Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Aucklanders & Other Kiwis Blog

Michelle Joe on Crafting a New Business Life in Tauranga
21 February 2019
Michelle Joe on Crafting a New Business Life in Tauranga

Waikato-raised, Michelle Joe, dreamed of doing her own thing one day.  So, when she felt the pull to move back to the North Island after working in digital communications in Christchurch for a number of years, she decided to take the plunge and start her own freelance business at the same time.

Tauranga was in driving distance of family in Auckland and Taranaki, and, as a growing city, offered the lifestyle perks and entrepreneurial culture that would support her and her new venture. Michelle arrived in Tauranga in October 2018, and has hit the ground running offering digital marketing consulting to local start-ups and small businesses throughout New Zealand, through her business, Craft 'n Connect.

This is her story.

Michelle, what drew you to studying communications?

At school, I loved Drama, English and Media Studies and these subjects naturally lead me to the communications degree at AUT.  However, at the time I was actually tossing up between going to Unitec to do a screen acting degree or a communications degree at AUT. After much deliberation, I decided to go with communications and continue acting on the side. However, I think either would have been an amazing experience! 

Where has your communications career taken you?

After university, I landed my first job at an audio and video post production company in Auckland. I was in an Audio Producer role where I took care of the day-to-day running of the studio, bookings, dealing with freelancers, sound engineers and voice talent, and managing client relationships. I also helped source voice talent for various commercials at a sister company located within the same office space. This role equipped me with some fantastic skills, industry connections and experience. 

Itchy feet kicked in during my mid twenties and my partner and I both wanted to travel but also be able to earn a living so we didn't burn through all our savings. We decided to teach English in China and travel in Asia for a year. We completed a TEFL course and were each offered a role each at a school in Anqing, China (500k inland from Shanghai). We spent 10 months teaching conversational English and travelled to so many incredible places across Asia. I started a blog and documented my travels online at onewaytik.com. This blog has now continued to be a creative project and outlet for me to share inspiring travel and lifestyle stories. 

After my OE, I returned to Auckland and worked in the online space as a Digital Content Producer for a few years.  I was then offered a Digital Account Manager role in Christchurch for an advertising agency, working across some amazing brands and clients. After being in agency-land, I moved over to client side and worked as a Digital Marketer for Woolworths NZ. 

When did you first think about moving to Tauranga?  What was the appeal?

It's so beautiful here! I absolutely love the ocean and the active lifestyle this place lends itself to and there's amazing cafes and boutique shops. But also, my family are all in the North Island (Waikato, Auckland, Taranaki), so after living in Christchurch for several years, I wanted to be back in the North Island.

Can you tell us about the decision to start your own business when you moved to Tauranga?

I had wanted to start something of my own for a long time but didn't know what exactly, or where and how I would do it. But I seriously started planning and thinking more about it a year ago.   I can do what I do from anywhere, so I chose somewhere I would be happy living. I saw a great opportunity to service the emerging niche market of start-ups in Tauranga.  

Staring your own business is challenging, but I have managed to help a few local clients with their online presence, which is great and rewarding!   Small Business Tauranga and local 'meet-up' groups have been helpful ways of making connections.

How would you describe your business, Craft ’n Connect?

Craft 'n Connect is a content creation and social media marketing consultancy focused on helping other small businesses and start-ups tell their story and build their online presence.  Services include website content writing, social media, interviews for articles, blog posts, copy writing for eDMs, content strategy or one on one training sessions. We customise a solution to tailor each client. 

What do you love about living in Tauranga?

The ocean, active lifestyle, the beautiful Mount, amazing cafes, boutique stores and the overall beach vibe.  I live in Mount Maunganui and for fun and to relax I like visiting the beach, doing yoga, going to the gym, hiking, surfing, listening to music, dancing, writing, socialising, watching films and trying new food places.

What has moving to Tauranga meant:

For your career? It's a great place to start a small business.  This place is growing with more entrepreneurs, start-ups and it offers creative space for me to focus on my business this year. All while, still managing to have a good work-life balance

For your wellbeing?  It's been positive for my health and wellbeing. I stay pretty active with the beach and the Mount on my doorstep. I have more time for myself and balance in my daily life. I have a renewed appreciation and excitement when I get away to big cities, which is great.  

For your relationships? Moving to Tauranga has given me the chance to see my family who are all in the north island within driving distance, but also connect with old friends again whilst continuing to form new friendships locally in Tauranga. 


Gets You Thinking Doesn't It?

No-one can tell you when you're ready for a change of lifestyle...but when you are, we'd love to have you in Tauranga!

1. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TaurangaWelcomesYou

2. Subscribe to our montly e-newsletter to receive stories just like this one about people who have already made the big move you are thinking of making. 

3. Have a story to share? We love sharing your sea-change or homecoming stories. Email me at kathryn@priorityone.co.nz to start a conversation.

Meet Kathryn Overall
Explore www.wishyouwereworkinghere.co.nz


Looking for work in Tauranga?

Send me your CV and a 100 word bio and we will send it out to local businesess who are on the lookout for good people. Priority One is not a recruitment agency, but as the economic development agency for the region we seek to make connections for people where we can. There is no charge for this service.

Email me at annie@priorityone.co.nz.

Annie Hill | Priority One
Communications/Project Manager

Contact Annie

Contact Annie

Need help? Contact Annie

Send us your 100 word bio and we will send it out to local businesses who are on the lookout for good people! annie@priorityone.co.nz

Tauranga Welcomes You

Tauranga Welcomes You


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About Kathryn

About Kathryn


Kathryn Overall is the friendly voice behind the 'Wish You Were Working Here' stories and Facebook posts.  Each month she chats with returned Kiwi expats,  Auckland imports and New Zealand immigrants who have moved to Tauranga, collecting their stories and advice to share with you. 

CLICK HERE to read her own story of reluctant homecoming!


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