After launching her Makeup & Skincare business in Rarotonga and attending to many eager clients in both Raro and Aotearoa, I was able to sit down with the wonderful Koni Rairoa of Konimaq. A superwoman / super mother, Makeup Specialist, ‘Kuki glasses girl’ and business venture extraordinaire!
She made the move to turn her passion into a reality- a year after quitting her full-time job. Now, her business is flourishing and spreading positive messages of Cruelty-free ‘feel-good’ Makeup and Skincare throughout Rarotonga, Aotearoa and the world!
Early Beginnings, Getting into the industry, The Birth of Konimaq
Surprisingly, Koni did not wear much Makeup until her early twenties and had dreams of becoming a Hairdresser. She became interested in the world of Makeup after continuously watching her two close friends get ready for the day. “Your brushes are an investment so spend money on your brushes and blend blend blend, my sister would say. From there my interest grew and I started playing around and attending Makeup sales” -she remarks.
Koni felt a strong urge to better her knowledge and attend Makeup school however due to other circumstances in her life, decided to postpone her dreams. 4 Years ago she had the opportunity to pursue her passion, by taking night courses relating to Makeup. When asked ‘how she knew Beauty and Makeup was a good market to get into’, she admits that selling was not something she initially thought about when it came to launching her brand. As a qualified Makeup Specialist there were issues she felt, could be improved if she were to deliver her tailored services and create products with her own twist to them.
“What I found with the makeup products within my kit, was that I spent thousands and thousands of dollars in my first year for products, and only 1/10th of the products would be used. I felt, it was a waste of money. So I thought to myself, I’m going to create my own range with colours and shades that I know I will use, and really empower the island glow.”Striving for affordability through alternative payment options and helping people realize the beauty in their Island features through quality products that are long-lasting and truly accentuate the unique features Pacific Islanders have, is a main priority for Konimaq.
The launch of Konimaq: #PassionTurnedIncome
In September 2017 Koni decided to resign from her full-time job to focus more attention on Konimaq. With the development of products and preparations for her launch, other business ventures and an abundant amount of clients to attend to, Koni was definitely one busy woman!
When asked how she manages to deal with many different things at once Koni’s eyes brightened up. Despite all of the stress, she finally has the chance to work on what she is most passionate about. When it comes to keeping her passion going, Koni has her clients to thank. “The look that they have on their faces afterwards is what keeps me motivated and drives me to keep doing what I am doing”.
A year later in September 2018 she launched her brand of products through the business Konimaq. This took place back home in the Cook Islands. Since the launch there have been many more opportunities for Koni to increase her client base and showcase her skills at upcoming festivals. Amongst the whirlwind that comes with ‘work, work, work, work, work-ing’ (props to Rihanna) ,the three things Koni relies on to keep herself from going crazy include:
Scrolling through social media
Behind Konimaq Products: #Skin-matching, #Cruelty Free
As mentioned previously, Konimaq strives to accentuate the beauty that lies in Pacific Island features, as well as the importance of skincare. “When I tell clients what I specialise in, I like to say that I specialise in Skin-like Makeup.” Products that focus on skin-matching and are friendly to the different skin types that people have. “I want people to use my products or come out from my services and have family and friends say things like ‘wow, you look amazing’ rather than ‘wow, you look different’. Because my goal is never to make someone look like who they are not, but to enhance who they already are.”
Along with Skin-matching it is also worth noting that Konimaq products are cruelty free. Coming from the Cook Islands, she has great concern for the reef and animals. Koni aims to only develop products and casings that will not harm wildlife and the environment.
Closing Thoughts: #Advice #FutureThingsToLookForwardTo
Advice Koni has for those who are interested in perfecting their craft includes:
Staying true to yourself.
Sticking to what you know and love and perfecting it.
Not getting distracted with too many ideas. Keep it simple and keep working towards achieving your goals.
With the Christmas season coming up, No business has been left unmarked by the case of “busy-itis”
Upcoming events on Konimaq’s Calendar includes:
Prepping and sending out Christmas orders.
Working with clients for the remainder of the year
Showcasing Koni’s talents and Konimaq products at the Polynesian Summerfest in Melbourne. (8 Dec)
If you know of any family in Melbourne who are looking to attend the Summerfest, it would definitely be worthwhile to check out Koni’s stall!
Koni has striven to turn her dreams into reality. Through strenuous efforts, learning in both the Makeup industry and what it takes to scale during the transition from hobby to business. Konimaq has it’s own unique twist and approach within it’s industry, and is definitely a brand to look out for in the future!
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