Heidi and I, escorted by the debonair Mr Belly Beyonds, joined close to 600 others at the Trusts Stadium for the The Waitakere Business Awards on Friday night.
Walking down the red carpet we got a feel for just how big an occasion this was and the first drink of the night disappeared rather quickly without thinking about it!
Our first course was waiting as we sat down and was excellent and after the formal welcome by Mayor Bob Harvey, the awards began. MC's Mike McRoberts and Jacqui Clarke were very entertaining and did a good job of keeping the night moving along.
Belly Beyond missed out on the Best Marketing Category which went to Te Henga The Westie. When giving their thanks on stage they thanked their Brand Manager and both Heidi and I looked at each other thinking, we were included with companies that have Brand Managers? What a compliment just to make it as Finalists.
Before we knew it the Best Small Business Category had rolled around and moments before they began the intro Mr Belly Beyond stood up and started to make his way to the bathroom. Strangely I actually took this as quite a good sign but luckily on hearing the next award announcement he made his way back to the table!
The Small Business Category was the most represented of all the categories and to hear our name called as winners was such an exciting moment. We'd put a lot of work into this submission (far more than the last minute dash with the David Awards) and my first feeling was once of relief that we'd won and then total and utter joy. The photo says it all really :)
I can't really remember what we said on stage but it was trumped by Jacqui Clarke spotting our Belly Beyond tattoos and telling us to show the audience. Bob Harvey was overheard saying "now that's dedication!" and Mike McRoberts joked that "only out West would the Award Winners come up on stage and show their Tatts."
There were more funny moments after the awards when Bob Harvey joined us for a photo flashing one of his tattoos (on his wrist) .
Heidi and I know we have a long way to go to get to where we want to be but boy we are having some fun along the way. We learn lessons every day, laugh every day and relish new challenges and projects that are coming our way. I don't think there are many people who get to experience what we have AND do it with their best friend in the world -how lucky are we!?
Benjamin Franklin said that "Diligence is the mother of good luck" and that sure seems to apply here.
Thank you so much for all your words of encouragement, messages of support and the lovely bunches of flowers.