Stories of Small Business New Zealand

The Story of Shaz & Everyday Style NZ

The Story of Shaz & Everyday Style NZ

Let’s start with who you are?  Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is Shaz Dixon and I am the founder of Everyday Style NZ.  I'm a  Creative, Honest, reliable person with integrity.

 And what is Everyday Style? Tell us more

Everyday Style NZ is an online business selling product that are everyday multi use items that are affordable, reusable, made from recycled materials and of high quality. Anything that I sell online has to be something that I genuinely love using myself.

What did you do before creating your business?  Tell us your journey from there to here (it's a long one but absolutely worth the read).

My passion from an early age was always retail & fashion.  My first job at the age of 15 was with a top fashion boutique in Australia from there I worked with a fast growing chain store. From there with my ex husband & business partners we set up women's wear fashion business, importing from China in the early 80s. 

Fast forward to in the early 1990’s and living in Hong Kong I was invited by Maisy Bestall Cohen to New Zealand for a week, to work as a makeup artist at Benson & Hedges Fashion Awards.  Before the week was up I fell in love with NZ and knew that I would move here. I continued to work in all aspects of the fashion, advertising and TV industry as a makeup artist including a role I loved as Beauty Editor at Style magazine

I was drawn back into the fashion industry after I literally swapped jobs with a now well know makeup artist who was a merchandiser for a fashion company importing from India.  I jumped straight into that role travelling regularly to India and sourcing & manufacturing garments for many NZ retailers including Glassons & Ezibuy. 1999 the retail side of me kicked back in and Styledirect on Ponsonby Road was born, lasting for 10 years.  When high rents and a change of lifestyle fell into my lap I closed up shop and took a breather living on a boat & travelling around New Zealand and building a small boutique accommodation Vanuatu.

I knew that eventually my love of style, alongside practical & affordable items including missing customer contact would get me back in business doing something that I could combine with my passion and lifestyle.  Not feeling the need to get back into the creative or importing side I was on the look out for stylish items that you would use everyday & were affordable.

I didn’t have to look too far.  Project Ten is owned by a family that I have known for years was the perfect product. I loved & used the product and wanted to share it with others so I asked if I could sell it into NZ as their agent.

From there the Everyday Style online store became my new passion. Up to recently I had only sold the Project Ten range online but I have recently added a couple of new range items and have a few more products that I’m looking at.  I'm not one to sit idle for long.

I live in a remote area & beautiful location in the Bay of Islands and run my business from home at our coastal property. I recently decided that I needed a separate office area so I bought a new shipping container and decked out as my office and storage area and it’s set among a lot of native trees so it’s a very calming environment to work from.

I am also the Property Manager for a luxury accommodation property in the same area that I live and I handle all aspects for that business from guest liaison, booking and all the marketing, so when I say I love being creative & busy I'm not joking!

 

Knowing what you know now. What would be one piece of advice would you give your 21 year old self.  

Go with your gut instinct & don’t second guess yourself.

What are some of the highs and lows of running your business? 

The highs are when the Shopify app goes “ching ching with a sale” not so much for the monetary aspect but that someone went to my website and made a purchase. The lows are when a week may go by without any “ching ching” knowing I haven’t engaged with anyone.

What the biggest lesson you have learnt in your small business?

Be patient, very rarely can you just start a business, especially an online business, and expect orders to start rolling in. It’s had work and focus.

What’s one piece of advice you would share with someone starting out?

Make sure you understand budgets & cashflows, no matter how small your business is, and even if you have an accountant. If entering into a business partnership have a good solid understanding of all aspects of the business including the role your business partner is undertaking. 

What do you love most about your business?  

I’m my own boss. I love the creative aspect of developing a business and that I get to be creative with my own photography promoting the items on Instagram.

Share 5 things that bring you joy?

Being in nature taking photos on my iPhone

Cooking delicious food

Enjoying wine with friends

Sitting around an outdoor fire with great music

Creating beautiful environments.

What do you do for some time out or when you need a break from your biz?  What resets that light inside you? 

Walking, gardening  & boating. Fortunately I live on a large piece of land on the the coast in a remote environment surrounded water & nature so I don’t have to go far!

Coffee or Tea?

COFFEE

What one quote are you always drawn to.  

High emotion, low intelligence.

What can we expect from your biz in the future?

I’m allowing my business to grow organically and being a person that is always open to change & new ideas. I’m constantly looking for new brands that are stylish & affordable everyday items that are in keeping with my ethos.

 

Get in touch with Shaz & Everyday Style NZ through Instagram or the online store

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