Pōtiki Poi was founded by then 12-year-old Georgia Latu, who had a dream of seeing poi for sale in shops all over New Zealand.
Three years later her dream is about to become a reality, with her poi soon to be swinging in and off shelves in Countdown supermarkets all over the nation.
Latu is now 15 and her mother Anna Latu said “It was quite a hard case seeing my 15-year-old daughter talking business and sitting at the table with a Countdown CEO discussing, if we make our poi this price, will we make a profit? It's pretty exciting. I don't know the exact numbers but we definitely are making a profit three years into this business. We're successful, which is pretty exciting."
Georgia Latu started the business in 2019, with the name Pōtiki Poi to acknowledge her youngest sibling's Down Syndrome (also known as Api Syndrome) as Latu said “It sounded a lot more positive than being down."
Dreams become reality for Georgia Latu.
Anna Latu says like all whānau, they have their highs and lows.
"Georgia and I have created a solid mother-daughter relationship but our whole whānau unit is involved in this. This is not only a business but also it's a whānau business.
Now Georgia Latu has just signed a contract with Countdown and Pōtiki Poi is now recognised as the largest Aotearoa original poi manufacturer in the world, supplying thousands of poi to organisations and events such as the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup, to be hosted here.
Georgia said "Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini" na reira ko te whakamahi i o mātau ake matauranga kia whakatō ai nga kākano ki roto i te poi kia huakina ngā ara hōu, kia hīkoi i nga hīkoi hou”
("Success is not the work of an individual, but the work of many," so using our own knowledge to plant the seeds into the poi to open new paths, to walk new walks.)
In the coming months, this taonga from Pōtiki Poi will be seen in up to 30 Ccountdowns.