After working for five years as a successful (and self-proclaimed 'nice') debt collector, New Zealand born Gold Coast resident Paora Taukamo decided to use his charming wiles towards a new business venture.
“Initially it started as a joke to auction myself on eBay for household chores, and then I thought that there was the potential for something bigger,” Paora laughs.
The 26 year-old Kiwi with chiseled abs and a dazzling smile set about building a team of male topless waiters, with the charisma, easy nature - and athletic physiques – required to add wow factor to events in South East Queensland.
In just 12 months, the group has established themselves as the ‘gentlemen’ of the Gold Coast and Brisbane entertainment industry, offering their professional services to charity functions, birthday parties, corporate events and even art exhibitions.
After such a rapid rise, there are also plans to build the business further nationally and internationally, offering services in major cities across Australia and New Zealand.
When it comes to the company’s successes, Paora says it all comes down to the passionate, committed team he has working for him.
"You need to get out there and earn what you deserve. Every person on our team believes in this and that's what keeps us in good stead. Just talking about it makes me enthusiastic about it! I guess that’s the essential element to a successful business: having passion for what you do and working with people who share the same commitment."
“Our team is down to earth, approachable and friendly, which sets us apart from most topless waitering services. We definitely aren’t that stereotype of buffed up, gym junkies who have over-sized egos," he laughs.
"Our gents are always up for a laugh, they’re hospitable and understand that their main purpose is to entertain and make an event enjoyable for guests."
But while the waitstaff have been key contributors to Kiwi Rize's triumphs; Paora acknowledges that the business wouldn't be where it is today without those working tirelessly behind the scenes.
“Our success is also down to our really strong support network," Paora says.
"My mum and dad for inspiring me, my business partners Tame Noema and my sisters Ree and Chermene, and our photographer and designer Jazz."
“Our team has been there from the start. We’re like a family - or as New Zealanders like to say ‘whanau’.”