“Offering a fabulous range of products, handmade in New Zealand.”

Happy Hens

Established: 1984

Location: Dunedin

Website: www.happyhens.co.nz

Business mission: Continue to grow the Happy Hens brand throughout the world through fun and happiness.

Our product is quirky, fun and totally original and is recognised for it’s strong design and vibrant colouring

It just happened, grew like topsy. As an Art teacher I developed the hens for local markets and they sold like hot cakes. We opened the store in 1990 after it grew too big from home. Our studio/store is a tourist destination, visited by cruise ship passengers, tour buses and independent travellers as well as local Dunedinites.

I had to learn the slip casting method of production to cope with demand. This was a different method than my original production, which was held moulded, as we needed to mass produce our hens. Demand increased as we exhibited around the country with the NZ Craft Shows and moved up to the NZ Trade Gift Fairs and Trade Fairs in Australia. With my education background I had to learn business and marketing skills. Common sense, determination and learning as I went was a big factor in my success.

I overcame this by sticking to my beliefs and convinced the NZ Trade and Industry to take a group of Giftware Manufactures to the New York International Gift Fair. We are still running after 33 years. Never give up!!

Recognition of the Happy Hens Brand which is known throughout NZ and the world as tourists take their hens to their home towns. We have successfully exhibited at International Trade Gift Fairs. We collaborated with Joy Cowley, one of New Zealands best loved childrens author with Ashton Scholastic published a set of 4 Happy Hens story books. I illustrated the authors text.

That I was able to make a business focusing on one product “a hen”, who would of thought that it would become an iconic brand. Determination! People live, eat and breathe the hens and become personally involved with the brand. Over the years I realised that every nationality can relate to hens and chickens and almost always elicit a positive response. The stories start with my grandmother, my farm, my neighbour… The story gets told.

Involved with Inaugural Peninsula Day (Fair) at Portobello, Crafts, activities and stalls. Sponsored calendars for local playcentre. Advertised and supported the Peninsula Blues Festival. Contributed to Peninsula Plant Fair. School groups have been involved with pottery and painting at our studio.

We created a special Canterbury Hen (red and black) and advertised it World Wide via internet to raise funds for the Christchurch earthquake appeal. We donated $1500. Donations came from all around the world mainly from expats who wanted to do something to help.

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