Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ipswich Indoor Baazar...

The Ipswich Indoor Baazar was on again this Sunday past and with just so many fabulous stall holders I just wanted to share some of the many great products available.

Fiddlewood House Jewelry


Scurette - Stylish Little Critters

Cranberry Lane

Little Bird

Little Originals

The Ipswich Indoor Baazar also has a variety of gorgeous homewares, yummy cupcakes, plants, specialty fudge and so much more.

If you are interested in finding out more on having your own stall contact Kerryn on 0438 780 339.

The Ipswich Indoor Baazar will be visiting the Bush Kidz Market Day (11 Eleazar Dr, Blacksoil) on 11th April from 8am-12noon.

Love to see you there :)

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Precious Packages Twilight Shopping


    Twilight Trading

    This Friday 26th March 4pm - 9pm

    Come along and bring your friends!

    9 Harlin Road, Sadliers Crossing


    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 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.

    New Ipswich Business - Chocolate Decadence

    If you're like me this new business "Chocolate Decadence" makes me smile. With Easter just next week what a perfect time to make yourself acquainted with it. Actually if you're really like me, you don't need an excuse to eat chocolate.
    What a great shop to support :) Ipswich, we are so fortunate to have it. 
    Article from Advetiser

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    The French Employer/Employee relationship...

    Image found here

    I visited one of my favourite blogs French Essence by Vicki, (an Australian woman who lives with her family on their olive farm in France) where she wrote about the relationship between Employer and Employee in France.

    For many reasons as business women we decide to go out on our own and build a business but I think one of these reasons would have to be how we may have felt in previous employment roles.  This may include not feeling appreciated and our own worth undervalued or this sense of just being part of a rat race.

    So when I read Vicki's latest blog I thought I must share it here because admittedly not perfect in a complete business sense it does have a more positive and wholesome approach to an employer and employee relationship and perhaps one that we too would want to foster certain elements of in our own businesses.  When I read this blog it made me think of, "Working to live rather than living to work".  



    Vicki from French Essence -

    The French Gardien

    As much as I love travelling, I love home more. Life on this farm turns with or without me. That is the thing about nature, she won't wait and in my absence routines run, new plans must be put in place, the olives tended and the garden maintained. The French gardien, the caretaker, makes this happen. Our gardien is Gérard and without him my world would be a different place. Not because he is an employee and helps me with the jobs that need to be done but because he is an integral and important part of my French life. As an Australian I understand the employer/employee relationship. I respect contracts and working conditions and at one time or another I have been both employer and employee. This does not work in the same way here in France; we are connected and accountable to each other in ways that go beyond the sheet of paper that contractually binds us. I am le patron. I am the person responsible for Gérard, his well being, his happiness and his fiscal future. In turn he has my back; he is loyal, he has only my best interests at heart and I believe he would protect me with his life if ever called upon. He truly does 'take care'. Okay, that sounds a bit dramatic but life in France is not cut and dried and nor is it always business-like and set in stone. It is messy and it is emotional with traditions and practises that date back hundreds of years.

    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 g
    ardien 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 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


    Visit Recruitment Queensland to find out more...

    Meet Janette Adams from Precious Packages...

    Recently I wrote a blog on Janette for my Vintage by Lou Lou blog and thought by sharing it here would be a great way for new IWIB supporters to find out a little more about Janette and her business...


    Janette Adams

    I had the opportunity to speak with Janette Adams of Precious Packages from Ipswich. We shared many similar ideas on the values of business and as so many of these fall along the way side today where many larger corporations are concerned, I thought it important to share our conversation here on Janette’s home based business.

    Janette loves paisley fabrics as seen in this cushion amongst other home wares

    VBLL: What inspired you to open your own business?

    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.

    A range of cotton blend tea towels

    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.

    Janette's home wares displayed in a fresh cream and white interior

    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.

    Refreshment provided in the much needed Ipswich Summers

    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.

    Robert Gordon favourites available from Precious Packages

    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 for further information.


    Image by Alison McGrath

    Welcome all!  Yesterday was International Women's Day; a celebration of what it is to be a woman today from our many different cultural backgrounds and walks of life that we all come from.  On Friday I had the opportunity to hear two very inspiring Ipswich Women, Flo Kearney (Principal of Ipswich Girls' Grammar) and Alison McGrath (Managing Director of Recruitment Queensland) speak of what inspires and motivates them in their careers and life.  Both mothers who emphasise an importance on family, what it essentially came down to was PASSION FOR WHAT THEY DO.  

    Their personal stories were touching and inspiring but it was Alison McGrath's experience with Business Chicks that inspired me most.  In late 2009 Alison, after a year of physical and mental preparation embarked on a journey of a lifetime with a group of other business women (Business Chicks) from around Australia in Cambodia.  On bikes they rode across the country raising money and awareness for Sunrise Children's Villages run by dedicated Australian woman, Geraldine Cox.  

    These villages are safe havens for these children who have not only been orphaned but also abandoned by their family members.  Their personal accounts are heart wrenching  but what I found as a ray of sunshine and hope is this "giving back" attitude these women have.  I am personally looking at sponsoring a couple of children not only to help rebuild lives but to give my family the experience of learning about another culture, developing a deeper sense of gratitude and who knows what beautiful friendships could come from it.  When we choose to give, we in turn receive a reward far greater.

    We would love to hear stories from any other Women in Business who have had the opportunity to "give back".

    Have a wonderful day,

    Vintage by Lou Lou