I will get the basics out of the way first - we all know how last year played out. And for Greg and I here at Bath Boutique it was no different - Tough going for sure. We closed our Inverness Road location and opened our Clyde Court location. One sentence stating the outcome of the year - but the space between closing, and reopening included life changing events, fear that was debilitating, and a paradigm shift so great it has changed our lives irrevocably. Many of you already know that Greg, the builder and mastermind behind the Boutique set up, and my rock in this venture, as in all my life's undertakings, had a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) or Mini Stroke in October, before we could get the new store set up. At the time, I was unsure whether I would reopen Bath Boutique at all, I had no idea what his recovery would look like, or how long it would take, and my priority was him. All our focus was squarely on understanding what happened, and navigating our way through the murky world of blood thinners, causation, short term restrictions and long term affects. Upon his gradual recovery, inevitably, our thoughts turned to what would we do now? How could we make sure we lived every minute.
For me, that means putting all my energy into the venture I had longed to do for years, Bath Boutique - and now in my new space, I am slowly getting organised and really learning to love my space with the big windows, and vocal crowd that attends the cafe each morning, my wonderful new neighbours and meeting some new customers.
For Greg... well - that's an entirely different story! And one I will share here, as so many of you ask me how he is doing! A bit of background on my amazing husband is in order here. Greg is a NZQA Boat Builder, getting his Trade Certificate in Ship, Yacht & Boatbuilding, and going on to get his Advanced Trade Certificate as well. He began his boatbuilding journey when he left school at 16 here in New Zealand. After working for while, and surfing around the country - he had the opportunity to sail offshore. He took that opportunity, and eventually ended up over in Australia - where I met him. After getting married, and an eight year stint living and sailing in Canada, we returned here to NZ for him to finally complete his apprenticeship in Boat Building. He won top apprentice two years in a row, and won the NZ Boat Show Award for design, all with me, and two little boys to care for. He took over a boatyard in Silverdale in the later end of the 1990's. He excelled at cutting edge technology and was sought after for his skills in resin infusion. He built the largest (only?) folding catamaran in the world using these techniques. He designed and built the Martell 10 - a fast catamaran that has won its class in the NZ famous Coastal Classic. He put many apprentices through their training and had the philosophy that work for the young guys was a safe place where he would keep them busy, and hoped to positively influence them as they sorted their futures out. During the early 2000's, our boatyard was a casualty of the global recession, a big blow which required a restructuring of our personal situation and a hiatus from Boat Building for a time. Fast forward 15 years - boat design and building is still a passion. He helped me build the boutique, and then was back to various boat yards around Auckland. With a head for problem solving and "getting things right" the first time, meticulous attention to detail he took on the role of kit set agent for the new Class Globe 580 project. He sold a kit to Colin in Wellington, and they built their friendship at the same time as Colin was building his 580, Greg sharing his Boatbuilding skills where and as he could from Auckland, and a short weekend trip to help. And then, his stroke event. And now? Life is about taking each day, and each opportunity as it comes. If you would like to follow this amazing adventure that Greg is on, please consider subscribing to their YouTube channel so you can see each episode as it comes out. To inspire others to never give up, to grab the days, to maximise their own potential, and to get out there and DO it, are the goals of these two fantastic gentlemen. I am so very proud to be sharing my life with this incredible man. Fair winds. xx
Leanne and her husband Gregory are both partners in Bath Boutique. Here she will share parts of her journey with Bath Boutique, from some of the Makers' stories, experiences and thoughts about Boutique Retail in New Zealand.