Recently, I was stunned to be nominated for 3 categories in the MWDI Māori Women's Business Awards. It was the first time I had ever heard of it! I've never received an award for my pakihi before, nor have I ever been nominated for an award in the 3 years of being in business, so I was excited and honoured to be a part of it.
A friend nominated me for the Emerging Business and Te Tairāwhiti Regional Award.
The Emerging Business (Pakihi Whakaari) Award recognises those businesses that have been operating for more than one year and less than three years, as of 30 September 2017, or achieved significant growth during the last one to three years because of effective planning and delivery, which leads to growth and long term sustainability.
The extent to which the business can demonstrate:
- the business model, research and development plan that has resulted in the significant growth
- the significant growth achievements during the last 1-3 years
- long term sustainability of the growth
I didn't think much of it or think I would progress because I know so many talented wahine in business! I was humbled to be nominated. Two of my friends, whose mahi I admire, were also named as finalists. Awhina from Whatu Creative and Moira from Pursuit.
A month after MWDI finalised nominations, I received an email saying I was a finalist for both categories.
- Emerging Business- alongside Whatu Creative and Whenua.
- Te Te Tairawhiti - alongside Pursuit and Stirling Logging Ltd.
A FINALIST!! How cool is that?!
After the announcement, I flew home to Tūranga to be with my whānau, as I found out my pāpā who raised me is terminally ill. I struggled through those weeks, which was a real low for me, and with so much going on, the awards weren't even on my mind. I considered not attending. I had no outfits planned, I was exhausted, and my wairua was so low - but I decided to attend to take a moment for myself and to celebrate Waiapu Road.
At the last minute, I received one of my first samples for our tāniko inspired kākahu and decided to wear that, and my husband and I met in Auckland. I was so happy to see him. Our hotel was conveniently across the road from Aotea Centre, where the awards were being held, and we arrived at about 6:30 pm and were seated; the awards kicked off.
Throughout the night, my nominated category came up, and they announced that I had won the Emerging Business Award! It was unexpected, and I was so grateful and proud. I dedicated my award to my whānau, particularly to my grandparents, while sharing a quick laugh that I told the event photographer to take photos from my waist up because I had taken my shoes off.
I loved how organised and quick the event was. Stacey Morrison was our MC for the night, and she was amazing. Kore makarauna! The kai flowed out seamlessly, everyone was dressed immaculately, and there was such a beautiful wairua that filled the room.
Winning the Emerging Business award has been a highlight of the year, and it was even more special that I could take that good news home to my pāpā. I look forward to next year's awards, and I recommend everyone get tickets to attend next year. The manaakitanga is unmatched.