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Mister Minit’s own Real People, Fixing a very big Problem: Operation re-build Queensgate, NZ in time for Christmas


In November 2016 another severe earthquake rocked New Zealand, with tremors being felt as far as Auckland. Among the cities to fare the worst was Wellington, which incurred significant damage including the destruction of part of the Queensgate Shopping Centre. The large shopping complex in central Lower Hutt continues to remain partially closed with many areas taped off, and retailers losing their livelihood so close to Christmas.
Fortunately the Mister Minit property team thrive on a challenge, and live and die by our tagline of “Real People Fixing Problems”. So when the Mister Minit store was affected by the damage, what do Real People do to fix a VERY big Problem? Give it a crack of course… with gusto!!

 Damage to Centre (2)  Damage to Centre

Despite the challenges inherent with a busy Christmas retail season, the Mister Minit team began by solving the first part of the puzzle of where else in the centre to locate – a challenge Mister Minit’s Property Manager, Shane McMillan overcame by securing a kiosk site on Level 2 of the Centre.

But then the real fun began!

What can we do to get something up and running ASAP was the question posed to the team, with many ideas floated before agreeing to build a new kiosk from scratch with the bits stashed locally in NZ and the friendly Bunnings team at Nae Nae.

The result?

The Mister Minit Queensgate store is now in full swing, led by Mister Minit’s very own leading man Hamish, Construction Manager.

“We salvaged some essential items for the kiosk – such as a “shoe care unit” and a “merchandise display” which were at the time sharing a shed with lambs, chickens and cows at my Dad’s house,” said Hamish.

“We then headed to Bunnings and purchased some flat pack kitchen cupboards, bench tops and cladding, but now needed somewhere to build this thing. We attempted to hire a storage shed for the day but to no avail. A passing comment came at Bunnings about borrowing some floor space which was greeted with great vigour and a positive response. The lady we asked said ‘it shouldn’t be an issue, I’ll just go and interrupt Paul’s meeting the Store Manager is having, and find out’. The answer was ‘yes and whatever you guys need just let us know and here’s Phil, he’s your personal storeman’. WOW!!”

The A team building the cabinetry

The “A” team building the cabinetry

Finished shelves

Finished shelves

A few hours later, the truck was packed and after the Christmas trading hours had ended at 10pm the Mister Minit team began setting up the new kiosk at the Queensgate Shopping Centre.

“After juggling three different time zones, a road trip up north, fending off old McDonalds Farm, arctic weather conditions (it is Wellington), liquid bartering, seven hours of installation and countless man hours, we officially have a fully functioning Mister Minit store to serve all of our wonderful customers!”

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We have walls :)

We have walls 🙂

All in all the Mister Minit property team are truly living the Mister Minit philosophy or Real People Fixing Problems. As Mister Minit is an everyday needs business we hope that by reopening quickly, we can support all our customers this Christmas and continue to support the community.

P.S. A big shout out to Bunnings, Nae Nae, Phil, Paul and the rest of the team who literally saved the day! You’re a big factor in why we opened this side of Christmas, and we’re eternally grateful!

TA DA!! Mister Minit Queensgate has re-located and open for business! Please come and say Hi

TA DA!! A big thank you to all, stop in and say Hi 🙂


Letters from Italy- Guten Tag from Germany….


Guten tag from Germany (my first German word),

After 8 episodes of Season 4 Game of Thrones, 4x soppy movies, 1x trashy celebrity mag, 1x fashion mag-Harper’s Bazaar, and a few chapters of the book; ‘The Real Life MBA’, I’m finally here! WHHOOO HHHOOO!

A little tired, I’m here in Dusseldorf, Germany.  I’m very glad to be off the plane, and I’m so excited to have arrived… FINALLY!! [If you could see me right now, I have the biggest smile]

After an hour long trip, I’ve arrived at the hotel,’ L’Arrivee’, Dortmund. I’m certainly glad to be out of the car, after my first experience on the auto barn! Scared out of my wits, it certainly was an experience for this Sydneysider! Travelling at speeds of 170kms, with the young man, at times driving one handed, and texting, I think I saw my life flash before my eyes at least twice!

With my feet firmly on the ground, over the next few days, I’ll be visiting one of the world’s oldest and specialised padlock factories ABUS. I’m here with Peter and Paul from Locksmith Supply Company (LSC are one of Mister Minit’s valued supply partners) who are also on a similar scholarship.

Over the next few days we will see the manufacturing of a range of quality ABUS products, along with a retail study tour, of similar shop styles to Mister Minit here in Australia and New Zealand. I’m looking forward to seeing what other likeminded businesses are doing here in Europe, as well as just looking, and seeing how the other side of the world goes about doing business.

Until then Auf Wiedersehen.

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it! Europe, here I come!

Letters from Italy… Reporting from the ABUS Factory



I’m a little jet lagged but I can’t complain, because my home and office for the next two weeks is in EUROPE! WHOO HOO! I’ve heard from family and friends that I’m not missing out on much back home, with the cold snap that’s blown through. Just to make you all a little jealous, we are forecast for high 20’s, low 30’s for the next few days.

First day on the job and we’re off to the ABUS factory, where Mister Minit Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia source our high quality padlocks. How cool is the logo in foyer… it’s made out of 6,500 padlocks!

Later today we will also be visiting Mister Minit shops in Germany to see how our friends operate their shops.

Until then Auf Wiedersehen.

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Letters from Italy…


Mister Minit is known for their high quality, Italian, durable double back milled brass house and office keys, but have you ever wondered what it takes to make a padlock or a key? Perhaps you’d like to know what our key factory looks like, or what key innovation is on the horizon?

Take a behind the scenes look at ‘a day in the life of a key’ with Kylee Young, National Marketing Manager for Minit Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, as she prepares to set off on a once in a lifetime European Scholarship to our Key and Padlock Factories in Italy and Germany, and also key takings from an International Distributors Conference.

We work hard at Mister Minit, but it’s not all work and no play. Stay tuned for updates on Kylee’s European adventure, ‘Letters from Italy’…

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How to Look After Leather Shoes Caring for Leather Shoes


For all the ladies who too love pointed shoes from kid leather, to suede, Mister Minit’s top 5 tips for looking after your leather pointed shoes this Autumn Winter include:

1. Start with a toe piece, this will reinforce the point area protecting the leather as this area typically wears first. Add a protector sole to new shoes, this will prolong the life of your shoes and also protect the leather at the point of the shoe.


2. More often than not, shoes are now made with plastic heel tips. These are an accident waiting to happen! Replace plastic heel tips with rubber heel tips as soon as you can, this will prevent you from slipping over in the wet!


3. Water and stain protector is your new BFF….. trust me I’m speaking from experience! Apply a water and stain protector to new shoes (VERY important), and re-apply throughout the season, and to older shoes too. This is the best way to look after leather shoes, and will prevent water damage staining the leather.  Especially suede or nubuck shoes (needless to say I’ve learnt my lesson…. The hard way)

Tip: Water and Stain Protector can be used as a stand alone product on shoes and bags. Read the directions first, and always test in an inconspicuous place first.



4. If you have invested in pointy shoes previously, they are probably in need of some TLC before this Autumn/Winter. A leather conditioner is a great way to revive, soften and protect your leather shoes for the conditions ahead. Don’t forget to apply your water and stain protector to your shoes, after they’ve been conditioned to ensure you don’t have any disasters either!


5. Is patent leather a favourite? Me too! Try Shu Glo it’s perfect to remove those pesky scuff marks!

How to look after leather shoes

As the temperatures continue to drop, and you slip on those stunning, well cared for point shoes; whether it’s for work, a dinner date or a chic night out with the girls, think of me. I envy you and your fantastic looking shoes, I will be living vicariously through you this Autumn/Winter 2015.

Create a Unique Gift with Engraving for any Occasion…


Creating a unique gift for friends and family is what gift giving is all about. Engraving is the perfect way to personalise any gift. 

There are times where I’m stumped for unique ideas for that perfect gift, and it’s pointless reinventing the wheel- especially if mum wants the latest bottle of perfume. So how do you take a generic bottle of perfume, vase, and even the occasional card and turn it into something special? With engraving of course!

Experienced engravers can engrave on a large range of materials such as glass, metal and crystal. This means anyone can create a unique gift with engraving. From perfume bottles, vases, rings, watches and other jewellery items, mirrors, pens, lipsticks and other cosmetics, wine bottles*, plates and tags and the list goes on. One could even replace the usual Hallmark card with an engraved keepsake attached with a beautifully tied bow or ribbon attached to the present to really make a lasting impact!

Here are some of the things I’ve had engraved for my loved ones… including the furry ones!

* Some wine bottles are unable to be engraved on, including pressurised or sparkling wine bottles.

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How to prolong your watch – Mister Minit’s Top 5 tips Are Shoes to a Woman, What a Watch is to a Man?


For any Watch Connoisseur, protecting your time pieces is crucial.

In my household there is the “shoe lover” and the “watch connoisseur”. Mister Minit’s top 5 tips to prolong your watch:

1. Do not expose your watch to extreme heat such as showers or spas as the heat causes the metal parts to expand at a different rate than the rubber gaskets, and can lead to mechanical failure inside the watch. The heat creates small openings that can allow water droplets to penetrate the watch.

2. Exposure to environments such as chlorinated pools, salt water, soap from showering can accelerate drying of the gasket. If your watch is water resistant, and exposed to these elements, ensure the gasket is changed every 6-18 months depending on how often it is exposed to these agents, or replace the gaskets when you have the watch pressure tested.

3. After swimming or diving in salt water, rinse your watch thoroughly in fresh water. If your watch has a rotating bezel, turn several times while rinsing it.

4. Some chemicals, heavily chlorinated water, perfume and hair spray can work their way into the watches seams and cause corrosion to the gaskets. The elements can also dull the finish of your watch. Have your watch professionally cleaned every 12 months to clean away any build up/residue of skin and grime, and polish to a shine.

5. Check for symptoms such as losing time or inconsistent ticking. In most cases this means your battery needs to be replaced, or your watch may be due for a service.

In my household there is the “shoe lover” and the “watch connoisseur”. I would say my other half is single handily keeping the watch industry alive… but then again, I suppose he could say the same about my shoe and nail polish collection in all honesty.

Just as with a pair of shoes, it’s important to look after your latest time piece to prolong the life of your latest investment by following Mister Minit’s 5 simple steps:

Car Key: Stranded Part One


Owning a car is one of the most costly items in our life! There are ongoing fuel and maintenance costs, car registration and not to mention THOSE unexpected car related crises which usually happen when we’re saving up for that European holiday, or this year’s latest pair of boots. I know where I’d much rather invest my money… and it’s certainly not my car!

With that said, and in all seriousness, I need a car to get from A to B (like most of you). Of course there are and will be things that happen to my car which are unavoidable. The most common and over looked mistake, but totally avoidable is not having a spare car key.

It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal does it? Picture this. You’ve lost your only and workable car key on holidays….. camping. The camp site is virtually in the middle of nowhere with limited phone service (which is why you booked it). To have a tow truck pick up your car and take it to the small town mechanic, not only incurs penalties to pick up from a remote area, but because you are outside of business hours, the company cannot pick you up till the next day. The best time they can give you for the pick-up is the usual broad response of between 9am-1pm.

So, once you finally make it to the mechanics, Bob breaks the news to you that it’s going to cost anywhere from $500.00-$2000.00 depending on your cars make and model, to have a new set of keys written to the body control model of the car. To make matters worse, it is going to take a couple of days to get the car key in to the shop. A couple of days later, and a (not so) lazy $2000.00 you will finally have a workable car key.

This is worst case scenario, but not completely far-fetched. The importance of owning a second car key is critical. Spending (from) $179.95* on a second car key is worth its weight in gold when you compare the latter option, not to mention the time that is wasted in the process.

It’s wise to leave a spare car key with your parents, or with a friend as you would with your spare house key. Shouting your parents a tank of petrol to drop off your spare car key is still cheaper than a visit to Bob’s!

* Car key prices can vary depending on the cars make, model and year, and also if you require a case or integrated key and remote control. 

Car Key: Stranded Part Two- ‘The Girl with a Little Blue Car…’


There once was a girl with a little blue car. Like any girl, she would rather spend her money on anything but her car. She managed with the one car key for quite a long time, and never thought anything of it.

On a cold and dark winter’s night, on her way to the gym, the key gets stuck in the lock, and bends as she keeps running as she hurries to get inside. As she pulls the key out, to her horror it’s bent at a 45 degree angle.


In panic, she tries to straighten the blade by bending the key in the other direction while in the lock, but in the process causes the blade to snap off completely…… AAARRRGGGHHH!

Did I mention this was her only car key?


At this stage there is nothing you can do other than call road side assistance and call your knight in shining armour to collect you and take you home, which is exactly what the girl with the little blue car did. Luckily in this fairy tale the girl with the little blue car has friends in high places who knew a few tricks of the trade. With her lesson learned, she lives happily ever after… along with her sushi!

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The End

Unfortunately not all of us will be as lucky as the girl with the little blue car. If anyone has lost their only car key, or it’s been damaged will understand the havoc, frustration and the unforeseen cost it will cause.

Although a hypothetical scenario, Car Key Stranded Part One  highlights the very real ramifications of only having one working car key… and not to mention the costs are also VERY real!

If you’re someone with one working car key, ask yourself do you have a spare $2000.00 plus, to have another set of keys written to the body control model of your car? Can you afford a couple of days away from your job or business until the car keys can be written to your car?

If your answer is no, for more information please click here Spare Car Key

  • Dedicated to the girl with the little blue car, thank you for sharing your story.

The Shoe Fairy Godmother…


I love my shoes, and they’re all my favourites (just ask me). My Mother always liked to point out that “I only have two feet, and can only wear one pair at a time”, but I like to think of myself as a forward thinker. It’s pretty obvious one can only wear one pair at a time, but there’s 365 days to consider Mum… a girl needs to have options!

A pair of new shoes and boots is an investment to us ladies, so it’s critical to be dedicated and look after them from the moment you first buy them. I’m speaking from my own devastating disasters, in hope of saving shoes everywhere!

Picture this… A brand new pair of cream nubuck strappy stilettos. Nope! A brand new pair of cream nubuck strappy stilettos… stained by water from my old car that leaked, ruined all because I didn’t apply a water and stain protector! AAARRGGHH

Aaaarrrggghhh! Not my new shoes! I wish I had used a Water and Stain Protector!

Aaaarrrggghhh! Not my new shoes! I wish I had used a Water and Stain Protector!

Aaaarrrggghhh! Not my new shoes! I wish I had used a Water and Stain Protector!

After purchasing a brand new pair of shoes or boots add a non-slip sole, this is the ideal time to add an anti-slip sole. For pointy toe shoes, add a toe piece. This is a piece of leather added to the point of the shoe to reinforce this area. It will ensure the leather is protected, and won’t wear away at the point area. Any abrasions to the leather in this area are irreversible.

Dress shoes and boots are often made with a leather sole. The leather sole will wear quickly when wet from abrasive surfaces such as asphalt, and will allow moisture to seep through causing damp feet, socks and stockings. Adding a non-slip sole to dress shoes and boots, will keep out the moisture leaving your feet dry and toasty all year round, and prevent you from slipping in wet weather.

Water and stain protector will literally be your BFF. Apply as per the directions to all new shoes and allow them to dry completely before you wear them out. Remember to re-apply a water and stain protector regularly to all shoes every 6-8 wears after reapplication.

Fun Fact: Water and stain protector can double up as an anti-static agent for your hair!


Now days it’s cheaper for manufacturers to produce shoes with plastic heel tips. It may be cheaper, but it’s a recipe for disaster if you were to slip in wet weather. If you tap the heel with the tip of your finger nail, plastic heels will sound hollow. Add a new pair of rubber heels immediately, and to all shoes to prevent injury and add grip.