Chapter 18 Christchurch Earthquakes to Beauty for You

We live in Beautiful New Zealand, in Christchurch – known as “The Garden City”

Then disaster struck our beautiful “Garden City”

On the 19th of September 15 days following the first major Christchurch earthquake, we were advised that Nobby, the owner of our US supply company, had died. We had had a great association with him for 39 years and this came as another massive shock. With the death of Nobby we lost our product supply line and license agreement.

Then months later on Feb 22nd 2011 a massive earthquake shattered our city of Christchurch. Those first chaotic days following the earthquake was something else, spent salvaging what stock and plant we could from the liquefaction that had poured into the ground floor of the building, which set like concrete in the heat and smelt like sewerage. The Beauty Training room also had liquefaction right through it, with lipsticks and beauty products floating… how heart-breaking.

Upstairs, all the computers fell off the desks, wall cabinets on the ground, filing cabinets tipped on their sides with the contents everywhere… and the worst thing of all was the shambles in the Colour Room!

All the Colour Chips were on hanging boards (or small boxes on wall units) all boxes numbered for easy identification  (the Colour Chips themselves were not numbered!)

These had been all tipped onto the floor …all mixed up hundreds of them – that is when I nearly lost it!  It took weeks to colour match and put them back in their right piles.  One of Bonita’s friends, Amy was a real gem who helped pick them all up. While the building shook – a scary place to be.

Note to self:  From then on all colour chips were secured in rubber bands and each pile identified.  Now, every time I print colour chips the numbers are printed on the top of the colour chip.

We set about transferring all stock and plant from our building in Ferrymead, to a  6 x 3 m lockup and to our home in Parklands, a distance of some 12km and on our first day it took 1 ½ hours to get there and 3 ½ hours to get back. With only a station wagon and trailer it was a slow and frustrating time all the time while the earth still shook.  It took us 10 days to complete, however, it was vital to rescue as much as we could before the building was condemned.

Overwhelmed but undeterred by the loss of the commercial building in Ferrymead (it is still an empty lot!), we immediately transferred the business to “home base”, (which became the new norm in Christchurch), so we could continue to look after the consultants and customers, who had relied on them for so many years.

Not only did we lose the building and a lot of stock and plant, we also lost our phone number which we had since 1999!  It went up into the wild blue yonder and the telcos could not retrieve it back, so a lot of people didn’t know where we were or if we were still in business.

A lot of our consultants and customers were badly affected, and many moved away so this impacted on the business as well.

We had two Beauty Bars “Shop within a Shop” set up in Hairdressers and they were effected badly as well and could not continue.