Welcome to the Tea Lady's Diary

Hi, my name is Donna and I’m a jewellery artist based in the picturesque river town of Kaiapoi (just North of Christchurch) in the South Island of New Zealand.

If you’ve ever read through read the F.A.Q section of this website, you’ll know that my little handmade jewellery business is very much a one-woman operation, and I do almost everything myself.  And while tea-lady-me is decidedly useless, and cleaner-me is on her last warning, I’m happy to say that research and development-me (R&D) is currently putting in a solid performance, and manufacturing-me is consistently hitting it out of the park!

For a while now, as part of an ongoing advertising campaign, I have been writing about the the team and what they get up to in the studio.  People tell me they just love the stories, and that I should write a book.   Well, I don’t know about that … one day maybe … 

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some of the stories here ... in a 'safe place' right at the back of my website.  

First Thing's First.  Let's Meet the Team

Marketing:  Rather snooty and can be insufferably smug when something goes well for her.  Most of the team suspect that she doesn’t really know what she’s doing half the time, so when she does do well there’s a general feeling of it having really been more by accident than design.

Manufacturing:  Fairly hard working, and moderately competent.  She does however have a tendency to drop everything if she sees the rest of the team taking a break.  She gets on well with Research and Development – most of the time. 

Research and Development (R&D):  Highly secretive and full of grand schemes and endless ideas.  She’s always tinkering with some project and her workbench is  littered with a 100 different projects that will probably never be completed. 

The Repair Lady:  Works all hours and for the most part actually knows what she’s doing.  She and Finance are constantly at odds, though the reason for that isn't clear.  The repair lady secretly longs for a long tropical island holiday and her greatest fear is that her customers will never allow her to retire.

Finance:  Almost always says no to any request involving spending money so most of the time the staff just don’t bother asking her but go ahead and order what they need behind her back.  Although Finance and the Tea Lady seem to spend a great deal of time locked in whispered conversations, the rest of the team neither like, nor speak, to Finance at all.  This is largely due to  Finance having pulled funding for chocolate biscuits at morning tea meetings after the team moved into the new studio.

The Cleaning Lady:  Extraordinarily lazy and only ever does the bare minimum required - and sometimes not even that.  No-one on the team is quite sure why she is even on the payroll – except that if she wasn’t it would mean that one of them would have to do the cleaning instead.

The Tea Lady:  No one really knows what the Tea Lady does but the general consensus is that she can't make a cup of tea to save herself.  She also swears rather a lot (you have been warned) though prides herself on hardly ever using the C word – at least not when anyone else is around.  At one time there were rumours that the Tea Lady actually ran the business but the rest of the team quickly dismissed the idea because the Tea Lady was seldom ever seen doing anything 'boss-like'.  Oddly enough though, the team does tend to follow the Tea Lady's lead.  This may of course just be because they want to be able to blame someone else if it all goes wrong. 

And Now, Let the Stories Begin ... 

The Tale of the Dragonfly Earrings

It was normal working day at the studio, but rather than doing any actual work the team was sitting around the big table having a cup of tea, a chocky biscuit, and a bit of a gossip.  

The Head of Manufacturing was telling the rest of the team that she had recently completed a new batch of ‘cheap & cheerful’ dragonfly earrings, and that they had just been 'named' by Marketing (who more or less just got Google to do all the work, then took all the credit).

"What did they need names for?" asked the Tea Lady, who despite her job title was always noticeably absent when the tea was being made.  

"Well," replied Marketing in a slightly snooty tone of voice. "Latest research conclusively proves that giving things names makes them sell faster".

"Latest research my arse," whispered Manufacturing to the Head of Research and Development.  "She just looked it up on that  Google page - '101 Lame Names That You Now Think Are Cool Because We Told You They Were' ".   

"I heard that!" said Marketing.  "I'm standing right here you know!"

"OK", said the Tea Lady in her best 'everyone calm down' voice.  "What did you name them?"

Marketing glared at the Tea Lady, threw a grubby piece of paper on the table, gave the team her best nose-in-the-air sniff of indignation, and stomped out of the room.

"Let's see," said the Tea Lady picking up the crumpled piece of paper.  "Cressida, Ruby, Summer, Lila, and Melanie.  Hmmm, not bad."