The story of Kapu Uku begun in February 2018. Inspired by the reduce, reuse and recycle movement that is currently taking New Zealand by storm. Alex and Lee set out to make a reusable travel cup.
The result was Kapu Uku, a portable piece of art that can be functionally used in day to day life.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF KAPU UKU
Initial trials of the cups brought rave reviews. However, no one liked the cups lids. The Kapu Uku had to be perfect. With determination and the help of a knowledgeable design engineer, we decided to find a specialist lid manufacturer.
Much like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, none of the lid manufacturers they found were quite right. When the engineer discovered a suitable lid, the project was back on track. However, the supplier's minimum order quantity was much more than we could afford. It was back to the drawing board.
After many late-night internet searches and a lot of persistence, the perfect lid was found. Alex got to work, throwing the clay to make the perfect cup to fit the lid. After several months of trials, Alex struck gold and produced several mugs that fit the lid perfectly. We were ecstatic - we finally had our clay cup process ready for production!
Now it was time for the fun part - creating the decorative designs. With too many to choose from, we found a solution. Each month a new design is released. Only a limited range of each design is sold. This means each cup is fresh and unique.
With the cups crafted, their lids on and designs settled it was time to name them. Since January 2018, we have been working alongside several local entrepreneurs who have been using their products to encourage the use of Māori language. Lee had also been studying Te Reo Māori at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa for the past year.
This was all the inspiration needed to name our cups, Kapu Uku, meaning ‘Clay Cup' in Te Reo Māori. Advice from some local Māori rangatira ensured the tikanga surrounding the use of kupu Māori was appropriate. The feedback was positive and an enthusiastic affirmation of support to move forward with the name. A Kapu Uku logo was designed with the help of local graphic designer, Hika Taewa.
After a chat with the local cafes, we learned that many customers wouldn’t take the box they brought their reusable cups in. Often the customers who buy these products are environmentally aware. To be as environmentally friendly as we can, the Kapu Uku have very minimal packaging.
We are very proud of Kapu Uku. Join us on our Kapu Uku journey through our Instagram and Facebook pages.
Kapu Uku are available to purchase from 15th November 2018 in store at Studio Two or from select suppliers.