Leading the Polynesian Eyewear, Everywhere...
Getting to know Martin & Allies Coromandel
When you’ve got a great product and the drive to succeed, it’s easy to get ahead of your competition.
Our 2nd Pasifika Spotlight is on Brisbane couple Martin and Allies Coromandel of Maori Heritage who have created a thriving business with an innovative twist on eyewear. They knew that the eyewear industry was a competitive market when they first started researching and conceptualising design ideas. Allies came up with the idea of using Maori designs with Paua shells – which is often used in art and jewellery. They wanted to incorporate their Maori heritage and upbringing as inspiration and key points of difference. L.EYES Eyewear was born and since then, it has been making waves across the globe! And the crazy part is…the business only cost the couple $350.00 to start and sell on Facebook!
“It’s taken us 4 years to get to where we are, and the sacrifices made in the beginning has given us a little freedom that we can now enjoy.”
For others, the COVID pandemic has had a negative effect on their business but for Martin and Allies, they saw it as an opportunity. When sales dipped, Martin took advantage of doing a Facebook Ads training course which helped him and the business pivot and learn new ways to succeed in tough time
Martin and Allies share their story...
What inspired you to set up your own business: We were initially opening an eyelash business but found an eyewear manufacturer and soon we started developing concepts for eyewear. My wife came up with the idea of using Maori designs with Paua shell. The rest is history.
Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? We were tired of working for someone and wanted to be our own Bosses.
What was your key driving force in becoming an entreprenuer? I don’t like the word Entrepreneur. It makes me cringe lol. I grew up in Mangere and knew what I didn’t want for my kids. So we try and inspire them through what we do.
Where did the idea of your business derive from? Through the R&D process we kept asking ourselves how we can be different. We knew the eyewear industry was a loud competitive market and we wanted to put a unique spin on our eyewear. We are proud Maoris and so we used our upbringing as inspiration.
How did you come up with the name for your Business? It’s my wife’s name just spelt different; we also called our daughter Allies.
Considering the competition in today’s business world, how would you highlight your Business competitive advantages? What makes it stand out of the others out there? We are a unique Polynesian owned eyewear business doing designs no one else is doing for our target market.
Who is the one entrepreneur to be your greatest example and inspiration? I really look up to Isaac John from YKTR, the Ice project. I also love Gary V, Mike Dillard from the self-made man.
What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule? I believe social media can make you a lot of money if used correctly. I no longer use social media to be social. I use it to make money and a living.
What would your advice be to anyone thinking of starting up their own business? It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It cost us $350.00 to start and sell on facebook. On the other hand, though to make money you have to spend money.
What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in? educate yourself through courses, and learn to improve on things you are not good at.
What sacrifices have you had to make since becoming your own Boss? I’ve worked every day for the last 4 years with no days off. It’s the difference of whether you make it or not. Be willing to be the hardest worker in the room and sacrifice time to achieve your goals. It’s taken us 4 years to get to where we are, and the sacrifices made in the beginning has given us a little freedom that we can now enjoy
What do you enjoy most about what you do? Working next to my wife daily and not getting sick of her. Lol Most couples couldn’t do it.
The Global Covid19 Pandemic has affected Businesses across the globe. Has this affected your Business & How? Do you feel there is enough support out there for MSME’s in your region? What support do you think is needed & most important? Covid Helped our business because it forced us to pivot and learn new ways to do business. I did a facebook ads course as our sales dropped off. We implemented the fb ads and then had life changing months in sales. Always look at learning to improve your weaknesses and solving problems.
What do you wish you knew before you started your business? There were quicker ways to scale the business and I had to spend money to make money! Also, you don’t do things just for the money but more to help people, and leaving a good impression on a person.
What best motivates you? How have your entrepreneurial motivations changed since you first started? Failing! And losing an opportunity.
How Do You Manage Stress? My wife helps me a lot, Prayer, and positive inspiring talks. Lots of rest.
Do you have a favourite quote? Our business motto is What are the most important things in this world? It is people, it is people, it is people!
What’s the biggest thing you struggle with as an entrepreneur? Calling myself an entrepreneur lol.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur? Solve problems daily!
Another great Business Story from an inspiring couple. We know with each of our 'Spotlight' features you will have some great 'golden nuggets' to take away with you to help you in your own business. These Amazing Stories shared with you would not be possible without the generous contribution, love and time given from our Business Owners
who want to help others in their Business Journey.
Nga Mihi Martin & Allies.
We leave off with Martin & Allies Top 3 Apps that help them work more effectively every day