Noa Blanket Co. We’re dedicated to retelling the narratives that make us who we are
Not only in art and textile design but also through media content, spoken language and here in our journal. As we continue to weave the threads of our story into life, we want to share some of the narratives relevant to our experiences, so we’ve created this space as an archive of our written stories and imagery that will be published each year as a way to retell our tales, to celebrate winning, learning and to commemorate each moment of history we make and remake.
The first collection: Huikākahu - The Mantle upon the People.
Our first collection is both a celebration and a commemoration. A mixed bag of feelings erupts as we finally gaze upon the summit of the mountain of work that has been completed in preparation for the launch. We’re excited and exhausted! Although our hearts are full as we reach this milestone, we’re also heartbroken that not everyone could be here to see it. We’ve been humbled by the many learning experiences of this journey so far, incredibly grateful for our close friends and family who continue to support us, and we’re proud to now share a project that has been a labor of love for us, and a commemoration to those who have been instrumental in our lives and the creation of Noa Blanket Co.
Despite 2020 and 2021 being filled with so much turmoil, social unease and uncertainty from Covid, we decided to follow our hearts and work on the foundations of our dream to establish a wool blanket company that is 100% NZ grown, designed and woven - 100% ours. As setup drew to completion and our creative process began to unveil some exciting design drafts for the first collection, we were faced with the traumatic event of losing Whakaawa’s father, Huikākahu Brian Kawe. Huikākahu was a great man who had devoted his life to our family, to our many iwi and hapū, to our tribal affiliations as well as to the wider community. Not only did we find ourselves facing the uncharted waters of the establishment of Noa Blanket Co.,but we also faced an ocean of grief with the loss of Dad.
As we slowly returned back to our work, drawing from our experiences and inspired by Dad’s life story, each of the designs of our first collection drew a parallel to the many life principles he embodied. Whilst carrying a grieving heart, we felt much peace and understanding to confidently progress, putting our best foot forward and to do what we love - share our stories. We hope you too will find a connection with each blanket and the values that underpin them so that you may gain your own perspectives of each story, to share and treasure.
Dad, Kolo, Huikākahu: your legacy lives on, woven into the fabric of our being, of your many mokopuna and now into art that will continue to tell our stories into eternity. Okioki mai e Koro.