Hey Hana! Tell us about yourself -
I'm a 28 yr old lover of animals, people, and the planet! I was born in Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands, and grew up in NZ since the age of 4. I am the eldest of two, my little sister is 20 years younger than me! Obviously not planned haha, but such a blessing for my parents. We are super tight but she lives in Raro with my folks which is pretty tough. I miss them daily. I am engaged to a wonderful man who always motivates and encourages me to be the best I can be and turn dreams into reality. I have a super close family and the very best of friends who are always supporting me. I'm a very lucky gal!
What is Eco Lifestyle Kits? -
Eco Lifestyle Kits or ‘Elk’ for short is a gateway to an eco friendly lifestyle! Starter kits full of eco friendly essential items we need to live a plastic, toxin and waste-free life. Our first ever product was the Travel Elk - a travel toiletries kit full of natural and reusable personal hygiene products. Helping us to reduce waste while we're on the go.
How did this all begin? -
I've done a lot of travelling which opened my eyes to just how bad our waste and plastic pollution problem has become. Now my mission is to do my bit for the planet however possible, and encourage others to join me as we journey to protect Mother Nature from unnecessary waste, pesky single use plastics, and toxic chemicals. Having been born in the Cook Islands, naturally my home island of Rarotonga in particular is very special to me. I want to see it thrive and not disappear at the hands of Climate change.
What made you decide to just go for it and start this biz of yours? -
At the time, I was kind of feeling like my life didn't really have a purpose. I had no idea what kind of career path I wanted to make for myself and I knew I didn't want to stay in my current job forever. So,
I decided to tap in to what I DID know and what I AM passionate about, which is adventuring, seeing the world, experiencing different cultures, and learning new things! I've also always enjoyed sewing - I find it quite therapeutic and rewarding making something from scratch. I knew I also wanted to do something with meaning and that would help others. Throw these all together, and Eco Lifestyle Kits was born!
Has there been any point in time that you wanted to stop and give up? If so, what did you do to resolve this? -
Yes! Many times. Starting a business on my own has been hard work - still is! I have to switch roles constantly to manage ALL aspects of running a business - from financials, to legal stuff, to marketing and advertising, and then to the actual creative side of design/sewing. Sometimes I feel like it's all a bit too much and want to throw in the towel, but I just keep reminding myself of my mission - advocating for Mother Earth and being able to give back to local charities. The feedback i've received about our bags in particular have all been really positive and, as I said, I enjoy sewing and creating things that are useful so this all keeps me going!
Where does your motivation come from? -
Friends, Family, my fiancé Scott and, of course, Papatuanuku - Mother Earth. Nature is so inspiring if you only take the time to truly be in her presence.
Edited by Kate Broadley: