NEW ZEALAND'S PIPE FURNITURE SPECIALISTS
Ready to take flight into international markets 

Iron Moa are a Whangārei business creating custom products and innovative fitout solutions, designed and assembled in New Zealand.  

Quickly gaining traction on their growth journey, Iron Moa is on track to see this local Northland business take flight into international markets.  

 

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Matt explains to Northland Inc Growth Advisor Prue how they process the timber for their products.

 

Matt Guddat is a man on a mission. Looking for a fresh start during COVID lockdowns in 2020, Matt looked into options to launch his own gig – and found a niche in the market for industrial pipe furniture, designed and assembled in New Zealand. 

“In January I ordered 7 tonnes of pipe, and crossed my fingers. We started selling from my garage in September, and within 3 months we were at capacity – we couldn’t fit anything more into the space! We moved into a place down Kiriroa Road (Whangārei) and were in there for two years before we had to move into another, bigger warehouse where we are now.”  

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Matt and Prue inside a local Whangārei business - Narrative - where Matt created a custom shelving solution.

Selling brackets, fittings, pipes as well as shelving and clothes racks online as kit sets, Iron Moa have also had retailers reach out to design custom products to suit their stores. As well as several retailers in Northland, Iron Moa have fitted out retailers including Swanndri with their product. Research during COVID showed Matt that people were switching brands and providers based on who had stock and could ship quickly. To capitilise on this, Iron Moa aims for a 3-day order to shipping turnaround, with most business coming through their website, along with some architecture customers who will often return for future projects.  

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The shelving detail makes Iron Moa products strong and stylish inside Whangārei store Narrative.

While growth has come quickly for Iron Moa, Matt recognised that there was potential to build the business. Having heard about Northland Inc and the RBP service through local contacts working out of The Orchard Co-Working space, Matt met with Growth Advisor Prue Street. 

“I was earning enough to justify a small business wage. It wasn't exciting, but it was enough for my family. But just by nature, I cannot sit still. So, I started wondering, “how do I get to the next level”? That's why I came to Northland Inc.” 

Wanting to build a sales and marketing strategy to help scale the business for growth, following the initial Discovery Meeting Matt was recommended for a Sales Training session with RBP provider, Jesse Henderson of Get Better Problems. The connection lead to an opportunity for Get Better Problems to guide Matt on the development of his strategy, supported with funding through the RBP.  

“Jesse made a plan for me, like “where do you want to go from here?” That helped me think on the the next level, what do I need to implement to get there?” 

And, it unlocked a huge sales opportunity for Iron Moa, who were looking for national retail partners to help them take the Iron Moa product to new customers and create rapid scale for the business.  

Launching into Mitre 10 Stores
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Matt shows Prue some of his product packaging developments.

“Jesse put together a plan to help me better reach local and national retail stores, which then led to an opportunity to partner with Mitre10. 

My first meeting with Mitre10 began an ongoing conversation which has led to Iron Moa becoming a nationally stocked product, with Whangarei especially being a great supporter of the brand.” 

Iron Moa will launch products into Mitre10 nationwide in March 2024, providing a new option in the hardware category and an immediate opportunity for growth. 

“My experience through the RBP was absolutely positive. I’ve actually engaged with the RBP and Northland Inc for two rounds of funding and growth advice - I’m still on my growth timeline, I suppose the immediate goal was how do we secure a big retailer, but there are other things we’re working on too.” 

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Inside Whangārei Cafe Benny's where Matt designed tables and an "above-counter" shelving solution.

And what’s next for the Whangārei business? 

“The cool thing is we've looked at some point going into some foreign markets. New Zealand has a really good reputation in a lot of countries, especially the United States and Australia. So, we might look to be a New Zealand company in an international market at some point, and we’ll have Iron Moa as our innocuous sort of name.” 

Visit the Iron Moa website

 

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