who live in Remuera are the envy of many. Not just for the great position on the ridge of a hill which exposes the stylish houses on the Northern slopes to amazing views of the Waitemata Harbour, but also for the feeling of community.

 

Remuera township is a hub of never-ending activity because of the wonderful array of upmarket shops from exclusive boutiques and intriguing gift shops to the independent butcher and the fish shop filled with glistening produce from the sea. There is even a New World supermarket not far off the beaten track for the practical side of life. But, if you don’t wish to cook, there is a great selection of places to eat where you can relax in style.

People are desperate to move into the Remuera area to raise their children. It is safe and the schools are excellent. But it is also a haven for the more mature because this is the perfect place for them to wind down and enjoy their retirement. You seldom need to leave the area because everything you could ever want can be found here.

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2/11/2011

4 Stunning Auctions - all in November

November is traditionally such a busy month with Christmas just around the corner and it's no different in real estate. Everyone wants to get every aspect of their lives settled by that magical date of 25th December.

In fact, we have four auctions this month, which is keeping us on our toes.
Click on the photos below to move through to our website for more information on each property.

 

46b Bassett Road, Remuera

 

128 Arney Road, Remuera

 

10A Dromorne Road, Remuera

 

19 Ranui Road, Remuera

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1/11/2011

Why The Register?

We have only been open for a few months but already we are in the thick of things with five properties sold and fifteen listings on the books. This is what we love to do and we couldn’t be happier. Our agency is situated in the middle of the shopping centre of Remuera.

 

As you can see in the photo, we have furnished our space with beautiful antiques, some which we own and others which John Stephens & Co. Ltd has lent us and are for sale. Come in to check out what properties we have listed and have a look at the furniture at the same time.

We have started up this agency with a slightly different focus. Unlike most agencies, we have an extensive database of people who are actively looking to buy a house in the Remuera area. When we list a house, we immediately send an information flyer out to this database and there's every chance we will find a buyer even before a cent has been spent on marketing. This means, not only no cost in advertising, signboards etc., but also no eternal cleaning up for open homes with the accompanying tramping of people through your pristine house. How ideal would that be! And it can be a reality with our approach.

Over on the right, at the top is a link to our website where you can see our current properties for sale and also a list of Buyer Briefs from a few of those on our database. Do get in touch with us if you are looking at selling and if this approach interests you.

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Terry & Diana King

Terry and Diana King

 

Remuera Real Estate Register

 

Remuera Real Estate Register

 

Remuera Real Estate Register

We are a real estate agency which currently has in excess of 80 Registered Remuera buyers on its database and most are 'cashed up'! List your home with Remuera Real Estate Register and your home could be sold in the first couple of weeks it is on the market.

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