With a 20-year career as a personal stylist behind her, Jackie O’Fee certainly has the right look for her new role as sales advisor at Grace Joel Retirement Village.
She knows only too well how much appearances can be key to making a great first impression.
Indeed, her first impression of the Ryman village situated on the crest of St Heliers Bay Road was very positive.
“I had driven past the village many times and noticed those gorgeous Rangitoto facing apartments and the character of the place,” she says.
“I thought it was such a good spot and knew there would be some magnificent views!”
Having moved to St Heliers a year ago, Jackie loves the community and says she totally understands why people choose to move into the village so that they can remain in the area.
“I just really love the feel of the neighbourhood here and it’s great when people talk about where they currently live and I know where they’re talking about.
“A lot of people love the history of the village, its lovely boutique size and that it’s been such a big part of the community for so long.”
Jackie’s first encounter with Ryman was actually as a speaker at the company’s annual conference a few years ago.
She did a presentation to the sales team about dressing for work and wearing more colour.
“I loved the culture that I saw there – it was quite fun and everyone I spoke to was delightful.”
With that first seed planted, it grew into a sapling when a friend told her she’d make a great sales advisor herself.
The timing was right - while Jackie loved her job, she felt ready for something different and decided she was up for a new challenge that could use some of the many skills she had accrued over the years.
“When I got the call for this role I thought it could be quite fun, you’re meeting lots of different people and I especially love the fact it’s in my home community.
“In my previous role I would be helping people to take another step in growing their confidence and I see a lot of synergies with this role,” she says.
“Here, you’re with people who are taking a big step in their lives and it’s exciting to think that I can help them to have a really good experience and know it will be the best decision they ever made.”
While Jackie is a new face at Grace Joel, there are a few new developments planned for the village too.
With internal access now open between the village and the café and the EastMed medical centre next door, the next step will be to increase the size of the café.
Village Manager Murray Parkes said the work was the first phase of an exciting series of developments planned to bring Grace Joel into line with some of Ryman’s newer villages.
“The new look café will include some nice indoor outdoor flow and will be a real asset for both the village and the community,” said Murray.