MOST BUSINESSES HAVE AN ONLINE PRESENCE NOWADAYS, EVEN IF THEY HAVE A BRICKS AND MORTAR SET UP TOO, BUT THE THING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA IS THAT EVERYTHING CAN LOOK SO PERFECT, SO CURATED, SO GLOSSY FROM THE OUTSIDE. I WANTED TO GET BEHIND THE CURTAIN, INSIDE THE MINDS AND INTO THE HEARTS OF SOME OF MY FAVOURITE BUSINESSES AND FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THEM. I FIGURED IF I WAS CURIOUS TO KNOW MORE, MAYBE YOU COULD BE TOO?
WELCOME TO MY REGULAR SERIES THE FACE BEHIND THE BUSINESS. COME BEHIND THE SCENES WITH ME, BEHIND THE PERFECT IMAGE WE SEE AT THE STORE FRONT LEVEL AND MEET SOME WONDERFUL KIWIS DOING WONDERFUL THINGS (AND LEARN THEIR SECRETS TO SUCCESS).
Honeywrap is such an ingenious product. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a natural food wrap, an reusable alternative to plastic! I remember seeing these ladies peddling their wares at Mary’s Market years ago, back when I sold my own wares there as Bubbalino (which feels like a lifetime ago) and thinking what a great idea this was. There’s always been something super special about the smell of beeswax for me and the beautiful fabrics they use to create this fabulous range of alternative to plastic food wraps makes me want to own one in every pattern. I love hearing more about how businesses get their start and know you do too.
Get cozy and grab a cup of coffee and read on to learn more about how these three friends made a successful business out of a great idea.
About the business:
Where did the original idea for your business come from?
A school project gave the idea but a mid life crisis and a couple of wines got it going. We loved its potential to make a difference and once we discovered nobody (at that time) in New Zealand was making them we decided to make our own- Honeywrap was born.
Tell me more about you? Where you live, your age (respectfully ;)), and any anecdotes you have that media might find interesting.
There are three of us Tara, Jo and Amy. Jo and Tara are 40, Amy has not quite reached that milestone yet! All based in Auckland (for now). We all have young children ( ‘The Honeywrap kids’ – they call themselves) and all studied Occupational Therapy which is how we met. We are passionate about people and improving people’s lives and I think that is why we became inspired about Honeywrap as we could see it could make a difference. Our goal is to combine our skills and eventually provide work opportunities for people with limited access to mainstream employment.
What are you most proud of with the launch of your company?
Utilising 5th form science skills and getting our own organic fabric printed with designs by NZ artists. Seeing lunchboxes with Honeywraps instead of gladwrap!
What has been the most difficult part of your journey?
Using those science research skills to get the right mix of ingredients and right amount of wax on the wrap- not too little, not too much. Learning as we go……
What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?
Realising how amazingly helpful most other business owners and people are to support a small fledgling business. Learning so many new skills and growing in confidence. Having the support and positive feedback from family and friends as Honeywrap is sometimes all encompassing!
Do you have plans to expand your range?
Yes our future designs will all tell a story like our seascape which highlights marine life most affected by plastic use. We will do different seasonal prints and collaborate with other artists and designers. With the addition of a few extra products that are a good fit with Honeywrap.
What’s your mantra or the one piece of advice that has stuck with you through the process of starting your own business?
If it was easy everyone would be doing it!
Tell me a little about you or your family.
Tara – We have two boys 6 and 8 who are great mates, usually. We love escaping the city to mountain bike or run in the Waitaks and are always talking about moving out of Auckland, just can’t decide where! I have lots of ideas and can be quite chaotic but Jo and Amy bring calmness and help put my ideas into action.
Jo – I have two boys too 4 and 6. My husband and I love seeing them outside exploring, mucking around on skateboards, scooters and bikes, climbing trees and making huts. I love our house, it’s a bit wonky, it’s kind of like living in a bach, full of light. The boys love to garden with me – observers may call it slave labour when they see my boys digging holes with adult spades for me, but they honestly love it.
Amy – Mum to three children, who love getting out on the boat, staying on grandparents farm, fishing, camping, and dreaming up big family adventures. I am a big dreamer, converser, lover of nature with a Swiss husband, and adore kids, creative mess and happy noise.
How do you juggle being a Mama and running a business?
With difficulty, though a lot easier now all of our children are older. We are all trying to set better limits on our time and enjoy time with family to achieve a more harmonious work-life balance. One of the best things about running your own business is having flexibility in your day – but one of the hardest things is also resisting reading work emails while you’re cooking dinner or watching your kids at their sports practice. Honeywrap HQ is quite a sight in the school holidays – the three of us will be inside doing business while a riot of kids are causing mayhem in the garden – they just come in when they are hungry or someone is hurt! We all love our Honeywrap business and are determined to succeed but if there’s a school sports day or some kind of special assembly we will re-arrange our Honeywrap meetings because family is the priority.
Do you have any tips on how to make a successful business work with a young family?
Balancing work and family is an ongoing struggle, although it does get easier as they get older. I think we are often our own worst enemies and put a lot of pressure on ourselves. As mothers, we tend to feel a lot of guilt, so just try to be nice to yourself and notice when you say ‘should’.
What’s your favourite (family) activity or outing?
Trip to Piha, bush walk- falls and beach to swim at. With fantastic pizza at the cafe. Any little adventure involving being in nature, both the bush and ocean are so good for the soul.
How do you get ‘me time’ and what do you enjoy doing to achieve that?
Tara – I try and go for a bike ride or run, or I love reading a book in the bath, despite chaos often going on in the background!
Jo – I go for an early morning run or walk down to the beach, it’s always hard setting an alarm and getting out of bed, but I always feel like I have got a head-start to the day when I do it. Going to a yoga class in the evenings is bliss. When life is super busy, I love to just steal 10 minutes to sit on our shabby old sofa on the deck with a good coffee and a good magazine …. it’s best thing in the world.
Amy – Gardening (no gloves or shoes- saves time finding them), sharing funny moments of week with friends (a ‘quick’ phone call is often required), exploring new bush trails (husband offers to look after kids so he has more brownie points for fishing trips)
What words of advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
Start it with someone or get yourself a good mentor. So great to have people to bounce ideas off and when one person is flagging the others can re inspire.
Your go to meal?
Wraps – whack anything in them, perfect for left-overs and great for smuggling lots of veges into. Pulled pork and slaw sliders are so ridiculously easy. If you know you are not going to have time to cook in the evening you just throw it in the slow cooker in the morning and by the time you get home dinner is pretty much sorted.
Your child/ren’s favourite food?
Butter Chicken (basically is a dessert) and sushi.
You can find Honeywrap online via these channels, so please pay Mel a visit:
SEE YOU SOON WITH ANOTHER INSPIRATIONAL BUSINESS OWNER!