Mike is the eldest of four children to June and Colin Carlton. June, a New Zealand Māori of Ngati Whakaue descent (a Te Arawa sub-tribe, with affiliations to the Hinemoa Point Marae in Rotorua). was an art teacher at Katikati College for much of her working life. It was June who encouraged Mike into the arts in the late 1980s, effectively creating the opportunity for him to develop Aeon Giftware.
Mike feels strongly about creating and presenting more than just ethnic giftware; he uses his ancestry and knowledge of Māori culture to relate the mythology and ideology associated through Aeon's authentic designs and products.
Quite separate to Mike’s life as a business entrepreneur is a wonderful ongoing relationship with his wife Bev, their nine children and eleven grandchildren with two more on the way! The Carlton Family just keeps getting bigger!
Reuben has been employed at Aeon Giftware for over 12 years and is the master carver behind every carved keychain, magnet, pendant and standing carving that leaves Aeon Giftware! Reuben also handcrafts every one of Aeon’s large Waka (CA03 as pictured), making everyone a slightly different and special one-off piece!
Outside of Aeon, Reuben’s hobby is a model railway and the high attention to detail that comes along with it. Reuben has a large collection of over 50 locomotives and 400 carriages. His main train line is a combined length of 140 metres. That’s 1.4 rugby fields long and it’s all crammed into his hobby room!