Sweet scent of de­odor­ant suc­cess

Havelock North Village Press - - News - BY LINDA HALL

Frus­tra­tion and em­bar­rass­ment led Mel Lewis to her kitchen bench try­ing to find a so­lu­tion to her prob­lem.

“I was do­ing a huge amount of train­ing for Ox­fam and couldn’t find a sin­gle de­odor­ant that worked for me,” Mel said.

Ox­fam Trail­walker is a char­ity team chal­lenge where teams of four walk 100km or 50km to raise funds to help poverty in the Pa­cific re­gion. Mel’s team walked the 100km.

“I have re­ally sen­si­tive skin and wanted some­thing that was nat­u­ral. Noth­ing I tried worked so it was re­ally out of ne­ces­sity that Kiri­wai Nat­u­ral De­odor­ants were born,” Mel says.

“There was a lot of trial and er­ror be­fore I got it right and I have had a lot of help from some in­cred­i­ble peo­ple in Hawke’s Bay. The peo­ple at the Busi­ness Hub in Ahuriri have been fan­tas­tic.”

Kiri­wai Nat­u­ral De­odor­ants are min­eral-based, in re­cy­clable pack­ag­ing with biodegrad­able in­gre­di­ents.

“Ev­ery­body is dif­fer­ent so there is a scent to suit all and only the most ‘scent’sa­tional blends are used.” Mel says there is a bit of a stigma around nat­u­ral de­odor­ants.

“Peo­ple think you are a smelly hip­pie,” she laughs. “How­ever, the mar­ket is chang­ing and more and more peo­ple are turn­ing to nat­u­ral prod­ucts. They want to know what they are putting on their skin and they also want to know that pack­ag­ing is re­cy­clable.”

Mel started by us­ing the prod­ucts her­self, then shared some with friends and fam­ily.

“It re­ally has just taken off from there — by word of mouth.”

Her first ef­fort used a com­mon ingredient found in many nat­u­ral prod­ucts — bak­ing soda.

This “burnt” Mel’s skin so she did some re­search and started us­ing mag­ne­sium hy­drox­ide, a nat­u­ral an­tibac­te­rial which stops smells and zinc ox­ide which re­acts with sweat mol­e­cules, turn­ing into body odour. Mel grew up in Welling­ton where she and her hus­band worked in bank­ing. They moved to Hawke’s Bay in 2010 to run Hawthorn House.

“Our friends and fam­ily thought we were crazy. It was hard work but re­ward­ing. We must have been do­ing some­thing right be­cause while we were run­ning it, it was voted sec­ond best bed and break­fast by Trip Ad­vi­sor.”

Af­ter five years the cou­ple, who have three chil­dren, moved to Have­lock North.

“My hus­band went back to fi­nance and I went to de­odor­ant,” Mel laughs. “It was my hus­band who said I needed a busi­ness plan when things started to take off.”

Mel says it’s ex­cit­ing to be in­volved with busi­ness peo­ple in Hawke’s Bay.

“There is a pos­i­tive vibe in Hawke’s Bay — it is a cool place to be in busi­ness. I love the fact that I have time to chat with clients and it just makes my day when I get an email from a cus­tomer.”

I have tried these prod­ucts, and they work. It has the con­sis­tency of a balm and is ap­plied with fin­ger tips.Mas­sage it in, then wait a mo­ment be­fore dress­ing to en­sure none trans­fers to clothes.

PHO­TOS / WAR­REN BUCK­LAND

Mel Lewis with her nat­u­ral de­odor­ants.

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