Waiapu Road Products - Dress, Mugs, Iwi Earrings and Potae.

The Journey of Waiapu Road.

I started Waiapu Road during a time of grief in my life. I didn't have an epiphany or a business plan. There was no 'aha' moment and, to be honest, I never intended for Waiapu Road to become the established brand it is now. At the time, it was an outlet for me to help me through my grieving process. A positive and creative outlet.


I was always the 'behind-the-scenes' person of my husband's pakihi. We owned a business for 12 years before I opened Waiapu Road, but it was my husband's business and passion. I was the person who organised meetings, did payroll, and hired and managed staff. I wanted something for myself. 


I have a beautiful life, whanau, and an amazing husband - but sometimes you can lose your identity amongst the roles we play as a wahine: a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister and an employee. There comes a time when we long to be ourselves and to be seen more than these roles.


I started to think about who I was and where I’m from. Waiapu Road is where I grew up, the road I still travel to return to my Ūkaipō. This became the inspiration behind my brand. 


I started building Waiapu Road by designing and creating different styles of earrings. I've always had a unique sense of style, so a conversation with a good friend inspired the style of my first product, the iwi earrings. I created my website without any experience and released my first iwi earrings online, which sold out.

My first launch of iwi earrings made $3000. I thought I had cracked it! I thought I had made it. I was so proud of myself.

Then I added other items over time; candles, body scrubs, necklaces and beautiful serving platters. My signature mugs are a huge success and share my humour. They are my fastest-selling products.


All these things were extensions of myself that I loved and wanted to share, my unique and signature style that shines through in everything that is Waiapu Road.


Waiapu Road became a curation of all the things I love.


A year later, I introduced dresses to Waiapu Road. I've always loved fashion and have used fashion as a tool to express myself my entire life. In my first release, I tested the waters to see how people reacted to my style. I sold out! For the second release of dresses, I sold 700 dresses in 10mins. All I thought was, OMG! 


3 years into the business, Waiapu Road is doing better than I ever imagined. In our second year of trade we changed from a sole trader to a company, became GST registered and are now searching for a concept store and warehouse. It has helped us achieve goals and see and enjoy experiences that weren't as easily possible before Waiapu Road. 

  1. Securing our children's futures
  2. Buying a home 
  3. Travelling the world 
  4. I've created an established brand that I'm proud of.
  5. Still very busy to this day, if not busier than ever before.

I'm constantly surprised and grateful, and my success keeps me humble.


3 things I've learnt for myself while being a business owner.

  1. Work-life balance- you have to find balance not to burn out. (YES, I've done that many times because I didn't know how to tell myself when to stop working), and ask for help! It's taken me time, but I would have lost the passion if I didn't ask for help.
  2. Communication- I'm an introvert, so constant communication with people has been difficult for me, but Waiapu Road has helped me to improve my communication skills.
  3. Remembering your WHY is important- there is no point in doing anything without purpose. Remembering my 'why' is the foundation of Waiapu Road. It keeps me ticking. It keeps me hungry. It drives me. Most importantly, it keeps me grounded and grateful for how far I've come and how far we have to go. 


The more I delve into my creative flow, my creativity grows. My creative journey with Waiapu Road feels never-ending. If I could create for the rest of my life, I'd be happy. I've found what makes me happy. They say when you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. I've found what I love in Waiapu Road, and I'm so excited and humbled to be able to share that with the world. 


Gingham Dress - Waiapu RoadJonique Oli - Owner of Waiapu Road



To be part of our journey and express your unique styleshop Waiapu Road today.

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