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Impeccable taste and an eye for detail are key attributes for Julian and Jenna Poff when it comes to winning customers. 

They also proved to be useful traits when it came to finding the right business steps at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

This summer, the Auckland-based husband and wife team had their first season of trade as Assembly, a furniture hire company that supplies custom-built tables, seats and archways as well as props for styling  weddings and special events.

Jenna says assembling people using beautiful furniture that required minimal styling brought together her design skills with Julian’s carpentry skills, but was only a concept that occurred to them during the planning of her sister’s wedding last year.

“She described the kind of furniture she was looking for and Julian was sure he could make them. So initially the trestle tables for their wedding reception was our gift, until friends and family encouraged us to start a business and hire them out.”

However, when it came to moving confidently into the commercial market, they acknowledged they needed help.

“I knew nothing about business, so I enrolled in Smart Steps to Business which helped me learn the basics to give it a go,” Jenna says.

“I learned everything I needed to build our idea into a business and appreciated all of the resources given.”

The Level 3, 20-week programme provides online learning mixed in with tutorials and workshops to help tauira identify, evaluate, plan and launch their business in the market. 

For Assembly, the pair put all their spare time and weekends into creating and curating furniture that would inspire social gatherings and hope to continue learning while expanding their inventory as they go.

A challenge for Jenna during this time, was fitting assignments into her already busy schedule working as a technician in a team of nine within Auckland Museum’s taonga Māori collection, while also caring for her two-year-old.

“Running our own business will give our family more options regarding what we do and where we live,” the Ngāti Raukawa me Waitaha mother says.

“My husband and I continue to draw upon some of the things I learned and I’d recommend this course to anyone with an idea for a business, or thinking about going into business. It’s a great introduction to the business world and gives you the tools to get started.”

To find out more about their range of furniture and props visit www.assemblyassembly.com

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