Mel’s career has wings with Signature Homes


From receptionist to marketing and sales, Signature Homes Waikato has provided Mel Reid with the wings for her blossoming career path.

Headhunted for the role as a 22-year-old working in retail, Mel says moving to the new job has been life-changing.

“Keir, one of the owners, liked my customer service and asked me to come and work for Signature Homes. I had always worked in retail, and working here was one of the best things I have ever done. I just really love the construction industry and I’ve even ended up building my own house.”

Her career path has taken a few twists and turns, and after heading overseas for a few years, Mel returned to New Zealand, had a baby and didn’t think twice about contacting the Signature team to see if they would have her back.

“I was only looking for part time work in the beginning but I knew I wanted a job with Signature because I really loved working for them.”

A two-day a week marketing role grew to full-time, seeing Mel take care of new enquires, supporting the sales team with contracts, setting up events like the Home Show and Fieldays, looking after the show homes and she is the face behind the social media.

In Mel’s time taking care of the marketing for Signature Homes Waikato they have won the Signature Homes National Franchise marketing award two years in a row.

She’s grateful for the professional and personal support that working for Signature Homes offers. “They really do care about their team, their clients and are proud of the work they do, and the homes they build here in the Waikato.”

A health issue last year, saw her in hospital for several weeks battling a rare auto-immune disease.

“I lost my vision at work when I went to hospital I needed blood transfusions, plasma exchanges and steroids. Luckily, I got my sight back.”

Living with Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein (MOG) Optic Neuritis means Mel heads to the hospital once a month for a seven-hour transfusion and says work always has her back.

“I’ve never felt bad or guilty. I’ve always felt supported by them. There was never any pressure to come back. They just wanted the best for me.”

Having the regular blood transfusions and plasma exchanges made Mel really think about the amazing commitment people make to donating their blood.

“I’ve always thought about donating blood to the New Zealand Blood Service. Because it’s nice thing to do but I’ve never had the time or never actually thought about doing it. But when I was in hospital for two weeks, having plasma exchanges and transfusions, and there would have been like 80 donors in one bottle. Now I realise how important it is to donate blood if you can, because things might have been a lot different if the blood wasn’t available. There are so many other people out there like me who rely on transfusions long term.”

As well as being supported through her health scares, Mel says the Signature owners – Andrew Buttimore, Jamie Buttimore and Keir Bettley have allowed her to grow professionally.

Last year she completed an online course to help develop her social media skills; the course was partly funded by Signature Homes and Māori economic development organisation Te Waka.

Through her work Mel has been able to grow her passion for photography and it’s something she does in her spare time as well.

“I love to get out and take photos of the Signature houses and on the weekends I like to practice. Lately I’ve been involved in directing photo shoots of our new houses for ad campaigns.”

Creating a positive environment at work is important to Mel, she’s the go-to for organising team building and celebrating special events.

“We’ve got 30 staff here and as you can imagine it’s pretty full on in the office. People here call me the team mascot because I’m really big on being in a happy workplace,” she laughs.

For someone who is working fulltime, professionally growing in her role, raising a family and overcoming major health issues, Mel is humble about being picked to be Signature homes remarkable woman.

“I thought I would be the one organising this and when Keir asked me to get it sorted, I said – yep, who do you want to feature, and he said – you obviously because you’ve been such a massive, positive impact on the business. I just thought that was so awesome.”

0800 082 888   |   www.signature.co.nz


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