Reflecting on the journey through 2023 brings forth a whirlwind of experiences, blending highs and lows into a tapestry of personal and professional growth. As I navigate the peaks and valleys, here are some key learnings and highlights from the past year:
Adventures Across Borders: A highlight was experiencing an array of international and national travels, encompassing five diverse countries and cities within Aotearoa.
I had the opportunity to speak in Bangkok about our Matariki installation mahi and also at The University of Waikato about our design mahi for them.
These experiences broadened my horizons and made me think bigger and how I can potentially hit international customers or clients
Homecoming and Business Strides: Returning to my hometown of Gisborne marked a significant shift. Confronted with challenges of two cyclones, adding an unexpected twist to the narrative.
Recognizing the potential isolation, I set out to engage in diverse experiences, forging new connections, attending conferences, participating in Kaupapa, and immersing myself in the dynamic landscape of Māori design and business. The highs of these endeavors underscored the importance of pushing beyond comfort zones to embrace growth.
Navigating the Business Rollercoaster: The journey wasn't without its lows, as moments of success and stability gave way to unforeseen challenges. The harsh realities of the business world, including financial pressures, led me to question the path forward. In these moments of doubt, I found resilience, reevaluating, restructuring, and persevering with the belief that the valleys are a transient phase on the way to the mountaintop.
Celebrating Triumphs Amidst Challenges: Emerging from the tumultuous landscape of 2023, I took the opportunity to reflect on achievements and savor a well-deserved holiday in Melbourne over the New Year. Despite the challenges, I made a conscious effort to relish every moment that brought joy and pride, recognizing that the lows should not overshadow the significant milestones achieved along the way which were things like bringing in 87 new clients, releasing our first illustrated children’s book and completing approx 100 design jobs for the year. For a small team there is a lot of things to be proud of.
Strategic Shifts for 2024: Stepping into the new year, my focus shifts towards working smarter, not harder, and prioritizing quality over quantity. The plan involves elevating every facet of Taptuapu—enhancing systems, pursuing larger projects, cultivating better client relationships, and infusing freshness into our designs. Anticipate changes as we embark on this journey, aiming to increase value across the board.
As I navigate the path ahead, I embrace the challenges as opportunities for growth, pledging to ascend from the valley to the mountaintop in 2024.