Behind the brand: Martin Coromandel - L.Eyes & Co

Meet Martin Coromandel, one of the L.Eyes & Co founders.

We loved getting the opportunity to sit down and chat to Martin Coromandel from L.Eyes & Co to learn about his journey in business, and what inspires him.

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Hello. Kia Ora. My name is Martin Coromandel. I'm one of the founders of L.Eyes & Co and we're an accessories brand that celebrates our Māori culture.

How long have you been in business?

So we started 2017, so it's just over six years going on to our 7th year.

How would you describe L.Eyes & Co?

So I would describe L.Eyes as a brand that inspires Rangatahi.

What inspired you to start this business?

My whānau background I was always raised on the marae serving. I was always raised giving back to our Kaumatua. And I look back at some of the things that I was taught by my grandparents, by my parents. And I kind of want to instil those, those kind of values within my brand and help inspire the youth of today to be able to go out there and pursue their dreams. My family always allowed me, especially my grandfather always allowed me to always give back to other people. And that kind of is instilled within our brand.

How/why did you get into business?

To be more present with my children, I needed to design my lifestyle around them. And so that's how I started getting into business, because I knew that if I was, instead of trading my time for money, I was able to do little amounts of work to get big effort in the long run. So I get my children ready for school, I'm able to take them to school and pick them up from school. And it's all because I run my own hours, I work my own hours and I'm able to run my own business.

Favourite L.Eyes & Co product?

The product that I really think that's underrated is the Mandala work. I know that, like, we have Māori designs and we have all these different Polynesian designs, but my favourite ones are the mandala glasses and the mandala hats because it's cultural neutral and all cultures could wear it and represent it. And that's what I really love.

Favourite Kai?

Growing up in Ahipara, Kaimoana would have to be my favourite kai.

What's your pet peeve?

There's a lot of negativity out in the world. Content, negative people. I just have no time for it.

What inspires you?

What inspires me is Māori business and seeing Māori business thrive. I see Māori are very, very talented and I feel like Māori businesses should be celebrated on the world stage at the moment. We've grown so much in business, not only just myself, but I see a lot of other Māori businesses grow. And I think we're just setting the platform for our younger generation. And I think that's the key is being able to inspire our younger generation to learn from not only our mistakes, but also our successes. And as we learn from, as they learn from our successes and our mistakes, they're just going to thrive even more. And it's going to take multi business to new heights and new markets, which is going to be exciting.