We weren’t really sure what to put in our staff profiles, truth be told, I think we just put them in here because we’re all really vain and on some level we all just really want to increase our personal celebrity. Hell, we used to even have links to our personal facebook pages on here.
Rob started Mr Vintage when he used to sell wine and he believed in it so much he dropped out of uni. He still believes in it as much as he did then, and that’s probably one of the keys to this company.
He repeated 6th form at Papatoetoe High, but he’s actually pretty smart. He turned a small idea in to a brand, and that’s what he keeps doing. He’ll go home some nights and read one of those inspirational business books, get the felt tips out, go to town on a mind-map, and the next day he’ll come in to work buzzing with new ideas and a bunch of badly drawn pictures. Sometimes he lets us all in on this, and that’s our annual general meeting.
Rob’s a good boss too, he encourages a really open work place… like, so open that we all know things about each others girlfriends and boyfriends that our girlfriends and boyfriends wouldn’t want us to know about. We’re all really good mates, and Rob wouldn’t have it any other way.
Over the years he’s matured a lot, both as a business owner and a boss. These days he’s a little more ‘aware’ of what’s going on financially and he even has his own office - albeit linked via a predominantly open door. This hasn’t however dampened his passion to create a fun and relaxed working environment where everyone respects each other enough to pull their own weight and help each other out when it’s needed.
Andy’s been at Mr Vintage since they worked out of Rob’s basement in Hillsborough; fresh from studying film at Auckland Uni and a brief flirtation with his homeland of Scotland (a period he calls 'Scotland, 2003: A sex odyessy'); he certainly wasn’t the muscle head tee-total we now know. Rob and Andy used to work together at New World in Papatoetoe, and whether it was contrived or not, Rob identified a unique skill in Andy…
Andy hates people, not all people, just the ones he doesn’t like – and that’s from the people he actually knows, and from there, the people he has time for, which as it turns out is very few.
Sweet irony then that a large part of Andy’s role is customer service – which is why he’s so good at his job. He makes sure he has to spend as little time as possible dealing with customer’s problems. The way he sees it, the easiest way to do this is by keeping them happy and making sure there’s as few problems as possible.
Andy’s the guy who makes things tick. I think they have a name for his sort of role - operations manager maybe - but Andy looks after customers orders, processes orders, re-stocks the proteing shakes, ensures our bandwidth is maxed out by watching his muscle videos, and orders stock. It’s a multi-faceted role.
As the youngest member of the gang Jay is used to getting a bit of razz for his age and lack of facial hair (although at last count he was up to nine hairs – big ups to you Jay). However, what he lacks in age he makes up with a strong moral compass and huge thighs. Seriously, you have never seen thighs quite like this – they are large to the point of being unnatural.
An all round ‘good guy’ Jay (or Ray, or Ray-ray as we like to call him) can get away with being a bit crass or cheeky because he has a baby face and all the ladies like to call him ‘hun’ or ‘babe’. Tolerant of most types of music, Jay is particularly fond of pop music and he’s set Hilary Duff as his ultimate goal (to marry, not to be).
The tale of Jay’s education is long and colourful, but the highlight came during his time at Auckland Grammar. His greatest achievement in this period was...not going to the toilet at school. Jay was repulsed by the yucky toilets and the abundance of flies, so he would take a 40 minute bus home whenever he needed to go number twos. If it wasn’t worth going back after he had done his business he would stay home and make a ham roll.
Andrea is Rob’s little sister, and her role at Mr V is to watch over the showroom and answer the phone on Saturdays. Being the bosses sister, you’d think she’d get some kind of preferential treatment. But she doesn’t. Back when Rob first started selling t-shirts she used to iron and fold them for 20 cents each. She’s even been forced to cut class in the past to work for him.
In her spare time Andrea leads a really exciting life, culminating in nosebleeds when Coronation Street comes on TV. Growing up, Andrea was picked on a lot by her older siblings. Rob (strictly limited to one wrestling video a year) used to practice his moves on her, and would call her made up names, just to make her cry (‘kiwifruit’ amongst others).
Andrea still goes to Uni, but we're not really sure what she does, whatever it is she rarely misses a class despite us peer-pressuring her to work more hours and miss class.
Joe is the kind of guy who pulls down his pants and undies so they’re right down by his ankles when he’s standing up to piss at the urinal.
Hayden 'Hammer Hands' Bentley
Hayden is the youngest boy we have working here. He looks about 19 years old but he's actually 21, and he used to play rugby. Although he no longer plays the game he still sports the haircut; a great silky rats tail flows from the back of his scalp and some say if you cut it off he wouldn’t be smart no more.
Hayden is a cousin of Rob, and you can tell this in more ways than the striking resemblance the pair share. Along with his boyish looks, he also possesses a boyish charm – possibly inherited from his father ‘Uncle Tony’. Tony always does this trick where he shapes to shake your hand then pulls away and calls you a funny name like 'cock'. This charm is part of the reason Hayden is such a valuable part of the team. We just love the stories he comes to work with after a big night. Quite often he can’t remember all of his best stories but the ones we get are still real good and it’s the highlight of my week when he dustily comes in with recollections of his late night shenanigans. A blue PowerAde later though and he’s fine again.
That being said, I don’t want to warn off any potential suitors – Hayden is a good dude, the place just wouldn’t be the same without him. He has many skills that ladies might find suitable for a life partner also. He has the enviable title of being the only kid in his class who failed a test that the teacher gave them the answers to. His teacher was horrified when he discovered Hayden had begun filling the test out from the wrong place – so he had the right answers but they were allotted to the wrong questions. Another reason you might want to spend time with Hayden is his inquisitive mind. He is always asking questions of the world, expanding his brain, keeping people on their toes. Case in point: Last years new Years Resolutions: 1. Find out how the blind guy on the train knew which stop to get off at. 2. Find out how a printer automatically knows when there is no paper left. So far these have proved elusive and Hayden plans to carry these over to next years resolutions again. He never gives up.
It’s good having girls around, with their long hair and nice smells. And Mel really brightens the place up, being all enthusiastic and positive and bubbly.
She joined around March 2009 as the ‘PR Student’ and proved her worth via a 4month trial period. Straight away Mel stood out from all the other applicants we had apply. Her CV, personalised and witty, was conspicuous by the fact that it carried with it a pair of ‘chatter rings’. A bag of lollies would’ve done, but the Chatter Rings worked and we got Mel in for an interview. We chucked the chatter rings away, which would later anger Mel.
Mel is definitely one of the nicest, if not THE nicest person in the whole entire Mr Vintage Corporation. No doubt. This isn’t just because she makes the most delicious cups of tea, but also because she’s always polite and says things like please and thankyou that sometimes us boys don’t say. You should hear her when she talks to even the most disgruntled customers; they’re like putty in her hands.
On the working front, while Mel initially began taking care of the PR and helping out with the marketing – her role has expanded to take on a whole lot more. A stint in the showroom over Christmas will lead to a more expansive ‘PR and Everything In-between' role in 2010 including accounts and generally making sure us guys don’t screw everything up and run this business in to the ground. Thanks Mel.
Philippe, as he’s more affectionately known, is the most recent addition to our team coming on board as our screen-printer in October 09. Phil is the dad of our team. But he doesn’t wish to disclose his age. He says he doesn’t believe in a number representing his time on the planet, or some other hippie crap like that.
But Phil kicks ass, he’s such a workhorse and he knows a thing or two about screen-printing. He should too. He’s been in the industry for near on 25 years!
Not to go on about his age too much, but listening to Phil tell his stories is awesome, it’s like sitting down with Yoda. Sage shit mayne. The other day he was telling me about his younger days when he used to skate heaps. Skateboard not roller-skate, just thought I’d clarify since both are perfectly valid as cool hobbies. Anyway, he was just casually recalling when a young Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, and Stacey Peralta rolled in to one of their parties in New Lynn and started skating their ramp with them.
He’s also got an obsession with Scooters. It’s crazy; he rides one to work, has little magazines about them, and apparently he has a tattoo of one that he can’t show us at work (NSFW).
Katarina is our newest designer, and she has a penchant for sore tummies. We long suspected it was a severe case of Iritable Bowel Syndrome, but we now know there are just some grumpy worms in her tummy that always want lollies and chocolate.