The Little Big Markets

TLBM are the place to meet up, eat delicious food and support our vibrant creative community. In this new regular feature, we’ll introduce the talented locals behind your favourite market stalls.

TLBM are the place to meet up, eat delicious food and support our vibrant creative community. In this new regular feature, we’ll introduce the talented locals behind your favourite market stalls.

Five Percent Brands: Noxen and Me & the Brave

The spirit of The Little Big Markets has always been one of creativity, collaboration and community, and stallholders Tania Eves and Todd Hilleard (pictured at the top of the page) are among those who really embody this.

“Back in 2018, Todd and I independently started our brands Noxen and Me & the Brave,” explains Tania, “Noxen being a surf label born out of Todd’s need for a bigger hooded poncho towel for after surfing, and Me & the Brave [wool fedoras and beanies] born out of my desire to create a community of women that supported each other to make brave choices about the lives they want to live.”

The pair met at TLBM in late 2019 and got chatting about their respective businesses. “We realised there were a lot of synergies in the way we ran them but that our skills were complimentary, Todd
was strong on the financial side of things and I was strong on the marketing and product development side,” says Tania.

“We started spending a few days a week working in the same place and helping each other in
the areas we were struggling with, and the conversations soon started moving more towards the direction of what we could do together. We were both giving back — Todd to mental health and me
to NZ Women’s Refuge, and we’d have conversations about the positive impact we could have on
our communities if we could generate more revenue, therefore more profits to donate! We decided
to merge the brands together under one company with the sole purpose of giving back.”

The result was Five Percent Brands, which Tania describes as a lifestyle company with community
at its core. “We create positive and impactful change by donating 5 percent of our annual profits to many mental health organisations locally and nationally. Ultimately we create lifestyle products that inspire adventure and encourage a healthy lifestyle but our real passion and drive comes from supporting those who are living with mental health issues.”

Currently in the process of setting up their brand new warehouse, head office and showroom in Pāpāmoa, Tania credits both TLBM and the Bay of Plenty as fundamental elements in the success
of all three businesses. “Either brand or the company as a whole wouldn’t be where they are now
if it weren’t for the support from the TLBM team and, man, we have some incredibly talented people here doing some really cool shit! It’s so inspiring!

“The products we create were inspired by where we live and the way we run our businesses ensures Todd has time to surf and we get our respective families down to the beach as much as we can. I also think the tight community here has inspired us to want to do more around mental wellbeing too.”


Kat Knight embracing a Hoya carnosa.

Bay Botanics

Kat Knight has been around plants her entire life. As a child, she helped her family sell plants at markets, she has a degree in landscape architecture and has her own nursery, Bay Botanics
(341 Ōropi Rd), where she specialises in a large range of houseplants, from chain of hearts to watermelon peperomia.

“Buying direct from a local grower means your plants are cheaper, as there is no middle man,”
says Kat, who focuses on making houseplants affordable for anyone. “My goal is to make every
home in the Bay, and beyond, filled with life and thriving plants!”

Kat absolutely loves TLBM atmosphere and Bay Botanics has a stall every second and fourth Saturday (her nursery is open first and third weekends of the month, Friday–Sunday, 10am–2pm).
“It’s so nice to be part of a market family, everyone always seems to really love being there!” she says.

“Whether you’re new to houseplants or have your own indoor jungle, I’m always happy to give advice or just chat about all things plants.”


Juliana De Cesare holding her prints Paradise (left) and Andy Style.


Juliana De Cesare is a surf-loving Brazilian illustrator and designer that has made Mt Maunganui home. She creates delightful artwork inspired by the ocean, the surf community and nature, under the brand ThreeFootRides.

“I would describe my artwork as colourful and a bit funky, and I’d like to think that it’s very diverse, inclusive — Illustrating different body shapes and skin colours,” she says. Her feelgood designs also feature on greeting cards, stickers, metal key rings, tote bags and decorative washi tape.

Her (very affordable!) prints are handpainted and/or drawn, then finished digitally and printed
with long-lasting archival ink on acid-free, archival matte paper. She has a wide range of designs
in various sizes, but is open to custom jobs for people who want something bigger. They also make perfect gifts.

In her spare time, Juliana loves surfing, of course, as well as gardening, film photography and connecting with her local community.


Marcella (aka Pilla) Diaz with her life and business partner, Leandro (Lea) Baud.

Drawing the Way

“Oh, that’s a good question!” says artist Marcella Diaz (known as Pilla), when asked what part
The Little Big Markets have played in her and partner Leandro (Lea) Baud’s business in the Bay.

“We arrived in New Zealand nine years ago [Pilla is Colombian, Lea Argentinian], and at the end of 2020 we came to Tauranga to visit a friend. We went to the markets and we fell so in love with it that we decided to move here. We were looking for a place to sell our prints and the markets were exactly what we were looking for.

“This was the best move we ever made,” says Pilla. “When we moved here we both had day jobs and Drawing the Way was our side hustle, but around mid-last year we both started working full time on it, and it would never have been possible if the market didn’t exist. Here we have the chance to talk directly with our clients, we get feedback, we can try new things.”

The couple’s main goal with Drawing the Way, which specialises in illustrated maps, is “to bring
a bit of joy into people’s lives,” says Pilla. “That’s what we want to share. Our artwork is always loose, playful and colourful, and we really want to put a smile on people’s faces.

“We both have very different styles. Lea is very detailed in his drawings, he enjoys exploring space and he likes his drawings to be close to reality — with some artistic licence, obviously. With mine,
it’s more a feeling of the place. I like clumsiness and lots of colours. But we both love bringing the personality of a town into a piece of art.”

The creative duo are grateful both to live at the Mount and in New Zealand (“there is an endless source of inspiration — just a long walk at the beach has so many things we want to paint — sounds cheesy but is true”), and Pilla says that while their illustrations of the Mount, their unique Tauranga map and a new one featuring a sunset surf are the most popular offerings, they’re always working
on new art prints, and welcome commissions.


Photography by ilk
Art direction by Maddie Banks