Local Business Boasts U2 As New Customer

Posted by on Dec 01, 2010 | Leave a Comment

The first call from Universal Studios went unanswered. The second one, a few minutes later, suggested a certain amount of urgency may have been in the air. So Goina Thedinga of aotearoa.co.nz picked up the phone.

A week, some panic and several thousand dollars later, Goina had provided the four members of U2 and their manager with a stunning gift from Universal Studios; each had received a greenstone mere, bedded in black satin and presented inside a rimu box, exquisitely wrapped.

A mere, similar to those given to each member of U2

A mere, similar to those given to each member of U2

The band were so thrilled with their gift that they insisted on taking them with them for the rest of the tour, rather than having them sent back to their home, as is the usual practice.

Universal Studios were understandably over the moon, particularly as they had given Goina less than 24 hours notice of some of their requirements.

Goina’s business reflects a tremendous opportunity that is presenting itself to small New Zealand-based artists and crafts people; an online, up market gift shop with foot traffic potential of several hundred million.

Sourcing a variety of different locally crafted works, Goina provides these small businesses with an online retail shop through which they can sell to a global audience of web users.  And who should come knocking on Goina’s virtual door last week? None other than U2’s record company, looking for something indigenous to present to the band as a memento of their concerts in New Zealand. And how else would they have found her other than on the web?

Not that this is aotearoa’s first brush with the famous; previous clients have included the A list of the A list – Bill Clinton and Julia Roberts for example.

Typically for a Kiwi (although her native land is Holland) Goina is modest about her achievements. “I don’t really like to talk about the famous clients” she told The Speculator who had her arm twisted up behind her back before she finally relented.

While she missed the actual presentation of the mere to the band, she said it “was a lot of fun” being involved in such a significant event, and galvanising her suppliers to provide what she needed in super fast time. “Grant Nicholls provided the mere, although he only had four in stock. He had to make a fifth from scratch in less than a week.”

Similarly with the rimu boxes, Goina had less than 24 hours to find them, get them approved by Universal, have them prepared and then delivered to Universal’s office in central Auckland. This was made more tricky when her supplier refused to send them by courier for fear that they might get damaged.

Nevertheless, with a few hours to spare, Goina was able to deliver the mere and the boxes to a grateful Universal, who were even more chuffed after the band clearly responded to the gift. The exact words from Universal’s representative were: “The band absolutely LOVED the mere” !!

U2 had a little lamb, but they really wanted mere.

U2 had a little lamb, but they really wanted mere.

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