Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Two Cowboys on a Journey: Dalene Meiring, Auckland - New Zealand

Artist: Dalene Meiring

(Learn: * Inspire: *** Amaze: * Live: ***)
(The Two Cowboys Subjective Rate-o-Meter.   )
"If you think you can do it, you can. Give it a try. You may just surprise yourself". Dalene Meiring


An ultimate Producer is a person that makes for utility, for meaning, and purpose. These are people that create useful articles that also communicate messages and emotions. Articles that inherit and exhibit an anthropomorphic essence. We call these people "Artists". They express themselves through mediums, and through production.  

Why strive for art and utility? Because art causes people to look a little closer at ourselves and our everyday. It offers an opportunity to look at social issues, people and their emotions, the environment, and everyday objects, life forms. The artist has the ability to bring out that which cannot be seen or felt easily, or which is often missed. They have the ability to express emotion through inanimate objects.

When a society sees and feels clearly, it has the opportunity for reflection, change in thought, and appreciation. It can cause people to re-examine themselves and their relation to life, people, and circumstances. The artists often feel a duty to unlock this meaning.

Articles with meaning are more likely to take on the identity of an owner. The maker makes the item with passion and soul. But it is the owner and user that fuses their mana or spirit with the creation when they use and appreciate its value. That leather bag, hat, or the character of a pair of well-worn boots, over time, becomes indistinguishable from its owner. The Producer and Artists set the table for this meaning. But, it is the consumer that unlocks the true value of expression and purpose. The one cannot exist without the other. 

When this perspective is appreciated, it is likely that we will carefully consider, seek and choose articles of quality, by Artists and Producers with exceptional ability and dedication. If we own articles with the potential to define us, we should choose more carefully.

Impressions

It was a sticky afternoon on Thursday the 11th of February when we met Dalene and Pieter Meiring at their house. February in Auckland, New Zealand is hot and humid. The cicadas were drilling through our microphones, as we sat down at the Meiring dining room table for the interview. 

Immediately, it became clear that Dalene as an individual is the same warm, welcoming, golden glow of a person, than she lays down with paint and her palette knife, on her canvases. “I paint for the love of expression and the passion of life and all the beauty in it,” says Dalene. When looking at her work, it is obvious that the emotions and sensations of serenity and tranquillity are what distinguishes her work. Dalene's art communicates with and grows on you. The more you look at it, the more personal it becomes.

What stood out in the conversation is her encouragement for people to give things a try. Make something. Make it until it feels right. Don't pay too much attention to convention. "Only you will know if it communicates what you want it to say."

We then met her husband Pieter downstairs in the garage where he was assembling their custom crafted jewellery for an order that just came in. They say that behind every successful artist, there is a driven and committed business person (or husband). Pieter is this entrepreneurial inspiration in the Meiring household. After 16 years and a successful career, he realized the value of spending more time with Dalene, of making something himself, and thus threw his weight behind a fledgeling jewellery brand - Jewellery with Soul - that is growing in leaps and bounds.

While Pieter was threading a necklace he kept his message simple: "You don't need a lot of money to start. Make something. If people like it, make more."

In this visit with Dalene and Pieter we found two inspirational people, with a clear passion for living life to its fullest, and who produces beautiful art. We've also realized again, the value of a garage. As with so many Producers, makers and creators, their garage is also the Meiring's sanctuary, factory and the heart of their operation. 

We cherish the moments we got to spend with Dalene and Pieter, and hope you will enjoy some of it captured in our photos and video above.

Hendrik van Wyk
Producer

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Who we are: We are a social enterprise. We are funded through donations and sponsorship
All our earnings are applied back to covering our costs of marketing and promoting Producers and inspiring local communities. Please support us to bring you more (www.forwardthefavour.com)

Photos

Serenity

Africa Somewhere?

Maker

Stand Out

Yes dear...










Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Two Cowboys on a Journey: Etco*, Auckland - New Zealand

etco* 

(Learn: * Inspire: *** Amaze: * Live: **)
(The Two Cowboys Subjective Rate-o-Meter.   )

When do you become a maker?

Many producers will tell you that they've always been making things and continues to do so regardless of their achievements in business or career. It may be the way they were brought up, the access to tools and materials, or just the inspiration they had from their parents or grandparents.



Some people become makers out of necessity. They couldn't afford a new bicycle and had to make do with an old one that needed fixing. As we've seen in some of our previously profiled Producers, some had to earn a living under difficult circumstances, to provide for their family.

There comes a time in the life of every maker, fixer or creators when their interest has the potential to go beyond a personal value, and become their career or their business. Many are natural entrepreneurs. Even more, makers seek out opportunities to work with others in a trade. Trade schools are available that will educate anyone with the commitment and interest to succeed. There are not many of these organizations thought, that will go beyond teaching the qualification of the trade and skill. Very few are also prepared to invest in the person that becomes the tradesman or woman of the future.

In Auckland, we've found an inspiring approach to qualifying electrical apprentices for their entry into the job market. The company is called etco*. They train electricians, place apprentices and put young people on the road to becoming successful people.

Impressions

Etco* embarks on a three-year journey with the student, to help him or her become a successful person. It starts with simple personal values and disciplines like personal hygiene, dress, respect, consistency, and teamwork. It goes further by teaching students life-skills in managing their money, motivation, tools, and how to grow their careers.

Peter Rushworth, one of the founders of the initiative puts it well: "At etco*, students don't only learn how to make things, but they learn how to make things work." Most importantly, they are showed, taught and coached towards making their lives work. For many unsure and insecure school leavers, this provides an amazing hand up. This sets them onto a path of becoming a successful Producer. Their maker interests are given a chance to let them earn their livelihood. They get qualified for a trade, and earn along the way while doing so. Above all, they learn what it takes to be a successful human being.

More than three thousand of them have had this hand up already, and the results and feedback are phenomenal. It is so sought after that student compete for a chance to be part of this program. New Zealand electricians, especially the ones that came through the etco* system, can be found the world over. They are recognized and valued for their skills, but more so for being good, solid and contributing members of their respective communities. Many go on to have their own successful businesses that in turn, provide opportunities to a new group of apprentices that etco* sets on a path to future success.

Etco* is a wholly owned subsidiary of ECANZ (Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand). The business was established to provide employment and training for the electrical industry in New Zealand. Since their beginnings in 1991, their commitment to producing the best has helped thousands of Etco apprentices and students achieve outstanding results and successes, in industry competitions, national examinations, and the industry itself (http://www.etco.co.nz/).

Their two main areas of activity are the employment and placement of electrical apprentices via their group apprenticeship scheme, the provision of training courses for apprentices and tradespeople.

Come with us, as we meet some of the Producers of tomorrow while being inspired by people that are committed to making other people successful.

Our Apprentice

This video was edited by our very own apprentice Video Producer: Henry van Wyk. It is his first Producer profile video.

Yes, he has the same name as I do - just an improved version, I guess. Henry has an exciting career ahead of him in the film and video industry, and we are privileged that he is starting it with us.

Henry joined Profiled Productions in March 2016. He will be accompanying us on our journey, as we travel the world looking for inspirational Producers and their stories. 

Please welcome Henry into the fold - he is more than the camera in "Two Cowboys and a Camera". We have high expectations of him, and we are excited to have him on the team!

Hendrik van Wyk
Producer

Get rewarded for supporting our local Producers. Receive special offers and invitations from the Two Cowboys.
Please help us to bring you more of these programs by supporting us on Patreonwww.forwardthefavour.com. 



Photos

Training - Old School ;-)

Right, Lesson 1...

Never get stuck behind the 8-ball.

if it doesn't switch on, then we always have some firewood.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Two Cowboys on a Journey: Milmeq, Dunedin - New Zealand

Milmeq

(Learn: * Inspire: *** Amaze: * Live: ****)
(The Two Cowboys Subjective Rate-o-Meter.   )

When you are far, far away from everyone else in the wold, then innovation becomes a necessity. You cannot rely on other's knowledge, or what people are doing elsewhere. You have to make do with your own plans and innovations for common everyday challenges.


This is one of the reasons why there is an above average number of innovative and creative Producers in New Zealand. Even more so at the remote southern tip of the South Island, in the tiny city of Dunedin. Here we find a Producer that's been leading the world in refrigeration and protein processing innovations.

The world became smaller over the last few decades. At the same time, the New Zealand innovators and makers entered the world stage. These Producers now realize that in many cases, thanks to their isolation, they actually came up with an even better solution to a challenge, than what most of the world could muster. As Mike Lightfoot, the CEO from Milmeq puts it: "This is the Kiwi way!"


Milmeq specializes in capital plant equipment for food processing operations around the world. They provide a turn-key service, including design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance. Their areas of expertise include primary food processing, chilling and freezing and materials handling. They provide performance-enhancing solutions to clients across the meat, poultry, dairy, seafood and horticulture industries. Having already established themselves as industry leaders in their homeland, New Zealand, which is renowned for its meat and dairy exporting industry, they are now recognized globally for offering world-class technologies and support systems.

Impressions

Dunedin is a short flight south from Auckland. Dunedin airport is probably the most iconic airport in New Zealand because you are landing an aeroplane right in the middle of a cow paddock. I cannot think of many places in the world where you hear the bleating of lambs as you walk to your hire car in the airport carpark. When I land in Dunedin, I like being in New Zealand. This is the place I came to love as an immigrant from South Africa in 2001.

I must confess, our story with Milmeq goes back a little longer than the short trip we did on the 16th of February to go an interview the makers and fabricators of this great business. We've been doing video production work for them before, so we know the people, and we know the business. Their CEO, Mike makes use of every available opportunity to tell the company's great story, and to show the world what they can do. We've been lucky to be a part of that.

Milmeq makes protein processing equipment. Yes, if you eat steak, pork or chicken in Australia and New Zealand, the chances are that it was touched by Milmeq ingenuity somewhere along the line. The business is that phenomenal and that iconic within the industry. They invented plate freezing.

What stood out during the interviews was that the people of Milmeq are trades people with a dedication to their craft. Many of them have been in the business over twenty years. As one gentleman put it: "If I didn't like it, I wouldn't be here. I've been here more than twenty years, so I must like it." This statement stands out for some subtleties that speak volumes about the Kiwi culture, but also shows how Producers are substantially set apart from other people.

There is a no-nonsense, get-on-with-it attitude, amongst these people. They are modest about their achievements. They have a substantial dedication to quality and loyalty to their company and colleagues. When you build and make big things, you do it within a team. Working as a team is important. They also investing and grow young apprentices, so that they can strengthen the group. 

The people of Milmeq are producers. They are vested in their work.  They love what they do. They do it for decades because every day at work they get a chance to leave a bit of themselves behind in what they make. Every day they make it a bit better. They also grow, because every thing they touch delivers value to others, and make our world a better place. Yet, in the end, it is about the beauty of the craft. The value in knowing: "I made this." 

Producers are privileged people. 

It is an honour to have spent time with Mike Lightfoot and his team. He is an inspirational and enthusiastic leader. It was a spectacular experience to do it in Dunedin. 

We hope you like what we've produced about Milmeq.

Hendrik van Wyk
Producer.

Get rewarded for supporting our local Producers. Receive special offers and invitations from the Two Cowboys.

Who we are: We are a social enterprise. We are funded through donations and sponsorship
All our earnings are applied back to covering our costs of marketing and promoting Producers and inspiring local communities. Please support us to bring you more (www.forwardthefavour.com)

Photos


Strong as steel.

Turning the world of industry.

It should last for a lifetime.

Upside down, and right side up.


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