Spotlight: WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete Stallholders

Phoenix Ruka
April 19, 2024

Puhi Designs: A WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete Highlight

At WHĀRIKIx2024, Puhi Designs, led by Arahia Mahanga of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Porou descent, showcased her exceptional talent in creating contemporary Māori designed earrings. Originating in Australia as a fundraising project with polymer clay, Arahia's passion for creativity blossomed. She expanded her craft by incorporating acrylic plastic into her designs, bringing a modern twist to traditional Māori motifs.

Now based back in Aotearoa, Puhi Designs continues to thrive, offering unique pieces that celebrate Māori culture and design. Currently engaging with her audience on Facebook, Arahia is also set to bring Puhi Designs' vibrant presence to Instagram, extending her reach within the hapori.

For those who visited the WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete, Puhi Designs was a memorable encounter with Māori creativity and entrepreneurship at its finest. Our attendees were spotted exchanging their current earrings for Puhi Design's creations right on the spot! Arahia's earrings flew off the stall, proving to be as popular as hotcakes!

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Spotlight on Wikitoria Tawhara Mahika at WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete

Wikitoria Tawhara Mahika, hailing from Hokianga and Ngāti Porou, graced the WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete with her profound literary work, "He Pātaka Iringa Kōrero: He Kete Kohinga." This cherished collection of writings and poems draws inspiration from her sister, Mere Taylor-Tuiloma, weaving together memories from Wikitoria's childhood into a tapestry of words that resonate deeply with readers.

The book's artwork and cover, crafted by Teresa Reihana, add a visual depth to Wikitoria's poignant words, making it a masterpiece of Māori literature and art. Wikitoria, a renowned tohunga kaikaranga, dedicates her time to sharing mātauranga and tikanga Māori across the motu, enriching the lives of many with her teachings and academic contributions.

Her pukapuka stands as a significant contribution to the revival and preservation of tikanga Māori, earning accolades for its cultural significance and the beauty of its poetic expression. Wikitoria's talents extend far beyond her poetic craft, touching the hearts and minds of those within te ao Māori and beyond.

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Solid Kākahu: Catering to all Shapes and Sizes

Solid Kākahu, founded by Rayray from Moerewa, made an impression at the WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete with their inclusive approach to fashion. Born from the need to find fitting clothing for a friend who was a 6XL and struggled with the length of most t-shirts, Solid Kākahu has been revolutionising the kākahu scene by ensuring that with every size increase, the length is considered too.

Launching five years ago and participating in the Ka Hao Programme with Te Whare Hukahuka in both 2020 and 2021, Solid Kākahu has grown into a brand known for its t-shirts and hoodies that cater to a wide range of sizes. Their commitment to inclusivity and understanding of the community's needs has filled a gap in the market.

Solid Kākahu's presence at the market was a testament to the positive impact they've had on ensuring everyone can find comfort and style in their kākahu.


Ethnicare: Nurturing Whānau with Natural Luxuries at WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete

Ethnicare, a whānau-driven pakihi led by Telesia Leilua of Tainui, Waikato, brought their all-natural luxurious soaps to the WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete, offering attendees a touch of luxury at an affordable price. Originating in Tāmaki Makaurau under the guidance of Telesia's mum, Ethnicare has grown into a brand with a heartfelt mission.

The driving force behind their pakihi is a deep commitment to mental health awareness in their hapori, a cause close to their hearts following the loss of Telesia's sister to suicide. Ethnicare stands out not just for their quality products but for their dedication to giving back, donating 2% of their profits to Te Whakaora Tangata. This non-profit organisation specialises in the restoration of life, offering support to restoring their community by supporting its most vulnerable whānau, grounded in Māori values.

You can find Ethnicare's soothing range of soaps at Paihia and Kaitaia markets, as well as on their Instagram, where they continue to spread awareness and support for mental health, one soap bar at a time.


Waiwhariki Mānuka: A Unique Blend of Tradition and Innovation at WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete

Raima Clarke-Redden, representing Ngāti Rangi and based in Tāmaki Makaurau, introduced WHĀRIKIx2024 attendees to Waiwhariki Mānuka, a line of products that stand out for their unique origin and making. Cultivated on Ngāti Rangi whenua, under the stewardship of the Ngāti Rangi Ahu Whenua Trust, their Mānuka oil is a testament to the hapū's innovative approach to traditional resources.

What sets Waiwhariki Mānuka apart is the geothermal field on which their Mānuka grows, part of the Ngāwhā springs, imbuing the oil with qualities not found in other Mānuka products. This unique aspect, coupled with a partnership with the Department of Corrections, showcases a model of sustainability and community engagement. The Department aids in propagating Mānuka seeds, which are then nurtured by the hapū, harvested by hand, and transformed into products at the Ngāwhā Innovation Park.

Their range includes a de-stress oil, lip balm, night oil for insomnia relief, and a hand cream, all produced with care for the whenua and their hapori. Waiwhariki Mānuka's appearance at WHĀRIKIx2024 marked only their second public display, celebrating over two years of growth, innovation, and a deep commitment to sustainable practices.


Anne Hui: Bridging Cultures Through Art at WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete

Anne Hui, an artist from Te Tai Tokerau, graced the WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete with her exquisite gift cards and paintings, each piece a testament to her love for te ao Māori and te reo Māori. Known for her vibrant and thought-provoking artwork, Anne participated in an exhibition last year, "Fries, Lies and Alibis," in Kaikohe, which delved into the community's battle with substance abuse, showcasing alongside renowned artists like Tame Iti and Theresa Reihana.

At WHĀRIKIx2024, attendees were treated to Anne's hand-painted greeting cards and paintings, each a unique blend of cultural narrative and artistic expression. With her creations already adorning stores in Russell, Kawakawa, and Whangārei, Anne's vision extends far beyond, aiming to share her work across the North Island, Aotearoa, and the world.

Anne's presence at the Mākete not only highlighted her talent but also her commitment to using art as a bridge between cultures, offering a glimpse into the Māori worldview through each meticulously crafted piece.


Nga Desinz: Celebrating Koru-Inspired Artistry at WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete

Janine Ngarimu Whyte, of Ngāti Kura Hapū o Ngāpuhi, brought her unique vision to life through Nga Desinz, a creative venture born out of personal challenges and a deep connection to Māori symbolism. Unable to work due to health issues, Janine turned to her passion for art, focusing on the koru's powerful motifs of new beginnings, growth, strength, and peace.

Nga Desinz stands out for its original artwork that beautifully incorporates the koru, making each piece distinctively Janine’s. Her approach combines traditional themes with modern digital techniques, resulting in art that vibrates with funky colours, rich depth, and its own spirit.

At WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete, attendees were captivated by her range of quality art prints and versatile gift cards, each piece echoing the koru's timeless message. Janine’s work is not just art; it’s a celebration of resilience, identity, and the continuous cycle of life and renewal.

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Kōrari Enterprise: Eco-Innovation at WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete

From the heart of Hokianga, Kōrari Enterprise showcased their commitment to sustainability and traditional Māori practices at WHĀRIKIx2024 Mākete. This innovative pakihi has taken the art of harvesting kōrari (flax) to new heights, producing a range of eco-friendly products including business cards, printing paper, cardboard, and wrapping paper.

Their approach marries respect for the taiao with the practical needs of modern business, offering a green alternative that doesn't compromise on quality. Kōrari Enterprise's products are not just paper; they're a statement of environmental stewardship and a nod to the sustainable practices of our tūpuna.

Attendees at WHĀRIKIx2024 were captivated by the quality and ingenuity of Kōrari Enterprise's offerings, proving that traditional resources can indeed meet contemporary needs in an eco-conscious world.

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