thehinitiative on TV...and web as well now : )

YAY! thehinitiative Asia DownUnder episode is finally up on TVNZ On Demand : ) Check it out if you didn't manage to see it "live" last Sunday morning.

Nominate thehinitiative as a small business "hero"!

The David Awards recognise heroes in small business. If you think thehinitiative deserves recognition in one or more of the categories listed below, please nominate us! : )

Best start-up business - A business which is under two years’ young, smart, quirky, or just very professionally set up. (Yep, that's us, we're still under two years old!)

Most innovative business/quirkiest business - Not necessarily the same thing, this is a business which either demonstrates a new or clever way of going about things, or is quirky from the ground up while incorporating great business principles.

Most socially responsible business - A business which gives back to its community - e.g. local, regional or industry sector – in ways, shapes or forms which benefit the community significantly.

But wait, there's more! There are other categories as well - these can be found on the nomination form.

Please download and fill in this nomination form, then return it by one of the following methods.
Email: nominations at
Fax: 09 445 9679
Snail Mail:
The David Awards: Heroes in Small Business
PO Box 32 610, Devonport
Auckland, New Zealand

Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on 30 May 2008.

If you've bought one of thehinitiative's Wellington City Mission tees, you've helped raise $555.95 in the past year (Feb'07 to Feb'08)! It may not seem much for the year (most of the sales were wholesale to stores, hence prices/sales/giving were a lot less), but it has definitely helped out in one of these ways:

Thanks to everyone for helping to turn lives around - let's keep at it! And if you're able to, please help the Wellington City Mission by volunteering or donating.

Credit: thanks to the Mission for the info : )

We're happy to say that in the first three months (Dec'07 - Feb'08) of thehinitiative's new World Vision Children in Crisis range, we were able to give just over $200 to them! ($207.34 to be exact) This is the equivalent of providing:

A 2,000 litre water tank that provides water storage and access to safe drinking water for a school. It will also help with hygiene, and provide water for school vegetable gardens. AND 12 chicks, that when grown will produce eggs that provide protein and ongoing income (a few chickens are enough to support a whole family).


10 insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Mozzie bites in parts of Africa can be fatal. Did you know that 2 million people, mostly children under five, die from malaria each year? Insecticide-treated mosquito nets will keep malaria-carrying mosquitoes away from children and others as they sleep.


A new loo! More than 2.5 billion people in the world live without adequate sanitation. A Ventilated Improved Pit latrine is both cost effective and user-friendly, limiting smell and fly problems and making it more hygienic - and much appreciated by its users!

Thanks to everyone who has bought one of the t-shirts from the range! It's going to make a positive difference in a community abroad : )

Credit: thanks to World Vision for providing the info.

We had a competition a wee while back asking people to guess what the "h" in thehinitiative stood for. We had answers like Hood and Honour, but surprise surprise, the "h" actually stands for Hope. Maybe it sounds overly warm & fuzzy? But we genuinely are taking the initiative to somehow provide that little wee bit more hope, opportunity or second chance to others via our partner charities.

We have to admit: Bono and U2 has/is/will always be an inspiration for thehinitiative. Both the person, band and the music. And the things that Bono is involved in, we aspire to. Just as one example:

(RED) : "(RED) was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver, Chairman of DATA to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund by teaming up with the world's most iconic brands to produce (PRODUCT)RED branded products. A percentage of each (PRODUCT)RED product sold is given to The Global Fund. The money helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa."

(RED) has got huge brands on board, like GAP, American Express, Converse, iPod, Dell, Hallmark, Motorola, and Emporio Armani!
Anyway, after having the unforgettable opportunity to watch them live on 24 November '06 (and only 1.5m away from the stage), we sent them a letter along with a few of our "I heart NZ" tees and some good old Wellington chocolate (Whittakers to be exact).

We received this thank you email back from Celia Coffey at U2 headquarters:
From: cecilia coffey []
Sent: 2 May 2007 2:20 a.m.
Subject: Thank you

Dear Li Ling,

Sorry for the delay in replying. Just to say thank you for your letter and to let you know that your t-shirts and chocolate have been passed on to the band.

Best wishes,
Ok, so it was late (a May reply to a December parcel send off). And it's (really) short & sweet. But at least they acknowledged it and we know they got them in the end! Plus, it's our first (and so far, only) "degree of separation" communication from U2 : )

We know this is a pretty random piece of information but thought we'd share it as it was exciting & encouraging at that point in time!

Some TV airtime for thehinitiative

thehinitiative is going to be on TV in April!

Back in February, we were filmed by TV One's Asia Downunder. It was a full day's work for everyone, and I figured out I personally am not cut out for TV/film work - you really need the patience as you have to pose and repose and pose again in a different camera angle, and then again, and then slow motion. Anyhow, great & interesting experience! You can see some behind the scenes photos at our Facebook photo album.

We have absolutely no idea how the end product is going to turn out. After a whole day's filming work, it could just be a 10 minute item in the end?? (after all, the entire show is only 30 minutes I think) Also, others were interviewed about thehinitiative, but we have no idea what questions were asked. So, crossing our fingers that good things were said : )

We have just found out from the reporter/director Pushpa Jabin that the episode will be screening in April. YAY!!!

So....You can either watch it on Sunday April 13 on TV One at 8.30am, or wait until the week after to watch it online at Asia Downunder on TVNZ Ondemand.

A thank you note

One MASSIVE thank you to everyone who helped out with our focus group testing! Customers, charities, designers, mailing list : )

It's been absolutely great getting that insight into what you think. Had a meeting with Moxie today to review feedback and I'm sure there will be plenty of useful things coming out of it all.

Feel free to drop us feedback or suggestions anytime at info at : ) It really is appreciated!