Our stories: Celeste Wong

Written by Alice Peacock.

190111 newton 0045It was during a mundane afternoon trip to a London bank back in 2014, that the idea for Celeste Wong’s 'The Girl in The Cafe' web series came about. Celeste, a Dunedin-born Londoner, was reflecting on what it was that she loved, and what she could do with her passions moving forward. The actress, marketer, writer and coffee expert decided to launch a project involving the three constants in her life: coffee, people and conversations.

The result was The Girl in The Cafe, a web series about London’s coffee scene, featuring Celeste as its host, interviewing both coffee connoisseurs and a few of her loyal customers. The series, which Celeste says is still the work she is most proud of, is online and was shown on Air New Zealand flights for about a two-year period following its launch.

Business Book Club Review: Make Time

Written by Michelle Telling.

Make Time: How to focus on what matters every day, by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky 8127OzsAQVL

I should start this review with a disclaimer. I did not particularly enjoy the book and, since reading it a couple of months ago, I'd kind of forgotten all about it (along with volunteering to write the review). But here we are, and thankfully I have my handy notes exported from my Kindle and a page of handwritten notes from the discussion.

Until the pandemic derailed our lives, I enjoyed venturing down to London to have a breakfast and coffee at Ozone along with the animated discussion from a group of women with a kiwi-twang reverberating around the room. Book-club-via-Zoom is a different beast but still worth crawling out of bed for and much easier to get to from Grafham Water where I live.

This book did appeal to me as rarely feel I have ‘enough’ time, and the things I really want to do so often end up pushed to one side by other things I ‘have’ to do. Some years ago, the group read 168 Hours - you have more time than you think, by Laura Vanderkam but despite this, I don’t seem to.

Our stories: Emma Rigby

Written by Jen Hacker.

ERIGBYJUNE19 6503 resizeIn a megacity like London, it can be hard to find a sense of local community but Emma Rigby has brought her quintessentially kiwi approach to community building to the UK. She has spent the last 10 years building a multi-faceted, award-winning social enterprise for her borough in North London.

“I’ve always been invested in my community, right from a young age in NZ,” she says. “It very much is about my kiwi upbringing. Communities working together - passing a cup of sugar over the garden fence. So I think I brought a little bit of NZ to the community that I live in now in London.”

Emma is the creator of the unique social enterprise, Love Your Doorstep. The organisation began after a frightening experience close to home reminded Emma of the importance of finding community, wherever you are. 

Our stories: Monique Drummond

Written by Amelia Murray.

Monique DrummondMonique moved to London in the early 1980s only to be told by a prospective employer that she should be working in a pub! However, with a wealth of experience behind her in consumer insight and product management, she was quick to bounce back.

Monique describes growing up all over the North Island. She was born in Auckland, spent her childhood in Hamilton, went to school in the Hawkes Bay and started her studies at The University of Auckland. Her father was a journalist and he had a newspaper that ran in Fiji, so it wasn’t until her parents eventually moved back to Wellington, that she spent her last two years studying at Victoria University.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, Monique went into consumer insights. She acknowledges that very few people go to University with the view to becoming an insights specialist. Whilst doing research for Bonds Hosiery in Porirua, Monique was soon approached for a product management position, where she would oversee the launch of their women’s range.

What's the Goss?