Mere Drake

Mere Drake 

Graphic Designer, Mum, Artist - Story by Tony Cutting

Mere ‘s website states ‘My approach to design comes from a strong cultural and artistic background and is therefore original and unique. I can bring life to your existing branding or create a new brand, which will enhance the perception of your company. If you want a product, service or event to be valued, make sure you have quality design. Maintaining a strong brand image requires consistent, professional design management. It is a pleasure to walk a client through the best options available and I look forward to solving any design challenge’ and I have no doubt she lives up to this statement.  

However, when you meet and spend time with Mere, you also find a driven, determined mum, dedicated to Tikanga Māori, Whanau and the place she calls home – The Kapiti Coast.

The early days
Mere was born Mere Wehipeihana in Auckland.  Her mum, Rosemary Kane was an Artist and an Art teacher, her dad, Paul Wehipeihana a teacher.  She has three siblings Anita, Arona and Rawiri.  She started school life at Marist in Auckland but shifted to the Kapiti Coast while still very young, attending St Peter Chanel, Otaki (Bi-cultural Catholic school) & then Paraparaumu primary school.

She was a ‘sporty’ kid who was destined to be an artist given her whakapapa.  Involved in Girl Guides, Netball and Softball her passion for the arts also included being involved with school productions from an early age. At Paraparaumu College, she excelled in Netball, Art and English listing her major achievements as Captain of Senior A (Netball Team), Music performances and scholarship in Design.

Mere qualified with a Bachelor of Design from Wellington Polytechnic School of Design and Victoria University.

Her design career includes working for TMP Worldwide, Vertigo, and Learning Media Literacy but found freelance and working as a contractor gave her the freedom and time to build a professional career while also nurturing the thing she is most proud of in her life, her whanau.

Mere is a Play Centre mum, who spends her time (outside of work) developing her Art, exercising and spending as much time as she can with her family. She like many of us parents today investing heavily in her children and their sports.  Married to a very successful ‘Rugby mad’ husband the children’s sporting pedigree is well established.

The Whanau

Her business today
Mere established her design business Mere Graphic Design to help business people and organisations to develop strong, unique brands.  Her artist’s eye is used to craft brands for start-up business or refresh and rejuvenate existing brands and bring them into present day relevance.  She also enjoys working on community based projects that help sell the beauty of the Kapiti Coast.

She is living her dream doing something she loves in her home town. 

The future?
When asked the question about what see hopes for in the future, she answers proudly “Sowing seeds that enable positive growth, at a personal level and national level. I would love to leave a cultural legacy that celebrates our unique identity for the next generation” 

“My goals are to nurture and preserve creativity, freedom and whanau, grow my business by helping others succeed in theirs”

I have no doubt Mere will achieve her goals.  As we set to leave she smiles and points out “my name is a weapon” I smile, say nothing but think to myself ‘it is also translated in English as Mary a significant name in biblical history’ -  Mere’s grandmothers name.

I wish Mere all the success she deserves and point out to potential clients although she is based in Kapiti I am sure with modern technology today, businesses around Aotearoa can tap into this talented young lady’s services.

Mere Drake