Mary Bickley - Brand Manager, Hanse

Mary Bickley joined the Windcraft team in 2004 and has seen the company grow from strength to strength. As Brand Manager for Hanse, Mary’s genuine love for the boats she sells and the customers she engages with is undeniable.

As one of the first full time employees, starting out in a small kayak shop, Mary has had immense fun building the business and working with founder Peter Hrones to realise his vision. She has never treated working at Windcraft as a job.

Mary takes pride in her ability to relate to people from all walks of life. She patiently works with all her customers at their own pace, introducing the brand and working with them on how best to realise their individual dream- buying a boat is often a desire held for many years and Mary is in it for the long term to make that dream a reality.

It is this engagement with people starting their personal journey of wanting to buy a boat and helping them get there that motivates Mary. She enjoys “painting a picture” with each customer, whether they are local or international, whether it takes 4 months or 4 years, engaged with the process from start to finish. With her expertise in her brand, she works with customers to focus on what is available to them and what they can do with their boat. The rapport and trust between Mary and the owners is paramount and above all, it’s fun. And if an owner’s circumstance changes and they get the speed bug or a desire for comfortable cruising, Mary will assist in that transition. Windcraft covers all bases.

Once a potential customer becomes an owner, a huge part of what Windcraft does is still to come; making sure they are happy and that they feel part of the community. Mary keeps in touch with owners by ringing to ask about up-coming sailing trips, offering congratulations on a recent experience, showing she still cares.

A passion for sales and sails

Mary’s background is in sales and brand establishment. She loves starting from scratch with a great product. So working at Windcraft suited her perfectly.

There had always been a boat in Mary’s family as a child, but her passion for sailing really began with windsurfing on the south coast of England and Portugal while at university. One of few ladies participating in the relatively new sport Mary relished all styles from wave jumping to longboard racing. It was the emerging marina scene in Portugal that provided the introduction to yachts. First boats were a Hartley TS 16 raced from Bayview’s BYRA, followed by a Boomeroo 22. Then came a Northshore 370 and the discovery of Ladies Tuesday night racing from the RPAYC, a sailing “fix that (she) can’t do without”.

In addition to being an activity she is passionate about, sailing makes Mary better at her job because it makes her feel good. Her customers pick up on what one referred to as her ‘infectious enthusiasm’. After Ladies Tuesday night racing, Mary describes Wednesday morning as “a good day”, because she radiates her joy of being on the water – her customers naturally want to have what she’s having!

Mary’s sales mantra is “Selling is simply a transfer of feeling”. More than just selling a boat, Mary is selling genuine happiness.

Shared experiences

A six month cruise up the east coast of Australia with her family before starting at Windcraft, is the highlight of Mary’s sailing career. This was the achievement of a long held dream and has proved invaluable in helping prospective Hanse owners realise their own dreams. She relates her personal stories from this trip, a novice herself at the time, and can share the value of what she learned about an experience that many of her customers want to have too.

At Team Windcraft, events such as the two big owners rallies and the Port Stephens Sail Aways “always mean a lot to people” Mary says. There is a good consistent turnout. It’s the sense of community, the shared respect and pride in their boats, as well as a chance to see the history of Windcraft and the brand that draw owners to these get togethers. Mary knows all of her customers names and their boats and stands by the importance of family and community.

A positive past, present and future

Mary likes that she is surrounded by people who will know what she doesn’t. She has complete trust in the team and happily refers to colleagues if need be. They “pool their talents”. She believes that customers can feel the team’s genuine investment and sincerity. Working with customers to find out what boat will suit them. And fantastic after-sales relationships mean that after 6 months, owners will be in love with their boats. Windcraft looks after existing and potential customers equally.

Mary’s pride and excitement in what Team Windcraft has achieved is clear. She gets phone calls from customers and people in the industry saying that have seen the progress that Windcraft has made, whether seeing the boats at the Pittwater rally, or reading the stories on the website, the brands success precedes them. Read more of their testimonials here.

One of Mary’s customers had this to say:

“…Mary stands at the forefront of everything Windcraft sets out to do – build great partnerships with their customers. Mary is a sailor, she knows and understands what sailors want in their yachts, whether they want to be cruisers or have some fun and competition ‘around the cans’. She knows her product so well but she also knows the backup of exceptional after sales service is critical to the long term requirements of owning a yacht”.

Mary sees huge potential for Team Windcraft, based on the trust in the brand, to take massive steps up to the next level. After a wonderful 12 years, she is looking forward to seeing what the next 10 years will bring.

“Thanks for all the wonderful support we had from your team while in Pittwater, it was a delight to have your resources at our finger tips”

Sue / Eenne Owner

“I have found all members of the team at Windcraft to be unconditionally helpful. The (very few) minor issues that have needed sorting out on my new boat have been dealt with promptly and thoroughly..”

Nick Robson / Owner