Holiday Bling artists Ryan Caldwell and Bridie-Rose O'Leary
in Queenstown yesterday. Photo Olivia Caldwell.
Holiday fever - have you caught it?
One Dunedin couple are helping to spread the Christmas spirit
through Otago with their joint business venture, Holiday
School is out for summer for advertising postgraduate
Bridie-Rose O'Leary and relief teacher Ryan Caldwell, so
rather than getting ''real jobs'' the pair have started an
on-the-road business to decorate Otago townships with
The couple use water-based paint and hand-crafted stencils to
create Christmas artwork for shop windows, catering for
They both say the pick-up from customers has been great.
''The result has been really good. It only takes a couple of
jobs to make the day worthwhile,'' Mr Caldwell said.
''We're not exactly getting rich, but all in all it's been
worth it. The best part about it hasn't been the money. It
has been doing something for ourselves.''
''It's so much fun working for yourself.''
The initial idea came from Miss O'Leary, who has a bachelor's
degree in visual arts from Dunedin School of Art.
Midway through November she pitched the idea to her business
partner and the pair decided they would give it a go.
''Originally, we were thinking this was going to be big
Christmassy stuff, but we quickly realised we are doing
businesses that don't want big red Santas ... We are doing
something that looks like it belongs to the store and ties in
with its surroundings.''
So far, the couple have contacted Dunedin, Arrowtown and
Queenstown businesses and hope to extend as far south as
Balclutha and cover the Central Otago region before the
middle of the month.
Mr Caldwell said they were particular about whom they
approached as they were targeting boutique and unique shops,
rather than chain outlets.
Their designs already cover Dunedin shops and are starting to
make an impact in the Wakatipu. Initially, the couple thought
Holiday Bling would be a one-off way to make some
preChristmas cash but their success has set them both
''We would like to get into all sorts, any opportunity the
market needs. We've had a bunch of businesses ask us to come
back in the new year and do some signage.''
After Christmas, Holiday Bling will dive into the market of
seasonal decorations and Miss O'Leary said they would like to
look at what they could offer private homeowners, as well.