The Telecom North Island Award 2012 was won by Kylie Gibbard of Emkay Limited, a specialty bra manufacturing business based at Koputaroa, near Levin.
The Access Homehealth South Island Award 2012 winner was Jenny Scott of Livestock Office, a stock agent brokering software company whose business is based at Bannockburn.
“The Real Dog Equipment Company is an example of what can be achieved when you have a passion and are willing to follow your dreams,” says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans. “We warmly congratulate Rose on her very deserving win.”
Rose set out on her enterprising journey making harnesses and collars for her sled racing dogs. This has grown into a very successful business producing quality animal equipment designed by Rose and manufactured by her and her husband at the company’s purpose-built premises near Ranfurly. It’s also home to the family and their 13 sled dogs.
“What started as a hobby has grown into an impressive venture producing a wide range of equipment for dogs, alpacas and horses. The Real Dog Equipment Company even exports sled dog equipment to Alaska, the home of sled dog racing!” says Liz.
The judges were impressed by Rose’s innovation and dedication to producing high quality products with good growth potential.
They also appreciated Rose’s community involvement, often repairing sports gear for children in the district, for example.
Most of her company’s sales are conducted through the internet, proving Rose’s point that with a website and a courier service she could build her business anywhere, which allowed her to move from the city back to her roots in Central Otago. She also uses the internet to upload instruction movies on training dogs and using her equipment.
The judges were impressed by the winner of the Telecom North Island Award. Kylie Gibbard’s drive and business acumen guarantee strong growth for Emkay Ltd, which evolved from Kylie’s need to find a comfortable support bra that she could wear all day on the farm.
“Kylie has a strong vision and a can-do attitude that have helped her to take a problem, find a solution and turn the answer into an enterprise with huge potential,” says Liz Evans.
Kylie started out wanting to design a comfortable bra for her own needs, but went well beyond a ‘number eight wire’ solution. Emkay bras are the result of five years’ extensive research and product development, and use the highest quality Spanish lingerie fabric, which is laser cut for precision. Originally designed for the 14DD+ niche market, the bras are now available in an 8B to 40HH sizes.
After launching the Emkay bra just two years ago, the company has already broken into the Australian market and is rapidly building its stockist base in New Zealand. The Emkay bra is sold solely through stores, following retailer training. This personal approach is an important part of the Emkay philosophy and one that translates into an impressive nine-six percent try on to purchase ratio.
The Access Homehealth South Island winner, Jenny Scott, has over 20 years experience in the market, a solid client base and a proven product,” says Liz Evans. “The judges were also impressed with the fact that Livestock Office hasn’t stood still, and is meeting today’s market using e-sales and mobile phone technology.”
Livestock Office is used by livestock and grazing brokering firms throughout the country and is the only specialised livestock brokering software developed in New Zealand for local conditions. It also has potential to be used internationally, which is the company’s focus for the immediate future. The package includes debtors, creditors, cashbook and general ledger and can handle all types of sales including private, grazing and auction.
These women were among the sixteen finalists from all over the country.
The awards showcase the women and their businesses and prove that country life isn’t a barrier to business innovation and success.