Home' Christchurch Mail : August 29th 2103 Contents 20 CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, AUGUST 29, 2013
Diamonds in the rubble
Author, editor, publisher and founder of Keswin
Publishing Ltd, Deb Donnell immerses herself in a
world of words on a daily basis.
Ive been passionate about writing all my life and
self-published my frst book, Teds Story,
when I was ten.
Debs second passion is jewellery and she is a
certifed diamond grader. This rare skill provides
her with a unique perspective and Deb considers
the ability to sort the gems from the rubble of
everyday life is also valuable to the experience of
In 2003, enthusiastic about sharing her
philosophy, Deb set about detailing her
techniques to help non-writers release
the book inside of them.
The Diamond Publishing System
was developed and is delivered
through the online membership site
Small Biz Writing provides a simple system and
group support to help individuals mine, cut and
polish their buried writing diamonds, she says.
We also provide consulting, rewriting, editing and
proofreading services. Im SEO Writing trained,
and love helping small businesses with marketing
material, websites, articles, and ebooks.
Many people have expertise and experiences
they could share on-line and in print, but theyre
not comfortable or confdent with the writing
process, Deb says.
Deb also mines her own diamonds and has
published several books. Café Refections, details
personal insights and encounters with small
businesses in Christchurchs CBD.
On page 126, Deb describes working
in her parents High St jewellery shop
in the unsettling period between the
September 2010 and February 2011
Wed get freshly baked cookies from
Mrs Higgins Cookies in the Regent building in the
Square. We tried to limit ourselves to the days
when we had big aftershocks. They were our
reward for being brave.
Deb worked alongside Tauranga NZ-Response
Team volunteer Pete Seager to publish
Responders. This is an intimate look at the
September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes
from the unique viewpoint of light rescue
volunteers. Royalties from both books are
donated to the Canterbury Earthquake Survivors
Copies of Café Refections and Responders are
available from Christchurch booksellers or via
Debs website keswinpublishing.com which also
links to Small Biz Writing.
Wise words: Deb Donnell encourages people to
develop a writing legacy of their own.
Women in Business Advertising Feature
The 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
(GEM) report suggests building new
collaborations and leveraging ideas as
one of the key drivers to assist women
entrepreneurs to grow their businesses
Many women are only too willing to share
their advice and experience and consider the
opportunity to mentor a privilege.
Networking can be as simple as an invitation
to share knowledge over coffee or a more
formal exchange of information via a specific
The largest organisation aiming to encourage
and inspire women is the New Zealand
Federation of Women's Institutes. Visit the
Zonta is an international organisation
working in various ways to raise the status of
women worldwide. Go to zonta.org.nz to
find your nearest branch.
There are several other organisations
focused on supporting women in business
or in a specific industry including:
• New Zealand Federation of Business and
Professional Women Inc. (BPW NZ)
• Maori Women's Development
• Association for Women in the Sciences
• Women in Arable
• Network for Women in Dairying
Success via supportive networks
Global networks: Many women find advice and
mentoring increases their business success.
Their five-year anniversary is an exciting
milestone for Baby On The Move owners Jane
MacKay and Amanda Franklin.
Initially, Jane was a customer of the baby
equipment sales and hire business operating
just around the corner in St Albans. "I'd just
had my second boy and thought what an
excellent business it was."
Jane had a marketing background but
couldn't imagine returning to work for
someone else. "I was also not sure about
being at home full-time with two little boys."
Just a week or so later, Jane says she received
a letter. "It must have been mailed to all of
her clients saying the business is for sale."
"I thought I could work my own hours, have
time with our children and mix with other
parents at a similar stage in their lives."
Amanda was also looking at a Baby on the
Move to be based in Wainoni and the pair
met while researching the business with other
licensees and the franchisors.
"We did our due diligence, talking
with a family friend who was a very
successful local businessman, plus a
lawyer and accountant," says Jane.
Both women have just renewed their five-year
agreement and consider the elements that first
attracted them to the business are still valid.
"It's an exciting time in parents' lives and it
feels good to be able to share our advice and
Besides the enjoyment of interacting with
clients, Jane says, there is a great network
operating throughout New Zealand. "We're
not working in isolation."
Jane believes women in business
offer a human focus, aside from
their multi-tasking skills.
"It's not like the big chains, driven
by what they need to sell this week.
For us it's about spending time with
clients figuring out what it is they need. That
might not be the best way to do business, but
repeat customers saying they really value our
knowledge and experience."
The southwest Christchurch Baby On The Move
franchise is currently available. Contact Fena
Bavastro email@example.com for more
"We're not working
Exciting times: Jane and Amanda
celebrate 5 years in business
with sales and a Recaro booster
Baby business a rewarding experience
"I'm having a Tuesday that feels like a Monday,"
is how Charmaine McFarlane laughingly describes
her busy day.
While recovering from recent spinal surgery to
remedy injuries received in the February 2011
earthquake, Charmaine tells an inspiring tale of
what it takes to ride the rollercoaster of life and
Encouraged by husband Matt McFarlane, she set
up her first business from home.
Then in a move to broaden their horizons in
Australia, the couple initiated the Gold Coast Day
Spa franchise. However, just five years on, the
terrifying ordeal of Matt's quadruple bypass heart
surgery, prompted their desire to return home.
Briefly back for her dad's birthday, Charmaine
noticed a lack of teeth-whitening services. "On the
Gold Coast they're everywhere," she says.
In 2009 Sparklewhite Teeth launched as a mobile
service in Christchurch. "We were just flat out and
I wondered how it would go nationwide."
Fast forward to late 2010 and the business had 20
licensees and a clinic in the CBD. Her next ordeal
was scheduled for February.
Choosing not to be daunted by insurance wrangles
and the struggle to revive
Sparklewhite Teeth, Charmaine
and Matt decided to remodel their
home to incorporate
"At first I thought who will want
to get their teeth whitened, but
in their darkest days, clients said they needed
something to make them feel better. For others it
was the confidence for new job interviews."
Even spinal surgery has a silver lining according to
Charmaine, forcing her to employ a dental nurse
to look after the clinic. She suggests, "alongside
passion and enthusiasm, you need time to look at
it from an outsider's perspective".
Sparklwhite Teeth are founding members of
the NZCTWA (NZ Cosmetic Teeth Whitening
Association), a group backed by the Ministry of
Health and the Dental Council to promote safe
teeth whitening practices.
Charmaine is also responsible for training
South Island companies seeking teeth
whitening practical and theory study
through the NZCTWA.
She says her biggest reward for being in
business is having time "to take my daughter to
dancing and swimming."
Charmaine McFarlane loves the saying,
"If you see someone without a
smile give them one of yours."
Now I can work
at the business,
rather than in it.
P: 03 339 7374
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