Creative, crafty kid turned fashion designer turned communications agency co-founder, wife and mother, Claire Conza eventually broke down under the pressure of life and striving for success in a direction that she had lost connection with. Being forced to stop allowed her to really think about what she was doing with her life and WHY.
Claire spent 18 months searching for her purpose, listening to the little voice, connecting ideas, figuring out how she could use her skills, talents and experience to do something good, something that mattered to her and improved the lives of other people.
This journey lead her to dream up a movement called Make Give Live which is establishing strong roots as a sustainable Social Enterprise.
Make Give Live started in 2016 with a session up in the Whangaparaoa library with a few passionate knitters who were curious about this crazy idea she'd created an event for on the local Facebook group. As word got around more makers joined and they seemed to really enjoy the sessions, connection and making. As people followed the story online they were eager to support and get their hands on gorgeous beanies and be part of the movement too.
Co-founder Becky Smith discovered Make Give Live at a market and through hearing Claire's story fell in love with the concept. She loved the idea of using knitting groups, that she had been longing to create since moving to NZ after a somewhat isolating expat life, as a catalyst for connection and kindness in our communities. She soon had a group up and going in her local cafe in Birkenhead, and has since been instrumental in the growth of Make Give Live to having 10 groups and over 100 makers.
Sales have steadily increased through markets in the early days, online sales and now wholesaling to retail stores. It's a constant balancing act to grow sales and making capacity in sync and ensure that the enjoyment and wellbeing aspect for the group members is always the priority and purpose to exist.
As awareness grows, helped by some supportive media publications sharing our story, over 200 keen makers have signed up on the website to be part of groups around NZ. There is much work to be done to create groups for these interested people, and grow at a steady pace. We appreciate the help of everyone helping us to achieve our goal of Make Give Live groups in most towns across NZ.