THE KENTO ETHOS
KENTO was created for earring enthusiasts, colour collectors, and people who are passionate about print.
With the aim of being more than a just brand, KENTO is also a place to share ideas with other creative minded people and contribute to the creative community. This is achieved through transparency and a DIY approach to everything that is made for KENTO. What this means is that although of course I want people to buy my products, I also want to encourage and empower people to create their own fabulous earrings or experiment with water colour painting!
KAIA YOLANDA KENTO
The name KENTO is very personal for me because it is my surname!
My parents named me Kaia after a Bob Marley song and Yolanda because it sounded cool. However, the name Kento has a slightly more interesting backstory…
My mother legally changed her surname to Kento because is connected to some of the early and forgotten history of our family. William Kento was a Dutch whaler and the first recorded pakeha to drown in the Waiapu river. When he died in 1849 he left behind two children by his wife Ani who was a Maori woman of high rank. Kento’s sons Wiremu and Werepu were adopted by Captain James Peachy and because Wiremu took the name “Peachey” it is perpetuated by his descendants to this day. One of those descendants was my mother and her decision to change her maiden name Peachey to Kento was her way of connecting with our European ancestor William Kento.
So what kind of background does a person named Kaia Yolanda Kento have?
When I was about 18 months old my parents decided to search for land in the Far North region of New Zealand. We ended up moving to the Waipoua forest where my parents established a small hobby farm where we kept a donkey and peacock amongst other creatures. I was home-schooled for most of my childhood and art was a huge part of my upbringing. I remember making candles, marbled paper, woven flax flowers and fimo beads. When I entered high school, I was still interested in the arts, although my attention was divided amongst all the academic and social demands that adolescents experience. Studying photography and design in high school enabled me to express my creativity, however when I decided to study a Bachelor of Arts at university I found that I had less time for these creative outlets. My journey through university was a difficult one, I had to take a gap year, move cities, quit jobs and although I graduated in 2017 feeling proud of what I had achieved, I also felt burnt out. It wasn’t until I started painting again and experimenting with polymer clay that I remembered what it felt like to be passionate about something. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed what I studied at university, but when I create art I feel less pressure and it is cheaper!
Art calms me, yet it is also exciting! And I am so excited to share what I create with you and do something that I love as a job.