Grandma’s treasures - Meet Natalie Fa’aofo behind "Vai Pasifika Inspired"
It was over a year ago when Natalie took the leap of faith and started her own business, Vai Pasifika Inspired.
“I just felt a pull towards owning something that was mine and that I could create and control”
Natalie’s grandmother, Vaiana was the inspiration for the business and business name. Natalie talks about how much Vaiana loved wearing jewelry and grew up admiring the jewellery her grandmother wore which sparked her passion for the concept of her business.
Vai Pasifika Inspired brings the beauty of the Pacific into your ear with unique wooden carved, stunning treasures. Each piece is delicate and elegant enough for everyday wear but will stand out at any occasion – and they make the perfect gift too for every jewelry lover!
Natalie explains, “We are 1 of 2 small businesses in the world who sell the styles of earrings we do. There are businesses out there that create their earrings in similar ways however the patterns on ours are 1 out of 2 which is quite unique for us”
On top of running her own business and being a mum, Natalie still finds time to learn and upskill by attending small workshops, and networking with other like-minded individuals and businesses. She believes there is always room for improvement, and has learned not to make comparisons between herself and others.
Her personal motto is, “Always be the hardest worker in the room”
How Natalie manages her time and stress, and the best part of her work...
What inspired you to set up your own business: I never thought I would but I have always been a big believer in the saying “Would you rather look back and wonder what if?” So I took a leap of faith
Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? Are your parent’s entrepreneurs? My parents are not entrepreneurs. I just felt a pull towards owning something that was mine and that I could create and control
What was your key driving force in becoming an entrepreneur? My nana. My business is named after her and my daughter is also named after her. She always wanted her grandchildren to do better, to be better. My nana, she loves jewellery. She loved dressing up and accessories Earrings, necklaces, head pieces, costume jewellery everything
How did you come up with the name for your Business? I wanted to dedicate my business to the woman who helped raise me and she is my nana Vaiana
Considering the fierce competition in Today’s business world, how would you highlight your company’s competitive advantages? What makes it stand out of the others out there? We are 1 of 2 small businesses in the world who sell the styles of earrings we do. There are businesses out there that create their earrings in similar ways however the patterns on ours are 1 out of 2 which is quite unique for us
Who is the one entrepreneur to be your greatest example and inspiration? Miria Flavell the owner of Hine Collection in New Zealand. She started in activewear line in her garage and now she is in a warehouse distributing all over the world. Showing us the possibilities of a dream that starts out as an idea
What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule? There is always room for improvement, one thing I’ve learnt is to not compare my small business to anyone else’s.
What would your advice to the start-up entrepreneurs? Just start, everything will align and fall into place as you go
What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in? Networking and Content creation that really aligns with your brand and your values
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur? Time, Time, Time.
What do you enjoy most about what you do? I get to do it from the comfort of my own home and around time with my daughter
What’s your least favourite part about being an entrepreneur? Stocktake and quality control checks are pretty tedious and time consuming but have to be done
What’s the biggest thing you struggle with as an entrepreneur? I haven’t had many struggles as yet but you never know what may pop up along the way
What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur? I am always learning and upskilling. I knew nothing about business when I launched but I have been signing up to small workshops and courses where I can
What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? Probably more about the admin side of business
What best motivates you? How have your entrepreneurial motivations changed since you first started? Positive feedback keeps me driven I think it is still very much a motivation for me now
How Do You Manage Stress? I always take time out for myself, journal or get some sun when it’s out
Do you have a favourite quote? Always be the hardest worker in the room