Kaizen Kiwi = Helping Kiwi Businesses Change for Good

Kaizen Kiwi - Helping Kiwi businesses change for good through Continuous Improvement


My Story

Kaizen Kiwi Managing Director Sandra Smedhall

Originally from Sweden, I ended up living in Asia sort of "by accident". A six month exchange program in Singapore, studying International Business and Finance on MBA level as part of my Masters, led to an internship with a french bank in Hong Kong. Originally only meant to last for 6 months, I ended up staying in "The Fragrant Harbour" (which is what Hong Kong means in Cantonese) for 12 years. I left finance during the GFC after having worked in Equity Derivatives Sales for Hedge Funds, been a stock trader and a bond broker; and started a company in the online marketing and media industry. I had no real practical experience, but my degree in International Business & Marketing and lots of drive! 

Quickly my company, Style by Asia, a blogging platform focused on art, design, fashion and architecture, became a force to be reckoned with in a city that never sleeps. In addition to our group of bloggers, the company itself (meaning me) started doing marketing and social media projects for SME's, collaborating with most of the big PR firms and marketing agencies, art fairs, design showcases and fashion events in the city, and later on, in the wider Asian region.

All over Asia, the company (again me!) also collaborated with, participated in, and wrote articles about events such as Successful Design in Shanghai, China and Taipei World Design Capital in Taipei, Taiwan. We were media partners to most of the big art fairs in Hong Kong and I travelled extensively in the region, participating in talks, emceeing at, and attending events in Singapore, Vietnam and mainland China, just to name a few. 

We also assisted local brands with online campaigns, social media strategy and exposure, product placement and general networking and collaboration ideas.


Some of our notable partners included:

Armani - Organising monthly events at the exclusive Armani / Privé restaurant in the Landmark in Hong Kong, with panel discussions on creative topics, aimed at bringing together and supporting the creative industries in Hong Kong.

Design Hotels - Content Collaboration (reviewing hotels on our travels, yeah I know, it was a hard job, but I reckon someone had to do it!), staying in some of the best luxury and boutique hotels in Asia, reviewing and writing about them from a design and architecture angle.

Richemont Asia - With a group of distinguished leaders from Google, UBS and WealthX, I was invited to speak on a panel of 5, discussing the future of retail for senior marketing executives across the Richemont Asia group, at their yearly company conference in Hong Kong.

World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) - This esteemed organisation was selling our products that launched under our own sustainable label, Panboo once we rebranded the Style by Asia website into a more environmentally focused one.

The Scottish Government - Hired us to work on their project of bringing homegrown design talents to Hong Kong and Asia when they did a showcase.

Art Central, Affordable Art Fair & Asia Contemporary Art Show - Style by Asia was a media partner several years in a row.

Shanghai Tang - Asian Luxury Fashion Retailer which we had content collaborations with. We also organised an event at their gorgeous landmark mansion and adjacent restaurant in Central Hong Kong for our group of bloggers.


Additionally, we would regularly hold talks, presentations and host panel discussions on everything from creativity to online retail, and to Sustainable Design. In addition I spoke to and in front of many various audiences, holding presentations and seminars, including at the Retail Asia Expo, and KPMG Entrepreneurs Conference in Hong Kong.

Our focus with Style by Asia was always local brands and businesses across the region, and when we later on added an online shopping element to our website, we worked with a handful of New Zealand businesses, giving these companies an opportunity to export their goods abroad. While the original website was built on a Wordpress platform, when we added online shopping, we moved it over to Shopify. Having built and maintained my own sites on these platforms, I have acquired extensive knowledge about both, and I since have built and maintained other sites on both these platforms, plus others on Wix and Squarespace. Since 2019 Kaizen Kiwi is also a Shopify Partner.


Writing and content creation is something that I personally enjoy, and in addition to the vast amount of content produced for Style by Asia (over 1,000 articles over five years!), I have also contributed a couple of articles to CNN.com. Should you feel so inclined, you can read these articles through these links:

CNN Style: Napier - How a devastating earthquake gave way to this modern-day Art Deco wonderland 

CNN Travel: Rotorua - The Adventure Capital of New Zealand's North Island


Finally, after 12 years in Asia, in mid-2018 I moved to Auckland, New Zealand with my then partner.
Since 2019, through my company Kaizen Kiwi, I have been coaching and guiding companies here, assisting them with Business Strategy & Development, all things websites & SEO, Marketing and Social Media strategy and execution. I have also been a Business Coach and a Business Mentor through Business Mentors New Zealand.

In May 2021, I completed the Institute of Directors Governance Course, with the aim of going on the journey of board work in Aotearoa and beyond. As an added bonus, I can now also add governance advise to the services Kaizen Kiwi offers. I subsequently became a Chartered Member of the IoD in February 2022, and now serve on the boards of NZ Sculpture OnShore and the NZ Scandinavia Business Association.

In April 2023 I became one of 150 people from 30 different countries chosen for the first ever FIFA Women's World Cup Community Champion programme, representing Sweden for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 in New Zealand and Australia.

My curvy path through corporate business has taught me a wide range of valuable skills, and given me invaluable experiences. I am very well travelled (having visited 55+ countries to date) and I have had the opportunity to conduct business in most Asian countries, appreciating the differences in culture across the region, and what that translates to in a business context, to conduct successful business transactions. I have an entrepreneurial mindset and a knack for spotting new business opportunities, thinking 'outside the box' and always giving it my all.

Continuous Improvement is my mantra

I pride myself in a job well executed and I never back down from a challenge. I always deliver on time.

The partners I now work with to execute larger projects for my clients display the same work ethic as myself, and when I recommend, or bring someone external in for a job, you can trust that they will have the same level of professionalism as I do, and always have you and your company's best interest at heart.

Giving back to the community has always been important to me. In Hong Kong I volunteered with the fantastic charity Room to Read for many years, and here in New Zealand I am a Business Mentor with Business Mentors New Zealand, and conduct pro bono work for clients through this network. The two boards I currently serve on, are also pro bono, and so is my work with Constellation Connections, an organisation I co-founded to help foreign women and returning kiwis an easier pathway to assimilate into NZ life, to give support and a sisterhood to all these fabulous globally-minded women.

I continue to write, mainly through the articles on this website, where I offer help and tips about everything business related (mostly online related). Have a browse through the articles here (I promise, I will get around to writing some new ones soon!)

I am also in the process of writing my second book. This one is a Murder Mystery set in New Zealand wine country - full of great wines, beautiful scenery...and a little bit of good ol' fashion murder. Get in touch if you want to know more about it!


To see my full background, please visit my LinkedIn Profile

Browse the Services we offer in the section Services
Read more about my personal story in this blog post


The Importance of Storytelling

All marketing, and ultimately the success of your new business, relies on one thing: storytelling. In order to tell your story in the right way, the first step is identifying your ideal client and ask yourself: WHO is your customer?

All our strategy work start with a workshop where we conduct a number of exercises, ultimately will leading to identifying your ideal customer, and crafting your unique value proposition. This in turn will guide all strategy work that comes after, to ensure that your values align with those you are trying to attract, in order to get the most out of your marketing activities.

  • Management Capability Development 50% Co-Funding

    Businesses may be eligible for support under the Management Capability Development Fund, which offers businesses up to 50% co-funded support for management coaching and training services to build management capability within the business.

    Find out more by visiting 
    their website, or CONTACT US TODAY!

  • Get in touch today to discuss your project! 

    Co-funded or not, we offer a FREE 30-minute discovery call to all potential new clients to fully understand your needs, and in order to be able to offer you the right service and support.



    A 6-month one-on-one training program customised to meet the management capability gap of the business owner and / or business manager.

    Increase your knowledge in all areas of your online business and its development, including:
    Competitive Advantage, E-commerce, Marketing & Social Media, Client Management, Strategic Planning, and Promotion/Lead Generation Techniques.



    Before letting us undertake a whole online presence audit, ensuring that your website is set up to convert traffic! The audit includes SEO, "look and feel" of the website, language, and the whole customer journey through to checkout and delivery.

    We'll deliver a written report on the state of your website and all your social media channels, including best practices, with tips on how you can improve all of these, rank higher and convert more.



    The KYC WORKSHOP is structured into 2 x 90-minute sessions that help you identify your ideal customer and outlines clear, tangible ways of how to communicate and interact with them in the best possible way for their specific values - ultimately leading to more leads & sales.


    Some 'homework' is expected in-between sessions.


Need Help? We offer a FREE 30-min discovery call to all prospective clients. We want to understand your unique circumstances and how we can service you best. Contact Us Today!