We are absolutely blown away by Wendy, who is a powerhouse businesswoman taking over the food and beverage sector. With over 20 years experience as a food and beverage, and tourism sector specialist, she has now opened up her very own business, Kismet Marketing. With this new venture, she aims to use her innovation, creativity and a little sprinkle of her proven genius to improve and revolutionize other businesses to make their vision come to life!
To help her get established, Wendy needed a dedicated and invigorating space where she could set up her headquarters right on her property. She selected a 3m x 3m Star Cabin from SheShed and has never looked back!
"It is never easy starting a new business venture, however kick starting it with an amazing purpose-built office, has been one of the best business decisions I have ever made."- Wendy V.
We now check in with her to discuss her journey, grand visions and goals with Kismet Marketing - and how things have been since she has been working out of her very stylish 9m2 Star Cabin. Get ready to take some notes and be inspired!
Tell us a bit about what you do, what is your business all about and what is your goal?
I am a Food and Beverage Sector Specialist helping to grow the NZ Food & Beverage sector economy. I use my experience and connections in research, rural development, marketing, media, and tourism to present new methods for consideration and delivery. I work with start-up food and beverage businesses helping them to participate in programmes that help their business grow as well as with large, established companies looking to diversify. My goal is to develop and to grow the sector so that it is collaborative; supports business from start up to export level and showcases NZ Inc. as a producer of high value food and beverage to a global audience.
Before I went out on my own after 17 years as a Food and Beverage Specialist, I initiated a project aptly titled “From the Ground Up" which I delivered along with a Canadian Global Culinary expert who came to New Zealand to work on it with me. The project was focused on identifying key actions and initiatives to grow the Food and Beverage economy so building a new office ‘from the ground up’ highlighted how great initiatives can come from ground-breaking ideas
You can find out more about Wendy's work with Kismet Marketing at her website:
What do you love most about managing your business from home and do you have any advice for other women looking to start something from home?
It used to take me 2 ½ hours each way to get to work with an office that was in the Auckland CBD. My new office is on my property on the rural outskirts of Auckland in a very pretty valley. From the doors I see countryside….from the window, a tall Elm tree and gardens and I am surrounded by greenery, birdlife, streams, and a waterfall (across the road), in an office that reflects the work I do in the rural sector with growers and producers. My advice for other women looking to start something from home is this: “Find your passion and bring it to life. Do what you love and based on your skill set, your knowledge and your innate intuition about what is needed/where there is a gap in the market. Furnish your office so it becomes a reflection of the work you do and provides inspiration while you bring into being the business you have created. Your office should reflect who you are and also be an advertisement for your new business venture.
What did you need to do to your property to prepare for the shed?
The ground it sits on was already level however I needed to clear roots from a dead tree and ensure there was no vegetation. From there it was a case of spreading a thick layer of gravel as the base for the foundation boards.
Did you build the SheShed by yourself, or have family or a friend help, or hire someone?
Friends helped but the bulk of it was done by my handyman and myself.
What paint colours and/or interior style and furnishing did you choose for your cabin and why?
The exterior matches the other two buildings on my property which are also weatherboard and all three are painted in Resene 1/8th Spanish White in a semi-gloss so that there is a connection. From a style perspective, they work together. There is a lot of vegetation on my half acre property – well established trees, hydrangeas and roses and it is a very ‘romantic’ property, and I wanted the buildings to have a fresh look as a background to all the vegetation.
The interior is painted in Resene Quarter Spanish white to keep it clean and reflect light and I stained the Floorboards, window and inside the door Resene Woodsman penetrating oil stain in Nutmeg. I wanted another window in the side wall but instead of compromising the building integrity, I converted a mirror I had in storage to look like the existing window using the wooden struts that came with the kitset (used to separate the planks), to create a lattice effect to match the window and it worked perfectly as it throws extra light into the interior and reflects the vegetation and view outside. The only new things I bought for the office were the desk chair, a jug for flowers and the clock on the wall. I had admired the one on the wall in the show shed in the office in Nelson and had asked if I could buy it but it wasn’t for sale. Then I found the exact one in a shop in Mapua (before I bought the shed or ordered it) and knew it was meant to be on the wall of my own She Shed and felt like it just confirmed my desire to buy my She Shed.
The office is furnished with pieces I have had in storage for a while – pieces made of rattan, that have a natural/upmarket rustic look and that reflect my focus on the rural sector. The desk is a French dining table my sister gave me when she moved to Australia and there is a print on the wall of wildflowers which grow around my She Shed that was painted by a Nelson artist. The office is furnished in a very different style to my home which is French Country.
What’s your favourite aspect of the SheShed now that it has been completed?
That this is ‘my’ space. This is the grown-up version of a ‘Wendy house’. It is where I dream and where I create and curate amazing concepts and projects to help NZ Food and Beverage businesses to grow together with designing the methodology to deliver them. It is also where I escape to when I need to think or to write. My business is called Kismet Marketing – Kismet means ‘providence’ and it also means “meant to be’. Kismet Marketing is all about new beginnings; vision and seeing a way forward. I work with ground-breaking businesses, research institutes, companies and organisations in the F & B Sector forging a new way forward toward greater outcomes. I have made my She Shed part of that journey as a mechanism for connecting my new company with the industry/sector providing an ‘introduction’ to who I am and why I see what I do as being key to the growth of the F & B sector in NZ.
When other people see it for the first time, what do they most comment on, or what are they most surprised about?
That is sits well in the environment and that is also has ‘character’. And when they go inside, they are just stunned at how spacious it is. I have had so many compliments about how attractive it is and how well it functions as an office. It is a pleasure to work in a space that feels like ‘home’ and yet is my working space.
Why did you choose to buy a SheShed in particular, instead of any other type or brand of shed?
I didn’t want a box. I needed something that would reflect what Kismet Marketing is all about and portrayed that. It had to match my house and not look out of place, and it needed to have character and an ‘emotive’ quality that made business clients feel comfortable, welcome, and yet engendered a sense of professionalism. I also wanted it (as a home office) to provide a sense of reference to the work I am doing yet have style. All in all, it was a big ask but I had seen She Sheds on several visits to Nelson and I took my sister with me to look at it. She was dubious until she saw the show home inside your office and then she understood why I thought it was perfect. Lots of people have been to see it or have seen it on my Facebook and Instagram posts and the feedback has been incredible and has also provided an insight into what I am doing with Kismet Marketing.
FEATURED CABIN: The Star Cabin Kitset (9sqm)
The cabin used by Wendy is the Star Cabin. It is a great and versatile space that has often been used for businesses, Air Bnb spots, spare bedrooms, pool houses, office spaces, hair studios, beauty therapy rooms, home businesses, kids retreats, granny flats, and even a bach or holiday house extension. The Star Cabin can be created to be whatever you want it to be, and Wendy has customised hers by adding electricity, power points, lighting and Wi-Fi. She has also made her cabin a beautiful oasis by landscaping around the space and adding bespoke pieces of furniture.
If you're looking to create your dream business from home and really reach for your goals now, be sure to check out our full range of SheShed kitset cabins HERE.