Our journey began about a year ago when Ross and I were living and working in Auckland....and going from being stuck in one commuter traffic jam to another. Ross owned his own business while I worked in the energy industry. Auckland was going through a major growth phase and while the city was great in some ways it was taking its toll on us both physically and mentally.
Having grown up in Waipukurau I still had family in the Hawkes Bay and each time we came down to visit it got harder and harder to go back to the daily grind of the city. After our son, Logan came along it was Ross who convinced me that the Hawkes Bay was the place we should call home. So, we decided to take the plunge and quit the big smoke of Auckland and relocate to the sunny Hawkes Bay.
Ross then set about the task of selling his business in Auckland and help find a suitable replacement. Being a specialised company in the building industry, finding someone to hand the reigns onto was no walk in the park. After several months the decision was made to hire not one person, but several people to replace Ross.
Then we packed our bags and took a well-deserved break in Canada to visit Ross's brother and his family. During this little bit of down time we tried to decide what we would do once we moved to the Hawkes Bay. Should we import products? Should we have an online store? At one point after visiting what must have been the hundredth toy store (for Logan of course 'wink wink') we even thought a toy store might be the way to go.
With Ross's background in building and construction we became quite serious about setting up a renovation business but something didn't feel quite right. Maybe it was the thought of starting up another business from scratch. Maybe it was the concern of not being able to find the right staff. Whatever it was, we were just not feeling the excitement that we thought we should.
After several long hard months of moving two households (one from Auckland to Waipukurau) and getting our beloved old Auckland villa ready for the market and eventually selling her, we still in our spare time continued doing the due diligence for this renovation idea.
I think it was the night before we were to sign our lives away (and probably our souls) to start this renovation business when Ross decided to take one last look at what options were out there. He discovered a retail store selling tiles was on the market. It took us both less than two seconds each to know that this is something we could do. With Ross's experience within the building industry and my previous experience with retail and colour consults we knew this was something we needed to check out.
The next morning, we made arrangements to meet Shane and Hari and later that afternoon we had already fallen in love with the Tile Shed. We were immediately impressed. The more we learnt about the business the more it solidified for us just how right this was. We were excited about this opportunity!
So, with a week before Christmas it was all go with accountants, lawyers and numerous others pulling out all the stops to help us make this dream a reality before they packed up for the holidays......but......we got there. So, by mid-January we were ready to start learning TILES!
So here we are, a month after officially taking over the Tile Shed. We have learnt so much about tiles in this time and we have enjoyed every minute of it. We have had amazing support from Shane and Hari as well as all our wholesalers. We were fortunate enough to have Ross's dad Noel come on board as our storeman. After a lifetime of driving diggers and bulldozers and overseeing some major commercial developments Noel has decided to trade it all in and dive into the world of tiles. We also employed a retail manager. Julia has blown us away with her enthusiasm and her ability to learn everything so quickly. Noel and Julia have been instrumental in helping us get through these first few weeks.
It has been a crazy beginning for us, but in a good way. It's been a real pleasure meeting all the Tile Shed customers and helping them design spaces they love. We have been taking it all in and developing some exciting plans for the future.
.We are honoured to be the new owners of the Tile Shed. It's going to be an exciting journey
Ross and June