Fee is an empress. A beautifully humble leader building an inclusive community of strong and empowered women via her fashion business Shine On. The journey started circa 2002 selling vintage clothing on trade me to supplement her income. With a strong following of fashion conscious mums and fast forward to 2015 when Shine On took a new direction representing major fashion brands. There is no looking back! Now with a staff count of 40, a new HQ elevating both the online and in store experience and home to over 90 fashion brands it is no wonder women near and far flock to Shine On.
The latest to feature in our women in business portrait series we chat to Fee about her journey of business, motherhood, building an empire, mantras she lives by, and empowering women.
Just a quickie to fill in the blanks - tell us about you and your family and where you live.
I am mum to two lovely boys. Ten year old Eli and 5 year old Nate. We live on the Hibiscus Coast just north of Auckland. Initially moving here because house prices were so much better but staying for the beaches...the lifestyle and the community!
AND now down to business – the journey ligit started on trademe?! Talk us through the inception…
Yes the journey legit started on TradeMe. I was between jobs and super poor! And started selling off my wardrobe full of clothes to help with our mortgage and food bills. Back then TradeMe sellers were few and my vintage clothing items reached phenomenal amounts. My success on TradeMe inspired both my hubby and I to take up op shopping again in order to feed our following on TradeMe with new vintage buys every week.
When you started Shine On, was what is now always the vision? or did this evolve with the process of learning and discover?
I have always had a strong vision of making a difference in the world. Doing things for others has always filled my bucket. I initially trained in social work but found that the job with the long full time hours and the work was not going to be conducive to being able to spend the time I wanted to with my family. I knew I had to do something else and I really fell into this business with the success of my Trademe account Shine On. I always knew I had something special with Shine On. The same customers just kept coming back. I knew that if I could in some way get people to supply me with product that I had the ladies that wanted to buy it! Finding people to supply me was the hardest part.
What gave you the courage to start representing brands in 2015?
I always wanted to represent brands. No one would take the chance on me. Facebook was quite new back then too. I would try and try...letting brands know that I had over a thousand women ready and waiting to purchase and if only they would let me sell their wares! But suppliers were nervous about online businesses and I would get rejection email after rejection email! But persistence was key! The first business that said yes to me was SASS. Sass still remains one of our biggest brands on Shine On and I know we changed their NZ sales overnight!
Is there any ONE facet of the business you can accredit the growth?
The growth I believe was mainly due to my Brother Cliff joining Shine On. I had the customers and had started to employ staff to pack but I needed brains in the business. Gene and I have always been creatives and we needed someone to help with the actual hiring of staff, contracts, financial control, leases etc etc. He came to help me with something small one day. Saw the potential and jumped on board. He now runs the whole business and loves it! Making someone with complementary skills to ours an equal shareholder in the business was the best business decision I ever made. I 100% believe that when a small business is struggling to grow...hiring people with skills you do not have is the cleverest thing to do.
2017 and 2018 were MASSIVE years for you and the business. How did you balance this with your kids/family life?
I admit it was rough at times...and I spent a lot of nights crying and wondering if it was worth it. We actually have over 40 staff now...and staff has been the hardest part of running a business. Our team is absolutely the best team, but making sure that everyone is getting what they need, career wise, money wise, that everyone is happy, well it almost broke me. There was so much learning for me. Learning to take it one day at a time. Not rushing to have everything perfect straight away and really being kind to myself around the fact that success comes from doing the wrong thing, learning and then doing the right thing. You can't go from 0 to 100 without a few bumps in the road. No one is perfect, including me and I had a lot to learn about management and how best to deal with problems when they arose.
What did the new bigger HQ mean for Shine on and your customers?
The bigger HQ meant a bigger selection of products and better systems. A much better work environment for our team.
More on the topic of “balance” and our own in-house consciousness of reconnecting to yourself and to the present; how do you make time to switch off and recharge?
I am seeing a life coach/fitness coach mentor at the moment, Richard Bruce, with regards to this. Much of my balance is starting to come now. But only when I began to implement boundaries. I hit 40 and with it came the realization that health, sleep, boundaries, and balance were far more valuable than all of the money and success in the world. I prioritise all of these things now over work. In fact...while answering these questions right now I can tell you I have spent 4 days at home in a row with a sick child and have had no work pressure whatsoever. That to me is the meaning of success.
Advice to other women doing the juggle?
DELEGATE. Everyone says this but it is hard to let go when your business is your baby. The truth is. NO ONE will do the job like you do it. They will do it differently and learning to be ok with that is the hardest but the most important part. What it comes down to is what is most important to you. Your health and well being and a life well lived...or your way always. I chose and will continue to choose health.
Shine on has a MASSIVE focus on making women feel beautiful and empowered, can you share a bit on this?
We are a tribe. I have run Shine On for years and in a way it has been my friend through lots of trials and tribulations. I started Shine On before I had my first child. There were long nights of no sleep. Scary nights at the hospital. Often I would chat with my customers about these events. The closeness between Shine On and its customers has remained. It is a beautiful place where we allow absolutely NO negative self talk. EVER. Our diligence to this I think has resulted in a beautiful platform where women feel encouraged and inspired to simply be themselves. We are not your normal fashion company.
AND giving back – did this come about from something close to your heart or do you feel social-good is something All or more businesses should adopt into their consciousness?
The giving back came from me. I simply cannot live happily without actively giving away some of what comes in. It feels good to do good. It has been incredible to bring my best friend into the company. The friend that I met doing social work. She runs the charity side of Shine On with me and hopefully one day this will be a much bigger part of our business than it is now. Our customers feel inspired and good about shopping with us and really Shine On is one big feel good company. I definitely want to encourage other businesses to look at what their goals are. Money is awesome and provides you with wonderful life freedom...but there is so much more to life...and boy it feels good to make a difference.
Talk to us about working with your husband Gene? (Goodness knows working with the person you are married too isn’t for everyone!)
Gene and I are different to most husband wife relationships. I don't know why. We just are. We feel strange when we are not together and find working together really easy. I'm not sure if this is called co dependent or what but we are super happy so it works for us. We are best friends. We both have time away from each other. Gene has regular beers with mates and loves indoor cricket. Big snowboarding trips to Japan for ten days have now become the norm for him every year. I have girlfriends that i see regularly. But we work together really well and really love each others company so i guess we just lucked it. We are really great for each other creatively. Again .. his skills are complementary to mine. So we don't try and mess with each others jobs. We just stick to what we are good at. Gene is one of those all round nice guys. Its hard not to get along with him.
Saben joined the Shine On community last year with Kelly your accessories buyer. (Thank you for having us!!) Talk to us about the art of delegation, learning to let go after personally nurturing something for so long….
Working with Kelly has been super fun from day dot. She has an incredibly loyal and gorgeous personality. Shine On was her dream job and I have always felt very very grateful to her for being grateful! Being an employer can be hard...but Kelly is a person that lives for fashion...doing the right thing by Shine On and she wants to be a part of every event! Which helps me so much as I am simply not the most social person.
Talk to us about leading a team of 30, mostly women?
Well its a team of over 40 now! Can you believe it! To be honest I have let go of a lot of the management. We now have a fantastic General Manager Simon who with my brother Cliff takes care of our fabulous team.
Do your business philosophies spill over into your home life and style?
Summer plans? Yes! As much time with my family and extended family as I can manage! And I have a few fiction novels I want to get through!
Summer style – what are five must-haves you can get at Shine On?
5 must haves for summer? I believe that a pair of Lovelee souls are an absolute must have.
The heels you need are the Toeys from Django and Juliette which we had brought in for us especially as they were so incredible and we simply had to have them!
You switch between Saben Matilda crossbody and the Bex handbag in chestnut we pictured you with - what drew you to these styles?
I love everything SABEN! Matilda was the perfect size for me. I LOVED the look. And the Bex just hit the spot with its fabulous slouchy oversized feel. Bought out my inner boho!
Both bags were such incredible quality. 100% my picks!
New styles landing daily. For more from Fee and her incredible team visit https://shineon.co.nz/ and for your daily does of inspo join them on Instagram @shineon.co.nz https://www.instagram.com/shineon.co.nz/
Fee wears season favourite Bex handbag in chestnut. Shop the full Shine On collection below:
SHOP TAX FREE AS YOU DEPART AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Going Places? Ensure you add Saben to your pre-flight itinerary. Our store is situated in departures, after security. Shop S275 past the escalators. Open every day 4.30am until midnight. Our full collection of handbags, wallets and accessories is on offer including carry-on suitcase to ensure you travel with stylish ease. If there is something on your wish-list now, but your flight isn’t for a while, we recommend you utilise our click and collect service via TheMall.co.nz to ensure you secure your favourite style. Simply purchase now and pick up on your way through. Ready to shop all your favourite Saben styles tax free? All you need now is a boarding pass.
For more info please call 09 533 9406 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
SHOP TAX FREE ONLINE via TheMall.co.nz
Take advantage of Auckland Airports online click and collect service. You can now shop Saben tax free online via Themall.co.nzbefore you depart and collect your new goodies as you travel. Pick up before you take off OR pick up as you return home – ideal if you don’t have space to take your new work handbag on holiday, or your new evening clutch backpacking through Nepal.
Picking up a new Saben to welcome you home? Sounds like the perfect cure to post-holiday-blues!
HOW TO SHOP TAX FREE ONLINE with Auckland Airport The Mall
Shop Online at themall.aucklandairport.co.nz
Pick your pieces and add them to your cart, select your pick up preference: arrivals or as you depart, apply your flight information and click through to check out. You will be asked for passport details as you proceed to payment.
Receive an order confirmation email
After placing your order, you will receive an order confirmation email for each flight you have purchased for. Please keep this email safe as you will need to be able to show it when you pick up your items at the Auckland Airport Collection Point.
If your flight details change please contact THE MALL directly so they can update your order or if you miss collecting your order, so we can notify our retailers to arrange a return and refund.
Bring your email to the Collection Point
Orders can be picked up at an Auckland Airport Collection Point. There is one in departures and one in arrivals at the International Terminal. Please bring your order confirmation email and your passport for identification purposes.
Where to collect when departing from Auckland Airport
If you choose to collect on departure, you'll find the Auckland Airport Collection Point once you have cleared immigration and security screening, just past The Loop and Aelia Duty Free stores. Departures Collection Point is open from 4:30am to 1:30am NZST.
Where to collect when arriving into Auckland Airport
If you choose to collect on arrival, you’ll find the Auckland Airport Collection Point after clearing immigration, in the baggage claim hall, opposite baggage belt 3. Arrivals Collection Point is open from 5:30am to 2:30am NZST.
Pick up your order and enjoy!
The Collection Point team will ask you to inspect your items and sign for them. If you are travelling on a flight departing AKL International Airport we request you allow at least 60 minutes prior to your departure time to pick up your order.
Collection Point locations
DEPARTURES: next door Partridge Jewellers in departures.
ARRIVALS: after you clear immigration, in the baggage claim hall, opposite baggage belt 3.
Orders can be picked up from your chosen Auckland Airport Collection Point during these standard hours:
Departures: +64 9 256 8845
Arrivals: +64 9 255 9457
Fax: +64 9 256 8819
All prices are shown in NZ dollars. Your shopping cart displays the goods you have purchased.Discount codes & any shipping costs are calculated during checkout, before payment. Tax Free orders may be subject to local taxes or duties depending on the Tax Free allowance of the country you are entering.
We accept Visa and Mastercard credit card payments via Shopify Payments and via Paypal. Shopify and Paypal are both secure and encrypted and your credit card number will not be stored. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card using Paypal.
All orders are processed pending availability and credit verification.
For Tax-free purchases we deliver your purchase to Auckland Airport within 3 business days of receipt of payment and will phone you if there are any delays. Your confirmation email will have instructions on the pick up location at Auckland Airport.
We take no responsibility for charges or delays incurred at receiver’s end as this can vary depending on the rules of customs in each country.
We do not accept returns for items outside of New Zealand, we are unable to support exchanges through our online store
Zip allows us to offer you an 'Own it now, pay later' option for online and in store purchases through installment payments. Pay in 4. Interest free. No fees.
All Terms & Conditions relating to Zip are within the above links. To pay via Zip select Zip as the payment option instead of Paypal in the checkout process. Saben is not liable for any late payment fees collected by Zip. By using Zip you enter into an agreement with Zip New Zealand.
FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING ON ALL NZ ORDERS - Offer valid only for customers shipping to a New Zealand address.
Orders placed on weekdays before 10AM New Zealand Standard Time Monday - Friday will begin processing straight away and can be guaranteed delivery between 1 - 3 business days* unless otherwise stated, however those that fall after 10AM New Zealand Standard Time Monday - Friday will begin processing straight away but cannot be guaranteed for the overnight delivery.
Orders placed on Friday after 2 PM NZST will begin processing on the following Monday.
Saben will contact via email if the merchandise you have selected is not currently in stock or if we require additional information for credit verification. Please note that estimated delivery time does not include Sundays or Public Holidays.
You may be required to pay further shipping charges where a change in delivery date or delivery address is requested by you.
*These are estimated delivery times only, and unfortunately we are not able to guarantee them. Saben will not be liable for any reasonable or unavoidable delay in delivery. Orders placed during Sale or Promotional periods may be subject to delay
Possible delays: Please note, that we are unable to deliver to PO boxes as we require a signature upon delivery.
AUSTRALIA - $30NZ
Australian deliveries will arrive 3 to 10 days working using NZ Post, International Air. Tracked Australian deliveries will arrive 2 to 7 working days using NZ Post, International Economy Courier.
REST OF WORLD- $45NZ
Deliveries to all other destinations will arrive 3 to 10 days working using NZ Post, International Air. Tracked deliveries will arrive 2 to 7 working days using NZ Post, International Economy Courier.
All international orders please note, that once your order has left New Zealand it may be subject to customs clearance procedures which can cause delays beyond original delivery estimates. Inside of New Zealand you will not incur any duties or taxes however for orders travelling outside of New Zealand, please note that Saben will not be responsible for any customs or duties taxes that occur once your item has left us.
Please feel free to contact us on email@example.com if you have any questions regarding a shipment
Immune your bag!
Using a protective spray should be the very first thing you do when you receive your bag: All bags, whether they are suede or leather, need to be protected with a water proofer before use (stay away from the oil based versions). Saben recommends Wrens Total Protector Spray, this is an invisible waterproofing spray for all smooth, suede and nubuck leathers. It can be purchased from your nearest Saben retailer, online or at any shoe repair store.
Reapply protector every 3-4 weeks to keep the leather soft and resilient.
NEVER overfill your handbag or evening bag, as this can put stress on seams, fastenings and straps and spoil the shape. Please try hard to keep the load reasonable.
Light leathers should be treated with extreme care – denim and dye can (and probably will) rub off on to the leather with no easy way of removing. Ensure your denim is colour fast.
White Handbags are extremely sensitive to light, and the leather will turn yellow if it is exposed for too long to spotlights, fluorescent lamps, etc.
Avoid handling your bag after applying foundation, perfume, body or hand creams, this will stain the leather.
Do not place your Saben bag on the floor, use a handbag hook. Any tough surfaces will possibly scratch the leather.
Wearing a bag often will inevitably result in rub marks, where the leather brushes against clothing etc. Saben recommends you swap your bags often to avoid constant rubbing and wear on one bag.
For stronger leathers (nappa or pull-up), moisturise your bag with a product like Wrens Delicate Gel. A mild yet effective cleaning gel, it cleans and nourishes all kinds of leather such as smooth, patent and metallic and gives a natural shine after buffing. Be sure to test any care products on a spot of the leather not easily visible e.g. Inside seam or pocket.
Always apply cleaning and protective product to a soft cloth, not directly on the bag.
If you find you have stains that need removing Wrens Ultimate Cleanser is tough on stains and gentle on leather and its fibres, perfect for removing dirt and water stains.
Suede leather handbags should be regularly brushed with a soft suede brush. Minor stains and marks may be removed with a suede eraser. The leather should retain its colour and appearance if it is regularly treated with a water proofer. These preparations make the leather water repellent, and in particular, impart grease and dust repellence.
Suede that has been rain-marked should be allowed to dry naturally and then brushed up with a suede brush. For serious stains, it is best to see a professional. When storing suede, wrap leather handles or straps in cloth so they do not rest against the suede and leave blotches.
Leather does not like water. Wipe off a wet leather handbag immediately and let air dry. Never use a blow dryer to dry a bag.
If your bag has a chain handle, dirt may accumulate in the chain links causing it to come off on your shoulder. You can avoid this by cleaning the chain with a small tooth brush or the corner of a soft cloth. Always store the chain inside the bag to avoid any scratching or indentations on the leather.
Brass or silverware cleaner will keep your fittings looking shiny. Take care not to get any on the bag!
Keep fasteners and zips running smoothly by running pencil lead over the open teeth.
Do not hang bags in storage; they are best kept in the packing bag supplied with, lying flat or standing upright and stuffed.
To help your bag keep its shape, it is best to stuff your bag with cloth or bubble wrap to keep it safe in storage. When not in use, store your bag out of direct sunlight and do not place light colours next to dark colours as this can cause colour migration, which is irreversible.
Take your bags out regularly and let them ‘breathe’ to prevent any dust and mildew forming.
We will repair your handbag at no charge for the first 90 days after purchase.
If you purchased a bag from us on-line that requires repair, please contact us on 09 376 1007 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you purchased your bag from a retailer, please first try to contact them regarding your repair.
If there is a fault or issue with a bag we must first assess the repair either by photos or in person. As each individual bag is made by hand, from time to time faults occur in the manufacturing process. Saben bags are built for longevity and in an effort to make sustainable fashion – we always opt to repair first.
Our repair process follows a 3-step procedure:
1. If we can REPAIR the fault/damage we reserve the right to first REPAIR the bag.
2. If we can’t repair, the bag and we believe it is fault of manufacture we will REPLACEwith the same or similar bag.
3. If we can’t replace the item, we will REFUND.Repairs are free for 90 days after the purchase date. Thereafter, we charge a repair fee which is based on the type of repair. To have a bag repaired you must first obtain a proof of purchase. Bags will not be accepted without a receipt.
We hope that you are completely satisfied with your order. If for any reason you wish to return your order or a portion of it, please notify us within 7 days of receiving your order.We are happy to refund the full purchase price minus the cost of shipping of any item returned in its original condition after such notification.
Sale items are not eligible for returns or exchanges for any reason.
Returns not sent in their original condition, without a proof of purchase, or past 7 days will be accepted at our discretion only.
We do not accept returns for items shipped outside of New Zealand, we are unable to support exchanges through our online store.
If a package does not arrive, or it arrives damaged, please contact us within fourteen days from confirmation of dispatch to claim insurance on the item. We will require your details, the details of the item that was lost, and the tracking number we sent you with confirmation of dispatch. If a damaged item has arrived we require it to be returned to the postal authority in your country as near as possible in the same condition as when it was delivered.
We will then replace your item free of charge.
• the item is seized by Customs or any other government agency.
• the item is sent to a country where no postal or courier service exists.
• the loss or damage is the result of an event beyond our reasonable control.
• the loss or damage occurs after delivery.
• the item was authorized to be sent without tracking or without insurance.
SECTION 1 - WHAT DO WE DO WITH YOUR INFORMATION?
When you purchase something from our store, as part of the buying and selling process, we collect the personal information you give us such as your name, address and email address.
When you browse our store, we also automatically receive your computer’s internet protocol (IP) address in order to provide us with information that helps us learn about your browser and operating system.
Email marketing: With your permission, we may send you emails about our store, new products and other updates. We will not send unsolicited emails and you can unsubscribe at any time.
SECTION 2 – CONSENT
When you provide us with personal information to complete a transaction, place an order, arrange for a delivery or return a purchase, we imply that you consent to our collecting it and using it for that specific reason only. If we ask for your personal information for a secondary reason, like marketing, we will either ask you directly for your expressed consent, or provide you with an opportunity to say no. We may disclose your personal information if we are required by law to do so or if you violate our Terms of Service.
SECTION 3 – SHOPIFY
Our store is hosted on Shopify Inc. They provide us with the online e-commerce platform and payment processing that allows us to sell our products and services to you. Your data is stored through Shopify’s data storage, databases and the general Shopify application. They store your data on a secure server behind a firewall. When you click on links on our store, they may direct you away from our site. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites and encourage you to read their privacy statements.
SECTION 4 – PAYMENT
Shopify Payments and the other third-party provider used by us (Paypal) will only collect, use and disclose your information to the extent necessary to allow them to perform the payment services they provide to us. They do not store your credit card details unless you choose to do that.
You do not need an account with them to pay by credit card – you can pay as a guest.
SECTION 5 – SECURITY
To protect your personal information, we take reasonable precautions and follow industry best practices to make sure it is not inappropriately lost, misused, accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed.
Shopify & Saben will not see your credit card details.
SECTION 6 – COOKIES
If you have any queries please email email@example.com
The Sabenettes xx