Tea With Ben

Tea With Ben

We’ve known Ben Parry for a while now, through several professional roles. Whatever he’s involved with you can bet it’s creative, visually stunning, and well executed.

Ben reached out to us on behalf of Kayu Studio recently. We took the opportunity to have a cup of tea and a chat.

Hey Ben! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm Ben, originally from New Plymouth I moved to the Mount in late 2009. I live with my beautiful wife Tyla & our pooch Pippi (a german short haired pointer) in our home in Omanu. Outside of work life I spend my free time surfing, snowboarding, running, mountain biking & spending time with my friends & fam.

Ben Parry's dog Pippi

I first met you years ago when you were working at RPM. What have you been up to since?


I first moved to the Mount to take on the role of Creative Director at RPM. I spent 11 years helping shape that brand, it was a fun time where I learnt alot & built a great network of people such as yourself. About 3 ½ years ago (post covid) I took the leap & started a creative agency called Untitled Studio.

Untitled Studio is a multidisciplinary creative studio. We focus on all things brand where we bring imagery, language and ideas together to create a cohesive and impactful brand experience.

Our key point of difference is that we’re hands on & can execute on branding, strategy, language, design, imagery, video, web & everything in between. 

I've loved every minute of it, not just the work but the business side of things. I have some amazing clients which I'm really grateful for, including Kayu Studio.

Kayu Studio

How long have you been working with Kayu Studio?

James (Kayu founder & a friend) first reached out to me when he was looking to launch Kayu.

His original plan was to bring a container of furniture & homewares in from Bali & sell them at the markets. This quickly escalated into a brand, an ecommerce store & a physical location.

About a year into the Kayu journey as the brand & sales grew a bit more I became more involved. Kayu is now my main client & I spend about half my week working on the brand as the Creative Director. It’s a pretty diverse undertaking but basically I focus on all of the creative things such as the website, imagery & design, assisting in the buying / manufacturing direction & the overall business strategy. We’ve built a great team here who all do their part to contribute to the overall success of the company.

Webster's Tea in Kayu Studio

You’ve started offering Webster’s Tea to Kayu customers while they browse (thank you!). What gave you the idea to do this?

Kayu recently moved into a new showroom at 13 Totara street, it's a large space & a big step up from our previous location. The idea behind having Websters available was to encourage our customers to relax, slow down & stay a while. We want to provide a space where our community can feel comfortable & welcomed. I've always believed that there's much more to retail than just 4 walls & some products for sale. In the showroom we focus on all of the senses, for us it’s not just how it looks but also how it smells, how it sounds & the overall feel of the place. We make sure there's incense burning & a quality playlist on repeat. It's a fully immersive experience & having Webster's available helps us curate that vision.

Webster's Tea in Kayu Studio

Do you have any side projects on the go?

Always! Most notably a few years back I started a running community called Public Runners. Public focuses on Community, Movement & Self improvement. It’s a safe & free to join running community that meets up weekly on a monday night as well as some other curated events throughout the year. I believe there should be no barrier to entry for anyone to run & Public aligns with these values. There's no sign ups, no registration & it’s free to join. You simply just have to turn up. In the last year or two it’s grown significantly & we usually have around 50-60 runners each week join us. It’s a great place to connect with like minded people in a healthy environment. 

Public Runners

If you could have a cup of tea with anyone, who would it be and why?

Tough question but I'm going to go with Michael Jordan. What a boss. I'm a big believer in how work ethic translates through all aspects of life & he’s living proof of hard work equalling reward. I'm sure I'd get a lot out of picking his brain for a couple of hours. 

Thanks Ben! 

You can check out:

Untitled Studio here

Kayu Studio here

Public Runners here