Kantesha Takai

Kantesha

Kantesha Takai

Kantesha Takai is a proud Torres Strait Islander and Wuthathi woman. She is a serial entrepreneur, mother of two and savvy property investor. She is currently completing her Masters Degree and is the founding operator of Lola Digital; a boutique marketing agency based on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. Kantesha started Strait Removals, a local removalist company in 2018 and sold the business in 2020. Together with her partner Corey Ward, the pair own nine properties with an investment portfolio worth over $4m. Kantesha is passionate about bringing financial literacy and business education to the Torres Strait region.

Kantesha Takai graduated from Thursday Island State High School in 2008 as School Dux with acceptance and scholarship offers from a variety of universities. Wanting to pursue a career in media and advertising, she moved to Brisbane and completed a Bachelor of Mass Communications (majors in Media and Communications and Advertising) with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Whilst studying full time, Kantesha worked at Coles and her partner Corey Ward, supported them with a full-time sales job.

Graduating from QUT in 2011, Kantesha went on to work in the property and financial sectors, holding many hats from marketing associate to marketing manager.

In 2016, Kantesha secured a role as the internal blog editor with Tourism and Events Queensland and was the only Indigenous employee at the State Tourism Organisation. In this position, she travelled Queensland, experiencing tourism products, alongside travel influencers.

However, she was driven to amplify Indigenous tourism products and was able to manage a project that saw a state-wide revamp of Indigenous tourism product promotions and an eBook which was officially launched by the State Tourism Minister at the time.

Whilst living in Brisbane, Kantesha and her partner Corey Ward were dedicated to securing their financial future and purchased their first investment property at 23 years of age. At 30 years of age, their pair owned a collective of nine investment properties, with an investment portfolio worth over $4m.

From 2017-2019, Kantesha and Corey invested in worldly experiences and travelled internationally to New Zealand, Japan and Las Vegas, USA.

In 2018, Kantesha and Corey relocated home to Thursday Island where Corey achieved his career goal of being the first Indigenous branch manager of the Thursday Island National Australia Bank (NAB).

In their relocation, the pair identified a massive business gap and decided to start a removalist business on Thursday Island, hence the birth of Strait Removals.

Working full time, running Strait Removals, managing their property portfolio and freelancing, Kantesha had to juggle and learn how to be a business owner. She attended national and international workshops and became the youngest appointed member on the Queensland Business and Innovation Reference Group.

As part of the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) representative cohort, Kantesha travelled to Vancouver, Canada to attend the World Indigenous Business Forum where she addressed a crowd of Indigenous businesses from across the globe, pitching Strait Removals.

In 2020, Kantesha sold Strait Removals and amalgamated her freelancing into Lola Digital; a boutique creative agency based on Thursday Island. She quit her PAYG employment and pursued the business full time.

In 2021, Kantesha Takai and Corey Ward were the key photographers in the Queensland Museum’s Island Futures Exhibition; showcasing the Torres Strait region and culture. Kantesha was also invited to be part of the first cohort of the Instagram and Screen Australia’s Creators Program.

Through this program, Kantesha was invited to complete her Masters in Screen Business with the Australia Film and Television School.

Also in 2021, Kantesha and Corey welcomed their first son, Christopher. However, instead of slowing down, they ramped things up. Kantesha became a trainer and facilitor with the One Business Advance Queensland and TAFE program, bringing small business training and support to the Torres Strait region.

In 2022, they welcomed their second son, Cameron. Despite having another baby, Kantesha continued to grow Lola Digital and had amassed a team of subcontractors both nationally and internationally.

In 2023, Kantesha is dedicated to growing the business, delivering training and completing her Masters Degree.

Today, Kantesha is most proud that she has signed her biggest client to date and she is able to support her mum in starting and growing her business. Another highlight is that her business was hired by Coles to complete a project; a big shift from working as a fish monger in the deli section of Coles when she was in university.

Kantesha also cherishes her partner and sons. They are biggest reasons WHY.

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