OUR STAREX TEAM

We would not be the company we are today without our brilliant team. They have oodles of energy, passion, expertise and LOVE what they do. Our team come from lots of different backgrounds, but share the same passion here at Starex HQ: designing and crafting the best quality furniture on the market for Australian ECE Services.

We think Monday might be their favourite day of the week!

"The Starex team have been amazing and really listened to what we wanted and provided helpful information whenever it was needed. I loved the process because it helped us refine what this space looks like, not just for 2-3 years, but 10-15 years in the future."

My name is Franco Cristobal Bustillos Rojas. I’m from Chile, living in Tauranga South with my girlfriend. My role is a cabinet maker & I come with a positive energy and attitude to learn and contribute to the team. I like to spend time in my workshop where I can create different things & I also like to swim in the pool and beat my own record! I love riding my bike on sunny days.
Hi my name is So Jung Yoon, you can call me Sophia. I am originally from Korea, I just moved here to Tauranga from Palmerston North to join the Starex team. I am a cabinet maker in the joinery department. When I am not working, normally I will be relaxing at home with some craft things, like knitting, drawing, and sometimes carving. Also, I love to experience new activities, so I want to learn surfing in Tauranga
Hi I’m Melissa and I am a Managing Director of Starex. My responsibilities are vast and can include managing of projects and the day to day running of Starex, photography of products and people and projects such as websites and catalogues. I like to create a fun workplace and enjoy working with the great people at Starex, I’m often found laughing lots (and loudly) & snorting occasionally! I love being a mum of 3 beautiful girls & 2 fur baby Cavalier King Charles spaniels and I have a keen interest in natural health.
Hi, I’m Monique, the Australia Sales Coordinator at Starex. I love being a part of a great team made up of amazing people, all with valuable skills. I live in Tauranga with my husband and our lovely Spoodle Pixie. We enjoy outdoor activities, travelling and catching up with family and friends.
Hi, I am Andrew. I work as a CAD Technician taking the amazing concepts from the designers and making them ready for manufacture. I am originally from Auckland, I moved to Tauranga in 2021 and fell in love with the mount and its many wonders (mostly the surf). Before joining the team, I worked on a range of projects within the product design and architectural industries, from Darts to commercial refits. You will find me in the design office making funny looking faces at my computer. I love to travel and try new experiences, most recently spending the 2022-2023 winter season in Canada becoming a qualified snowboard instructor
Hi, I’m Kylie. We moved back from the UK two years ago, we are so happy and thankful to be back in New Zealand, and in the Bay. I am married to wife Deb with two adult children, who will always be my babies. I have been furniture making for over 20 years – in that time working on church furniture and architectural joinery. In our spare time when we are not working, we enjoy traveling and visiting friends and family around the Bay of Plenty. We are also trying to find time to work on our Reno!
Hi I’m Zoe, you will find me in the Design Department at Starex. I have been working in the Interior Design Industry for the past 11 years. My career has predominantly been carried out overseas, however, it feels great to be back working and living in New Zealand. My passion is client relations: ensuring the project embodies the clients desired finish and function. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, downhill mountain biking and upcycling/DIY projects.
Hi, I’m Jo and you will find me in Reception working in Customer Service. I have worked within administration roles since I left school and I really enjoy this line of work. I live in Tauranga with my husband, our 2 teenagers and 5 pets. I love spending time with family, tiki-touring, shopping and pottering around the house.
Hi, I’m John. I am one of the Joiners here at Starex, I come with many skills sets from experience as a  Lath Turner and Glazer to having worked on solid wood kitchens, office fit outs and site work. I am from Masterton, living in Te Puke now. We have six grandchildren, with family in Morrinsville, Te Puke and Masterton. When I’m not working, you will find Kim and I bodyboarding, fishing, enjoying social outings and spending time with our grandchildren. I have also started up a lawnmowing racing club.
Talofa lava, my name is Te’a and I am the Dispatcher at Starex. I am from Samoa and moved to New Zealand in 2001. My partner and I moved to Mount Maunganui in 2020 and live in Papamoa with our two boys. In my spare time I enjoy going to the beach, keeping fit and spending time with my family.
Hi, I’m Amanda and I love being part of the Starex ‘family’ and have been part of the office team working in accounts for the past 8 years. We have lots of fun and laughs between all the hard work being done! I have lived in Tauranga for the past 27 years. Family is the most important thing to me. I have 2 adult children and a gorgeous dog called Murphy. Most of our extended family live locally, so I feel very lucky to have lots of family support and fun family parties. I love to explore the great outdoors, walking, gardening, eating healthy food and spending lots of time with my children.
Hi, I’m Taku and I’m the CNC Operator for Starex. I’m from Japan and I’ve been in the Bay of Plenty for nine years. In my spare time I like to go fishing, DIY and spend quality time with my family.
Hi, I’m Rhiarne. I’m from Taupo and I moved to Tauranga when I was 19. I have been and gone a few times but I’m now settled here. I have a giant dog, an Alaskan Malamute. We go hiking and biking together, I also enjoy being in my garden and cooking and baking. You will find me in Dispatch here at Starex.
Hey, I’m Hayley and I work in Sales and Marketing Support for Starex. I come with over 17 year’s experience working in Early Childhood Education, I am very excited to start a new journey alongside Starex and their team. I am originally from Whākatane, however now call Mount Maunganui home where my Husband, son, and our fur baby (cat) live.  In my spare time I enjoy reading a good book, whether that be a crime or thriller. I also enjoy keeping fit at the gym, and spending time with family and friends. As a family we love to take our caravan away and spend time at the beach, in winter you will find us on the mountain snowboarding.
Hi, I’m Heike and I am the factory manager here at Starex. I am originally from Germany, where I studied Cabinet Making. I came to New Zealand 14 years ago and soon after my arrival in NZ I moved to sunny Mount Maunganui. I enjoy the diversity that my role provides as well as being able to learn and grow alongside the Starex team. In my spare time I love travelling, socialising with friends old and new, pottering around the garden and eating good food.
Hi I’m Morrie and I was born in Taumarunui where I completed a Joinery Apprenticeship at the age of 17. Soon after my studies I spent my OE working in various roles from apartment renovations to working at the Sydney Art Gallery. I have been with Starex for 3 years where I am kept busy in the Assembly/Dispatch area. I love to tinker with old classic cars, renovate, play golf & fish. I am married with one son Keegan (15yrs) and we have a 17 year old dog called Ollie.
Hi I’m Shaun and I lead the painting and finishing department and am proud to be part the Starex family. I take great pride in ensuring that the upmost care is taken in the finishing and painting of all our products, nothing but the best for our customers! I am passionate about my music and playing guitar and love where I live here in the Mount, its such a great place to be.
Hi I’m Elinor and I am a Mechanical Engineer from Sweden. I have a background in the telecom and retail industry but am now thrilled to have a role as a designer here at Starex. I love to create inspiring play areas for children and multi-functional furniture. I find my son and daughter my greatest source of inspiration. I met my kiwi husband on a surf trip to Costa Rica and we got married in Bali in 2011. I relocated from Sweden to NZ in 2018 and have embraced the kiwi lifestyle with everything it has to offer. I love to run, surf and sew and I once caught a shark on a hand line.
Hi, I’m James and I work in Marketing for Starex. My main passions are learning languages (especially Spanish) spending quality time with mates and of course, sport and Football! I love working with Starex because it is a company with strong values at the heart of what they do. I love being where the Starex magic happens and seeing the business grow. Muchas gracias!
Hi I’m Matt and I am a Managing Director of Starex. I wear a lot of hats around the factory ranging from site visits, designing and quoting products, overseeing production, staffing & working on the floor. In my spare time I love playing football with my local club Tauranga City. I enjoy being at home with family, throwing arrows at a dartboard and savouring the odd craft beer.
Hi I’m Steven and I am a Cabinet Maker in our Joinery department at Starex. I’m originally from Stratford in Taranaki. I’ve worked in the wooden furniture business since I was 18 as I always knew I wanted to work with wood. In my spare time I enjoy spending time at home with my wife and 3 year old son.
Hi I’m Simon, originally from the UK, I have been in NZ for 11 years and love it! I am a welder fabricator in our Starex engineering department. I love the entire companies attitude that our product needs to be perfect for every single customer. I love to be happy in a hard working environment. In my spare time I love salt water fly fishing around the Tauranga estuary and spending time with my partner and little cat called Mouse (I blame the RSPCA for the name!). I have recently just tried my hand at installing my own kitchen and am reluctant to use it now as it looks so good!
Hi I’m Haydn, Melissa’s dad and now a part timer at Starex. I have a passion for music and as well as playing violin and guitar I’m learning the piano. I belong to our local Lions club and have served the community most of my life. I love spending time with my 7 grandkids and my dog Jake, and I’m a self-confessed sports fanatic.
Hi I’m Jenny, proud mum of Melissa. I’ve been part of the Starex team since 2000 and have seen huge changes through the years not only in the business but in Mt Maunganui itself, which I have called home all my life. Family is everything to me and I’m ‘Nanny’ to 7 wonderful grandies. In my spare time I research family history, decorate cakes and love watching Coronation Street.
Hi I’m Bruce, I was born in Taihape, NZ. I moved to Tauranga in 2002 with my lovely wife Philippa. We now have three cool boys, a dog and a cat. I enjoy biking, walking and exploring this wonderful place we call home. I really enjoy the challenge of running the Engineering department at Starex and love to have a laugh with the team.
Hi I’m Heinz and I have 43 years’ experience in the trade. The joinery department, I like to say, ‘is the place where all the ideas of the customers & design team form their final shape’. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors, bush walks & camping in out of way places with my beautiful wife. 
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