I just read my last (and first) blog and really do wonder how we got to this point. When I last blogged it was the coldest and wettest day in winter. We were starting a renovation on our house and a new business at the same time.
The Pods were being built By Mark Brown in Methven and there was no turning back. What were we thinking?? There are no full sentences I can use for that time. I only have ones like cold, rain, stop raining, oh another southerly, surely not, yes it’s a bigger one, and actually yes we think we’ll change to double glazing please. What a winter! Fast forward through that biblical weather and here we are. I’m looking at my diary to assess the week.
- Jo from Latitude is coming Monday
- Website photos are Tuesday (play nice weather gods)
- Wednesday is Pet day (Cakes, Cupcakes and Pets)
- And Thursday is getting ready for Friday when we are officially open and 5 people turn up….how hard could it be?
3 hrs before Jo arrived I was like the possessed woman on the spray and wipe ad. The girls were at school, the pod was cleaned from our first and early guests the night before, the house looked newly renovated but ok. Cushions were plumped and it looked like a house where the woman who ran it was in control.
2.5hrs before Jo arrived the power went off and Meridian told me it wasn’t coming back on any time soon.
1hr before Jo arrived, Floorpride turned up and took all the furniture out of the living room and placed it in the kitchen.
45mins before Jo arrived Richie rang to say he was still at Lincoln New World, and was an hr away.
15mins before Jo arrived the power came back on but by then it was too late to vacuum.
I think you get my drift, it was one of those days. But it was great to see Jo, who is creator and editor of our great Canterbury magazine Latitude and who I knew from Ashburton. Her soothing words we’d both heard at Pilates many times made me smile and it was great to show her around Te Wepu, and hear her positive feedback.
We showed her the Pods, had a chat and she took some photos. What we didn’t expect was the eye welling story she captured from us and being on the COVER of issue 56. Richie sang Dr Hook “you’ll see our smiley face, on the cover of the rolling stone” for days and even I had to stop humming about Silvia’s mother and Mrs Abraham.
The next day was the website photo shoot with Elise Rutherford. We roped in Alex, Richie youngest daughter from his ‘first litter’ and Jenny and Tony Walls from next door. We are forever in their debt for getting in the hot tub in front of a camera and everyone else standing around. But we had so much fun! I took one of my hampers up and we cooked some sausages and crayfish on the BBQ, supped on some French Peak Rose and didn’t want to leave. I really felt that what we were trying to create would be a hit. No one wanted to leave the view and the atmosphere. It really is a special place.
Next day ‘Pet day’. Cupcakes were decorated, father’s cakes were made to be auctioned off as a fundraiser, Louie was groomed, and Chloe the chicken was, well, she was caught. Off we went. Tick.
Then the next few weeks went like a blur. I ran an intense Facebook campaign which left me with RSI in my thumb (I self-diagnosed on google) but we gained lots of followers as well as many likes and comments.
Airbnb started provided us with quite a few bookings which was exciting and we LOVED welcoming our first ‘don’t know them’, ‘they found us and wanted to stay’ guests recently. Their feedback was sooo cool. “What an AMZING experience”. “We spent 4 hours in the hot tub watching stars” “This view is AMAZING” and my favourite “We got so much more than what we were expecting”.
That for me was so important…and to have it verbalised as well.
We say we are intrepid but intrepid because the pods are literally in a paddock, intrepid because there could be the odd possum sharing your view, there is dust and a few callies (thistles) but we are also intrepid hosts – giving our customers wee unexpected extras unlike the industry norm at the moment. How often do you compare the website photos to your hotel room and feel slightly underwhelmed? Here at Te Wepu it is the opposite.
It’s the 1%ers Richie says and I say we are putting the ‘treat’ into ‘retreat’.
Until next time, thank you for reading this!