Clean­ing up

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature - By hand

Work­ing from home is the ul­ti­mate dream for many peo­ple but set­ting up a busi­ness can seem so daunt­ing and risky that it re­mains a fan­tasy.

Ker­ryn and Phill both work part-time off-block, but when a friend told them about the soap-mak­ing busi­ness she was sell­ing, they could see a great op­por­tu­nity and felt it was a good home busi­ness that they could ex­pand while they built their house.

Ker­ryn has al­ways en­joyed craft mak­ing, and she was won­der­ing what she could turn into a busi­ness when the op­por­tu­nity arose. While her knowl­edge of soap-mak­ing was lim­ited, she had al­ready stud­ied essen­tial oils through a cor­re­spon­dence course which proved use­ful for what has turned out to be Clean Earth Soap.

Golden Bay is not an easy place to make a liv­ing. Its iso­la­tion and small pop­u­la­tion means that peo­ple have to be in­no­va­tive and creative at earn­ing those pre­cious dol­lars. The in­ter­net has helped enor­mously where busi­ness own­ers pre­vi­ously strug­gled to reach dis­tant mar­kets.

Ker­ryn liked the idea of sell­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly prod­uct with well­sourced in­gre­di­ents. Her soap is 50% olive oil which she finds hard to source in New Zealand, but she feels this will im­prove as more olives are grown. Soap-mak­ing doesn’t re­quire ta­ble grade olive oil as a sec­ond press­ing of lower grade oil works well.

The other in­gre­di­ents are cer­ti­fied or­ganic co­conut oil from the Philip­pines and cer­ti­fied or­ganic palm oil from Columbia. Ker­ryn stresses that this type of palm oil is from a sus­tain­able, well-man­aged source, com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the palm oil that re­ceives bad press when in­dige­nous forests are felled for plan­ta­tions. Buy­ing from an or­ganic source en­cour­ages sus­tain­able man­age­ment and helps pro­mote or­ganic grow­ing.

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