Christmas Isn’t Cancelled - Bringing ‘Joy To The Hood’
One of the few events not cancelled this year is Ngahere Communities and Konei’s pop-up shop - aiming to highlight the importance of shopping local this Christmas.
Previously known as ‘Made of Manukau,’ the pop-up shop now called ‘Joy to the Hood’ is an annual event hosted by the social enterprise - in collaboration with Shopify, Te Puni Kōkiri and The Western Initiative.
Ngawai Hernandez-Walden from Te Puni Kōkiri says they “support Ngāhere Communities and their Kōnei ‘Joy to the hood’ initiative as an exceptional opportunity to support existing and aspiring Māori enterprise owners. This initiative provides a pathway for Māori entrepreneurs to strengthen access to opportunities, build capability and generate revenue streams which will develop sustainable small and medium-sized enterprises.”
Joy to the Hood will launch on the 10th of December, taking place in two locations - Manukau and Henderson. The pop-up shop features 30+ local Aotearoa brands including those that are on their newly launched site ‘Konei.’
New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown in March/April was a difficult time for everyone, especially for Aotearoa businesses due to the temporary closure of all retail stores. This led to online shopping skyrocketing with eCommerce being the only way to access retailers, however, many local Aotearoa businesses did not have their own online stores at the time.
This prompted Ngahere communities to step in and create a place for these businesses to operate despite restrictions. And although the lockdown for most people was spent baking banana bread and binging Netflix, for Director and Founder of Ngahere Communities, Manawa Udy, it was the catalyst of a new venture - building and launching Konei, an eCommerce store for local Aotearoa brands.
Another one of the pop-up’s collaborators Shopify says they’re “excited to be collaborating with Ngahere Communities for the second consecutive year. This is a great opportunity to experience what these Aotearoa-based brands have to offer, and we hope that people will come and support these inspiring entrepreneurs in person or by shopping online at konei.nz.”
The online store lives up to its name, Konei, translating to ‘this place’, acting as a collective place for local brands to unitedly sell their products - which is why relaunching the pop-up shop to the community is so important to the team at Ngahere Communities and Konei.
Manawa Udy says “we’ve seen over the past few years the impact we can make in local communities we choose to shop local, everyone knows that even more so now due to COVID, so we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to bring Joy To The Hood again this Christmas, we can choose to invest our spending into large monopolising corporations, or into local, family-owned brands. And you might even be the star of the whanau when you pick up something unique that’s made with love and care.”
The pop-up shop places Maori and Pasifika businesses at the forefront of the Christmas retail experience, with hopes of reminding everyone to shop and support local brands when shopping this year; also providing the perfect place to escape the Christmas retail madness as they have an impeccably curated array of gifts for everyone you know.
Jewelz Petley, from the Western initiative, one of the pop-up’s collaborators says “buying local indigenous brands provides an opportunity for you as a consumer to support your whānau, friends and neighbours.”
Joy to the Hood is running at two locations - Manukau and Henderson. The Manukau store will be operating out of South Auckland’s home of innovators and entrepreneurs, GRID MNK - with the Henderson store based on Great North Road. The pop-up shop is open from the 10th to the 16th of December at the Henderson location with the Manukau store running from the 12th to the 18th of December - both locations will kick off with a launch party on their opening days.