Today we are talking to the artistic genius behind Aolele Creative, Leone Tui. Leone is an inspiration when it comes to her knowledge of Pacific History, so it is no wonder that her gift for making spectacular Pacific themed earrings is also a source of inspiration for Measina products. So, sit back and get to know Aolele Creative in Meet the Makers: Part 2.
What does your business do?
Under the label name Aolele Creative I produce handmade earrings that take design inspiration from Samoa and the Pacific.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been active making earrings by hand since October 2015. I sent initial pictures of samples to my grandmother in Samoa, Marita (owner and designer at Plantation House), who gave really positive feedback about them and placed the first big order. Her early support gave me the confidence to know that if she thought they were good, others would too. I shared another picture of my first design on my personal Facebook page around Christmas time and got a huge response not only from friends but also strangers who happened upon the picture.
What made you start your business?
At the time I started, I was on maternity leave, so I was based at home and our household was on one income. I wanted to have both a creative outlet as a hobby while caring for an infant as well as a means to bring in even a little pocket money for treats or helping with bills. Pinterest and Instagram were big players in my starting to play around with polymer clay as a preferred medium. I love contemporary pacific art and design and had previously spent time in Samoa working for my grandmother; seeing the response to the things she designed and sold in her shop was the response I was hoping to capture with my own pieces.
What makes your business special?
For me it’s the handmade aspect. No one pair is exactly the same but overall I think (and also hope) that whoever buys or is gifted a pair of my earrings loves them as much as I loved figuring out the design and making them.
What is your favourite thing to do in Samoa?
Eat all the delicious food I can’t get in New Zealand or that aren’t as great as the things I’ve had in Samoa. Taro chips, fresh delicious poke from Amanaki, pizza from Giordano’s or Georgies, fresh niu (none of that canned or bottled stuff), vaisalo from the stall in front of Siaosi’s, mangoes off trees, ulu, bbq plates, real delicious fresh umu.