Mr Blackwell is the visionary behind Blackwell and Sons, and its commercial and creative driving force. He is a specialist in brand development and execution, and runs his own advertising agency, Stun, which services clients throughout the US and Europe.
About as politically correct as whale-hunting, Mr Blackwell loves to take on non-sensical, charge-by-the-hour bureaucracy, especially if it stands in the way of a certain theatricality he delights in bringing to all of his endeavours. He is renowned for his creative flair, decisiveness and sparkling wit, but not so much his athletic prowess.
Mr Blackwell’s litmus test for commercial and creative decision-making is whether his mother will be offended. Regular clips around the ear are the price he pays for pushing the envelope too far.
Mr Kelly is the kind of person you want around following a natural disaster. While his colleagues could prepare a pretty effective press release about what was happening, Mr Kelly possesses the kind of skills that would actually help society to recover.
His practicality is put to perfect use as Blackwell and Sons’ front man, heavy lifter and all-round go-to guy. Mr Kelly assembles, sells, delivers and maintains bicycles, manages stock inventory, runs the Greytown emporium and dazzles customers with his sparkling service. He takes calls at all hours of the day and night, drives the length and breadth of the country on official business, and knows everything worth knowing about Pashley’s two-wheeled masterpieces.
If you ask nicely, he might even fillet some cod for you on his days off. Oh, but Friday is pie day. Don’t ever get in the way of that.
Mrs Blackwell possesses exceptional taste (especially, according to Mr Blackwell, in gentlemen) and delights in travelling the world to identify, road-test and establish the provenance of quality items to grace the Blackwell and Sons’ shelves. She also manages Greytown's own independent bookshop, appropriately named Mrs Blackwell's Village Bookshop, as well as a tech start-up firm called Showcase Workshop. As if that's not enough, she converts disused (but freshly cleaned) socks into popular soft toys of a primatial nature, and creates incredible salads to nourish Mr Blackwell's unstoppable appetite.
Mrs Blackwell spends much of her spare time curbing the enthusiasm of her husband, whose creative juices have a tendency to flood the Plains of Practicality with unconstrained abandon. She is a self-professed collector, curator, potterer and home girl and, given the opportunity, could craft a functioning spaceship out of wool, some bubble wrap and a few Velcro dots.
VP Sales and Merchandising
Michelle brings an impressive CV of retail clout to her role at Blackwell and Sons. At the innocent age of eight, Michelle entered the world of commerce by creating a charity support mechanism in the garage of her family homestead, under the disarming guise of a Brownie branded business.
Now, she welcomes and educates store guests at for Blackwell and Sons.
When she isn’t improving one of Greytown’s finest emporiums, Michelle can be found gardening or providing support to the busy schedule of the Carterton farm she now calls home. Her dogs also receive a lot of attention, and to stay in shape, Michelle heads to the gym regularly. She claims to be able to bench press Mr Blackwell’s body weight. Mr Blackwell is pursuing an eating routine to ensure that remains an aspiration, not an accomplishment.
VP Sales and Client Care
As well as boasting an impressive résumé of retailing achievement, which includes managing jewellery stores in New Zealand and on the Gold Coast and owning a successful café in Upper Hutt, Trish holds a PhD in Niceness from the University of Congeniality. Her niceness is so infectious that her boss, whose grouchiness is near-legendary, hasn’t used the word “humbug” in over a year.
Trish begins her day at Blackwell and Sons helping to set up the atmosphere in store, with tasteful music, exquisite fragrances and immaculately displayed merchandise. Then she pours her energy into helping clients find the perfect product or gift. That might be a Pashley bicycle with electric assist, a pair of London Socks or a postcard – it doesn’t matter. The joy of helping, she says, is equal.
Trish says she loves working with her passionate and talented colleagues, and adores her company vehicle (it’s a Pashley Britannia – in Greytown Green, of course!).
Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance Specialist
The Blackwell and Sons team have affectionately named their newest recruit "Young Adam", so he can't be mistaken for the elderly, grumpy geezer who runs the show.
Young Adam works with Shane on bicycle assembly and maintenance and is something of a genius when it comes to new technology and innovation. Old Adam reckons if he used a bit of Just for Men on the sides of his beard, it would be difficult to tell them apart.
Website and Marketing Projects Manager
When Colin was young, he was always looking up. That’s because, while his peers were busily growing into strapping young men and women, Colin’s genes got together with tightly folded arms and deeply furrowed brows and reached a consensus: “Nope, we’re not doing that.”
As a result, Colin slid into a behind-the-scenes existence (apart, of course, from being the wee chap sitting up front with legs crossed in class photos). That’s reflected in his role at Blackwell and Sons. He looks after the online store and other website content. He hides behind a camera, photographing the magnificent products that grace the Blackwell and Sons shelves and the glorious Greytown events that Blackwell and Sons supports.
But most of all he conceals himself behind a keyboard, attempting to write words that bring those products and events – and Mr Blackwell’s other visionary ideas – to spectacular life without using expressions like “the choice is yours” and “like us to go in the draw”.