If you’re looking for a home in high fashion in New Zealand your mind can easily wander to the likes of Ponsonby in Auckland or the streets of Wellington.
Not many would think of the small East Coast town of Ōpōtiki.
Home to delicious seafood and beautiful wildlife, and a main drag shop that pushes the eastern Bay of Plenty town into the world of fashion.
Twenty -four -year -old Jakob Carter makes evening wear designed for international catwalks and celebrities.
“That’s one thing I try to do with all my collections is to create something new and different to give people a wow experience,” Carter said.
After founding his company for five years, Jakob’s label offers candles and perfume as well as high-end fashion. His products are available in 150 stores nationwide.
“Honestly, city vibe is great but I didn’t grow up in the city. I get my full creativity from my hometown. I was inspired by the people, the sights and a lot of different things. This is a great place for a designer to grow. ”
His most recent collaboration is with homegrown Kiwi musician Stan Walker.
“I think I made up about a 15-page proposal and sent it to his manager and then I was at the airport one day and got a phone call from his manager and said we would do it and just remembered I was hopping around the airport. ”Carter said.
Carter said the most enjoyable working days are the ones he spends helping the production line. At one point, the brand was able to make a thousand bottles of perfume a day.
After seeing success over the past few years, Carter aims to expand his brand to Australia, Europe, and the UK in the coming months.
“Over the last year and a half, we’ve struggled to keep sales even more surprising, and growth has really been the hardest part. One thing I’ve realized is that we’ve definitely been able to grow and expansion from here to Ōpōtiki.It’s something I don’t know if I can.
“A lot of people have told me it’s never going to work. I think we are the perfect example of doing something big from a small town. You can get absolutely anything you want from anywhere you want in the world. You just have to do it. ”