Our SweetAs Gifts business was born out of a love of Kiwi classic lollies and a desire to make these available as an affordable gift for those who love lollies like we do.
SweetAs Gifts has also been a very personal journey, driven from surviving and living through a natural disaster sequence, moving out of the area I was born and bred in and starting again in in a different city in my 50’s.
SweetAs is owned by me (Sue) and supported my daughters (Kimberley and Stacey). We are also supported in the background by my husband, Gordon.
Gordon and I arrived in Auckland from Christchurch in 2012. We moved for many and mostly obvious reasons, but also because I was unable to get a job of the same calibre post-earthquakes. We wanted a fresh start and we had family in Auckland who were keen for us to be here as well. Our two girls followed within the year, as they finished their tertiary studies.
I didn’t envisage that in many ways the new journey would be just as traumatic as what we had run away from. Although I got a good job pretty much immediately, Gordon was unemployed for eight months and this coincided with the Auckland housing market “taking off”. We were shut out of the market as early as 2012 and now, after having owned our own home all our lives, we are here in Auckland renting and knowing we will never afford a house in this city.
No one could ever have told me how homesick I would be for my beloved Christchurch, how guilty I would feel for leaving the city in its time of need and my yearning to return. Our girls settled in easily, but we know now that doing what we did is much harder at our age. However, for better or worse, we are here in this beautiful city, at least until we retire, at which point we will move into a more affordable region.
So, SweetAs was born out of my desire to have a passion and a focus again and yes, to put it bluntly, to stop me feeling sorry for myself and my predicament. It was also born out of a need to survive financially and provide an income for my husband and I as we plan a different sort of retirement than the one we had envisioned for ourselves five years ago.
I am absolutely passionate about SweetAs. For the first time in my life I know what people mean when they say that if you love what you do it doesn’t feel like working.
I never dreamt there would be so much to it though. I spent many months on the concept and Kimberley setup the website and we went “live”. But of course no one knew we were there. I remember being so disappointed because we had no website visits and Kimberley saying “well what did you expect mum, that everyone would all of a sudden know that I had opened a business?” I was certainly naïve and didn’t realise just how much marketing you need to do. I am so lucky to have the girls in this regard, being social media savvy, and Kimberley in particular has been on a huge learning journey with SEO, she is doing us proud.
SweetAs is growing and we are constantly refining, changing, adding, removing and marketing. Have I mentioned we are marketing, marketing marketing…