Kia mau Ki Ngaa Ma'i Toi
Hold Steadfast to Creativity
Good to Know
Kia ora whanau! my name is Ricole Tongaawhikau and I whakapapa to our beautiful maunga Taranaki and have had the pleasure of representing our rohe Aotea at Te matatini Kapa Haka Nationals. Along my journey as an artist and kapa haka performer I have always dreamed of starting my own business and in 2015 I have realized that dream. You might ask why I started with compression or sports wear even though I might be a full bodied Maori woman, well the answer is simple. I love performing kapa haka, going to the gym and being active and I know my Tuutuu Maori sisters are the same (plus they ae better than me and actually play sports). Being active and feeling good isn't exclusive to the fit few, we all need the right gear to do what we love and do it well.
Compression wear drys quickly and wicks the sweat away from your body so your clothing doesn't become wet and make you feel cold, it reduces odor from sweating (which after being in the hall for a few hours during Kapa is a necessity) in addition it keeps everything nice and tight to help train your body and keep you comfortable. I wore the gear for a few months before I made my decision and tried a number of products, finding this to be best for me. I added my own Maori touch to the design and as Ka Pai Jo (KPJ) researched and developed what I call Taatai compression wear.
My designs. New Zealand is a melting pot of nationalities and inspiration and this is what my designs are about. Ka Pa Jo apparel is designed to be multi-functional and useful in New Zealand climates, in other words our gear is created by Kiwi's for Kiwis, to do every day Kiwi stuff. I want to an design with an emphasis on whanaungatanga “inclusiveness” and present people with my unique designs.
I am passionate about our NZ taonga, so along side my designs I also offer authentic Pounamu pendants and bone carving crafted in Taranaki NZ