Before I start the introductions, I really encourage you to join our Facebook page. Once you have joined the page, you are part of the JATOE family, whether you buy from us or not. The Facebook page is so important and it is how I've been able to get to know my online customers.
The address: https://www.facebook.com/JatoeOnline
Please make sure you tick the boxes for getting notifications.
Also, follow us on Instagram @Jatoe1 Now I tend to do more notifications about JATOE using this medium. It works well for JATOE.
Hello, everyone! Welcome to JATOE!
My name is Jo and I am the founder and the owner of JATOE. JATOE is the acronym for "Just a Touch of Everything". It was a bit of a mouthful, so our customers just started calling it JATOE. (Pronounced "Jay" "Toe").
I built JATOE Mark I while I was recovering from surgeries. The development started in mid 2012. I had a workplace accident in 2007 and I was up to surgery number 18 or 19 and I knew I was going to be found "Totally and Permanently Disabled". I couldn't stand the thought of not working, so I created JATOE.
This was a huge undertaking for someone who had absolutely no retail experience at all. At the age of 5 I began in the Theatre Industry and I worked in the Industry (in varying roles & capacities) for nearly 33 years. I am a classically trained Shakespearian actor. LOL! There is a big difference between Shakespeare and a rockabilly dress and accessories! I also have an education degree and that has always been very important to me. In the various capacities I have worked, I have always taught young people Shakespeare. It is a profound joy I have and the kids love it!
I always do everything to the beat of my own drum, however, over the past four years I've become a bit of a shrewd business woman. I listen to what my customers are saying, listen to what the JATOE family is saying and act upon it.
Customers wanted Zip Pay - I got it for them. Now they want After Pay - I'm in the process of getting it for them.
I also don't get walked all over like I used to.
I am eccentric; always have been and I have no desire to change.
I bring back the humanity into online stores. The internet is an incredible vehicle. An online store is a fabulous medium but I find most online stores very clinical. There is no dialogue with the customer. I have to have that dialogue. Whether is be from the incredible people on our Facebook page, the fabulous messages we get from our eBay store, or dealing with our customers in the bricks and mortar store.
This website, this online store, is an extension of me. You will read my descriptions and see that they are directed at you for a dialogue. If you want to email me, you can. I get so many Private Messages on the Facebook page and I answer all of them.
Please note: Please don't send PM's to my personal account. Please use the JATOE Just a Touch of Everything Messaging systems. It's one of the few things that make me grumpy.
We will be having a blog and because I am old and farty, my 16 year old nephew is going to teach me how to do a Video Blog. I have to learn how to use Mail Chimp, but I will get there!
I am a complete "geek". I always have to be studying something so I am studying the Plantagenets, The Cousin's War - most commonly know as the "War of the Roses", Tudor History and the rise of the Stuart family after the death of Queen Elizabeth I. As I said - complete geek, but I belief in life long learning.
I am committed to donating to charity. I try to donate to between 20 - 30 charities a year. (They may be small donations, but every cent counts - I try my best). JATOE has also fund raised for the Leukemia Foundation, holding a fashion parade to raise funds for the Cancer Council, etc.
I adore JATOE. It's my baby and I love my customers both online and in the bricks and mortar store - what would I do without you, Anita???
This store, in all the different forms it has, is primarily, about love. Love of people, love of clothing, love of fashion, love of accessories, love of individuality, love of freedom and love of being who we are.
IT and the person who has to put up with the ratbag, that is me *grin*
David deserves some kind of medal or trophy as he is very clinical, works through the scientific and mathematical paradigm and he has to deal with me. I work from the artistic and creative paradigms. Talk about opposites!
David is our IT guru. One of the reasons for that is he works in IT and he is an IT savant. I'm pretty savvy on the old computer, but the JATOE network is huge and he is the one who makes sure everything is working properly.
He's a bit of a smarty pants, too. He graduated from the University of Queensland for some IT thing. Neither one of us look at our degrees. We both think it is stupid that a piece of paper puts all of these stupid letters after our names. David is very reserved but he is not a complete computer geek. I wouldn't be able to handle that. He, like me, is a perfectionist and neither of us will settle for, "good enough", "it will be right", "that will keep you going". We both demand excellence.
They say you can count your "true mates" on one hand. I believe that.
JATOE's full name is Jo Sterry Trading As Just a Touch of Everything. So JATOE is me. The website is an extension of me. The next three people I could not do without and they have supported me through all of this and before JATOE started in 2013
I met Zac in 1997. I had to direct a musical at a high school. I was given 6 weeks to do it. The 7th week was the run of the show. It was, "Joseph and the Technical Colour Dream Coat". I hadn't even heard of it and I was shocked it was all libretto. Without Zac, I couldn't have done the musical. I don't come from a musical background and I have very little to do with musicals; you can just ask Dave who is our next mate.
Zac was 17 and he auditioned for me and boy, can this man play pretty much any musical instrument and he CAN SING! He is also our other IT administrator for the website. He set up the landing page so people knew the new website was coming, he did the DNS for us, starting pointing old email addresses to our new domain, www.jatoe.com.au and he has spent hours on the website.
Zac is here for me, no matter what; be it IT, being a mate, being a supporter, being my friend and just someone I must have in my life. He has doing my IT until I met David, 12 years later. He set up my very first email address so I could communicate with the company I was working with in the USA, while I was back in Australia.
I could not have done this website from Zac and he was part of the group of young people I taught Shakespeare with.
Love you, mean it!
David has been one of JATOE's biggest supporters from the start. He knows how much I hate most musicals, and we met when I saw he had an emblem for an am theatre company on his jumper. I went up and asked him about it and we became "mates" there and then. We understood each other.
During the creation of JATOE, Dave has been my shoulder to cry on, my supporter, my customer and the kind of bloke every girl needs.
He worked his guts out renovating the JATOE bricks and mortar store. It was in such bad shape and he pulled down walls and then used those walls to create change rooms. He plastered. He screwed metal strips into the floor for workplace health and safety. I cringe when I think of how hard he worked to do those damn floors. He did his drill in and there was brown smoke everywhere! He painted and just kept working!
He did dump run after dump run to Hervey Bay for all of the rubbish we had to get rid of out of the store. We couldn't have renovated the store without him and it took 4 very long and exhausting weeks.
What would I do without her? I also met her in 1997 when I was directing that damn musical. She wanted to learn about backstage work and she has now, been tripping around the world with Cirque du Soleil. I am so proud of her.
She was the first employee I ever had and she was my first stage manager when I was the Artistic Director of "Power of Will". Jo knows me like the back of her hand and she has supported me throughout this, even though it has mostly been from a distance because of all of her globe hopping. She has also been a customer and she is my loyalest mate. Again, I could not have done all of this without her support.
She also belonged to the group of young people I taught Shakespeare to. This woman knows her Shakespeare and she knows how forgetful I am. For example, she would know I was looking for my car keys, so she would go down, on the street, find "Desi" (my car at the time) and he would be unlocked, windows down and the keys in the ignition. LOL
Love you, mean it!
Obhi - our Mascot
Since 2013, my little dog, Obhi, has been the mascot of JATOE. He is loved by the people on our Facebook page. Obhi is short for Obhishek. He is such a sweet-natured, loving dog and his favourite toy is, "Fonti". It's this grey elephant and he adores it. Obes may be going senile and blind, but he loves it when he has just been groomed (he runs around the house like a puppy!) and he loves his Schmackos. He's knows Christmas means Schmackos so he gets so excited when he sees his Christmas stocking come out!
Sad and Devastating News: Obhi passed away at 8:05 am the 21st of December, 2016. The out pouring of grief from members of our page and the support I have received from the residents of Burrum Heads is how I am getting through this. He was beloved by everyone and he will always remain as the mascot of JATOE.
I have so many people to thank for their love and support. Obhi was an incredibly special little dog. He was my baby for over 12 years. They have helped David and I grieve for the loss of my little boy. This Christmas has been so difficult for us. Usually his Christmas stocking comes out on Christmas Eve and just the sight of the stocking would make him jump, madly, for joy. He knew there were going to be Schmackos in the bottom of the stocking and the rest would be filled with new toys for him to pull apart.
Special condolences must be sent to Judith Nelson. She has been a member of our page since we began, in 2013. She loved Obhi as if he was her own dog and she is grieving his loss. I write this postscript on Boxing Day, 2016. Here, at JATOE Headquarters, we are trying to muddle through but the loss of such an enormous part of our family is hard to deal with.
I do love Tiberius. He is the first of our two rescue kittens.
Tiberius is a rescue kitten - now cat. His adoptive name was, "James". I didn't want a cat named, James, so I thought the best thing to do with his second name, was to name him Tiberius. People wonder why Tiberius is his second name. Why would you do that to a cat? (D'oh) I am a Trekkie. I adore, "Star Trek". Captain Kirk's name is James TIBERIUS Kirk. Captain James T. Kirk. He was an admiral for a while, but Kirk being Kirk, lost this rank. He had such a great sense of humour.
I had such high hopes for Tiberius. Captain James Tiberius Kirk could always save the Enterprise and its crew; well until he blew it up in Movie III, "The Search for Spock". Nothing could escape him and with Spock; they could solve any dilemma. (Side note: as a young girl I wanted to marry Spock or Sidney Poitier - don't ask me why).
Ah, no cigar. Turns out, Tiberius is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He doesn't know his real name, so we just call him, "Kitty". He gets confused very easily and if he is at one end of the house and we are at the opposite end, he will start crying. We always have to call out for him. He also drools everywhere when he gets patted. (It's gross)
David and I believe cats are predators - they are. Tiberius and Katie are inside cats only. Where we live there is so much wildlife and Katie would just have a field day. We also believe in rescue animals and de-sexing animals. The cats have their grass pots which makes them very happy.
Katie is the second JATOE cat. She is an absolute handful. She is a rescue kitten and with rescue kittens you don't know what you are going to get. Katie is half feral. We definitely don't allow her outside - she is a killing machine.
When I first rescued her I was so excited to have a little girl. Turns out she loathes me and only loves David. She has to be with him all of the time. She climbs everywhere, breaks beloved figurines I have and each time I pat her, she walks past and shows me her backside.
The newest addition to the JATOE family:
Atticus (yes, after Atticus Finch)
Atticus is a pure bred Papillon. He had to fly from New Castle to Brisbane and I picked him up from a Brisbane and we had the very long trip home to Burrum Heads. I chose a Papillon as Obhi had been half Papillon and the breed has been bred for over 500 years as the ultimate, "companion dog". When I have bad days, Atticus and Tiberius, sleep in bed with me.
He's full of life, loves running (he's so fast!) and playing fetch. Come 7.30 pm the JATOE household is full of three fur babies and two adults all playing together. It's a fabulous thing as it wears them out before bed!
Atticus is not a replacement for Obhi. Obhi will always be the mascot of JATOE, but Atticus is my companion, loyal and loving, even though he is still a pup and gets into mischief like any other puppy. Sometimes I want to tear my hair out!
But I love him!
Former Employees - Gone but not Forgotten
JATOE has been fortunate to have two young women work at JATOE. The first was Grace who had to leave as she had to continue her studies at the Gold Coast. 5 hours away from Burrum Heads.
Then we had Georgia, who has just recently left to build a life in Tasmania.
Two fantastic young women who have left Burrum Heads to build new lives for themselves. I don't think I was a bad boss and they ran away! LOL! It's just new opportunities arose and you can't blame them to want to grab life and give it everything it has!
Grace and Georgia