English couple living the dream in sun-kissed Blenheim
When they first came to Blenheim nearly two decades ago it wasn’t just the glorious weather that captivated English couple Colin and Helen Wilson.
“The lifestyle and the people, just everything really and it was a lot more laid back,” says Helen, reflecting on their decision to up sticks and move to the other side of the globe and settle in one of New Zealand’s sunniest towns.
Now 18 years later they have no regrets after swapping the grey winter skies of the UK for sun-kissed Blenheim, which is blessed with a year-round sunny climate.
And the couple, who own a successful CrestClean franchise, have plenty of time to enjoy the “laid-back lifestyle”.
“We are our own bosses and have a lot of freedom,” commented Helen, who says Colin is passionate about their CrestClean business.
“He loves being his own boss. It’s a great feeling. While we can still work we’ll certainly be involved with CrestClean.”
It was her mum who Helen can thank for how the couple ended up living in New Zealand.
It was almost 20 years ago that Helen and Colin accompanied her mum on a trip here so her mum could meet the “penfriend” in Dunedin she had been writing to since she was 10. They enjoyed the three weeks spent in New Zealand but the experience gave them itchy feet, says Helen.
After returning to their rural home in Southern England, the couple couldn’t get New Zealand out of their mind.
“We travelled around the world but we found we loved New Zealand. We went home for a year then we decided to come back and settle here,” says Helen.
After arriving in Blenheim, Helen and her husband had no shortage of employment offers.
They did a variety of different jobs, including managing a farm stay. Colin also found employment in the construction industry as a labourer while Helen did a stint as a nanny. She later became a care assistant at a local rest home in Blenheim.
“We decided we wanted to work together and we thought what can we do? Then we saw an advert for CrestClean,” says Helen, “We said, ‘let’s give it a go’.”
The couple, who spend afternoons and evenings on their cleaning business, enjoy a close working relationship with customers. They pride themselves on doing the best possible job – and their efforts don’t go unrecognised, says Helen.
“It’s really great when you get positive feedback about your work. It makes you feel good.” Recently they were given some chocolates and wine from a happy customer. The accompanying card said: “Thanks Colin and Helen, you do a great job and we are lucky to have you!”
Barbara de Vries, CrestClean’s Nelson and Blenheim Regional Manager, says Colin and Helen take enormous pride in what they do. “They are really good operators and they are very detailed cleaners. They are proud of doing the very best for their customers.”
Barbara says Blenheim has a great location, situated in the heart of New Zealand’s largest wine region and close to beaches and stunning countryside. The thriving town has a big demand for commercial cleaning. “There’s never been a better time to start a cleaning business.”
Blenheim is an area currently being promoted by CrestClean’s Move to the Regions Programme.
The programme provides people who would like to own their own business with a helping hand to move to areas where there is a need for commercial cleaning.
Under the Move to the Regions Programme, CrestClean is currently offering a free start-up kit for anyone who buys a CrestClean franchise in the Nelson/Blenheim region.