Lesley | Manukau

It could have been better. I grew up in poverty, so as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised that in order to build a better life for yourself, you have to get educated, and then go into your preferred field.

That’s what I’ve done, is gotten educated, a business degree, and then went into business. I’ve got my own business here in the Westfield.  

I grew up in gangs. That was my lifestyle. That’s all we knew. So, it was through that strength I was able to go, okay there is a better way, there is a right way, and that was to get educated. Get educated; equip yourself with the knowledge that is out there, and the resources. A lot of people don’t know that, that there are resources out there that can help you and empower you to get to a better place in life.

I went into MIT business degree, a couple of, about four years ago now. Got my education, finished at Auckland Uni, because they didn’t do the degree, double major over there that I wanted. I’m currently qualified as a double major in law and property, but ended up going into gifts, gift business.

I’ve seen that there was a niche. It was a project at first, an assessment, and I’ve seen that there was a niche for gifts for mums. It was around mums, really, and providing the necessities for a mum as a gift. So, I put it together as like, nappy cakes, nappy baskets, things like that, and then it grew from there to wedding gifts, chocolate cakes, bouquets, and things like that, and that’s how it’s grown. I’ve only been in the business for maybe a year now. So, it’s still developing.

I was born in Hawke’s Bay, lived in Flaxmere, Hastings. Values were unity in our family, honesty and just coming together as a family as one, to help us get through life. It was where I came from, is what led me here today. I don’t think I would have changed anything (in my childhood), because it was through those struggles where I learned that, how to get better.  

What could I pass on to empower our children? Probably give them as many resources and support as I can, and love them unconditionally no matter what.”


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