Aucklanders will see a feast of colours when Tivaevae Collectables – Rarotonga attends the Path to Market Auckland 2019 one-day market on April 6 at The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront. Katherine and Anne Reid are the dynamic mother- daughter duo behind Tivaevae Collectables – Raratonga. The beautiful handmade colourful patchwork quilts known as Tivaevae is synonymous with the Cook Islands. The pair have run the business between themselves over the past 12 years, and the business has blossomed in its aim to keep Tivaevae-making alive.
Ms Reid recently returned to the Cook Islands after a stint working for Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and CULT high-end designer furniture. As part of the Path to Market 2019 programme Ms Reid wants to take the business up a notch. “I will be taking the business to the next level. Very exciting times and (we) are very pleased to be working with Pacific Trade Invest NZ.”
Although the art form is believed to have its origins with the wives of English missionaries and nuns from Tahiti who taught embroidery, needlework, sewing and crochet, the women of the Cook Islands have made Tivaevae an important art form that is uniquely their own.
The word Tivaevae means ‘patches’ referring to patches sewn together. The custom-made pieces are valued treasures often used as gifts on formal or ceremonial occasions such as weddings, funerals and hair-cutting (traditional male first hair cutting ceremony).
Tivaevae Collectables are available in three categories – Handmade Tivaevae in a variety of colours and designs “lovingly crafted by Cook Island women”. The next is Cut and Tacked Tivaevae – the pattern is cut and tacked onto the backing material in Rarotonga. The customer then receives and completes their own Tivaevae. The third is the Machine made Tivaevae for everyday use. The designs are appliqued by machine embroiderers from Penebel, a small village in Bali.
The Reids were astute early on to the burgeoning online opportunities and put the business online. The Tivaevae Collectables website, Facebook and Instagram page all work in promoting the range of Tivaevae bedspreads, cushions, pillow cases, throws and cushion covers, Moana dolls, bed runners, place mats and tablecloths.
“Tivaevae Collectables is ready to expand into other Pacific Islands. We are in many hotels and homes around the Cook Islands and New Zealand and believe Tahiti, Hawaii and many other islands would love to have our products assist in enhancing their client’s Pacific experience.”
“We are very excited to be a part of the Pacific Trade week in April,” Ms Reid says.
For more information please contact Ian Furlong, Trade Development Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org