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Starex: Premium childcare furniture made here in NZ

Starex has been manufacturing furniture for childcare centres since 1983. Since buying the business in 2006, Managing Director Matt Cooke, alongside his wife Melissa, have grown the company and want to continue to supply and offer premium furniture.

Cooke has increased the number of staff at Starex from 7 to 25, and Starex also now provides furniture to childcare centres in Australia. Cooke wants to stay true to the childcare industry, and his aim for the future is for Starex to keep pushing themselves to their limits, manufacturing the best childcare furniture they can.

“My ambition for the company is that we will remain pushing forward and striving to produce quality, well-designed, innovative, functional furniture for the childcare industry in New Zealand and potentially abroad.”

Behind the scenes

Starex is currently selling upwards of 300-400 products every week, offering a product range that includes seating, tables, and storage solutions.

When it comes to producing these goods, Cooke strives to foster and maintain a fun culture and working environment within the company. To him, having this allows for better products to be made.

Cooke has many kind things to say about his staff, being very appreciative of their contributions. He also places care in the materials his team members use, choosing professional NZ suppliers to source everything Starex requires.

Why Starex is NZ made

Cooke always wants to work with great people while making fantastic products. For him, being New Zealand made means supporting other kiwi companies in his search for high quality, premium finishes.

“Our mantra is: ‘doing good business with good people’, and with the whole Buy NZ made branding and what that represents for me, that should be kiwi businesses supporting other kiwi businesses.”

Cooke strongly believes that NZ made suppliers and manufacturers consistently provide the high quality that he looks for. Because of how important quality is for Cooke and Starex, this makes using NZ made materials and suppliers an invaluable choice.

“It’s not necessarily New Zealand made furniture [that customers are looking for], per se. They’re just looking for a premium product. As it happens, I believe, New Zealand manufacturers, and us included in that, just manufacture great, top quality furniture…”