Carve out your own path

Carve out your own path

TŪ WHITIA TE HOPO: Feel the fear, and do it anyway

Our koroua were from the generation that suffered severely under the Native Schools Act, te reo Māori was beaten out of them in the classroom and replaced with a foreign tongue from the distant lands of Europe. Regardless of the hardships and discrimination they experienced, they were resilient, focussed and hard-working. 

Migrating from rural towns of the Far North to the urban metropolis of Tāmaki Makaurau, our grandparents provided for their whānau by working in the kumara gardens in Ruawai, and the freezing works in Otahuhu. Raising young families in the suburbs of South Auckland during that time meant that work security and survival was of the utmost priority. 

Education, faith and a strong work ethic were the key values that our parents held on to. When we were younger they always encouraged us to pursue education as a way forward. We have watched them continue to study as adults, sharpening their tools and adding new ones to their kete along the way. The career paths they chose were usually grounded in community service; social work, mental health, and counselling. 

My tuakana and I followed them onto a path of education. Kelly pursued Business and International Relations, while I went into the Social Sciences, studying te Reo and Mātauranga. After ten years of working in education we started to think about where our creativity and business interests could lead us. The perfect timing arrived with the enforcement of the covid lockdowns, a silver lining perhaps.

Armed with a business plan and some draft designs we applied for a pakihi grant from Kai Tahu. We spoke to our tāne and whānau about the new venture and had some honest conversations about our intentions, the financial investment and the time commitment. The purpose of our pakihi was simple, we would create everyday taonga and accessories that were culturally empowering and celebrated te reo and mātauranga. We envisioned that Rerehua Boutique would be a perfect blend of our interests and aspirations. 

As we celebrate two years of Rerehua Boutique being in business we feel a million miles away from the classroom and our lives before e-commerce, Insta reels and market stalls. We have enjoyed the ride so far, but it has definitely come with many ups and downs as we continue to grow and learn.

In our first blog for the season we wanted to share some tips that might be helpful for the next budding entrepreneurs who wish to pursue their own path;

1.KŌRERO:  Have an honest conversation with yourself, and your business partner/s; What are your goals? Understand your WHY? Can you manage your other mahi and responsibilities alongside building your new business.

2.WHĀNAU:  Have an honest conversation with your significant others; What are the risks? What kind of support, time and financial investments will you need? 

3.RANGAHAU:  Take some time to research your idea. Complete a business plan to help you understand the market and whether your service/product is viable. Search for financial support that could help kickstart your business.

4.TUAKANA:  When/if you decide to forge ahead, seek out a good accountant who can provide you with financial advice to guide you through the operations of running a business efficiently. Seek out mentorship and advice from those that are ahead of you.

5.TŪ WHITIA TE HOPO: Feel the fear, and do it anyway. Start-ups are risky and they involve a lot of your time and effort to maintain. Expect it to be challenging, but don’t give up. If you believe in it, others will too.

At the end of the day, your WHY is your reason and your backbone. For us, it is the chance to build onto the legacy that has been handed down to us by our parents and our koroua. A legacy of resilience, persistence and the ability to adapt, transform and pivot in the face of hardship. We’re proud of our heritage and it will continue to light the path as we traverse the sea of entrepreneurship. 

We hope you feel inspired to take a chance, whether it be in business, or in your everyday life.

Thank you for coming along for the haerenga. Mauri ora ki a tātou!

A & K x

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Feel the fear, and do it anyway

He kupu taka

Koroua = Grandparents

Reo = Language

Kete = Bag

Tuakana = Older sibling

Taonga = Precious items

Kōrero = Conversation

Rangahau = Research

Haerenga = Journey, Trip