The Rozcraft story is a unique one indeed - it's a story about people and it's a story about New Zealand. The longevity of the business has come from hand-making quality goods in New Zealand, and innovation to ensure we can continue to sell them. The products are made in New Zealand, by hand, by real people that live in NZ and are proud to represent NZ with what they make - not by a robot in a foreign land operated by a person that doesn't even know where NZ is. The range has evolved over time and is loved by New Zealanders just as much as visitors from all over the world.
Roz started the business when she was expecting her third child in 1976. From a bag of yellow sheepskin offcuts she bought for $2, Roz made 'sulphur bugs' for the then famous Toot n Whistle Railway in Rotorua - at home on her kitchen table. Souvenir wholesale supply has been the main stay of the business ever since (pre Covid 19 at least) and we now provide the widest variety of New Zealand made products seen on the souvenir market shelves. It is not an easy thing to do and has become even more challenging over the last 15 years as more and more very low priced items have arrived on our shores from factories overseas, while NZ wage rates have risen and production jobs, especially sewing, have become less attractive to school leavers and job seekers. The days of everyone in New Zealand learning to sew at school are over, it's far easier to go to the store and buy a new one! Many companies that used to manufacture souvenirs in NZ have now closed down.
But with this challenge has come opportunity. Locals and visitors alike are growing tired of shelves of mass produced items made in acrylic materials. Tourists don't want to fly 10,000km and take a "souvenir of New Zealand" home with them that was made in a factory closer to their own country than it is to New Zealand.
We're also now in a unique position of being able to supply the craft materials we use in our own manufacturing for education and home use - using our materials and experience to help others bring out their own creative side - something we couldn't do if all our products were coming in ready made from overseas.
In the 90's our Contemporary Korowai were spotted in shops by school and early childhood teachers, they approached us about making more products and now our range of Maori clothing items, kete and poi forms one of the biggest parts of our turnover. Located in Rotorua - the heart of Maoridom, Roz has been able to work with friends, customers, Maori Elders and particularly staff to create a range that is loved by New Zealanders and affordable for people from all walks of life. We don't claim our Korowai are traditionally woven or take 6 months to make - we leave that to the experts. We combine new materials like faux fur with traditional materials like feathers to create a product that can be made quickly and sold at a price that reflects that. The feedback we receive from customers is incredible "So happy, I can not believe the quality for the price", "I am literally crying tears of joy as I write this". We love being able to fill this need and hear how happy people are. Some of the country's top Kapa Haka groups are now decked out in outfits we have made them.
We're also able to supply schools and centre's with items like our heuristic play baskets and woven borders to give their centre's a natural NZ look because we already have the materials and experience from our manufacturing.
We operate from a factory in Rotorua's industrial area employing 6 full time staff and approximately 35 outworkers. The majority of the production is done by the outworkers in their own homes and they are paid for the amount of products they make. We store, cut and pack the materials in the factory, they are delivered to the outworkers house and collected as the finished product - or sometimes they will go to another outworkers house for the next stage in production. The outworkers are paid by the piece rather than per hour. Lots of our outworkers started off when they were raising or expecting children and looking to be able to earn from home - just like Roz did when she started the business 44 years ago. Our longest serving outworker has been with us for 29 years.
Outwork provides flexibility but it does require self discipline - and it's not so great when we're flat out in our busy Christmas season and the kids want to go to the beach! Roz is still the owner of the business and constantly training new outworkers and checking their quality.
We hope you enjoy our new website and the products on it, please contact us if you have any questions.