Hazel’s House is an online clothing store based in New Zealand. When she’s not attempting to source exclusive brands at non-exclusive prices, Hazel sometimes writes blog posts…
You’ll have to excuse me, today is my 21st day in a row in the office. I’ve been working a bit of overtime at my real job, the one I get paid for. I’ve still got 3 days before I get a break, which is great practise for when I’m eventually self employed and every day will be a work day. What it does mean though, is that there’s not a lot of intellect or wit to script a post, but I’ll give it a nudge.
So last time we spoke about Hazel’s House, I was hurriedly trying to solve the mystery of the missing dresses. After several private calls made from the work phone – a huge no no, but usual behaviour of a square peg in a round hole (read my rant about being an awkwardly fitting peg here), I tracked down the parcel. It had been returned to the courier base, where they were trying to find the elusive Hazel.
I rock up, ring the bell, and after 10 minutes they bring out the box. Box is a general term for the mulched cardboard that appeared in front of me. It was quite obvious that Jagjit had kicked the box to Cambridge and back, or at the very least dragged it behind the van, the only thing keeping the product in the box was some strategically placed packing tape. The reason for the failure to deliver was immediately apparent: the parcel was addressed to number 27 instead of number 24.
Back in my day, this would never have happened. As a child I knew the full name and date of birth of every single child, and pet, in the cul-de-sac. If a parcel had turned up on the door step with our address but someone else’s name, I would have been able to point Jagjit in the right direction straight away.
So there I was, carrying a mangled box with bits of dress desperately trying to escape. The wind was blowing a gale and my dress blew up, almost over my head, and I couldn’t very well drop the munted box to protect my modesty. Thank goodness for pantyhose and granny panties.
I pressed the button on the remote that is meant to unlock my sister’s 1993 black Mazda Familia (affectionately nicknamed “The Pleasurecraft” by her 17 year old self, 8 years ago), and find that there is an issue…nothing happens. The locks didn’t budge the first four times I pressed the button, nor did they so much as consider popping up the next 167 times I pressed it. I can’t unlock the car manually because dad took the locks out in 2006, after the vehicle was broken into three times in the space of two months.
Meanwhile the wind had died down, but it had started to rain. I contemplated opening the boot and climbing through the hatch – everyone had already seen my control tops anyway. At least then I could have sheltered from the weather in the vehicle, but that would have meant sitting in the car, still immobilised, with the alarm going off – not very subtle.
I leant nonchalantly against the car and made the executive decision to call my mum. What she was going to do from her desk 30 minutes away is beyond me, but people were starting to stare and I was trying not to look like a damsel in distress. Mum offered to call dad, who was probably mid way through a year nine graphics class, and would have said something along the lines of “what the f&$k do you expect me to do about it?”
I messaged my friend to assure her that I am still very much a battler (bat’tler (noun):- an Australian colloquialism referring to “ordinary” or working class individuals who persevere through their commitments despite adversity.) That was when a nice lady walked toward me “have you locked your keys in the car dear?” she asked, before attempting to unlock my vehicle using the central locking remote from her Nissan Maxima…no luck. She offered to try my remote, the first 17 presses were fruitless, but on the 18th attempt whaddya know, the door locks spring up! Crisis averted.
So the Kuku dresses were safe in the vehicle, and I was hot stepping it back to the office, hoping that my 90 minute absence had gone unnoticed. Fat chance.
I’ve spent a lot of time researching a “cheap and cheerful” brand to stock in the store. My obsession with cheap and cheerful is a direct result of my frivolous, decadent something or anything habit. Any time I have anything to go to, I have to buy something. Sometimes I’ll buy anything to wear to something, and find that I get home and I don’t particularly like it. I’ve been known to buy something, just in case anything comes up and I need something to wear. During severe episodes I’ll even buy anything to wear to anything, when I already have something, and there’s nothing coming up! I am proud to say that I am on the road to recovery from the something or anything illness. I’m not sure if this recovery is as a result of traveling for three months with a limited selection of apparel, or because I haven’t had anything to go to that requires me to go out and get something.
Anywho, I found a cheap and cheerful brand, wholesale price was good, RRP was affordable, I put in an order, all systems were go…and then I got the postage quote…$500!!! By the time I converted the Australian dollars to Kiwi dollars, added the per unit postage and the duty payable at the border, the wholesale price had doubled! Not so cheap and cheerful anymore is it?? Needless to say, that order was cancelled.
There have been some wins of course! During one of my online stalking sessions I stumbled across an emerging Australian label: NORTH. The designer, Jessica, was inspired by her grandmother when developing the prints and choosing the fabrics – something that I could definitely relate to. I am so in love with the colours, and Jessica is so excited that her range will be available at Hazel’s House, it’s such a great feeling when the supplier is enthusiastic and encouraging about the venture.
Next week I’ll be viewing the spring range of Pink Stitch. Not only is Hannah from Pink Stitch super excited about Hazel’s House, she’s also coming to my home to show me the range – how’s that for customer service?
So the fun never stops at Hazel’s House. Reading back it sounds like I’ve been doing eff all, but I didn’t want to bore you with all the admin stuff: designing and re-designing the brand and the logo, registering for GST, getting an importers license, pricing out sea freight vs. air mail, attempting to forecast cash flow, stressing that no one will buy what I’ve ordered and I’ll be forced to justify why I need an 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 in my wardrobe…all with only a fraction of my normal brain function. Lucky I love a challenge!