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Mako Design

 How would you describe what you do?

We create products inspired by traditional Māori design, combined with a contemporary style. Our products range from jewellery and accessories, to homewares and gift boxes. We are passionate about empowering whānau and celebrating our beautiful culture so that it can continue to thrive.

What was your most recent project?

We have recently brought out a range of studs, and handmade earring designs, including some polymer clay and beaded pieces.

What project have you worked on that you’re the most proud of?

We’re always really proud of the products that we release because we put so much hard work and aroha into them. But a recent project that we’re actually really proud of is our website! It needed a good refresh, and we worked really hard to make sure it was easy to use for our customers, had really nice photography and looked really inviting and beautiful. It was quite a task, and it is still a work in progress in some areas, but it works so well!

What is essential for creatives to have in their life?

Coffee!!! Haha. One of the things that we think makes our business really great is because there are two of us, we can brainstorm ideas and bounce things off each other, which we do all the time. It’s really important as creatives to share ideas, and if something isn’t quite working, the other person can throw in a fresh perspective. Of course that comes with some challenges too haha! But being a Mother/Daughter team, we don’t shy away from disagreements. We’re always able to negotiate and talk things through. It’s all part of it!

What inspires you about Ōtautahi?

There are so many awesome things going on in Ōtautahi, it’s a very arty place. Even the city centre with all of the new architecture and creative spaces, it’s very cool to see!

What piece of advice about your creative work has served you well?

Be careful not to underprice things, especially in the beginning, and also just to back yourself. If you have an idea or a dream, just believe in it and do it!

What Christchurch artists do you most admire?

Morgan Mathews-Hale is an amazing artist and painter. We’ve met her a few times at different markets and her work is always so amazing. Alice Spittle also is an amazing artist. She creates the most beautiful earrings out of muka. She is definitely one to check out!

What artwork/piece of music/performance has taken your breath away?

Any piece of woven art or traditional korowai! Kahu Collective has some beautiful pieces. We are always so inspired by the time and work that goes into these traditional techniques.

What do you wish you’d have known about creative work when you were younger?

How rewarding it is. It’s so good for your mental health and wellbeing to be exercising that part of your brain.

What’s your favourite hidden secret in Ōtautahi?

The community resources at the city libraries! When we first started out, we used the laser cutter at Tūranga Library to trial some designs. The staff were so helpful and they taught us a lot about the process. There are so many different resources at your disposal as well, it is worth checking out everything they have there!

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