To many mums, Rachael McLaren is a magician… at least it would seem that way! Not only is she a full time solicitor, but she simultaneously raises seven boisterous young children.
She seems to make getting the kids off to school with their lunches everyday look like a breeze.
“The trick is in the organisation and orchestration,” she says. “They all have a time and a place for everything. If they didn’t put their shoes in the same place every night I’d have little chance of knowing whose was whose. Having said that, kids will be kids, so we do regularly have a few missing items.
It is really the logistics that are the most challenging, like getting each of them and us off to soccer in the season, because we all play on different teams at different times and often in different locations.”
What part does the Village Jewellers play in your life?
“The Village Jewellers is symbolic of our family’s relationship together.”
“My husband bought my engagement ring there 16 years ago, and we’ve bought everything there since. It seems that whenever something significant happens in our lives, we are back at Tony’s store for a commemorative piece.”
“One of the things I love about the store is the friendly family atmosphere. I’ve got seven kids and Tony always asks about how they are going. He really takes a genuine interest in our family and that is unique.
We discuss schools and soccer and whenever I go to the store, it is like a long conversation that just seems to pick up where we left off months or years before.”
Imagine how hard it must be to remember all your customers? And then imagine what an achievement it is to remember all their children? This is especially impressive if some of your customers have a lot of children!
“When we have anything significant to talk about, I find we’ll tend to pop into the jewellers and talk with Tony. He always goes to a lot of effort to explain exactly what you get for your money and he’s not just flogging stuff. It’s not all about the sale with them.”
“Literally their number is on my mobile.”
Rachael I’ve been a customer for 18 years
When it comes to a girl’s wedding day, they say that every girl dreams of being swept off her feet by a handsome prince. Arthur is no prince, but he is a romantic at heart and he did sweep Rachel off her feet.
“We had been going out for many years and I know she thought I was going to propose on a few occasions, so when I decided to pop the question, I knew I had to make it something really special for her.”
Arthur traveled all over the place looking for the perfect engagement ring and eventually found a really nice diamond ring at a jewellery shop in Sydney. His beloved Rachel loves pink so he wanted pink diamonds but unfortunately they wouldn’t modify their design.
Rachel's ring“Finally, like most Greek men do, I asked for advice from my mum; and she said to go and see Tony at the Village Jewellers.
When I went in they asked what sort of diamonds I wanted and then the got some in for me to choose from. I had a photo of the ring I liked and they used that as the basis to make up one just the way I wanted it.
When I commissioned them to make the ring, I started paying it off straight away. It cost a small fortune and I think it took me six months to pay for it but it was worth very cent. I’m the type of person who makes his mind up and then just does it. The ring has 28 Argyle diamonds and one big white diamond. I think it is as good or better than the original design I saw.”
“With the ring safely tucked away we went on a trip to New Zealand to celebrate eight years together. I took her to this really top quality resort called Blanket Bay Hotel near Queenstown, where I planned to make the proposal.
blanketbayIt was quite funny really, because all the staff there knew what I was going to do and every morning they’d walk past us eating our breakfast and look at her hand, then give me this look, like, ‘chicken!’ Finally on the last day we were there, the weather was perfect and I arranged for us to go on a helicopter joy flight.
Arthur's ProposalWe got this great pilot that had done a lot of flying for the filming of Lord of the Rings and he took us on a tour of places where he’d flown for the film crew, then eventually he took us to the top of Mt Tutoko, the highest peak in Fiordland National Park. We landed and it was −9C; he said we could only stay a few minutes or we’d freeze up.
The view was amazing. We got out and I gave the pilot my camera, then I got down on one knee behind her and said, ‘Rachel’ and she turned around. When she saw me on one knee, she thought I was pranking her, then I produced the ring.
The look on her face was priceless. And she’s the type of person who would settle for anything, so such a fabulous ring was beyond belief. She knew I was serious.”
Custom cufflinks“Leading up to the wedding, we bought some nice earrings in the city but when she tried the dress on she realised she’d need a necklace but we couldn’t get one to match the earrings. SantoriniSo, again we went to the Village Jewellers and they made a matching necklace for her. Plus, I got them to make a wedding band with pink diamonds and I got each of the groomsmen custom cufflinks with a little blue stone in them.”
The wedding was held in Santorini and Arthur and Rachel flew a Canberra photographer over to take the photos. You can find more photos of the wedding on the photographer’s site.
A Day to RememberTake note ladies, one day you too may be swept off your feet. If you can’t wait, why not come in and chat with Tony and the staff at Village Jewellers, where the magic begins.