Image of Rayner Bowman from Belle Howick

Rayner Bowman – Belle

“I worked at Macleans as a teacher for 15 years. A chain of events led me to go back down Wellington for 10 years and when I came back I decided to come back and try a whole new venture which was retail.

I’d never ever done it before. I’d always had a passion for clothes – I love styling people and making people feel good about themselves.

My mum was a seamstress, but I never inherited the genes! She tried to teach me but I just couldn’t get it. She just made really beautiful clothes. I think that’s where my interest came from many moons ago.

I like to interact with people and I really missed that company during lockdown. I cleaned everything! I became a courier service during Level 2 and worked 14 hours solid. We went on social media and every day I was out delivering. I took images and just connected with people online. We constantly changed the window displays every day and that brought in a lot of interest. We also had bubble sales every day and it worked!

I’m proud of the inner strength that I didn’t realise I had until times like this when you’re owning your own business. I’m my harshest critic, but the bottom line is that I like myself and I love what I do with a passion. I live and breathe it. I think we need to enjoy the moment and Iive for today!

I like the vibrancy of Howick. It’s a caring community and in general people look out for you and take your interest to heart. Everyone looks after everybody which is what I love best about the village.”