When professional snowboarder Robert Mitchell got injured, he turned to his great, great-grandfather’s bone broth recipe.
The recipe was brought to New Zealand when his grandfather came to look for gold, and three generations on, worked wonders for Mitchell’s recovery.
Mitchell found that he was going to the doctors when he was injured, and he’d always get the usual medication to help his pain.
While these were useful, he noted that what he fed himself while he was healing was also incredibly important.
“I have used bone broth to rehabilitate injuries in the past with great results. This led me to develop Mitchell’s Bone Broth Powder, made using our traditional recipe, and dried to remove the water but preserve the rich nutritional profile.
“It really helps bounce back from an injury and recover from a heavy session to stay strong to keep doing what I love.”
Mitchell says making original bone broth took a lot of time and painstaking effort, especially when one of his arms was in a sling. But four years on, he was finally successful in creating a winning formula.
He says bone broth is packed with healthy, nutritious ingredients like amino acids, collagen, and proline, that improve the wellbeing of others.
Mitchell’s Bone Broth Powder is also dairy free, gluten free, and legume free, and it contains no antibiotics or hormones.
The last year has been difficult for Mitchell, as logistics became far more of a challenge and prices increased across the board.
However, sales have surged, as the pandemic has amped up the demand for healthy, natural food and a surge in local support.
Mitchell has had some trouble finding subcontractors. He says that patience, perseverance, determination have been the key to solving these problems.
The entrepreneur is inspired by ideas that are outside of the norm. He loves it when people follow their interests and people that create new products or ideas.
A year from now, he sees the business growing its product range and getting into export markets. Currently, Mitchell’s Nutrition sells mainly online, selling DTC and stock to roughly 50 independently owned health stores in NZ and posting some orders to Australia.
All its ingredients are New Zealand-grown. Its products are created from 100% grass fed bone and vegetable. Mitchell is proud that the bone broth consists of products that are grown, raised, processed, and packed in this country.
Mitchell says he will continue to expand his business and strive to make more nutritious and healthy food products.
“Our mission is to elevate the standard of mental and physical wellness through innovative health supplements made locally using premium New Zealand ingredients.”
NZ Made Day on 21st November 2020 and is a day where you can support New Zealand businesses that make their products locally.
This year many eCommerce retailers are offering either Free Delivery or a Free Gift with purchase on NZMade Day.
#nzmadeday Deals On Instagram
Go on to the Buy NZ Made Instagram or search the Instagram hashtags #shopkiwi and #nzmadeday for businesses who are offering free delivery, a free gift with purchase or something else to entice you to buy on NZMade Day.
The 10 NZ Made products are from some of the participating ecommerce retailers offering Free Delivery or a Free Gift on NZ Made Day, so get ready to #shopkiwi.
The Difference You Can Make
During Level 3 lockdown, thousands of businesses owners were inundated with eCommerce orders as Kiwis went to support those who made products in New Zealand. NZ Made Day is your opportunity to make a difference again by through purchasing the products they’ve worked so hard to build, craft, sew or sculpt.
Covid has been a tough year. Let’s help Kiwi businesses finish strong and #shopkiwi on NZ Made Day.
10. Handmade Wooden Activity Play Gyms
Made from clear pine, sanded smooth, this elegant and simple activity frame is the perfect gift for any young baby. Featuring 3 sets of toys hanging from the frame made of food grade silicone beads in Mustard Yellow, Tui Blue, Marble, Grey, and natural Beech wood, providing a range of different textures, shapes and movable parts to keep your young one entertained.
If your bubba can’t get enough of wriggling around, try something new with a gorgeous play gym from Nik Nax on Gift Tree. Gift Tree are offering a FREE GIFT, this NZ Made Day.
9. Mānuka Honey Lip Balm for Sore or Dry Lips
For sore or dry lips, it doesn’t get much more soothing than a combination New Zealand’s superhero ingredient, mānuka honey, with the beauty of calendula. Combined, Hayley Benseman Skincare have created a gorgeous product that soothes and helps heal. The beautiful natural ingredients make it great for those who have sensitive skin.
Use it for yourself or for your kiddies as its all-natural and edible (we all know they lick most of it off anyway). Hayley Benseman are offering a FREE GIFT on NZ Made Day, so make sure you don’t miss out.
8. New Zealand Sheep Milk Powder for Sensitive Tummies
People have been milking sheep in many parts of the world for thousands of years, and it is now experiencing a strong resurgence in popularity. Studies suggest sheep milk may be a very good alternative for those who struggle with the digestion of cow’s milk or experience an upset stomach after drinking milk.
Spring Sheep Milk is made by Kiwi families for the world to enjoy, so why not give it a go in your Sunday pancakes. Spring Sheep are proud to offer FREE SHIPPING, this NZ Made Day.
7. NZ Bird Panels Ready to be Decorated
Native Woodcraft is a family owned business specialising in decorative wooden panels with links to Ngāti Kahunguni and Te Atiawa. The designer panels are most often used in outdoor spaces, entertainment areas, playgrounds and even fencing. They often feature NZ Native birds so you can pick your favourite.
They’re made in Dannevirke out of high quality NZ pine and can be painted, stained, varnished or left a-la-natural. Native Woodcraft are also proud to offer FREE SHIPPING on NZ Made Day with code “NZMADE21”.
6. NZ Hoki Oil that Keeps Your Furbaby’s Coat Healthy
Newflands Hoki oil is a unique fish product that is high in Omegas from sustainably fished stock around the pristine waters of New Zealand. It is a lovely golden liquid which is easily digested when pumped over your pets’ food. Founder, Fiona Robertson decided to make Newflands after she couldn’t find any other option on the market and found that it helps her dogs’ joint health, coat shine and skin health.
Help your dog as it gets older with Newflands, they are also offering a FREE GIFT this NZ Made Day.
Relax, draw a bath and indulge in this gorgeous soap on NZ Made Day. Ahhh Bodycare are proud to offer 25% off online during NZ Made Day.
4. Stay Fit in the Office with NZ’s Innovative Desk
Let’s be honest, do you really use your sit-stand desk? Or do you just leave it sitting or standing most of the time. It’s okay…it’s not you, it’s the desk. Limber’s innovative desk has been called the world’s healthiest desk by professors from UC Berkeley.
It’s because the desk moves as fast as you can, with a time-tested rope and pulley system that means you don’t have to wait for…..ever…..for the desk to move. Limber will offer FREE SHIPPING this NZ Made Day.
3. Fantail Panels for NZ Native Bird Lovers
Studio 397 designs and manufactures an affordable range of quality outdoor garden art that will add colour and create atmosphere to any home, bach, fence or even your work space, and most importantly will not rust or break down. This cheeky Pīwakawaka (Fantail) is handpainted on a sign grade PVC with pāua eye detail.
Freshen up that outdoor space with a Fantail, or another native bird that strikes your fancy. Grab your Studio 397 art with FREE SHIPPING this NZ Made Day.
2. Quench Your Thirst with an NZ Drink Made with NZ Fruit
Grab a mixed crate of Pete’s Natural Sodas and enjoy NZ fruits in the summer sun. Pete’s Natural are a family owned business in sunny Motueka, the idyllic top of the south, close to the Abel Tasman National Park. Their passion is to be entirely natural.
Pete’s recipes are a closely guarded secret, tested many times with family and friends before the final delicious formula was nailed for the first delicious boutique lemonade back in 2009. Pete’s Natural are celebrating NZ Made Day with FREE SHIPPING and a 15% DISCOUNT.
1. NZ Christmas Cards for the People who Helped you Through 2020
It’s been a tough year for everyone, share a part of your Kiwi Christmas with someone special with a 12 Days of a New Zealand Christmas card from Little Paper Hugs! Each day features another bit of classic Kiwiana, like “Four Tūi’s Calling, Three Flat Whites, Two Buzzy Bees And A Kiwi In Native Bush.”
Little Paper Hugs are offering FREE SHIPPING for NZ Made Day to spread a little joy at the end of a hard Year.
#ShopKiwi this NZ Made Day
When medical herbalist and health scientist Sandra Clair settled in Dunedin from Switzerland and decided to start a health clinic in 1995, she was surprised that plant or herbal medicines were not an option in New Zealand’s mainstream health system.
“They were almost nowhere to be found,” she recalls.
Since launching her brand Artemis in 1998, she has played a key role in the growing acceptance of plant-based medicine in New Zealand.
She says medicinal plants have unique active compounds with scientifically confirmed effectiveness to treat common ailments – including reducing anxiety, improving sleep, aiding digestion, and assisting with immunity and detoxification.
Artemis wasn’t so much a big bright idea but emerged out of demand from her clients.
“I am an accidental entrepreneur. My clients asked me to start retailing the products that I was prescribing for them and I was happy to do so.”
Launching a global health brand hasn’t been without its challenges.
She says unlike in Australia, Canada, the EU and Switzerland, New Zealand’s current Medicines Act 1981 does not permit legitimate health claims or the discussion of scientific results.
So, it is difficult to communicate the benefits of New Zealand’s medicinal plants, even if they are scientifically proven.
In addition, New Zealand has not yet established a strong medicinal herb growing industry as is the case in Europe, where local governments subsidise organic agriculture to provide pesticide and herbicide free medicinal plants.
Clair says as we look to rebuild New Zealand’s economy, more investment in R&D around locally-grown plants would open up opportunities to establish new markets for premium Kiwi-made products for the global stage.
The company is working towards a model where 10% of Artemis sales are local and 90% in overseas markets, mostly China.
While 2020 has thrown curveballs, Artemis is now benefiting from the early economic recovery in China.
“The year has been anything but predictable and we are riding with agility the rollercoaster that is our world with Covid as best we can.”
The early outbreak in China disrupted business and caused the opening of its Tmall Flagship store to be delayed.
That set Artemis back in its build-up to the important peak selling season and winter in China.
“There are definitely challenges, with closures during periods of lockdown among our New Zealand retail partners, and with the costs of international freight.”
But as a smaller business, it has been nimble, resilient and able to adapt.
“A good example of how we’ve adapted is with the freight cost challenge. Our hero export product for China is Artemis Thyme Lemon Tonic, packaged in a heavy 250ml glass bottle.
“We knew we needed to find a better way, so we worked with our manufacturing partners to create a lightweight single serve sachet format, boxed in convenient quantities.”
The business is two years into a three-year project with funding from Callaghan Innovation, working with Plant & Food Research at the University of Otago that evaluates the properties of fresh Central Otago Thyme extracts.
In 2019 Artemis received an NZTE International Growth Fund grant to support its China growth plan.
Clair says there are several benefits to being a Kiwi exporter, including access to incredible natural resources and the reputation and standards that New Zealand has as an export business.
But being a Kiwi company can also be a challenge as the market is small and the geographical distance can be tough.
Clair has some strong advice for other Kiwi exporters and entrepreneurs.
“Look at opportunities in a global context. Be clear and honest about where your business has true competitive advantage on a global scale.
“Tap into expertise early and listen. Really listen. Define your end users and identify why they need what your business is good at, and what is important to them.”
Selecting a board that helps to reduce knowledge gaps is crucial, she says.
“Last, but definitely not least, you need tenacity.”
Business mentors will tell you the missteps are proof that you’re trying or making progress.
But for Blush Gin founders Elliot McClymont and Chris Thomas the idea that led to their business was pure coincidence.
“One evening Chris was making a rhubarb crumble, we infused the rhubarb into the gin and the idea never went away.”
Sensing the uniqueness of the rhubarb-gin, the pair seized the opportunity to launch a whole range of infused and flavoured gins.
“We didn’t realise pink gin would be the next big thing.”
The business grew organically from a kitchen bench hobby, to having over 250 retailers nationwide.
They self-funded the business early on and relied on sales to drive cashflow, refusing to draw any profits out of the business for almost two years.
“With any entrepreneur having ‘skin in the game’ makes it very real, you fight for growth when you’ve pumped your life savings into something,” McClymont says.
However, as with all small business, the journey hasn’t been without growing pains. Scaling up was the first major challenge.
Its first commercial run was 60 bottles but after strong sales it quickly needed to grow by 900%.
McClymont says Covid-19 “completely derailed” Blush Gin’s plans for UK export, where gin sales have taken off in recent years.
The company had spent a year building a foundation to allow it to cope with export demands in the lead up to Covid.
“We are still wanting to focus on export, but the market jitters have importers quite hesitant.
“We are working around this and looking at launching internationally direct to consumer through third-party logistics.”
Its target is to be 20% export-driven for this fiscal year but the pair say brand loyalty remains strong in New Zealand, and that’s what they are most proud of.
“We have a wonderful audience of end-users who champion our brand and believe in us.”
McClymont’s advice for entrepreneurs is to think of decisions as if you were reading your own biography.
“Would you want to read the next page if the last sentence said, “I didn’t take the risk?”
He says it’s important to be realistic about risks but also back yourself.
“You can do anything; you’ve just got to try. I’m a big believer in learn from your mistakes, it’s not wasted time, but time spent on self-development.”
He says New Zealand has a great brand overseas, and Kiwi’s should leverage it.
“It also helps to be a small nimble company; we can launch new products in weeks. Test on a small scale and learn from that. It’s very Kiwi to think outside the box and make things work.”
Brianne West is on a roll.
At the start of 2019, her beauty bar business Ethique was stocked by 900 retailers. By March next year, that’s expected to be about 6000 globally.
Annual sales have grown by 300% and it has just entered the UK market via a significant partnership with Holland & Barrett, which has 840 retail stores.
It doesn’t end there.
After partnering with US online pharmacy Pharmapacks in 2017, Ethique became one of the top-selling shampoos on Amazon.
But importantly for West, the company’s achievements have not only been financial.
Since 2012, it has prevented more than 3.4 million plastic bottles from being manufactured and disposed of. Ethique is the world’s first full-range beauty brand to be zero-waste.
While studying biology at University of Canterbury, West taught herself cosmetic chemistry from scratch.
“Seven years later, I’m still running the world’s first zero-waste beauty and lifestyle brand and, incredibly, Ethique is still the only full-range ‘solid’ beauty brand and is available in more than 14 countries.”
West decided to create ‘solid’ beauty products after discovering shampoos and conditioners are made up of mostly water.
“Simply put, I wanted to create a product that wouldn’t leave a trace on this earth – including its packaging, which is biodegradable,” she says.
The value-driven entrepreneur once removed a top selling product from the range because she could no longer source an ingredient sustainably.
“At times it is back to the lab to figure out how we can move forward with a product that doesn’t compromise our values,” she says.
She says New Zealand has been a “fantastic” place to start Ethique.
“I have never been short on support whether it be from mentors, banks, manufacturers, shareholders and others.”
West says surrounding herself with people who believed in her idea has been key to Ethique’s success.
“Even if they’re not an expert in your industry, being able to bounce ideas off someone else is very useful and adds an outside perspective.”
She says it’s important not to over-plan.
“Put a simple plan on a page and get started – and don’t ignore the financial side of things.
“If you wait until your product is perfect, you’ve waited too long to launch. As the saying goes, ‘if you are not embarrassed by your first product, you waited too long’.”
West successfully used crowdfunding platform PledgeMe for two capital raises.
Since then, she has never been short on support from mentors, banks, manufacturers or shareholders.
She says her parents, in particular, have been “hugely supportive” and her mum has worked alongside her from the start.
In the past couple of years, one of her mentors, Tristan Roberts, took a strong interest in the business and came out of retirement to work as Ethique’s chief operating officer.
“I don’t think the brand would be where it is without these successful people in my life to take advice from when it comes to leading the business in the right direction, especially now since we’re on a global scale.”
West says the company’s future is in overseas markets, which in 2016 represented just 1% of sales. Overseas sales are now about 65% and forecast to be more than 75% in a year.
The future will see constant innovation, with 20 new products on the horizon.
West says those will allow the brand to go beyond beauty counters and pharmacy shelves, into supermarkets and pet stores.
When Nick Davenport sold his business Nexus Foams for $6.5 million in May of 2019, one might assume he would kick up his feet and revel in the success, which was 26-years in the making.
But the Auckland-based engineer did quite the opposite, putting most of the money he made into his other business, Lanaco. The company develops and manufactures filters using wool for a variety of air filtration applications.
He says the two businesses have been quite different, especially in how they were funded.
When Davenport started Nexus, he was fresh out of University of Auckland Business School and inspired by the legacy of change in New Zealand in the early 90s brought about by Sir Roger Douglas.
“[He] had triggered in me the motivation to act – that if people take responsibility for their own lives, they can take care of others, and be rewarded at the same time.
“I funded the whole business out of cash flow with a long slow burn, looking to build a secure future with a product and service I could feel proud of.”
With Lanaco, he says the goal was much bigger, and would require lots of resources and top people who knew more about making it a success than he.
“From young, smart and extremely talented, to mature, wise and extremely diligent, I am immensely to proud to call all of them part of a great team,” he says.
He started the business in 2011 to increase returns to New Zealand’s sheep farmers by adding value to the wool they produce.
Last year one of Lanaco’s wool-based filters was picked up by NASA to protect astronauts in the Orion spacecraft on future exploration missions.
“I was a big kid when man last went into deep space in the Apollo launches to the moon in the 70s, and this exploration driven by ambition, science, design and engineering was captivating and world-changing,” Davenport recalls.
“With the Orion programme the bar is lifted by a huge order of magnitude in terms of technical rigour and safety, and thus to be selected as a material for critical life support in the most expensive vehicle in history is something our whole team is very proud of.”
Taking investment and support
Davenport’s says he underestimated how much traction the business would develop, and how much cash injection was needed to get it off the ground.
“It is probably the single biggest barrier,” he says.
Additional support came from agencies like AgMardt and Callaghan Innovation. NZTE helped with marketing, product development and capital raising.
Davenport now owns about 30% of the business with his wife Mary, and has some high-profile investors, including Sir Stephan Tindall’s K1W1, NZ Venture Investment Fund and Ice Angels.
Davenport says he’s focused on selling the tech offshore.
“There is definitely a marketing benefit to exporting a New Zealand product in some but not all sectors, but whether or not it is a net advantage overall is a harder question to answer.
“Being Kiwi does not naturally mean cost competitiveness, hence we focus on high value add, quality, trust and reliability.”
Davenport says the company is busy converting new enquiries into sales in several different markets and countries.
“This has seen our activity shift from supporting two or three customers to several in a matter of months, creating pressures on all parts of the business – great pressures to have,” he says.
He says being connected to sheep farming, an old industry struggling to meet market changes, has its advantages.
He says support for the “essential backbone” of science and research was forthcoming through the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand and its funding arm WIRL.
But the most important source of support came from his other half.
“Mary gives me the constant support needed to commit through all of the tough times.”
When Angus Brown first started a mental clarity energy drink company, he probably raised a few eyebrows.
But the young entrepreneur is backing up his claims with clinical research and his company, Ārepa, continues to gain traction.
Brown has been spending up large on studies and patent protection, completing a study at the University of Auckland’s centre for brain research with funding from Callaghan Innovation earlier this year.
The drink was found to significantly improve mental performance and accuracy in physically fatigued athletes. Ārepa’s Key ingredients include pine-bark extract, New Zealand blackcurrants and Japanese green tea.
The word ‘Ārepa’ means alpha in Māori, while ‘alpha brain waves’ are directly related to the state psychologists call ‘flow’ or ‘the zone’. It is the brain wave frequency found when people are in a wakeful state that is characterised by a relaxed alertness.
Brown was inspired to develop a drink specifically for mental performance and neurological health after working for a large multinational energy drink company and disagreeing with selling caffeine and sugar to the public.
Around the same time, he lost grandparents to cognitive illness and saw friends and family struggle with mental health and anxiety.
He says Ārepa is delivering real results for consumers.
“A lot of these people suffer from a cognitive concern and if we can improve that through a New Zealand-made functional food and then validate it with real science then I know we’re on the right track.”
The company recently moved to a new large-scale manufacturing facility that is shared with Karma Cola.
“That’s allowed us to start to engage with export markets, prior to this we were selling out each month in New Zealand and unable to really produce meaningful volumes for export,” Brown says.
Export comprises 5% of sales, but Brown expects that to grow to 20% within 12-months and 40% in the next couple of years.
The company export to Singapore, the Middle East, North Asia and the US.
It also launched an updated beverage containing a third of the calories and over 180 blackcurrants in every bottle.
Brown says the most challenging aspect of the business has been trying to grow sales, brand and a research and development programme all at the same time on a bootstrapped budget with a very small team.
However, the business has a solid group of investors behind it who believe in the product.
Investment from its two key ingredient providers – pine bark from Enzo Nutraceuticals and blackcurrants Waipuna Farms – gives the company the ability to scale when it enters the big markets.
Brown says being New Zealand-made can only take a company so far – quality is paramount.
“You still need to be the best product or service wise but the brand and provenance story for us has an advantage in food products for sure.”
His advice for other Kiwi exporters is to “make your product the best in the world get help when you need it, ensure your brand is epic, politely hustle and never, ever give up.”
With the global nootropics (natural or synthetic substances that can be taken to improve mental performance) market set to hit $6 billion, the future looks bright for Ārepa.
Now we’ve got freedom to head out and shop, now is the time to put your money where your mouth is and support local, business leaders say.
Neighbourly’s Local Likes campaign is asking people to highlight a business nearby that they love and let others in their neighbourhoods know.
The push across the 830,000-strong homegrown social network is just what local enterprise needed, says Dane Ambler of Business New Zealand.
“I think it’s a fantastic initiative. These local businesses closed their doors to make sure we were safe over the past couple of months and now for them it’s a matter of life and death.”
“They need us now, so it is time for us to act on all this talk of supporting local businesses and it’s great to see Neighbourly helping out.”
The business advocacy organisation was running its own campaign ShopKiwi which shares a similar ethos and aims to give a boost to all locally owned businesses.