HATCH Q&A with Karita Siakisini of Sepora Lia
Karita Siakisini of Sepora Lia says she and her business partner applied to join #HATCH because they were hungry for help, direction and for their Jewellery business to succeed. Her hatch words of wisdom are for #Pasifika youth to ‘Utilize the networks and contacts given to you, and always push forward’. Read more about her #HATCHJourney and start your own!
Read more about Karita’s HATCH journey in her Q&A.
How long have you been in business?
How did you get into business / come up with your business idea?
Sepora Lia started because 2017 was the year most of our friends were celebrating their 21st birthdays. We wanted to create gifts that were personal, bold and beautiful. Unintentionally we created earrings that were mostly inspired by our Pacific Heritage. Inspired by the strong Polynesian women in our lives and by the legends and Teine Toa and the indigenous legends and stories our grandmothers would tell us at jewellery. Getting gifted personal earrings with a powerful personality and story behind them, became our thing at every recurring 21st we were invited too. With encouragement from our strong beautiful mothers especially and those who enjoyed our craft, we started up Sepora Lia. The name Sepora Lia derived from both our middle names. We entered the journey of being able to express and create beautiful jewelry with determination to make money with it too.
Why did you apply to take part in HATCH?
We knew that crafting jewelry wasn’t a new and revolutionary business idea. But, we also knew that if we wanted to be serious about transitioning our past time avocation into something that can generate an income, then we knew we had to seek some kind of help. Staying in Christchurch our research was turning dry and we didn’t have much luck with many accelerator programs. But the HATCH Programme came to our attention. All we needed to be convinced to apply was seeing they were looking for young, fresh Pasifika youth who had running businesses or an idea. We were hungry for help, direction and for our Jewellery business to succeed, we applied.
Have you had an AH-HA moment during HATCH / what was it?
That there is way more to business than just creating pretty products and selling them. The AH-HA moment for me that I love right now is SYSTEMS. Having systems put in place to make sure your business foundation is strong and can support the pillars that hold up that roof, like a Fale Samoa. The insides of your business are what matters most, what support us so that we can stand tall, and strong, look great and succeed.
What is your favourite HATCH masterclass?
Strategic Planning with Karen Ferns.
Who is the most inspirational person you’ve met while on your HATCH journey?
I wouldn’t say there is just a particular person but instead, 5 other businesses run and owned by young powerful Pasifika adults have been the most inspirational to me. Being in the same room with people who are just as determined and hungry to succeed. Who want to rewrite our narratives as a young minority group in New Zealand. We are the joy and pride of the generations before us, the hope of our ancestors and the backbone of this future. And to share that common understanding with other amazing fresh and young Pasifika adults taking a hold of their future and opening and running thriving businesses inspires me.
Name three things you need to get you through the day:
1: My Why
2: Sketch Book
What is the best piece of HATCH advice you have received so far?
Is to go forward. We won’t know what works for us, what doesn’t or what we can do to improve more if we don’t let ourselves take these risks and head straight into it. There would be consequences both positive and negative but that’s the whole point, to learn. And that not every decision we make is a mistake, but instead a lesson.
Why do you think other Pacific Youth should apply for the HATCH programme?
We are the joy and pride of the generations before us, the hope of our ancestors and the backbone of this future. Our ancestors didn’t stay in one spot. We went out voyaging and seeking for more and bigger opportunities. We come from a line of powerful people, and for us to reclaim that, we need to start taking control. Pasifika businesses for Pasifika people, the world isn’t ready for our strength and power. It’s our time, to take control of our own future.
What words of advice do you have for future HATCH participants?
When given contacts and connections utilize them. One mistake I know I made, was getting a great contact that I knew would benefit myself and Sepora Lia, but letting it go because I was too busy overthinking and instead of just pushing forward.
What has been your most memorable HATCH experience?
When all the businesses were together and just hanging out and working in a space and environment where we felt safe and knew that our idea wasn’t silly and could honestly feel that the world really is our oyster.
How do you brainstorm?
Flow Charts with heaps of colours, shapes, and symbols. A whole heap of post it notes with arrows going everywhere. I always have to jot ideas down on my phone, notebook whenever I get an idea regarding Sepora Lia. Just in case I forget and it could be a vital breakthrough for something somehow.
Do you have any HATCH words of wisdom?
Utilize the networks and contacts given to you, and always push forward.
What is something you have learned about your business since taking part in HATCH?
I’ve learned that it’s not just about making pretty earrings, taking pretty pictures for Instagram and selling them and then calling it a business. But there is so much more to it for us to succeed and be the best we can be. That a solid foundation is a key to us being consistent and smooth sailing. A strong foundation will help us protect ourselves and our business. That with those pretty earrings and pretty pictures, there is so much more – like copyright and intellectual property – to protect those same pretty earrings, and same pretty pictures.
What is something that has changed for you on your HATCH journey?
Maturity. It sounds odd to say it like that. But there is this sense of not being afraid to do simple tasks like calling people, booking appointments, replying back to emails. It was something that I would avoid because I was always dependant on my mum to call people for me or I would just completely avoid it. However, running a business and trying to work towards some great things, you have to just grow up and do things for yourself or you’re not going to get anywhere. One thing, I am still learning with life and a lot of motivation from HATCH is managing my time properly. Time is never on our side, and there is always something to do.
What is your goal at the end of your 3-year HATCH journey?
A successful business, that generates enough income where I can let my parents know, my grandparents, my family know that this is the milk and honey we came searching for. A business that ventures out in branches that can help benefit our Pasifika people. And to inspire my Pasifika people, that we can do this.
How has your business benefited from taking part in the HATCH programme?
We’ve built up a solid following and audience to our brand because of HATCH. The Masterclass has guided us to really understanding who we want to be as a brand, who we want as an audience and how can we do that. The networks, workshops, and masterclasses provided to us, have me pinching myself to check if we are real life. Sepora Lia has grown immensely from the opportunities that have been given to us. A confidence, a fire has been built up to continue because of HATCH.
What is your daily HATCH motivation?
Pure and genuine internal Happiness. HATCH is an opportunity that has allowed me to take control of what I want for myself and my future has made me live pure bliss. There is definitely hard work put towards that, but having people who have your back, give critical and useful advice is what was needed for me to be more confident and sure of myself and that I could do this. And its made more motivated to carry on working towards it, so I can continue to feel this way.
Who inspires you?
The Teine Toa of the Pacific. The mighty women of the Pacific. We, young women, are the flowers of our mother’s hard work.
Where do you work best when it comes to your business?
Our space at the Pacific Business Trust Offices and our Work Shop down here in Christchurch where we get to create our gems.
Describe what HATCH means to you in 3 words.
Empowering. Growth. Support!
Click HERE to apply