Nadia Poole is making a name for herself by mixing her love of material with motherhood.
The young mum’s new venture Aroha Textiles creates locally-designed woven fabrics to make baby wraps, slings and carriers.
But even with an International Business degree, things like income tax and GST were daunting, so Nadia completed a Certificate in Applied Small Business Growth and Development through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
She encourages anyone considering a business of their own to do the same.
“The course re-lit the spark for me. I was working six days so in a way ….I questioned why I had put so much on my plate. In my heart of hearts though I knew it was needed for my own future. In my case, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa ushered me along to where I wanted to be.”
A vintage clothing enthusiast, Nadia says her obsession with textile patterns and textures came from her mother Jan. Then in 2014 when she became a parent she saw a gap in the baby-wearing market for authentic south Pacific designs.
“Romy was like a paua for her first year and baby wearing saved the day in many ways. When I was feeling drab and disgusting, I’d wrap her against me in a woven piece of beauty and colour and we’d both feel much better.”
Nadia approached a well-known designer to help create something she could get produced into a loom-woven jacquard for her own baby carrier.
What was then a personal project turned into something much bigger.
Months of research, development and testing was needed to get the right yarn and weave construction make this product the first New Zealand-based brand of its kind.
“I’m blessed to know hugely talented artists, who are sensitive to cultural appropriation.”
With baby wraps as the focus, Nadia hopes to see them become legacy items crafted as works of textile art to be enjoyed for generations.
As someone who was afraid of accountants and felt nervous speaking to bank managers, the wānanga course explained to Nadia what was required to make it as a business owner.
“It's better to get help to figure out whether an idea is viable, rather than always wonder. If it's strong, there's a good chance it’s more attainable than you think.
"I'm extremely grateful, firstly that Te Wānanga o Aotearoa exists and the course was available, but secondly that I jumped at the chance to do it.”