The why behind Puhi & Toa

Nau mai haere mai ki te pae tukutuku o Puhi and Toa!  


There is so much meaning and drive behind why we started Puhi and Toa, so what better way to share our kaupapa than to start writing about it regularly through a blog. Let’s start with some basics:

Who created Puhi and Toa why?

Puhi and Toa was created by a solo mum, Julia, and her son, Manaiah in Aotearoa (aka New Zealand). We created this brand because of our challenges.


We have both struggled with mental distress.

We have both struggled to realise our greatness.

We both bought into the lie and illusion that we were not good enough.


It is because of our challenges that we decided to seek a better path. This journey is helping us to tap into our greatness and unlimited potential.  We are learning about who we really are and what we are capable of, despite our challenges.


Last year my son was struggling so much so, that he no longer wanted to be in this world. When the time was right, I sat him down and said, “How can we best respond to this challenge? How can we use our experiences to help other people that have similar struggles?” His response was, “We could help other kids and adults that struggle like I do, how about we send them gift packages?” And so that’s what we did.  We thought about other kids that were in similar situations e.g single-parent families, those feeling down etc. and we created gifts that had meaning.


We wanted them to feel special, important, and know that someone was thinking of them.  We also wanted to remind them that they are unique, amazing, and have unlimited potential. We sent them an anonymous gift package with meaning every week for a month.  We loved it.  It not only made us feel good, but we found out later that the kids loved it too. 


It is from this experience, that we decided to create Puhi (princess) and Toa (warrior).  This brand is about uplifting and empowering people to see past their perceived deficits, weaknesses, and mistakes.  It’s all about focusing on our strengths, talents, and our unlimited potential to grow and expand. It’s about creating and becoming the best version of ourselves that we can be. We are offering products and services that can assist people in their path of discovery and expansion.

We will be sharing different experiences around our journey of growth with the hope that it can help others to find their light


P.S While this blog is about focusing on strengths and what we are becoming, there are topics and personal experiences that will be touched on to help readers understand where we have come from. 

Maori, New Zealand, women, solo mum/parents, addiction, Maori & eating disorders, poor, down trodden, anxious, depressed, worry, stress, lonely, prideful, high school drop out, feeling dumb, lack confidence, fear of public speaking, fear of failure, indigenous peoples, impacts of colonisation, criminal records, single, not married, beneficiary, mental distress (aka mental illness), stigma, youth, suicidal, family of mentally distressed, marginalised groups e.g Maori,disability, LGBTQ.


  • I am so grateful I have come across this beautiful kaupapa. TINO ATAAHUA

  • Love it for so many reasons. Awesome mahi!

    Rachel Harrison
  • What a strong and beautiful message and service. I absolutely love this. I think it was Morgan Freeman who said “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time”.

    Amber Carroll
  • What a strong and beautiful message and service. I absolutely love this. I think it was Morgan Freeman who said “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time”.

    Amber Carroll
  • I think what you are both doing is amazing! I have purchased two of your plushies and they hang proudly in my bedroom where I get to gaze at them every day and every night. I love them because they bring me peace, comfort and happiness so thank you. Please keep doing what your doing because your making a difference to people’s lives 💕


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