Chooice sprung into life in March 2020, during New Zealand’s first national lockdown.
Kiwi hearts are big, but our businesses are small.
Faced with lockdown, thousands of New Zealand creators lost their livelihoods overnight, as exhibitions, fairs and farmers markets went into hibernation.
For Chooice founder, Sarah Colcord, COVID-19 pressed pause on her event management business. Seeing many experiencing a similar fate, she launched a DIY lifeline from her South Auckland bedroom – a Facebook group called New Zealand Made Products. The group exploded, reaching over half a million members in two months, and remains New Zealand’s largest Facebook group.
Sarah had harnessed the hearts of a nation, who rallied in support of thousands of creative Kiwis without customers. For many, it was the difference between success and failure. For some, nationwide attention saw them blossom.
As the orders flooded in, Sellers landed opportunities to sell their products in retail stores and created more jobs. With digital support from the team, some shifted their businesses entirely online, gaining overseas orders for the very first time. Sarah’s simple e-commerce solution wasn’t just a life raft, it became an incubator for budding Kiwi entrepreneurs, who could finally give up their day jobs and follow their passions.
In July, 2020, Sarah transformed New Zealand Made Products into an online marketplace called Chooice. Within four months, Chooice had generated more than $1m in sales for small New Zealand businesses.
Chooice is now a global online marketplace with over 2000 cool stores selling distinctive products from New Zealand makers, the largest marketplace of its kind in the country.