For all our followers, who don’t actually know who we are, here is an interview we did a little while a go for Given Goods! Enjoy!
Across the Pacific Ocean and down in the Southern Hemisphere there is a bed of creativity. Fashion forward, cutting edge designs and an eager market for the current trends are defining New Zealand like never before. It is here, in the bustling city of Auckland, that Jason and Jess Holdaway began their business.
FRANK Stationery is more than just cool designs, bold colors and fun accessories—in fact, they are in the first wave of a growing trend of social enterprises in New Zealand. For each product sold, FRANK pledges to donate one to a child at a disadvantaged school on the islands.
”I was introduced to the buy-one-give-one business model a few years ago and loved the potential impact that a business could have through giving back to people in need,” co-founder Jason Holdaway said.
For Jason and his wife Jess, creating awesome products while giving back is the only way to do business. According to the Ministry of Social Development, nearly 20% of children in New Zealand are living below the poverty threshold. That means upwards of 270,000 youths and many of their families are lacking access to basic necessities. Many of these children slip into poverty when the family circumstances change.
“The realization for Jess and me was that we saw first hand what living in poverty meant for young children. For the students who show up to school lacking basic supplies like lunch, stationery and a bag, a fair chance at a good education is low. How can they get ahead not just in their formal education but also in their creative development as a person? We believe that every child is entitled to the best possible start in life, and that’s what FRANK is working towards.”
Named after Jason’s grandfather, a creative amateur (who could also draw a perfect circle free hand) FRANK embodies everything Jason and Jess wanted in their business: it’s open, honest and direct. With a goal to give a backpack and a notebook to every child in need in New Zealand, the Holdaway’s mission is also to spread creativity. As Jason says, “we aim to do this by not just supplying the basic stationery needs, but also encouraging young people through our designs and branding to be creative and to chase after the areas they are passionate about.” And while the buy-to-give movement is just beginning to catch on in New Zealand, the Holdaways say that they have received very positive feedback.
As for the products? They’re top notch. Simple, bold colored notebooks that are neatly sewn-stiched make it easy to be creative. Designed by Jason, a former business owner and finance guru and Jess, a graphic designer, FRANK derives inspiration from the unique culture of their country and city around them.
While the notebooks won’t get you to the lush hills and sheep filled countryside of New Zealand, FRANK products are sure to get the imagination churning. “With everyone’s help we will be giving stationery to the children who need it most,” Jason says. And they’ll continue Spreading Creativity to the next generation of children with the hopes that every child in New Zealand will feel that love and become inspired.