To Sapient Minds.
It's exactly in line with the the Kea-Mentality.
Think adventerous, creative, considerate, and flexible minds which are developed to support life’s passions and understanding. Enough of that, then wit and wisdom will surely follow.
These traits can be embraced by any person, at any age, in all facets of living.
Whether it’s your sport or work performance, maintaining a balanced mood, fighting cognitive decline, or just allowing you, to be your ideal self.
How exactly are we contributing to this grand quest?
Firstly, to bring some of the worlds best nootropic and lifestyle supplements to our backyard.
Why did we take on this challenge first? There was a need.
All over the world, driven and innovative companies from this field are sprouting new products and technologies. But due to New Zealand’s geographical isolation, the individual shipping was simply too costly for the average Joe or Jane. Aotearoa itself is host to a few forward thinking companies that have launched their own product ranges, but we’ve found that most formulations just aren’t up to scratch - or are stupendously expensive.
We decided to tackle it differently.
Rather than attempt to reinvent the wheel - we’re selecting the best of what is already on offer.
No doubt we’re a small bird climbing a big mountain, there will always be predators and mistakes we make. But there is also so much value to be discovered in the relatively unexplored world of biohacking, so sure as sh*t, you can bet we’re climbing this freaking mountain.
What of the tools themselves?
The nootropic and lifestyle supplements.
If you haven’t heard the term “nootropic” before, thats quite understandable. Only breaking out into mainstream media once every few sun-cycles, it’s still fairly stuck in the supplement and biohacking worlds.
Nootropics are a group of substances that can have the effect of enhancing cognition, memory facilities, or learning in any way. So for example - a cup of coffee or tea is a nootropic you might know well (under this definition). Of course in true origins of the term it is far more specific than this definition, and many prefer to be extremely selective in splitting hairs about what is a true nootropic or not. This certainly has it's place in neuropharmacalogical studies and other academic settings. But for the practical use in navigating consumer products of the the supplement industry, I would claim the general definition is most useful. If you are keen to look into the specific requirements and origins of the term, I recommend reading "A Weird Concept with Unusual Fate: Nootropic Drug" by Doru Georg Margineanu.
Now onto what we are categorising as “lifestyle supplements”. Really thats just an all encompassing word we are utilising to consider the other supplements of value that we’re big fans of. Under this camp in the VitaKea store we have longevity supplements such as potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant formulas, as well as others that support altered moods. Many of these will contribute toward long term brain health and cognition, but that's more of a 50 year picture, rather than this week.
How do we ensure quality for our customers?
We get it, choosing good supplements can be hard - thats why we simplify it for you by carefully selecting only the best supplements for VitaKea store. As a result it does take longer to get new products in, but that time spent is definately well worth it.
Before a supplement can even gain our serious attention, the ingredients have to stack up. The VitaKea team are avid supplement enthusiasts ourselves, always reading up on the latest research and self experimenting with all sorts of wacky ingredients. With that experience behind us, we can detect a garbage formula at a glance - and if we wouldn’t bother using it, there’s no chance we’d pass it on to you folk. There’s definitely plenty of junky supplements out there too, and it does pay to be careful.
Some common issues are:
poor quality ingredients;
over-emphasis on stimulants (eg.caffeine);
But we also know that clinical trials and mechanistic explanations never paint the full picture. This is why we always have multiple members of the team test it out for themselves, at varying dosages and different use cases. This means we are very familiar with the range of effects that a user can have, and can assess IF it is supporting the sort of product experience that VitaKea is here to promote. It also means that if you ever have a question about a supplement in the store, you will always get and educated response backed by personal experience.
The other big consideration is the company behind the supplement. We’re not looking to partner up with guys that aren’t passionate about what they do, don’t care for their customers, or are engaging in dishonest practices. We’re looking to support businesses that are around to bring unique improvment to the industry, not just rip off the same old formulas. VitaKea looks to create long term relationships, not to just turn a quick buck. We want to work with people on a similar mission, and those we can trust to stay true to quality for years to come. If that sounds like you, or a company you know of - get in touch! It would be a pleasure to hear from you.
And finally, WHO are WE?
Well g’day, I’m Thomas.
- Founder & Caretaker of VitaKea.
What I’ve done & what I’m doing.
Currently based in rural Hamilton (New Zealand), you may see me as a pretty darn young presence on this earth, the kind might say “a fresh face.”
After having completed a Be(Hons) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University of Canterbury in 2017, I began working for a Fortune 500 engineering consultancy firm in the bustling city of Wellington. I was always a lover of all things performance, but in this new highly technical role, I wanted to take it up a notch. This is where my love of biohacking grew from the odd bottle of pills or intermittent fast, to full blown obsession. Supplements, personal quantification tools, self experiments and digesting the latest research now swamps my time and what you now see of VitaKea now is the result.
Since March of 2020 I've also been the owner and curator of "The Cave Nutrition Store NZ" which was formed in partnership with our mates over in Aussie (The Cave Nutrition Store based in Sydney). For those who are curious, The Cave is a more Sports Supplement focused retail point (as opposed to the more Nootropic focus at VitaKea) which is more inclusive to different options. As opposed to the "closely dictated" range available at VitaKea (which is officially "my baby"). And in big news... of November 2020, The Cave is now a full blown Brick & Mortar retail store based in Hamilton next to the big Les Mills! (807 Victoria Street). This is where you'll find me most days, so if you're in town, stop by for a yarn!
Outside of the business I enjoy to hang out with loved ones, cook tasty food, meditate, read (a lot!), exercise, get into nature, and harass people about how awesome fungi are. I’ve also got a sweet (demonic) cat named Loui (aka. Lucifer) who tends to absorb all the attention he possibly can.
What do I do for Health? #biohacking
This certainly varies from month to month as I experiment with different regimes, food and supplementation. However, there are still several core lifestyle components that keep structure to my days.
I keep regular sleep routines, rising early in the morning and aiming for around 8 hours sleep each night.
My successful day generally includes a period of meditation, as well as mindfulness practices integrated well into the tasks of the day.
Regular, intense and limit pushing exercise is very important to me for both physical and mental benefits. There's nothing like a good sweat to get out that existential angst. ;)
I usually eat on a intermittent fasting routine, and perform 24-36hr water fasts every once in a while to shake things up.
Very importantly, I also make sure to set aside for personal relationships, personal growth and furthering education. I set goals relating to nearly every aspect of life and drive development by continuously pushing comfort boundaries. In a way, VitaKea is very much a part of this action. Nothing is ever fixed, always in flux.
The other folk behind the scenes
There are few great folk that lend a hand to the VitaKea quest its always a pleasure to acknowledge them. But just for now, their presence will be kept private. VitaKea was actually started with a close mate, whom helped out with the early shaping of the business - and is still to this day a regular consult for everything from supplement formulations, to snazzy branding. For now, this "mystery individual" shall remain as a ghost financier, and revered opinion into the guidance of VitaKea.
What is worth acknowledging is that VitaKea is a personally funded venture and we have no big commercial contracts distorting our content or purpose. This is how we intend to keep it. Seeking quality over quantity and only what encourages passion in its presence. Sure this slows growth, and certainly brings up challenges. But with slow growth we can stay true to the intention, and through the journey can refine the craft to produce a better service - for you and for us.
Moving ForwardFound this (see below) well-loved knowledge gem at the bottom of the Hakarimata Summit trail…fitting considering its a whopping 1349 steps to the top. Also highly reflective of what a journey the VitaKea store is proving to be. Just putting one-step after another, we know where we’re going, but sure as heck we are expecting a learning lesson every step of the way. Right now that's how we're taking it, building the store up with a wider selection of products, more valuable information, and growing the service into what New Zealand calls for.
Thanks for taking a gander, if your keen for a chat - definitely get in touch!