Small enterprise: Brown Delight – a hub for music, haircuts, threads and health

South Auckland’s Brown Delight fitness center has let Johnnie Timu and his workforce discover their ardour and assist their neighborhood. Picture / Equipped

When Johnnie Timu and his mates left faculty, they determined over beers to seek out their very own passions and use them to empower their neighborhood in south Auckland.

After receiving assist from Pasifika psychological well being supplier Le Va this 12 months, the workforce developed higher assist constructions for psychological well being and counselling, including to the workforce’s portfolio.

The workforce’s work already contains bodily coaching, clothes and design, music recording, a barbershop and month-to-month markets to assist South Auckland small companies, however has plans to deliver much more assist to Pasifika and Māori in Aotearoa and abroad.

What’s Brown Delight?


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Brown Delight is a social enterprise aimed toward empowering Pasifika and Māori by means of health, arts and neighborhood.

We began out working boot camps at a neighborhood faculty corridor after which realised we had traction in our neighborhood. We moved right into a fitness center house simply over two years in the past now.

We’ve over 100 folks now which can be signed up as members. They pay weekly memberships to assist assist the fitness center.

We’ve a barber store in right here and our music studio, in addition to our merch room.


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What’s a boot camp?

It’s short-term coaching for anybody that’s simply wanting to start out their health journey. They run for six-week intervals to get them into health routines and higher consuming habits.

For some folks it’s a very good enhance and for others it builds unhealthy habits as a result of their health simply is determined by when a bootcamp occurs – that’s the one time they practice.

We have been attempting to make it the start of their health journeys. [The gym] is an enormous enchancment on the companies we are able to present. It’s ongoing, there aren’t any short-term fixes.

Johnnie Timu oversees training and coaching at Brown Pride. Photo / Supplied
Johnnie Timu oversees coaching and training at Brown Delight. Picture / Equipped

How did you begin Brown Delight?

I began it with my finest mates. After leaving faculty, the one time we’d catch up was for coaching or going out.

Going out wasn’t doing a lot for us so we seemed into private coaching programs so we might get certified. Then we began the boot camps at our old style.

Health has all the time been a ardour for me so to start out getting paid for it was a bit bizarre at first, as a result of it was one thing I naturally loved. However having good mates round me, they inspired me to maintain going and that I used to be onto one thing.

By the point we acquired to our fourth or fifth boot camp, we realised we might open our personal fitness center and jumped on the alternative. We didn’t have enterprise plans or something, however every thing aligned over time.

What companies run out of Brown Delight?


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Inside our group of mates, all of us have our totally different expertise.

Our fitness center is known as Base. We don’t actually name it a fitness center, we name it Base as a result of it’s a little bit of every thing.

It’s that bridge from work or research the place everybody can cease in, have a exercise, get a haircut, document some music or no matter. Individuals can depart no matter stresses they’re going by means of within the day right here earlier than they head off dwelling to their households and their children.

The barbershop was one of many locations we’d see one another – getting haircuts to exit on the weekend, so I knew that may be part of it.

It helped my little brother, our barber, so we opened the barbershop for him – F.O.B. (Recent Outta Base) Cuts barbershop.

The music studio, 216 Data, took place as a result of considered one of our mates (Reginald McFarland) has all the time been into music. We’ve all the time tried to encourage him to get into recording his personal music, so we opened that for him and acquired him to run it.


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The team at Brown Pride: Taalili Wilson (training and coaching - left), Johnnie Timu (Base Gym), Reginald McFarland (216 Records), Jairus Smith (Merchman), Tee Faalili (Operations and finance). Photo / Supplied
The workforce at Brown Delight: Taalili Wilson (coaching and training – left), Johnnie Timu (Base Fitness center), Reginald McFarland (216 Data), Jairus Smith (Merchman), Tee Faalili (Operations and finance). Picture / Equipped

We’ve singers, rappers, spoken phrase artists on the label, and we have now a dance crew now popping out of right here.

Merchman is our merchandise room for clothes and prints. It was for one of many different guys (Jairus Smith) – he’s all the time had a love for design and trend, so we opened it up for him.

Then there’s myself and my right-hand man, my finest mate Tee Faalili. He runs all our admin and again work. I simply run all of the teaching and oversee every thing.

Brown Delight was one of many organisations that Le Va funded for suicide prevention. How has the funding supported your corporation?

When Le Va reached out and stated they’ve funding that might present social work facilitators and entry to counselling, we jumped on the alternative.

We have been already doing it, nevertheless it acquired extra of knowledgeable strategy and a few construction round it.


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Final 12 months, we ran a psychological well being group for guys, then this 12 months we ran a bunch for ladies. Our feminine teams are lots greater than the blokes’ now as a result of it feels secure right here.

What do you need to obtain by means of your corporation?

I need to present a secure house that’s away from dwelling, away from church, away from work, that’s one thing totally different. The holistic strategy [to fitness], not simply bodily.

Despite the fact that the fitness center is our automobile that brings everybody right here, there are different parts that encompass the fitness center that assist with psychological well being, emotional and religious well being as properly.

With music, the barbershop, and psychological well being programmes, we have now totally different actions that assist assist everybody that walks by means of the door.

My aim is to supply that house for everybody in my neighborhood.


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Brown Pride runs monthly small business markets at their gym in South Auckland. Photo / Supplied
Brown Delight runs month-to-month small enterprise markets at their fitness center in South Auckland. Picture / Equipped

The place can folks discover you?

We’ve acquired one department in south Auckland. We’re in search of a brand new spot as a result of we’re outgrowing this one.

As soon as that’s carried out, our aim is to maneuver to both Westside with one other department, relying on how huge our subsequent one is, or to Australia.

How did you get into enterprise?

I’ve all the time had a ardour for health however my dad, when he was alive, took me by means of his totally different enterprise ventures. He began on the native markets right here in South Auckland.

Then he moved on to opening a few outlets. I all the time seemed as much as him having the center to do his personal factor and I used to be simply inspired by that rising up, understanding I needed to do it myself.


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Has it been tough beginning your corporation?

It’s robust – there’s been plenty of ups and downs however we do get plenty of assist. It’s probably not marketed to everybody as broadly as I believe it ought to be, however there may be assist on the market.

How has the pandemic affected your corporation?

Covid was most likely one of many darkest instances. For me, it wasn’t that I didn’t have a job, it was that my neighborhood didn’t have a secure house for all of the those who relied on us. There was a danger of them shedding the secure place that they go to and that was daunting for me.

Do you could have any recommendation for somebody in your neighborhood who needs to start out a enterprise?

Do what you’re keen on and determine a option to receives a commission for it. I don’t suppose I’ve labored a day of my life up to now three years.


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Lead along with your coronary heart. When you see folks as folks as a substitute of consumers or shoppers then the blessings will come your method.

Cash can come at any time, cash can go any time, however your impression on folks just isn’t one thing that you must take flippantly. Lead with folks in thoughts and good issues unfold from there – it’s all the time occurred with us.

Public Curiosity Journalism funded by means of NZ On Air

Alka Prasad is an Auckland-based enterprise reporter protecting small enterprise and retail.

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