I’ve been many things in my life but I’m a mother first and foremost.
For me, the pleasure and common thread has always been about engaging with the people around me; be it family, customers, colleagues or children.
People matter most to me and family comes first. Prior to joining the HappyMoose Team, I was working for a wholesaler to the picture framing industry, and I could see it was an industry that was very stuck in a mode of serving a very localised audience via brick and mortar offerings.
After a few years in this field I had acquired a depth of knowledge about the industry here in New Zealand and how it worked, and I was looking for a way to use this knowledge to do something that might challenge the status quo. As life does sometimes, I was presented to the opportunity I was looking for and I came across HappyMoose and Alex! I was quite curious about this enthusiastic and genuine Chinese dude who was transforming the photo printing industry with e-commerce in NZ in the same way I was watching the framing industry change overseas.
I could see ways of improving and streamlining his production process (particularly of framed products). And, I loved the look of the other HappyMoose products. As a mother, I had heaps of family photos stuck in my devices and was trapped in the notion that getting you photos printed is a hassle. I knew the significance of my family’s time capsuled in my phone and suffered from guilt because I was doing anything with them.
I loved the way HappyMoose made not just printing fast and easy straight from your devices, but also offered new ways to display and use photos with the range of products on offer. It also aligned with my personal values of family, and people first. So, two years ago I bought into the company and the rest is history!
Initially I worked remotely from Auckland. I eventually moved back to Dunedin my hometown to be closer to my family and Southern friends. I realised I missed the personal engagement with the team and this was something that was important to me, so I packed up my Auckland life and moved down to Dunedin just post lockdown.
Most of what we do is about relationships – with our customers, with our suppliers, with our business neighbours, and with each other. Our summer staff consists of my student niece, and my friend’s student nephew. We are a little work family.
One of the challenges with e-commerce, and one of the things I love most with HappyMoose, is that even though we are an e-commerce business, we still end up having lots of conversations with our customers. Sometimes they ring us, and sometimes we ring them, if we see something that needs a closer look in their photos, or quite often, just to tell them what a gorgeous pic they took and what a privilege it was to print it! Our customers sometimes let us know that a photo is of a loved one who has passed away and it really is an honour to help them keep their memories alive by doing the best print job we can.
This is what makes Happy Moose special and why I come to work everyday.