AboutMy Love for All Things New Zealand
Kiwi Crossing began as an idea while travelling to New Zealand. I have run several businesses and owned my own for 14 years in Seattle. After closing the shop in 2018 I wanted to do something with nature, sustainability, and innovation on a more global scale. After researching jobs, finding some great companies, and applying for employment with absolutely no luck because I was not a techie, I began to explore the idea of an online business.
On my second visit to New Zealand in 2019, I accepted a job offer, applied for a work visa, did the medical exam, background check and waited for my work visa. In the meantime I started selling my personal belongings and getting my house ready for sale. I was ready to move permanently. After several months of waiting I received a letter from Immigration New Zealand stating my work visa was turned down because they did not feel that the employer advertised the position properly to give a Kiwi a fair chance at getting the job. So what to do? I decided to continue with my plans to sell my belongings and my house, go to New Zealand, spend a longer time there and look for a job in person.
I arrived in New Zealand in late January, 2020 after travelling to Australia for a month during the worst fires in New South Wales. Once I arrived in NZ, I looked for a job for a month with no luck. My friend talked me into buying a little campervan and touring the South Island. I had only seen Auckland and some surrounding area. I flew to Christchurch, picked up a van and off I went for an adventure for a month. What a beautiful country. Also during my travels I found more ideas for my online business. Possum wool apparel is very popular and practical in New Zealand. So I started looking at these items while I travelled. I contacted and stopped in to manufacturers when I was in their area. I bought lots of samples for myself to try and a few for my friends. On my way back to Auckland to fly out at the end of March, 2020 Covid-19 lockdown happened. My flight was cancelled and my visa extended for 6 months. I had plenty of time to think about the new business during this time since I wasn’t going anywhere. Also it was a good thing I bought some samples to wear because we were going into winter. I needed some warmer clothes.
After lockdown was over and we were free to travel about again, I contacted the manufacturers and continued to pursue the online business. With some help from my friends in the States, phone calls and research was done to get the business going. My extended visa was extended again because there were still no flights to the States. This is when Kiwi Crossing was officially started. I have worn the possum wool socks and sweaters everyday. So I can tell you from experience that it is a quality product. I have tramped through forests, over beaches, and done the Tongariro Crossing, a 1.2 mile high volcano in the North Island, in my possum wool socks and sweater.
The irony of the story is that if I had not been here in New Zealand to travel the country, see and live the campervan lifestyle, tramped the famous walks, met with the manufacturers, and worn the apparel everyday Kiwi Crossing would not be a business. My friend jokes with me that the country that said no to me moving here and not let me in is the country I cannot leave now because of Covid. How ironical. Lucky me I get to live in New Zealand and experience a Kiwi life for a while. Lucky you for Kiwi Crossing. I hope you enjoy the apparel as much as I have. I love it and wear it everyday.