For Part 2 in our Meet the Maker series, we'd love to introduce you to our Pattern & Fabric Cutter, Katarina. We hope you enjoy learning a little more about her story below.
When did you move to New Zealand?
I moved to New Zealand in 1985, so I’ve been here for 35 years! I moved from Apia, the capital of Samoa.
What made you want to move over?
I came over to try to help support my family back home. In those days, my mum didn’t work, she looked after the home. My father worked as a gardener but only earnt money when he sold crops, which wasn’t very much. So, I moved to New Zealand straight after school so I could make money to support them. I was the first of my siblings to come to New Zealand, and my three sisters and one brother eventually followed. My Aunty was already over here, so I lived with her for a while. She got me my first job.
Where did you start in the industry?
The first job I ever had was here in New Zealand, aged 18. I got a job as a cutter at John Webster. I knew nothing at the time. I was trained by a lady names Trixie, who taught me everything. I was there for about 5 years. I was so keen to learn, which meant I was happy to have a full-time job. I actually met Kevin (Standard Issue’s long-standing knitwear technician) there! After John Webster closed I worked for a couple of other companies before moving to Standard Issue where I’ve been for the past 27 years.
What’s the best part of your job?
I’m very happy in my role. The best part would be getting to use my brain to figure things out! Whenever I have a limited amount of fabric, I have to work out how to lay up the pattern in order to create the least amount of waste possible. This is a challenge especially when we’re sampling and don’t have much fabric to make a number of garments with. It looks a lot easier than it is. It’s like a puzzle! I really enjoy that – getting to figure things out as I go.
How is your bubble?
It can be a little boring at times, but we’re off to do the groceries now! It’s me, my sister and my niece in our bubble. I’m grateful to have the family and job that I do. Family are always there and are the most important thing to me.