taitokerau solar power company shining bright
Solartive are a 100% proudly Northland owned and operated solar power business based in Whangārei and Mangonui.
With over 15 years’ experience in the industry, Solartive are passionate about supporting renewable energy for all kiwis and are proud to offer the latest in solar power technology.
Ella Te Huia-Phillips isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. Made redundant during the Covid-19 pandemic, Ella decided to make a fresh start in Northland. Seeing the opportunity for affordable solar solutions and the possible benefits of solar for Taitokerau Northland communities, Ella launched Solartive.
“We believe in creating open lines of communication and taking the time to really understand our customers. We strive to treat people like we’d treat our own parents - not just as a customer or number but as part of our whanau. Nearly 60% of our business to date has been from the Māori community. This has been without trying, it has organically happened as we understand the importance of building relationships. We aren’t here chasing crazy growth, our focus is maintaining the integrity of our business and our relationships.”
It is not hard to see why Ella Te Huia-Phillips has been so successful. The warmth Ella emanates upon meeting her is balanced with mana and strength, there is no doubt that when Ella sets her mind to something there is very little that can stop her.
When life threw her a challenge, redundancy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ella took it as an opportunity and put her 15 years’ experience in the solar industry to use by launching Solartive, a solar power solutions provider based in Whangarei and Mangonui. Seeing the need for solar power in rural Taitokerau Northland communities, and the challenges individuals faced when trying to set up solar themselves without access to the latest technology, Ella strives to make solar power more accessible and affordable across the region. Experiencing organic growth as a result of demand across Taitokerau Northland, Ella and her team initially reached out to Northland Inc to access business coaching to support their growth journey.
Northland Inc Growth Advisors were able to help Solartive connect the dots towards growth, enabling them to access funding to engage with Level, a Whangārei-based strategy, marketing and design agency. Solartive’s work with Level has helped them to identify their ideal customer and develop strategies and tactics to communicate and promote themselves to potential customers.
“We originally reached out to Northland Inc to get some business coaching to help with our growth, getting some clarity and focus on how we take ourselves from Step 1 to Step 2. We were able to access funding through Northland Inc, and were connected with Level Strategy, Marketing and Design who have helped us understand our ideal customer and created a marketing strategy with content pillars to help us create content around. The strategy they created helps us understand how we communicate with our customers and guides our marketing activity.”
There’s no doubt that the advice has been invaluable – an ongoing relationship with both Northland Inc and Level has continued the network of support for Solartive, who are focussed on creating benefits for the wider Taitokerau community. Employing locals, specialising in off-grid systems and a vision of supporting rural Papakāinga setups are focusses for the business.
Northland Inc Growth Advisor, David Templeton says “Ella is no nonsense and knows what she is doing. I knew immediately she would be very open to feedback and being helped, and it’s these qualities that have enabled us to foster such a great working relationship. She’s truly taken the opportunities she has been presented with both hands and made the most of them.”