Our Stories: Bridget Walsh

Written by Linda Rose.

Bridget Walsh bw 2 GIMP smallMiss Bridget Walsh – as she is known professionally – has an impressive tour history. She has performed with bands in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, Mexico and the Czech Republic to name but a few. Bridget got the touring bug early - she travelled with her school choir from Westlake Girls in Takapuna to both Hawaii and Vancouver.

But, of course, the music began before that. On her mum’s side, Bridget is the oldest grandchild in a large family of Irish heritage, and says her grandmother played the piano and her mum has a beautiful singing voice. “And I was bossy and a bit of a show-off, clearly destined to be on stage.”

A degree in Music at Auckland university seemed appealing, but at age 16 Bridget found she just didn’t have a passion for classical music. A paper in pop music led to an invitation to audition for the university’s pop programme, and after a quick six-month trip to the UK (where a job at Clare’s Accessories nearly derailed her into retail management) Bridget took up her place on the programme and completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts in 2005, majoring in voice and piano.

Our Stories: Linda McDougall

Written by Emma Bell.

Linda McDougall bw GIMP“I used to believe I could do everything, what a silly idea. I’d never think that again.”

Linda McDougall describes that she ‘leaps out of bed at 5am’ not only to tend to her latest manuscript, but also her house renovations and her voluntary work with the Barbara Pym Society, an organisation that celebrates the work of one of her favourite novelists. At 77, she doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of retiring from her work yet.

“Sometimes I lie on my back and tell myself that I don’t have to do anything, but I still don’t believe it.”

Linda first arrived in the UK in 1961 as a 19-year-old aspiring actress on a NZ Government bursary to attend the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. It was upon her arrival in the UK that she watched television for the very first time, unaware that she would go on to spend her entire career behind the cameras as well as in front of them.

Our Stories: Bridget Winstone-Kight

Written by Linda Rose.

Bridget NZBWN Head Shoulders small rev 2Bridget Winstone-Kight would be the first to say that she wasn’t totally overjoyed to be leaving London after eight years away and returning to New Zealand in time for Christmas 2017. However, her husband, Sam, was to take over the management of his family business and so they returned to Auckland with one-year-old, Ted.

Bridget, an investment manager, says: “I was very nervous about going back. I am career focused, had just finished an MBA to advance my career, and believed I was cutting off my options. I thought life and work would hit the ‘Pause’ button in New Zealand, but I shouldn’t have been so nervous. I was guilty of assuming that everything would be the same as eight years ago but things have changed. There is an air of excitement around early-stage tech businesses and greater awareness in our home-grown companies: people are talking about them, investing in them and working with them.”

Our Stories: Jackie Smith

Written by Linda Rose.

Jackie Smith bw namedNearly 25 years ago Jackie and her husband David opened the first Caci beauty therapy clinic in New Zealand – now there are nearly 50 franchised clinics throughout the country. Last year the Smiths started their global expansion with three Skinsmiths clinics in London and, true to ambitious form, they plan to have 40 Skinsmiths clinics in the UK by early 2019.

“The aesthetic sector can be a real tangle for consumers,” says Jackie. “How to find ‘what is right for me’ in retail skin treatments and products is complicated and so some women opt out. We see an opportunity to provide simplicity.” The Smiths also know who their target customer is. “She is 42-years old with a partner and two kids as well as a full-time job. She has a lot of balls in the air but she also wants good skin.”

So where did it all start? Jackie is a Waikato girl born and bred and was part of the first intake of student nurses at what was then the Auckland Technical Institute. In the mid 80s Jackie and husband David decided it was time to try out the Northern hemisphere, specifically Jersey in the Channel Islands.

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