Why an iconic Kiwi brand had a name change
After 27 years retailer Texan Art Schools has a new name – it’s Creative & Brave, and reflects what they do perfectly. Started by two hard-working mums in 1991, Creative & Brave’s philosophy has always been to support and provide a place to connect New Zealand’s amazing creative artists, designers, jewellers and ceramicists to […]
After 27 years retailer Texan Art Schools has a new name – it’s Creative & Brave, and reflects what they do perfectly.
Started by two hard-working mums in 1991, Creative & Brave’s philosophy has always been to support and provide a place to connect New Zealand’s amazing creative artists, designers, jewellers and ceramicists to customers wanting a gift with true meaning.
That philosophy has remained all these years and has been embraced by Belinda Fergusson, another hard-working and inspired businesswoman and mum who bought the business in 2014.
Although many Aucklanders become accustomed to who and what Texan Art Schools stood for, the owners always felt that the name was a bit confusing for new customers who were just getting to know them. “They were always asking what we had to do with Texas or Texans! And were we a school? Or did we sell art supplies?,” says Belinda.
Today, Creative & Brave is the market-leading retailer holding true to its origins of selling beautiful New Zealand made or designed products. As well as its popular online store, Creative & Brave now has five stores in Auckland, with a sixth due opening in Commercial Bay next year.
New Zealand creatives selling their wares through Creative & Brave include Flox, Angie Dennis, Glenn Jones Art, Bob Steiner, Dick Frizzell, JS Studios, and others.
“We’re passionate about supporting those people who have been brave enough to believe in their creations and follow their dreams. We believe that inspirational and passionate people can change the world for the better, by making the impossible possible,” says Belinda.
The name Creative & Brave is a better reflection of the stable of New Zealand artists represented in the stores, each with a story and a person behind them.
“For me, I see a face and a person behind each product we sell. I personally know the artist, designer, jeweller, ceramicist or supplier. I’ve been to many of their homes or their studios, which are often in their backyards. They are always such talented and welcoming Kiwis. They are amazing people who have a passion to do something creative and who have been brave enough to follow their dreams and make a living out of it,” says Belinda.
In addition to supporting talented Kiwis, Creative & Brave is proud to support products and causes that offer social good. Like the Te Huia Cushions hand-made by the kuia from Taumarunui – the profits from sales of these are used to assist local youth attend high-level schooling in Auckland. Funds raised from these cushions have assisted in the education of numerous locals, resulting in graduations from Kings College and Auckland Grammar.
Likewise, sales from the Creative & Brave exclusive range of ceramic bird jugs by renowned ceramic artist Bob Steiner will assist the plight of three endangered native birds.
And jeweller Martyn Mulligan from Rinopai is giving back to the environment with his hand-crafted ‘Trio of Leaves’. Each piece of jewellery from this range sold will see a Kahikatea sapling planted in the Kahurangi National Park.
“We may have changed our name but that’s all that’s changed. It’s the same owners, same awesome staff, same stores and definitely still the same amazing artists, designers, jewellers and ceramicists,” Belinda says.
“We love connecting our customers to our creatives. By growing our community of raving fans for NZ creativity, we are helping to grow our artists and makers, allowing them to make a living from what they are passionate about as well as contributing to the good of society in our own small way,” she explains.