Stephen was raised in Punaruku, Whangaruru. As a young boy, Stephen always had a passion for art, drawing, whakairo and all things māori. Whilst in Australia he continued to draw and design art, and when he returned home a whānau member suggested to him that he should look at design and screen printing, and so his passion for their new business pathway was founded.
Charlee says “We spent a bit of time talking to whānau and we began doing some research into equipment and clothing suppliers. It was a good business for us to get into as the initial capital start up wasn’t over the top, and was within a budget we thought we could take on.”
“With Stephen having a background in art and design, we were excited about developing our own brand.”
“Soil and Sand” have also been selling and promoting screen printing services which they currently do for local clothing labels “Hostile Clothing”, “East Bound Clothing” and the “Hori Collective” to name a few.
Charlee says “The ultimate for us would to just be selling our own brand and totally focus on promoting that, but at this stage as a new business we do provide screen printing services to have this as a revenue stream for our business, which is keeping us very busy.”
“Soil and Sand” has been seen at all the recent festivals from Waitangi Day, Fritter Festival, HikaFest and Te Tai Tokerau Festival.
They have also had some high profile sporting celebrities wearing the brand, with the likes of Dame Valerie Adams (Olympic shotput), her brother Stephen Adams (International Basketball star) and Adam Blair (NZ Rugby League) all seen wearing the “Soil and Sand” clothing label.
The brand name “Soil and Sand” was inspired by both Stephen and Charlee’s upbringing and love for the outdoors.
Charlee grew up inland on farms, with parents involved in the farming and shearing industry with their links back to the land, hence the kupu “Soil”.
Stephen grew up in the heartland of Ngātiwai, Whangaruru, with his obvious links to our moana and coastline hence the kupu “Sand”.
Stephen says “Being away from home for almost a decade made us appreciate where we were from and what is important in life. Here in Aotearoa we are spoilt with such beautiful lush native bush and abundance of kai moana in our sea. Soil and sand is our whakapapa, it connects us to our people, the land and the sea. We love being home on our soil and sand.”
Stephen and Charlee thank all their whānau and friends who have supported their mahi since returning home and are excited about the future of their clothing label – “Soil and Sand”!
Call 022 169 0542
Ko Huruiki te maunga
Ko Mokau te awa
Ko Whenuaroa te waka
Ko Mokau te marae
Ko Te Uri o Hikihiki te hapū
Ko Ngātiwai te iwi
Ko Waipu te tangata
Ko Houpeke raua ko Mere Piripi oku maatua tupuna moe mai ra i te moenga roa
Ko Stephen Taua toku ingoa
Me noho kotahi te whānau mo ake tonu atu
(Families can be together forever)