Flagging up family success

Saturday June 29, 2019 Written by Published in Hot on the Rock
Jacob Makea Teratu Arbuthnott holding the kuki flag towel. 19062718 Jacob Makea Teratu Arbuthnott holding the kuki flag towel. 19062718

Our Pacific Games athletes may be triumphant next month, but someone will be getting a towelling.

Marisa Summers is eager to teach her 12-year old son Jacob the ins and outs of business.


Marisa runs Puzzled in Paradise, where they produce uniquely Cook Islands souvenirs.

Some of these include locally-designed wooden alphabet puzzles and games.

“The business has been set up for Jacob to eventually run if he so wishes,” says Marisa.

The idea for these wooden souvenirs came from her son’s love for wooden puzzles and one day Jacob asked his mother why there weren’t any Maori wooden puzzles.

Four years ago, Jacob designed an alphabet palm tree-shaped jigsaw that included the English and Cook Islands Maori alphabet.

He also drew a moko-shaped jigsaw with numbers 1 to 10 in English and Cook Islands Maori.

Marisa thought it would be great to produce them for sale.

Their wooden noughts and crosses game set is very popular along with the beautifully designed ‘Brollynesia’ golf umbrella, both designed by Luther Berg of Next Tattoo.

Instead of the traditional noughts and crosses, Luther intricately designed turtles and mokos.

Jacob had attended Takitumu school where he learnt a lot of Cook Islands Maori and fell in love with his language.

Grateful to the school, Marisa donates some of the revenue made from selling these wooden puzzles back to Takitumu.

Jacob now attends Titikaveka college.

One exciting new product is their two-metre long microfibre Cook Islands flag towels.

Summers said these towels were perfect for the Pacific Games coming up, and they double as a Cook Islands flag and a sand-free, fast-drying towel.

The towels retail for $40 and are being snatched up fast with the limited stock they have.

“They are light-weight and ultra-absorbent and big enough to use as a beach mat then one flick, no sand sticks and then they can be used as a towel,” says Marisa.

They open at the Punanga Nui Market on Saturday mornings and you can find the products at the Island Crepes stall at the Muri night markets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays. 

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