When you’re a new business starting out, sometimes it can be difficult choosing a name. Businesses can grow unexpectedly in directions you weren’t anticipating and a previous name can very quickly become irrelevant. When I launched my first website in 2020 with the amazing support of my sister Leigh, for some time I had called my business Hana Candles. I have been making and selling soy candles for over 15 years so it was the logical name to pick. Hana in Maori means to illuminate, radiate, shine, glow. Which was perfect for a candle business but the name definitely didn’t fit as well for a recycled rubber jewellery business. I had a lot of people presume that my name was Hana and people also had trouble pronouncing the name, spelling it and finding the website. I love everything about my Maori ancestry and Maori culture but I knew that I needed to rebrand and began reading the book “I am my brand” by Kubi Springer. It’s literally a workbook to help you identify what you’d like your brand and product to represent.
My business name Just Like You came about when I thought to myself, why should people be connected or even like my products and brand? My answer was that “I’m just like you”, I’m like many other middle-aged women out there questioning their abilities, their skills and where to next now their tamariki/children have left the proverbial nest. Knowing we still have a whole lot more to offer, with years of experience to boot.
Jewellery is an extension of me
The clothes and jewellery I wear are an extension of me. A means of expressing who I am. I have carried extra weight since I was 13 years old. I’ve been on so many diets that I actually can’t remember them all anymore but for me, jewellery has always been like a best friend. It’s not harsh or judgey when I put on or release a few pounds. It has been part of me since I first fell in love with a paua ring, in a store window in Arrowtown that I couldn’t afford to buy. Jewellery has been with me on my life’s journey – celebrating my successes, my sadness and the passing of time. My hope is that Just Like You Aotearoa, the products we make and sell and our brand can be a reflection of you as well. A place to connect and express.