The Power of Passion

The Power of Passion

By Ella Sage

Most Kiwi kids are no strangers to small towns and all the bittersweet feelings that come from living in them. It’s tricky to find something to be passionate about, but once you do, beautiful things happen. Monique van der Westhuizen moved from South Africa to the small Mackenzie Country town of Twizel when she was five, and the passion she has found for her community and environment has turned her into a powerhouse in female-driven enterprise.

“…being able to channel positive things to make a product is really important.”

Channel these things she does – not only into her dream product, a “new type of art paintbrush that has interchangeable heads to reduce waste,” with “handles made out of customisable plant-based resin,” but also in her community and skincare focussed soaps – “but it isn’t just soap. All our ingredients are locally sourced and focus on skincare. So, we try to help people with eczema, psoriasis, sensitive skin, and acne. A lot of research went into our product, and we have a lot of happy, recurring customers. And we managed to make our production zero-waste, which was important to us.” The heart and thought that she’s put into her product has been recognised on a national level and is inspiring to youth around the country.

Her business, Gold Tiki Venture, was created as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme, a program that allows year 11-13 students the opportunity to set up a business as part of their schooling. “I chose to take up business and start Gold Tiki in level 2. I’ve always kind of had a thing for business because my dad’s in the industry.

“I love art and the environment, and this year, I loved skincare and our community. So being able to channel positive things to make a product is really important.”