Epic Trends in Kiwi Businesses

COVID-19 has changed the trajectory of entrepreneurship. These small-business trends have paved the way to building profitable, scalable businesses with identifiable brands.

successful business woman
Huda Sharaia
June 28, 2022

COVID-19 has changed the trajectory of entrepreneurship. These small-business trends have paved the way to building profitable, scalable businesses with identifiable brands.

In particular, these five small business trends have skyrocketed since COVID-19. Also, we outlined some of the most imported products into New Zealand in the past year to give entrepreneurs better insight into their strategies. 

Lingering impacts of the pandemic influence the popularity of products that the 'new norm' shaped'. I.E. working from home, the central focus on self-care and living a balanced lifestyle. 

Trend 1. Start a jewellery-making business

The pandemic ricocheted the notion of doing what you love and loving what you do, with thousands of Kiwi’s turning their passion into a business. Jewellery-making has become a popular home-based business for creative Kiwis, where local businesses have thrived through E-commerce.

IBISWorld estimates that the Jewellery industry will generate $518.0m in revenue by 2022. This industry comprises manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, jewellery designers, and many beautiful beads. 

The art of jewellery-making transcended where businesses thrive by showing care and consideration for the process and their customer. Meraki Pieces is a local kiwi business that reflects this beautifully. 

Meraki Pieces stands for tapping into feminine artistry, vibrant design and supporting the local creative community, a brand rooted in the sacred modern woman and the beauty of adorning precious pieces.

Since launching their Instagram business in 2020, Meraki Pieces embarked on a successful E-commerce business and is about to hit ten thousand Instagram followers. 

Tip: Make your product unique by designing every piece of jewellery you sell. 

Tip two: Create the ultimate customer experience by including a personally handwritten "thank you" note to each customer with your brand on it.

Trend 2. Start a streetwear brand 

Streetwear dominates the New Zealand fashion industry. Stocking international brands can lead to the launch of a streetwear brand. Your brand will grow into a profitable E-Commerce business with a potent online presence and visual ambition.

Streetwear has a great deal of influence on skateboarding, so this is an industry to consider. With the right supplier, you can manufacture custom skateboards, clothing and skate hardware that make a desirable and attractive product line, such as…

Empire Skate is a premier New Zealand streetwear brand at the forefront of the market. A key aspect of Empire Skating's work is supporting local skaters by organising competitions and partnering with schools. We love to work with brands and companies with similar community-lead ethics that define the principles of collaboration and listening to the community. This process includes constantly developing your product and sourcing range to include a reliable and easily adaptable manufacturer. Having a team that’s willing to push boundaries by test driving and developing new products will keep you ahead of the competition. Empire Skate reflects this work ethic precisely and has expanded into Australia, with an average monthly turnover rate of $120K per month.

Trend 3. Starting a self-care brand

If COVID-19 brought awareness to one thing, it's self-care. A self-care brand could offer a wide range of bespoke products that promote overall wellness. Candle wax, jars, perfume rollers, and essential oils are highly customisable products for launching luxurious and tailor-made merchandise (with a pretty low cost for MOQs). Brands of this nature can scale up and down; consider adding homemade essential oils, crystals, petals and even diamond rings that make your label uniquely yours! 

TIP: Take your self-care brand to the next level by creating a self-care box, perhaps even a 'customisable' self-care box!

Starting a self-care brand is not only a way to practice what you preach but also to be of service to others. 

Trend 3A/4. Starting a cosmetics line

Similar to starting a self-care business, branching into the beauty industry is another revolutionary small business trend. With a supply chain management similar to that of a self-care brand, you can reach new customers by breaking down unrealistic standards of beauty and committing to a purpose. Cosmetic lines with a vision of creating products that are vegan and cruelty-free, sustainable or accessible to everyone such as Fenty or Rare Beauty have thrived on their commitment to standing out from the rest.  

You can create a tailored cosmetics line that stands out from the rest by tailoring your products to be vegan and cruelty-free, sustainable, assessable and disability 

White label cosmetics are high-quality, off-the-shelf products formulated by a manufacturer before being labelled with your brand and sold as your product. 

Although private label cosmetics are also made by a manufacturer, their main difference is that their formula can be modified to make them unique. Using a private label is ideal if you plan to launch a new product. 

Review our White Label vs Private Label products blog post for a deeper dive into this. 

If you have always dreamt of branching into the beauty industry but are unsure where to start, get in touch with us

Trend 4. Starting a customisable stationery label

Stationery addicts live and breathe aesthetically pleasing paper and design material to keep their abuzz lives in order. Professionals, students, planners and travellers can benefit from a distinctive and creative stationery collection. Diaries and journals can be monogrammed with initials or words for customised luxury.

You require a supplier who can deliver quality products on time and at a reasonable price. Initial stationery costs are impressively low, allowing you to expand your business by curating premium writing material like wedding planners, travel planners, budgeting planners and notebooks. If sustainability is a part of your brand's vision, supplying vegan leather material is an excellent option.

An Organised Life is a label recognised for its beautiful and minimalistic stationery. This label skyrocketed with its vast clientele by offering customisation and monogramming as well as corporate and branded stationery. With a focus on sustainability, this label features classic vegan leather notebooks. 

IBISWorld reports that niche and fashion-based stationery retailers are forecasted to remain popular over the next five years. The stationary product line is a great way for creative brands in the product, graphic or fashion design sectors to expand their product lines.


Whenever a topic (such as the pandemic) trends online reveal an indication of an opportunity to make it your own. From a business perspective, trends form the possibilities of how your business could benefit and scale into relevant and contemporary brands that grow with the direction of tech gadgets, accessories and products popularised by recent global events.

This list features ten of the most imported products into New Zealand from the past year.

  1. Reusable water bottles 
  2. Wireless charging stations
  3. Yoga & Pilates mats
  4. Laptop skins 
  5. Posture corrector
  6. Phone tripods
  7. Air fryer
  8. Massage guns
  9. Microphones
  10. Resistance bands

The Takeaway: Why are these products trending, and how can they be best imported?

The impact of COVID-19 shaped some of the most popular small business imports of 2022. The ‘new norm’ categorised these products as necessities, where tech gadgets and accessories like posture-correctors are high in demand for working from home. At the same time, items like air fryers are a pandemic-friendly and efficient kitchen accessory.  

Generic products are the best products to import from Alibaba since they are highly customisable products that convey your brand. If you want a diverse product range like a streetwear brand, or if you're going to have a customised product line like a self-care brand, you can tailor your product range to fit your business's vision.

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