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Asante Homeware brings ethical African flavour to New Zealand

  • News
  • October 3, 2018
  • Julia Steel
Asante Homeware brings ethical African flavour to New Zealand

Newly-launched Asante Homeware fills a gap in the New Zealand market for authentic African accessories and home decor. Founder Kim Richards sells product from artisan groups that help create better lives for their workers, tapping into the growing consumer trend for ethical homewares.

 “Consumers are caring more about ethically produced products, whether that be environmentally or socially or both,” Richards says.

“People want to make responsible purchases and know where products are made, and how they are made.”

She left her corporate job in 2017 to start the business.

Asante Homeware focuses on selling handmade product from Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda and Uganda. These are places of origin not readily seen in New Zealand’s current homewares market. Asante means ‘thank you’ in Swahili.

“There seems to be a lot of Indonesian and Scandinavian influence in the homewares space, but very little African,” Richards says.

Richards is originally from South Africa and her love for the continent in part inspired her new venture, along with her appreciation of one-of-a-kind homewares.

“In a world over populated with mass-produced products, it is wonderful to be able to showcase the beauty of handmade and see the talent of these amazing artisans.

“I think buying artisan handmade products also offer more value in the home, something you don’t want to just replace next season, so there is more longevity to the products.”

Women in particular benefit from these artisan initiatives, making money for their families that will assist in buying food, building homes and sending children to school, including girls who otherwise might miss out in favour of boys.

“Every artisan group [and] organisation I work with has a strong focus on creating jobs in rural communities, fair wages, training and development,” Richards says.

“I also see the opportunity to play a role in preserving craft and tradition and bringing these works of arts to parts of the world they would otherwise not be able to.”

With Asante Homeware, Richards has tapped into an area capitalised on by African nations, diverse in traditions and culture.

“The artisan sector is the second-largest employer in the developing world after agriculture, worth over $32 billion every year.”

With such individual products, the need for a physical presence is felt by Richards, who has found pop up opportunities hard to find for her web-based business.

“People often want to be able to touch and feel the products before they buy.

“I also think people want to be able to see the quality of the products, so having a pop up or physical presence is important.”

Asante Homeware will hold pop ups in Auckland during October and December.

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InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

  • News
  • July 18, 2019
  • The Register team
InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

Grace Stratton, the 20-year-old founder of specialty ecommerce site All Is For All, has been named one of 50 global Badass Women by US glossy magazine InStyle. The list includes international celebrities like Mindy Kaling and businesspeople like Stitch Fix chief executive Katrina Lake.

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Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

  • Opinion
  • July 18, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

Idealog editor Elly Strang recently spoke at the Magazine Publishers Association conference about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace, and the key takeaways from Wellness Month. She shares why it shouldn't be thought of as a luxury nice-to-have, like yoga classes, as research is showing it impacts on your bottom line, as well as some tips on how to create change in the workplace.

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How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

  • technology
  • July 18, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

Many people struggle to envision plans from simple 2D renders and floor plans, as without a designer's eye, filling in blanks from imagination isn’t the most reliable method when it comes to something as important as building a brand-new home or store. Reactar has launched an augmented reality-based platform, HomeAR, to counteract this, which allows users to see and engage with homes in a virtual way, making the very personal process more reliable.

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Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
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Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

  • Who's Where
  • July 18, 2019
Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

Simon West, who has 20 years' experience leading companies like Ezibuy, has been appointed the chief executive of The Warehouse Group's outdoor retailer Torpedo7.

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Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

  • Design
  • July 17, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

Stephanie Saxton has been selling cheeky swimsuits and ethical activewear online out of Bay of Plenty's Athenree since 2018. She's now opened Saltysea's first bricks and mortar store, the Salty Collective.

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What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

  • News
  • July 16, 2019
  • Idealog
What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

Every business goes through a life cycle: start-up, growth, maturity and renewal, rebirth or decline. Once you’ve made it past the juicy, creative ideation stage and into the growth and maturity stage, the time for many comes to seek investment. But what do investors look for beyond a commercial return? And what do investors think New Zealand companies excel at when compared to our neighbouring countries around the world? Executive director of the Angel Association of New Zealand Suse Reynolds shares her top tips for those who are looking for investment.

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