Tucked down a Hamilton lane is a new shop showcasing Waikato’s best Maaori creative talent.
Ono Pop Up Shop is a colourful treasure trove of contemporary clothing, jewellery and homeware.
The store is a collective of local creatives who have joined forces under a ‘pop up’ business model, just in time for Christmas.
Located at number 6 – or ono – Casabella Lane on Hamilton’s Barton St, the light and bright Ono Pop Up Shop is open on a short-term lease until the end of the year.
It is the brainchild of renown Hamilton jewellery maker Nichola Te Kiri, who has teamed up with other fellow designers, Miria Flavell and Mitchell Vincent.
They are all innovative with both their art; and the way they do business.
“We all own our own separate brands – and we thought it would be cool to have a pop-up shop in Hamilton with our products and other Māori businesses.”
All the brands share a common vision of wanting to normalise Te Reo Maaori and bringing te reo into everyday use in the home.
Nichola, who was born and bred in Waikato, started out making jewellery from polymer clay, then moved on to resin and other materials.
Her jewellery provides bursts of colour in interesting geometric shapes. She explains some of the pieces: “This is the mangopare, which is the hammerhead shark, but it is also about leadership and strength. I do collections based on different themes and expand those themes out.”
“Every single piece has a story or koorero of an idea behind it.”
The store also stocks her trademark woollen capes, which come in different colours. “It is one of my most popular items. These are just so popular with a lot of our whaanau.”
Nichola’s own production is done in Hamilton. “I have got a small team of four, and we subcontract to different people here in Hamilton to do different parts.” She showed at New Zealand Fashion Week this year.
The store stocks the funky Taputapu brand which is a collection of Te Reo Maaori homewares, by Nicky Kennedy; and Kultured which is a Street clothing label by Waikato University student Luke Moss.
Lines are being added including the Hine Collection (activewear) from Miria Flavell, the Mitchell Vincent Collection; and two other businesses, D-lish perfumes and Be + Humble skincare.
All the creatives share a common vision. “Ono is really a collection of Māori businesses coming together to sell products here in Hamilton to share the costs and feel how it will be like having a retail space here in Hamilton for us.”