Jon Smith, NorthTec’s Acting Chief Executive, has congratulated the winner of the NorthTec Northland Business Champion – Business Person (Individual) Award at the Westpac Northland Business Champions awards, held on Friday evening (6 November).
Artist and business owner Jessie Rose won the NorthTec award, and also went home with a pile of other prizes including the overall award.
Jessie owns and runs the Jessie Rose Boutique, Forever Love Caskets and Inspire Art Studio. She was singled out by the judges for the way she reacted and responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on Northland businesses.
Jessie changed her painting classes from face-to-face to online teaching, providing her students with an outlet for creative expression during the national lockdown.
She also adapted her casket decorating business to cope with a declining death rate and major changes to the way funerals were conducted during this time.
The judges said: “Rather than being overwhelmed by a personal tragedy, she directed her response into the establishment of a space in her premises where others with similar experiences could come without judgment or expectation. She took time to reflect on the business, where the strengths are and where she could diversify and improve – and took action on what she found. Every dark experience was turned into a positive and the business thrived as a result, with all of her activities based on sound ecological principles.”
Jon Smith said he was delighted to see that the winner of the NorthTec Northland Business Champion Award was also the overall winner. He said: “The way Jessie changed her arts tuition business from face-to-face classes to online delivery mirrors the changes experienced at NorthTec this year. Like Jessie, we have also found that a very challenging period has helped us to improve and diversify our teaching methods.
“We were particularly impressed by the way that Jessie was able to turn difficult experiences into positive outcomes for her business, without compromising her ecological beliefs or her care for her customers.
“She is a very deserving winner of several awards, including the NorthTec category award, and we wish her well with future endeavours.”