From Failed Dreams to CEO: My Unexpected Journey to Starting a Cleantech Company

From Failed Dreams to CEO: My Unexpected Journey to Starting a Cleantech Company
Growing up I had always dreamt and planned to be an architect, but that dream didn't work out.

In my twenties I remember fiddling around with recycled plastics and tinkering with machines in an intermediate school wood workshop, often wondering to myself what am I doing with my life?!

During that time, it was literally failure after failure. The machines kept breaking down. Plastics kept behaving in ways I wasn't qualified to understand and solve. The product didn't land with customers the way I wanted it to.

It was a grind. And I remember often, feeling so tempted to throw in the towel.

When I was 27 I remember visiting a marae in East Tāmaki where I met Whaea Taini Drummond. It was a brief hui but I distinctly remember her manaakitanga and the warmth of her wairua as she listened to me over a cup of tea. After I spoke, she was silent.

And then I remember her telling me the story of her nephew whose life's story was serendipitous as he moved from career to career. She finished her kōrero with this:

'Rui as you go through life you too will have different experiences because things rarely go to plan. But what you are doing is actually filling up your different kete (baskets) of knowledge. Nothing is wasted. The day will come when you will know your purpose and you will stand firm in your kaupapa. And that is the day when you will need to draw from the kete (baskets) you have been filling.'

Whaea Taini is right isn't she? As now the co-founder & CEO of Critical. entering our growing phase, I am so grateful for the knowledge in my kete filled by my time in architecture school, in community development and even in corporate!

And even though my dreams of being an architect didn't work out, I now get to be a part of hundreds of incredible projects and live my dreams vicariously through the incredible designers and architects I have the privilege and honour work alongside! haha.

So it all worked out!

Ngā mihi nui whaea Taini for that wisdom and Donna White and your incredible club of interior designers for visiting today!!!
Previous post Next post
Liquid error (layout/theme line 123): Could not find asset snippets/quantity-breaks-now.liquid