Walking out the door with a full heart | Jess says farewell

It’s 7.15am on a Monday morning, and I have just risen out of bed. I jump into the shower, get dressed, open up the curtains and kiss the husband (Jason) goodbye.

8.15am I pop on my helmet and Jason’s snowboarding jacket to keep the rain from pelting me as I ride my little scooter to work.  Riding down Dominion Road on a scooter is like riding through a death trap everyday. It’s become quite a fun game for me, avoiding a potential crash almost every time I hop on the death-mobile. If you’re driving down Dominion Road hearing a scooter hooting relentlessly at surrounding cars, you can be sure who’s responsible.

8.25am I arrive at the Curative Studio, usually to Jade and Eddy who are already typing away at their desk. What time they get in? I have no idea, but I’m sure on a lot of mornings it’s at an ungodly hour. Although you could say it’s quite Godly due to the peace and quiet that comes with early mornings.

I make myself the first cup of tea for the day, which will begin my downward spiral of drinking approx 3-4 cups a day. I always try to drink normal things like water, but to be honest why would you when you have about 25 varieties of tea sitting in the magic tea drawer?

In the last 18 months, I have possibly consumed almost 1,173 cups of tea which I attribute directly as the only reason I can be so incredibly creative all the dang time. (lol).

9.00am We sit down for our WIP, where we go over the approx 50 projects we can have going on at any one time. This is where we talk about what we need to achieve for the week, what’s coming up and what we have done well over the last week. I love these meetings.

Usually filled with some sort of bullying by Kaan (me being the victim as of late) as well as meditations and what events we should be attending that week; they can be anything from hilarious to daunting.

10.15am-12.30pm This window consist of getting down to business. Writing out our to do list for the day, blocking out our calendars, catching up on emails and designing! Usually some kind of super inspiring, deep and meaningful playlist goes on via the spotify account. (Previous obsessions have included Justin Biebers new album, Work by Rihanna, Usher and of course Drake.)

Naturally this has resulted in many episodes of desk dance parties, where dropping it low and high kicks are inevitable. I must take a pause to apologize to innovate change who patiently endure these compulsory interruptions while trying to actually get some serious work done. #sorrynotsorry #butactuallysorry

After changing the world one pixel at a time, someone ceremoniously yells out “What’s for lunch?”. This results in a group organisation of either Wok n Noodle, Bamboo Kitchen or trips to the sushi store. We then gather round the lunch table and engage in vigorous conversations that can range from trivial subjects to ‘What does culture mean?’, ‘How it feels to run a business’, ‘Dealing with failure’ and heaps more. These conversations over food and tea have been some of the most significant times of growth for me personally. Something that I am really going to miss.

12.30pm-5pm The second half of the day sometimes consists of meetings with some of the most amazing people on the face of New Zealand. People who work very hard to make sure that NZ is a better place for everyone. Over the past 18 months, I have been able to work with the Mental Health Foundation, HELP, CAYAD, Victoria University, The Auckland Co-design Lab, Leadership New Zealand, Fred Hollows Foundation, Design For Social Innovation Symposium, The Tindall foundation and so many more!

I have significantly more hope for the world by being surrounded by these amazing people. Almost every meeting we have is filled with plans, creations and ideas to show, create and bring more impact to communities around New Zealand. Design can change the world. It really can!

If there aren’t meetings to attend, we put our heads down and do what we do best. Jade and Eddy have done an incredible job of making sure that each of us play to our strengths. That’s why it’s been such a pleasure to work here. You know when you get to your desk that you are going to be working on things that fuel you, fill you up and push you forward.

Not only do they play to our strengths, the take care of us. On those days when we’re just not feeling it, or have run out of steam we aren’t afraid of treating ourselves to something we love. Previous afternoon have included trips to Ponsonby food court and a little shopping, getting ice cream, trips to the Little Bird unbakery for an afternoon of cake tasting, or one of my favourites, going to bounce and gypsy tea room.

A day at Curative might feel ordinary, but it’s the little things that create an extraordinary environment. The friendly faces, the ‘thanks for the hard work’, the offers of tea, the hugs, the honest conversations, the room to fail, grow and learn, the new people who come into the studio everyday, the heart of the people around us all compile together and make for the most unbelievable work culture I have ever been involved in.

I have been cared for, pushed, developed and above all loved here at Curative. I feel like I am leaving my family. I love you people. You’re all incredible human beings who change the world just by being alive. Thanks for letting me become a part of your family.

5.30pm I walk out of the Curative door with a very full heart.

Farewell friends! 
Until we meet again,


Jess Holdaway