Working with the Community!
Last year, i had the privilege of being asked to contribute to a few community projects of which i happily excepted.
I was approached by Turanga Health, asking if id be interested in taking a couple of workshops for their Wahine Oranga Group. Its focus was Basic Make-Up techniques, products & essentials as well as nail Care advice. It was a really fun session working with about 12 ladies, some of who were really enthusiastic & others happy to just sit & listen. At the end of our workshop each lady was given a small Kete with one of my business cards, brochures & a list of Make-Up essentials to add to there Kete for personal use.They all thanked me & gave me this gorgeous bunch of flowers for my time.
Not long after, i saw a flyer for the Matariki Wearable Arts Show at Te Wananga O Aotearoa here in Gisborne. I rang the organizer straight away asking if they had anyone helping with the nail & beauty side of the fashion show as i would love to tautoko (support). She said they generally just muck in (which is one of the fun things about community shows such as these) but they’d be thrilled if i could come down & do some Toimaikuku for the models in return for some promotion over the week of running shows – AWESOME : D
I spent the whole day with them getting the models ready for the show which was in celebration of Matariki (Maori new Year). There were some fantastic Kakahu (garments) all based on Nga Atua (Maori Gods) & i really enjoyed collaborating the Toimaikuku to each Kakahu & its individual kaupapa (subject). All up there were about 25 or so models – men & women so i must have done at least half if not more (women only..lol..) By far my favorite Atua Wahine (female god) – Mahuika (Goddess of Fire) created by artist Rawinia Thompson (Nina). She made these awesome gloves to represent Mahuika’s finger nails of fire & i added some red talons to support the look with Red & Bronze ~ Koru (life/growth) to portray that fire element. Her model Te Awhina Tungatt did an amazing job rocking this Kakahu down the runway! A fantastic effort from all the weavers/designers, models & organizers : )
A few months later, i was approached by Express PR who help facilitate a lot of the local community organization fundraisers here in Gisborne. One in particular that they do annually is the EIT Girls Day Out for Hospice Tairawhiti, which again i was pleased to be apart of. It’s a full day of eating, pampering, fashion, shopping & entertainment. With each ticket sold, the recipients receives a goodie bag full of specials, flyers, vouchers & samples plus two tokens to one of many pamper booths (hairdressers/make-up artists/manicurists/facials/massage etc).
I worked along two other local manicurists, of whom i had not met so i was pleased to do so : ) We each got to promote our small businesses & it was really fun working alongside them – together we must have done at least 50 manicure’s! It was heads down all day but it was well worth it – all the proceeds go to Hospice & last year raised $10,000!! I’ve recently been approached if i’d like to be apart of it again this year & with that outcome – yes!! Absolutely : )
Getting involved with the community & offering support where i can in any field of my profession or artistic expertise is one of the rewarding aspects about being self-employed. It’s not always about the money for me, especially when it allows me to get out there & promote myself & my business – sometimes it’s just about working together, one highlight for another.