Originally from Wellington, Lee now lives in Maryland. Some of you may remember her book “You Knit Unique” she wrote many years ago in collaboration with the New Zealand Wool Board.

Lee has taught hundreds of workshops focusing on creativity through knitting and clothing which helped ‘till’ the ground for the rise of the wonderful organization WOW – World of Wearable Art and has sold one of a kind, hand knitted ‘jerseys’ to the Queen of Spain, the Crown Prince of Thailand, Good Morning America and numerous tourists visiting New Zealand.

She eventually arrived in the US in 1989 on a book tour and met her future husband Al on an Amtrak train traveling between NY and D.C.and now has an art clothing company shipping to over 500 boutiques around the US. In 2012 she and Al started the American version of WOW called ManneqART – – with ‘Sculpture on the Human Form’ artworks coming in from all over the US.

Fellow NZer’s living in the US are very much invited to submit original artworks as ManneqART gives $10,000 in artist awards each year with the money coming from a variety of corporate and individual donors. ManneqART has awarded nearly $40,000 to artists, beginners to world class professionals, since the organization was founded. The artworks have to able to go through a door (squished is OK) and not hurt the live model. We photograph them for the next years ManneqART Calendar each year in June.

For more information on Lee, including ManneqArt Madness (any NZer’s interested in doing hair, makeup or modelling?) on June 25th and learning more about the exciting new Maryland Fashion Institute, contact Lee at


Fellow NZer’s,  Rowan Wernham ( and Edward Talbot ( have founded a product studio called P22 – – with team members in New Zealand, USA, and Australia. P22 Studio is an engineering and design studio with an entrepreneurial spirit. They build their own in-house ventures and work alongside other teams to help them realize theirs.

They have built apps that scaled to millions of users, and have been featured everywhere from Fast Company, to NBC Technology, The Next Web, Mashable, and others. Best known for helping founders at the formative stages of their venture, they are experienced at taking an idea from concept through to launch. If you are developing early stage ventures or challenging creative  development, the P22 team can help.
Please contact Edward at


Willie has been telling me about his pal and fellow NZer living near him in Daytona Beach, Florida Robin Kirk. Robin is blind and I asked Willie to share his story about this extraordinary NZer.

“From the moment you meet this unique kiwi who has been known by many as the “blind guy” in Daytona Beach Florida, you can call him what you want, he’s no slug, more a stubborn “SOB” with an inspiring personality that leaves you speechless with his awesome attitude for living life. Good kiwi boy. He has been known to dive into empty swimming pools, fall off a gang plank between a cruise ship and the Dock, sit in the wrong vehicle waiting for his wife to return, (the owner of the vehicle had no idea who he was and was not impressed) rode a bicycle solo with his mates steering him with a, go left go right, and he actually made it to the next bar, (a few comments from passing Motorists yelling that guys blind drink) I could go on on on ….

This guy is a true blue kiwi. Jandals, a beer, shorts and a T shirt is what he hangs out in on the weekends. Now here’s the best part.

He sells time shares and has won sales person of the year many times.  He takes people on small tours, showing potential customers the time share models (they have no idea he’s blind ) he can text, write email, and even planned and directed the building of his own home. While proudly taking me for a walk-through before final inspection he walked right into a hole. I knew he had cause all I heard was, “Here I am Willie”. I looked down and there he was. It’s no wonder his real nick name to many of us is “Tons of Fun” or TOF. We even wrote a song about him.

Anyway one heck of guy that if you think you’re having a bad day, go for a walk in Tons of Fun’s shoes. It’s no fun, but you wouldn’t know it with this bloke.  If you meet him, his first words will be, Hey Pal, where are you from in NZ, and if its not Wellington, then get ready to take some heat. Oh yeah, want to debate sport, he’s an encyclopedia and of course hardly ever wrong.  Rugby, Rugby league, College Football, sailing.  He’s the Man! Proud of you my mate TOF.”

Kia kaha, Kia Kaha “Willie”