5 mins with Patrice from Wellington Beds 

*What made you decide to buy a bed manufacturing company?
I grew up in the industry, my parents had their own factory and retail stores, however, I swore black and blue that I would NEVER get into the family business after spending everyday after school and all of the school holidays in the factory.

But, what it really came down to is the fact I don’t do maternity leave well. I love my babies, and did enjoy being home with them, but I think I am someone that needs to constantly feel like I am working towards or achieving something (which probably isn’t healthy and is a great way to get burnt out!).  With my first two, I was still finishing off my degree and Chartered Accountancy. But I finished my last exam 39 weeks pregnant with my youngest and one day during maternity leave my husband came home and I’d started preparing spreadsheets and business plans to present to the bank for finance and suggested we move cities and buy a bed business. (the poor man).

*Can you share with us what a typical day looks like for you? 

No two days are the same! My husband and I alternate between 5.30am factory starts and the morning chaos of school and kindy drop off. I always start my day in the office by spending 10minutes going over my diary and to do list so I am clear on what I need to achieve on any given day. It varies from supplier meetings and store visits to strategic planning and analyising spreadsheets. We’ve achieved a lot in the last couple of years, with a new store and extension to manufacturing, so that has kept me very busy!

After work and until the kid’s bedtime, it is solely about them. We always eat dinner around the dinner table as a family, do the older children’s homework, read books, all the usual stuff. And after they’re in bed, I try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise or movement as I find this amazing for both sleep and keeping me sane! Followed by catching up on some final work or reading a book in bed. 

*The industry that you’re in now, was that always a career pathway you wanted to explore? And if not always, what sparked your initial interest? 

NEVER. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would ever find myself in a bed factory I would have laughed.

But I did always know I eventually wanted my own business to sink my teeth in to and to watch grow. My parents were self-employed and most of my siblings have their own businesses, so it seemed like the normal path to me. 

*Do you have a highlight experience from the last few years owning the business?

We took over right before the cost of living crisis and recession really took hold. I have been reflecting a lot on how easy it is to get overwhelmed and caught up in the stress and negativity that comes with this sort of uncertainty. But when I step back and look at what we’ve achieved despite this difficult economy and being new to the business, I am so proud of us! 

So, a highlight would be the way we’ve navigated this difficult climate and grown the business at the same time.

*Can you share something that may surprise people to do with your industry?

That your mattress gains weight over it’s lifetime, they absorb dead skin cells, dust mites, moisture (such as sweat!). Always use a mattress protector! ha.  

*Where would we find you in your spare time?

I spend most of my spare time as a glorified taxi driver for my kids. 

Outside of work, we try to give them our full attention as we are hyper aware of how young they are and how much time our business can take up. I don’t want to look back with any regrets that we didn’t spend enough time with them or missed out on their youth as we were too caught up with work. We spend our weekends at their sports, or taking them out to parks, for bike or scooter rides, that sort of thing.

Otherwise, I love a good wine and cheese night!

*Best advice you’ve ever been given? 

Mindset is everything.

*Social media





Kimberley Crossman

Kimberley Crossman is a kiwi actress, author, and presenter. Oh and you are currently on her website reading a blog she has written.

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