Cathy Poole – Caroline Eve
“I’ve lived in Howick since I was born. I grew up here and went to the local schools. Now my son and daughter-in-law are doing the same – raising the next generation here.
I’m a tailor by trade – I have a degree in designing, pattern making and dressmaking, although I’ve turned my skills to a lot of areas over the years. I used to run a business from home, but then I decided to pursue a real estate career. I worked in the real estate industry for twenty years in the Howick and Pakuranga area.
I moved away from the area when I decided to shift my focus to retail. I worked in pharmacy for many years and discovered that I really love sales and I love people – I’m very customer focused. I missed Howick and the village though – so when the opportunity came to come back and take over managing Caroline Eve a year and a half ago, I took it. It made sense for me to move back into the clothing industry which I love.
Clothing fit is very important to me; I am very good with colour, so I can help our customers choose the right colours and fit. It is ultimately their choice, but I’m able to guide them in the right direction. If something doesn’t fit properly, I’ll always show other options until our customer is happy with the right garment.
Integrity and kindness are very important to me; good morals and not putting yourself first. It’s just something you do in your private life and work life with your staff. Deborah Mundy, the owner of Caroline Eve treats us like family and kept all her staff on during lockdown. Her family have run the Caroline Eve businesses for over thirty years and she is an amazing lady. I’d like to acknowledge her kindness to us all during these difficult times.
The move to the north facing side of Picton Street has been fantastic. Every customer that has come in to our new shop has given us positive feedback and they love it too! Everything about it is better. The lighting is better, you’re able to see what we have displayed as we have a lovely spacious shop and we’re able to have more racks.
We really focused on our clients in lockdown. We contacted some of our customers and spoke to them about how they were doing because it was a hard time for so many of them. I think a lot of our customers know that they can find parking and be safe in Howick, they can get what they want, go home and not have to mingle with a lot of people. There’s a real community feel here that you don’t get in other areas. Our customers were saying ‘we’re shopping local now because we want to keep our businesses going’.
I love Howick, the village feel and the Saturday markets – the people in Howick are really nice, they’re really good to deal with, they’re really lovely people and it’s a great community. The village atmosphere is beautiful and there are all generations in Howick.
My son, daughter-in-law and grandsons all live locally and when my grandson was two years old, he started going to athletics at the Howick Domain. I help at athletics on a Wednesday in the summer and the whole park is full of young parents with young children. There is a lovely community of young people growing up in Howick which is nice. I hope we keep this great community spirit going for a long time to come.”