It opened its doors for the first time just this week, with the young Oliver Peyroux reviving a business that held the same name since 1994 when his parents owned it.
Back then the shop was located close to the Bank of the Cook Islands. Now it has moved to the Punanga Nui market in Avarua, attracting interest from both locals and tourists.
Peyroux, 22 says it is not a typical new business venture but a continuation of where his parents left off.
“Ollies Surf Gear inspired me to start this business, it was launched by my parents in 1994 when dad was 23. It closed down because the cost of the lease increased.”
Peyroux said as he grew up, he had an increasing desire to bring the business back to life.
He said the opportunity came about as soon as his parents left on an overseas trip for a couple of months.
“I wanted to surprise them and when they returned. They were just happy and proud.”
Peyroux said the new business pushes for 100 per cent local products only and he hopes to create opportunities for Rarotonga-based designers.
“We have some talented and creative people in Rarotonga and being able to showcase that has brought back positive feedback from locals and tourists alike.”
The designer products include t-shirts designed by Peyroux, clothing designed by Laylo-Terito Macquarie, TJ Varu’s head eis, Ani Dun’s (Chicken Pocket) art canvases, Tayla Heather’s art canvases and Poko Hole’s “native” jandals.
“We have the best of the best and we have more artists getting in contact with us at the moment”.
He said Rarotonga provides a unique environment for business and young people shouldn’t be too scared to take a step forward and make use of their talents and skills in new business ventures.
Success just has to do with paying taxes on time and working hard, Peyroux says.
“One day you will wake up and time won’t be on your side anymore. You need to grab that opportunity.”
The shop has been in the making for six months and it now provides a beautiful view. The ventilation makes it a comfortable place to shop and and it stands out as it features bits and pieces from his parents’ old shop.
“I designed everything from the ground to the roof, I was given the opportunity to start from scratch and so we got it started and we finally got the end result.”
Peyroux said his success is due in part to his four-year-old son and girlfriend who have supported him with the project.
“It was worth the risk. Dad started the business when he was 23 and I am about to turn 23 too. My girlfriend and son are my inspiration.”
Girlfriend Maheata Caffery, 21, said Peyroux had been working hard for the past six months, and had made a lot of sacrifices for his young family.
“Now that all this is over, we are just focused on the business as we are finally spending time together.
“He has done well and we are proud of him.”