Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This Friday 26th March 4pm - 9pm
Come along and bring your friends!
PP Gift Shop
A selection of gifts including home wares, books, decorative items, homemade specialities and treats for you.
PP Gift Hampers and Baskets
All of our gifts are personally prepared for your order.
We have some prepared for inspiration.
We specialise in beautiful hampers and baskets for every occasion.
Orders can be placed in store or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 3389 6988.
PP Gift Registry
Our unique gift registry service boasts some of Ipswich's most exceptional retailers. All Occasions.
Whether you are expecting three guests or three hundred Precious Packages is for you. We take care of the shopping, wrapping and delivery for any occasion or all occasions.
PP Corporate Packages
Precious Packages can arrange gifts for all of your corporate requirements.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It all started back in 1999 when we bought an abandoned fruit farm in Provence. It was going to take time to establish the olive grove that would one day make the farm a viable notion and to renovate the crumbling farmhouse as our home. We were unable to live permanently in France at that time and had chosen London as our base - we needed somebody local to help supervise and co-ordinate our dreams. That is when I met Gérard and that was the start of our ten year 'relationship'. When I use that word 'relationship' I cringe for all the icky connotations that this over used word brings. Yet I can think of no other word that would describe so well how things are between us. It is not a partnership in the way one would imagine because we are not equal - I am the boss - yet it is a partnership in the sense that we are co-dependent. We have come to respect each other and the cultural differences that divide us. I have learned patience and that all decisions require hours of mind numbing chat before a qui or d'accord can sign things off. Gérard appreciates my limited concentration span and recognises that glazed eyes and a lack of response mean it's time to wrap it up.
Gérard would never contradict a decision that I make even if it was the wrong one. This is where I find the 'relationship' a conundrum. As le patron in this French system, my word is the one that goes. This antiquated practise has cost me much in time and money. I am a novice farmer, I am an Australian woman operating in a foreign land and more often than not I have been clueless about many things. I am also comfortable with engaged and informed discussion between employer and employee. Where I come from every one has their say and the information is assimilated and the best practise followed. It is a more informal approach, not so here. The truths sheepishly hide themselves until le patron's ways are well and truly proven a folly. Afterwards, there is much, 'I would never have done it that way' and 'that's not the way we do it here' conversation accompanied by vigourous head shaking and hand gestures with a most definite, 'I told you so' hanging in the air. Only the French gardien didn't tell me so and he never does tell me that I am doing it all wrong and he never would. That would be far too familiar and not his place. I have wised up a little now, after countless frustrations, and always ask for his opinion. When resistance and reluctance to share his pearls stand in our way I cloak my question with an, 'If it were you'...This way I get to the heart of the matter; I save face and my pennies.
The French gardien and le patron are emotionally dependent. Well Gérard and I are at least. It is very simple; if he is happy, I am happy. (See the word 'relationship' is perfect...) We meet every morning when I am home and talk...at the risk of repeating myself, I mean talk. We talk until there are no words left, until the subjects have been thrashed and thrashed over and over and then some. It is the tumble dryers of conversations but without the timer. There is no such thing as a quiet morning at the farm and as much as I make fun of it, I love it. It is the way it is; it is my status quo. In amongst our farm talk, our garden chat and our household natter we gossip about the nitty gritty. Health (always lots of that) and family matters pepper our professional dialogue. Gérard seeks out and values my opinion when it comes to matters of the heart or family dramas. I listen, for that is my role as le patron. He has confided in me many times over the years yet I would not with him; that would be crossing an invisible line of propriety that must remain to preserve our relationship. That is the strangeness of our pairing. We are more than friends but never that.
Today's meeting ran for hours and included much tree lopping talk and a garden tour to evaluate the snow damage (yes lots of that - we had two heavy snowfalls this winter that created havoc with the olive trees and the more fragile plants in the garden). We measured the quantity of camouflage netting we will need to recreate the shaded area at the swimming pool (more snow damage) and we chose the colours for the re-painting of the outdoor furniture. I heard all about an Elvis concert in Paris that he attended with his wife (he lost me there for a moment...all I could say was, 'long live the King'...), the trials and tribulations of elderly beaux parents living alone in the mountains and most importantly we discussed the name of our new puppy who will arrive at the end of April. It was a busy morning....
Like all things there are French gardiens and then there are French gardiens. Gérard is one in a million. xv
Monday, March 8, 2010
Janette: Quite simply my daughter. When I was pregnant with her and as I waited in anticipation for her arrival, I referred to her as my “precious package”. I also have my own children’s label, “Busy Being” and that too was inspired by my daughter. After school I would always ask her, “ What did you do today? Were you busy being beautiful?”. And that is where the name for Busy Being was born from.
VBLL: How do you describe what your business is all about?
Janette: It’s a gift shop where you’ll find a range of home wares, books, a children’s clothing range and more. I also provide hand selected and individualised gift hampers for personal and corporate clients.
VBLL: Why did you choose what it is you do?
Janette: I live my passion/s, whatever they might be each day. Precious Packages is just that (a passion) and by having my own business I hope to inspire others to do the same. Everything I choose in my life I enjoy.
VBLL: Which direction would you like to see you business go?
Janette: As my business grows I can see myself moving from my home based location to larger premises in the Ipswich area. This will also provide local employment opportunities, which once again is giving back to the community. Another goal of mine as my business expands is to create awareness and support of local causes.
VBLL: What is fabulous about having a small business in the Ipswich area?
Janette: It supports the regeneration of Ipswich by bringing life back to it. It also allows you to get to know people and provide true customer service. As I mentioned earlier it also creates awareness of better options for others interested in beginning their own businesses and that anything is possible.
Precious Packages is open Wednesday through to Saturday and also provides Devonshire Teas and Cheese and Wine evenings (bookings required).
Visit www.ppgifts.com.au for further information.