I was caught off guard when I asked Coral what makes the team of ‘Coral and Christine’ so strong. She looked at me and said, “She calls me a bitch at least once a week”.
I wasn’t expecting that response, but the more I delved into the reasons for their longstanding working relationship, the more it made sense.
Coral and Christine assumed ownership of the little shop on top of ‘Administration Hill’, here at Mountain View, a couple of years ago. The shop was already successful but with their recipe for magic, they transformed it into something even more successful.
Marion (the previous keeper of the shop) had opened the shop every morning for years, ready to greet whoever walked through the door. There was always a good supply of staple food items on the shelves and ice-creams in the freezer. And you could be guaranteed a chat about village life while you shopped.
But there comes a time in every volunteer’s life when they need to stop and smell the roses, or coffee (…whichever). Marion wanted to spend more time with Ray, and travel more often to catch up with family.
So when Marion called ‘Closing Time’ for the last time, she handed the keys of the shop over to Coral and Christine. The new team accepted the challenge and rose to the occasion.
Little by little the Craft Shop evolved; well, it’s still evolving. As fast as Coral and Christine think up new ideas, they find a way to implement them.
The Craft Shop became the Hub
2020 will go down in history as the year that stopped the planet.
COVID-19 struck in February and brought us all to a grinding halt.
New regulations meant restriction of movement to within our own little bubble of the local shops, and only for essential goods and services. Most of us heeded the advice and were happy to go into full lock-down.
Coles deliver groceries, but only if you have the technology to order online. So every week, Coral drove to Tweed Heads to load up her car with groceries from Aldi to stock the shelves of the Craft Shop. Buying for less meant residents paid less.
Coral and Christine baked throughout the restrictions, and kept the shelves stocked with everything we needed while at home (especially chocolate).
A COVID-19 safety plan was implemented within the shop to ensure all residents stayed safe.
Residents without transport simply phoned the shop, placed their order, and Coral delivered, leaving the items in a safe place at the door.
The strength of these two women during the worst of the pandemic was outstanding.
Either or both of them could have taken the easy way out and stayed home in isolation. But they didn’t. They armed themselves with masks and sanitiser and soldiered on.
There was little thought for their own safety, apart from doing everything they could to protect themselves. Their concern was for the residents of Mountain View and what they could do to help them.
“So, what is it about you two that keeps you working together so well?” I asked.
Coral’s initial response to that question shocked me a bit.
“She calls me a bitch at least once a week”, she said.
But then it made sense.
They don’t take life, or themselves too seriously. Perhaps that’s the secret?
So What Else Works?
- There’s No ‘I’ in TEAM
- They treat each other as equals
- There is no boss – they are each the boss and the worker
- Neither of them sees herself as the Queen Bee
- They communicate
- They discuss options before making a decision
- Each respects the other’s strengths
- Christine takes care of the banking and finances
- Coral takes care of the shopping and stocking the shelves
- They both bake and cook
- Christine makes craft items to sell
- There’s no tall poppy
- A success for one, is a success for both
- Tall Poppy Syndrome is something neither of these two suffer from; they’re too busy making Mountain View a better place
The most important thing that unites these two powerful women is the love they have for Mountain View. Everything they do is for the good of the community. When you have the right values and motivation for what you do, success follows.
And these two powerful women know no bounds; if they can dream it, they make it happen. Their energy is limitless. When you look at the shelves in the shop bursting with items for sale, you realise how much time and effort these two put into their day.
Christine and Coral are just two of the many powerful women who call Mountain View their home.