Reflections from 2021

Nikki Kennedy - Owner of Taputatpu reflecting on 2021 whilst doing graphic design work


We're another year down, and just when we thought 2021 would be better than 2020, it threw us some more curveballs. But, overall, 2021, despite its challenges, was a new year for me, a year of many firsts, and I'm proud of myself for reaching the end. 

Our year of firsts consisted of:

  • First full year not studying (woohoo)
  • First time in a long time having weekends upon weekends free
  • First time learning pottery (something new)
  • First time starting our graphic design services

As you know, this year, I transitioned Taputapu out of being the side hustle and into my main hustle. It was scary, but we got through the year. It pushed some pressure points and almost breaking point, but we pulled through.

 A personal breakthrough for me was facing my finances. In the past, I've sidestepped my finances and just lived from paycheck to paycheck and was never strategic with my money. But this year, it was my goal to save, regularly be mindful of my spending, and look at investments. So this year, I read two financial books, which alone is a massive step. First, I read The Barefoot Investor and then Rich Dad Poor Dad; both books completely blew my mind and inspired me to sort out my finances. 

The bonus this year was stepping out and offering our graphic design services. We wouldn't have pulled through another lockdown if it weren't for our services. I've learnt that the most challenging thing is stepping out, but once you are out, there are no walls. 

My highlight this year has been the privilege of designing work for significant kaupapa Māori and pakihi Māori. The clients we've connected with, the content, ideas, and business brands we've taken and designed have all been a buzz. I feel very privileged to have worked alongside passionate clients doing amazing things for our people and culture.

If you have been told that graphic design doesn't earn you a good wage, tell them they are wrong. We are two wahine Māori from Gisborne who are full-time graphic designers. If we can do it, so can you! 

For us, 2022 will expand in ways I think we are unsure of yet, but I can feel it. So I look forward to it. My advice moving into another year is to trust your instincts. When it comes to business and making big risky decisions, your puku will tell you what to do or not do. 

I have many people to thank who have been there behind the scenes of Taputapu. To those who have followed our journey and those who continually support us. We thank you all. 

Enjoy the festivities, be safe on the roads and look after one another over this holiday period. We will be back on Monday 10th January 2022.

Meri Kirihimete!


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