Meet our Founder & CEO - Gustavia Lui

Gustavia Lui founded Staavias at the age of 25, in November 2012 where Staavias was first registered as a Limited Liability Company. However, Staavias did not start trading until a couple of years later, on the 2nd January 2015, where the very first sale was made within the first 20 minutes!

Gustavia who is of Samoan & Tuvaluan descent, was born in Wellington and grew up in South Auckland, New Zealand aka "The hood". She has a huge family of 9 brothers and 2 sisters and comes from a very unstable background of poverty, violence, state care, alcohol & drugs and she was a teen mother. 

Gustavia found work in a professional environment with a strict dress code. However, her long, wide, flat feet made it impossible to find suitable shoes that could fit. She HATED that feeling so much so, she went out looking for a solution to her problem. 

Gustavia started out with absolutely NO money, NO business experience, NO industry experience and of course, NO idea what she was doing, supposed to do or going to do. This didn't deter Gustavia at all, in fact her curiosity kept her on her toes, always pushing through to the next step in business. Her first business trip took her to a footwear trade show in Las Vegas, where she concluded the lack of plus size shoes for women is a worldwide issue. This realisation added to inspiration from top industry leaders, prompted her to start Staavias.

Gustavia credits her success to the never ending support from her husband To'o, of 10 years and their three sons Demetrius 14, Deniro 10 and Detroit 6. As well as support from her parents & siblings as well as extended family and friends. 

With a super solid support network in place Gustavia has been able to travel to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Dongguan, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney & Samoa - all for business she reckons! 

In addition to Staavias, Gustavia also does public speaking and has been recognised a lot in the media for her hard work. Often sharing her inspirational story and encouraging others to dream big and take action. Check out our Media page to watch some of her interviews and read some articles.

Read her amazing story here >>>> CLICK HERE <<<<<