Koakoa Design jewellery and accessories were first offered to the public in 2020. Prior to that, founder and creative force behind the brand, Lisa (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Ruanui, Pākeha) had been creating pieces for family and friends for years.
"The inspiration behind the designs comes from both sides of my whakapapa although the influence of my Māori lineage is front and centre. I'm interested in story-telling through design and the stories I'm most interested in currently are about relationships - be it with our environment, ātua, other people or ourselves.
The designs are as much political and cultural statements. They say - this is who I am - engage with me in this knowledge - I stand in this world, unapologetically and proud."