New busi­ness is about to take off

Cou­ple happy to set­tle here

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK

New Wanaka res­i­dent James Mitchell is rel­ish­ing set­ting up his cover-mak­ing busi­ness, Op­ti­mum Trim, in Bal­lan­tyne Road.

The UK im­mi­grant’s ar­rival in Wanaka has been six years in the mak­ing, as he and his hor­ti­cul­tur­ist wife, Claire Ins­ley, worked their way from the top to the bot­tom of the coun­try.

The cou­ple met and mar­ried in the UK and worked in var­i­ous places through­out the North Is­land be­fore ar­riv­ing in Cen­tral Otago two years ago, where Mitchell worked with an Alexan­dra firm.

The keen paraglid­ers re­cently moved from their Cromwell home to Lake Hawea, where there is strong paraglid­ing net­work, and they are now in the process of ap­ply­ing for cit­i­zen­ship.

Mitchell is also a prac­tic­ing kung fu artist and plans to set up a wing chun school in Wanaka.

‘‘We al­ways had our eye on Wanaka be­cause of the out­doors,’’ he said.

Set­ting up what is Wanaka’s third uphol­stery busi­ness had been chal­leng­ing ‘‘on a shoestring bud­get’’, but Mitchell was grate­ful for the sup­port of friends and his land­lord at Wanaka Stor­age and Work­shop Rentals.

‘‘It was dif­fi­cult to find premises in Wanaka but I was lucky. I rang the agent and he said he had just that sec­ond listed it,’’ he said.

Mitchell learned his trade in the United King­dom, work­ing in the lux­ury yacht and avi­a­tion mar­kets.

He even­tu­ally ran his own busi­ness for four years.

While work­ing in Whangarei, he com­mis­sioned work from the US sec­re­tary of state John Kerry and his wife.

He also helped de­sign and make flight in­te­ri­ors for Air New Zealand’s seat­ing.

‘‘I now have strong ties with flight in­te­ri­ors and will be the only lo­cal com­pany sup­ply­ing to the avi­a­tion mar­ket with fully le­gal and tested ma­te­ri­als,’’ he said.

‘‘The Queen­stown Lakes area is a grow­ing ex­cit­ing and up com­ing place where things are mov­ing for­ward.’’

James Mitchell is ex­cited about his new busi­ness.

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