Can you describe the difference between natural and unnatural deodorants?
Natural deodorants generally contain gentle non-synthetic ingredients. They can be plant-based ingredients, contain pure essential oils and things you can probably find in your pantry! I find it really strange that people would want to block their sweat for 48hours (as some brands claim). Sweating is a necessary and natural body function to rid the body of toxins! Some of the ingredients in commercially produced unnatural deodorants are pretty nasty and may have bad side effects with long term use. If the ingredient name is hard to pronounce and contains more than 24 letters my alarm bells ring!
Why did you make your products vegan, ethical, and cruelty-free?
The mission statement for our brand is "What we put into the earth will return to us". It makes us accountable for all our actions and we bring everything we do back to this statement. Probably from a purely selfish point of view, we want to feel good about what we are doing and being an ethical manufacturer feels good!
It’s not easy to start a business and it’s even harder to keep it going. Are there any times you’ve found particularly hard?
There have been quite a few times that business has been hard. From starting our own VLB concept stores and all the lessons learned there. In particular, understanding how to manage people in order to grow your business (our strengths are making things not managing people so that is always challenging!). A couple of years ago when retail first started to struggle that was hard and we decided not to continue with bricks and mortar retail. In hindsight, it was one of the best things that has happened to us. Our new direction is exciting and it inspires Micko and I. We took our time to redefine our business and where we wanted to head. I also took up yoga and have become mad keen for handstands!
What advice can you give to someone wanting to start a business?
The biz experts say "DON'T DO IT!" because a really high percentage of businesses fail in the first year. I think that you should be prepared to put in the hard work and expect no monetary reward for at least three years. Everything needs to go back into your business to develop it for future stability. If you think you can go without pay for three years and still feel passionate about what you are doing then it's probably the thing for you! If not, drop it like it's hot!!