BEHIND THE BRAND – ESSENTIALS ONLY
Meet Kelly. Her passion for creating safe and practical products is infectious! She has been a familiar face at our markets and a true inspiration! Kelly has been on a journey of eliminating nasty chemicals from a range of household items for the safety of her family and now you can do the same by purchasing her products!
When did you start your business and how did you come up with the idea?
My daughter received a Frozen hair detangling spray and brush pack for Christmas a few years ago. She thought it was the best thing ever so immediately we had to use it. By that night she had a red rash along the top of her forehead at her hairline. I checked and she had the same rash on the back of her neck. Needless to say that was the last time she used that spray. But years later we are still using the bottle – we just make our own version and refill the bottle whenever it is empty. This is where my business idea started. I wanted other mums to be able to do the same thing – use a few simple ingredients and make their own natural and safe hair detangling spray version rather than the toxic filled sprays and creams that we buy from the shops. Friends and family started asking me to make things for them and eventually someone said “you should start a business doing this” – the rest, as they say, is history.
What does your daily life look like and where do you find the time to create?
I do have a full time job that I love – I am a high school science teacher. I am a scientist by trade and have always been fascinated by testing out new things and finding a better way of doing something. I love teaching – especially those amazing moments when you see the dawn of realisation on someone when they understand something and can now explain it or teach someone else. That is magic. The same experience translates to my business – once I teach someone how to make their own lip balm and they realise how easy it to personalise the flavour or scents to their liking, they never look back. They completely stop buying the petro-chemical filled commercial lip balms from the shops and they will make their own forever more. I then hear stories of how they have taught their kids to make their own lip balms or their parents or the cousins. This is what makes me happy.
I simply find the time when I can. My kids are 5 now and they are always keen to help me make up a roller bottle or refill their bath salts containers. They get especially excited when someone comes to collect a purchase and they get to say hi – if you’re lucky my daughter will also make you take a colouring in that she’s made just for you. I do a lot of the planning at night time and it can take weeks to develop a new DIY Kit – it involves making it multiple times to ensure I have the measurements absolutely accurate and then designing the label and then the marketing. I make it work because I choose to – a big part of my business is teaching people how to reduce their mental load and make their life more enjoyable, so I need to make sure I practice that myself.
What keeps you going when things are tough or you have a lack of motivation?
What do I do when I’m lacking motivation? My main motivation is the success I hear people having – I converted my aunty to making her own kitchen surface spray and she has so much confidence to make it herself every time now and gets so proud of herself. My mum has some natural alternatives for her pain and inflammation after having both her knees reconstructed at the same time recently. It is the best feeling knowing you can help people. When I find myself lacking motivation it is usually because I’ve let myself get run down – I’ve stayed up too late at night or haven’t been eating right. I simply start again the next day and go back to my essentials and work from there. I go to bed early and get a good nights sleep. Each day I start with a few short lists of what I want to achieve that day. Be kind to yourself – you can’t look after anyone else if you’re not feeling well.
What is the main thing you have learned while running a small business or passion project?
I’ve learnt that I am quite capable of doing much more than I thought I was. I have also realised that I can’t do everything on my own and it takes a village to make anything like this happen. Not just my own family to support me but a community to support the idea and run with it. I love the way the Sunshine Coast is always willing to support local businesses and therefore local families.
What does each sale mean to you?
A purchase means that someone supports me and my belief that we are capable of being empowered individuals who can use natural raw ingredients to make something that nourishes our body, either on the outside or the inside or both. It proves that people don’t just want to be sold to and told this is the best bottle and the cheapest and when you’ve finished it you need to come back and buy another one from me. People want connections with other people. When people buy something from me it means when they send me a message or email with a question on how to make something or what combination is best for their needs, I’ll reply to them and will keep doing so until they are satisfied and confident to do it themselves.