DiscoverThe Back Story
The Back Story

The Back Story

Author: Roar Collective

Subscribed: 1Played: 12


Welcome to the podcast that shares ‘The Back Story’ on Whanganui’s New Entrepreneurs. Listen to the stories of the creative innovators and entrepreneurs who are sparking a new vibe in this beautiful city. Whanganui is humming with energy and collaboration, driven by brave people doing fun things and living awesome lives.

You know the businesses and you know the brands, now learn about the people behind them - who they are, where they come from, their ideas, their successes, their failures and the threads that bind and empower them. Each episode, proudly recorded at the Backhouse on Taupo Quay, hosted by Christina Emery, builds on the last to show the character and drive behind these businesses that, combined, are adding a new dimension to what has always made this place special.

He aha te mea nui o te ao? Māku e kī atu, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
What is the most important thing in this world? It is people, it is people, it is people.
7 Episodes
Growing a business in lactation cookies might sound a little left field, but bear with us on this one. Victoria Handley is not only selling her food to mums around NZ, but she’s a super inspiring mother herself doing amazing things for others in their motherhood journeys.    Victoria is the woman behind Milk It, Baby, which has expanded from lactation food products to also include a fast growing, supportive online community. In this episode of The Back Story, Victoria talks about discovering lactation foods, her own struggles with motherhood, and how she’s carving out a place to encourage and support others.   She talks candidly about selling breastfeeding food products, but also using her own (unpleasant) experience with breastfeeding to support others like her.  This is a story about the realities of running a business and how to overcome challenges you didn’t even know existed, juggling business and childcare, all while proudly representing the local community that helped to get her off the ground in the first place.   Milk It, Baby:
Today's episode features Geoff Mackintosh  - one of those guys who likes to figure out how to do everything himself.    A designer by trade, Geoff’s eye for a project has seen him get into furniture building, property development, building fit outs, he’s owned and run restaurants...he even developed the reusable Bullet coffee cups and built his own speed boat. You get the feeling he’d succeed in anything he wanted.   His dedication to making things happen means he’s super creative, is thorough when it comes to due-diligence and he’s constantly thinking outside the box to bring ideas to life. The fact he does all this from his home in Whanganui is just further proof of the kind of guy he is. But behind the success he’s had is the simple fact that he’s just taking on projects he enjoys and that support his lifestyle.   Bullet Cup: MDesign:   
It sounds strange hearing Karen Sewell talk about how her decision to start Honest Kitchen was a risk. Honest Kitchen has been such a success of Whanganui’s own healthy, hearty, pre-ordered meal service, that it now has lines out the door most days.   A passionate believer in good people and good food, Karen’s story of growing one of the city’s most popular eateries is a little different to most. Its building is unorthodox, its method is modern, but its popularity is unquestionable.   She talks about the challenges of setting up a business in Whanganui, innovating into the online, pre-ordered space and her philosophy when pulling together a team.  Once again, passion has played a key role in overcoming obstacles, and Karen’s determination and creativity really comes through.   This episode of The Back Story is a great example of seeing an opportunity and figuring out how to execute it. Karen talks about how she took a leap of faith, and the steps she’s taken to grow Honest Kitchen into one of Whanganui’s must-see (and must-taste) eateries.    Honest Kitchen: 
This episode features two of the four lads, Andrew and Hami, in a really frank and open conversation about a hobby that’s become a business.  From a generic brew kit in someone’s garage to the taps of the city’s coolest bars, Lads is a little more than the average homebrew. These four guys have quickly become the local drop of choice around Whanganui...and can you believe, all while doing it as a side project from their day jobs.   There’s a whole lot that goes into a brewery, but the easily relatable Lads makes it seem like anyone could do it. They talk about what it’s actually like - how they figured out how to brew,  how they’ve engineered their own equipment (a lot of ingenuity), and how they’ve done it slowly but surely, making sure they tick off all the important boxes along the way.    They’ve also tapped into some magic along their business journey;  they have been fully embraced by the local community. The Lads Brewery story is one of innovation, persistence and patience, and the result is a fast-growing business, product range and following that’s getting stronger every day.    Lads Brewing Company: 
Sam Su'a  |   The Studio

Sam Su'a | The Studio


If you want to hear about passion and drive, you want to hear from Sam Su’a. It takes a whole lot of passion to make it in the hairdressing world, and Sam is living proof that hard work is the key to living your dreams.   Sam left Whanganui at 19 to make a name for himself in hairdressing, and he reached some amazing heights with one of New Zealand’s top studios. He’s now found himself drawn home again, and is helping to revitalise Whanganui with his own salon, The Studio.   Sam talks about discovering his creativity and the challenges in growing a name for himself in a competitive industry. He also goes into the highlights of directing fashion shows and designing editorials, as well as the challenges in becoming a business owner and the joy he gets from teaching others. Sam’s story is one of living your best life, but also the never ending value of people and community. The joy he gets from other people is so heartening, and it’s amazing to hear how someone can reach such amazing heights, only to come back full circle and find such incredible value in the place where it all started, home.    The Studio: 
Lee Williams  |  Paetuia

Lee Williams | Paetuia


Welcome to the very first episode of The Back Story. To kick start this series we are delighted to share this special episode from a really special person – Lee Williams. You don’t meet people like Lee everyday. She has a warmth and an enthusiasm that lights up the room, and underneath that is a fierce determination to do well in whatever she’s doing.    Lee Williams has such an incredible belief in people,  and hearing her talk about her journey and her values is a privilege.    Lee has been sewing and designing costumes for the likes of Weta, The Royal NZ Ballet, World of Wearable Art and so much more for more than 20 years. She’s now back home in Whanganui as the founder of Paetuia, where she’s teaching all those amazing skills to locals from a central workshop.    She talks a lot about family and community, and the draw of home. Lee’s respect for all people means she gets it back in spades, including from the local business community too. She paints an amazing picture of what makes Whanganui such a special place with an incredible insight and understanding that we can all benefit from.    Paetuia Studio: 
Welcome to The Back Story, a podcast by Whanganui & Partners and produced by Roar Collective.  Listen to the stories of the creative innovators and entrepreneurs who are sparking a new vibe in this beautiful city. Whanganui is humming with energy and collaboration, driven by brave people doing fun things and living awesome lives.
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