Vaine toa: Eight emerging entrepreneurs named last night

Thursday October 24, 2019 Written by Published in Entertainment
Alex King has been working as a photographer for six years. 19102310 Alex King has been working as a photographer for six years. 19102310

Alex King was sitting in an office working as an admin, when she thought: ‘Do I really want to be sitting at my desk all day?’ That was six years ago.

Last night, reinvented as one of Rarotonga’s top photographers, King was one of eight innovative women nominated for this year’s Jane Barclay Emerging Entrepreneur 2019 Awards. Anneka Brown reports.

Cook Islands’ Business and Professional Women named the nominees at a meet-and-greet function at Muri Beach Club Hotel last night.

The nominees are Amelia Fukofuka-Murare from LeiSanne Events; Reihana Koteka-Wiki of Lilikoi’i Bikini; Kura Manavaroa of Kinit Bunch; Julia Evans of RedPack; Mariana Ross-Ryan of Kai & Co; Chiavanni Le’Mon of Ka Pies; Raukura Ellison of Beauty Products, and Alex King of Alex King Photography.

The awards have been named after BPW’s Jane Barclay, an inspiration for the awards who died two years ago.

BPW president Juanita Wynne said Barclay had a vision of showcasing the achievements of young female entrepreneurs, to give them a platform to kickstart from.

“Jane loved life and lived it to the full and for this reason she would not have wanted this soiree to be a sombre affair but more a celebration of entrepreneurship and our many vaine toa, women in business warriors,” Wynne said.

“We knew it would be a fitting tribute to name of the awards after Jane as she continues to help us in spirit to celebrate women in business in the Cook Islands.”

Each nominee will attend a private interview with a panel of judges chosen from the business community, with the winner to be named on November 15.

This year’s nominees are an impressive group, many of whom have been profiled in the Cook Islands News, or will be in coming weeks.

Alex King is one such: Since moving back to Rarotonga almost five years ago she began photographing weddings because of the huge wedding market in Rarotonga.

Next year in May, King will be exhibiting some of her work at the Contact photography festival in Toronto, Canada as one of the top finalists. These photographs showcase a story

of traditional culture and knowledge, featuring her portraits of artist and sculptor Mike Tavioni.

“Photography is something I can take anywhere in the world with me, it’s flexible and I can work for myself and I can actually be involved in things I’m passionate about whether its fashion, weddings, capturing stories of people, travel and animal welfare,” she said.

King said her inspiration behind her photography business was being a single mother.

“Photography was a way for me to get myself up on my feet and make something of myself and I wanted to put all the things that I was passionate about together.”

King’s photography emphasises the dark shadows where the focus of the photo is in light.

She says it’s almost a reflection of things that she’s been through in her life.

“It’s moody and you feel a lot of different emotions and passions through it.”

She likes to capture emotions through her photography and finds that she can do that with a lot of darkness and bits of light. Her photography showcases a rawness which she uses to convey emotions.

She has also been photographing Miss Cook Islands contestant Tajiya Sahay, one of her close friends.

There’s an audience who don’t know who these contestants are, King said, so it was important to capture Sahay’s essence and portray the “realness” of her. “She’s not just a beautiful face, she’s also a beautiful person.”

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