We love to share the stories behind the brand. Today, we speak to the talented founder of Ahhh NZ, a natural skincare company based in New Zealand and featured in our Summer Wellness Box. We talk all things about Sophie’s background, the inspiration behind Ahhh NZ and her favourite product in the range, as well as her personal wellness rituals and what’s in store for 2021.
I was born in England and moved to New Zealand when I was 21. We moved across as my dad got a job in New Zealand. I have always been quite creative and quit university to go to floristry school. My parents weren’t that happy at the time (haha). I was a florist for 10 years working in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. A few years ago, I started working for a lady in New Zealand that had a florist/gift shop – she sold soaps and bath bombs that she made herself in her soap manufacturing business.
What led you to join the wellness industry and create your beautiful natural products? What was the inspiration behind it?
My previous boss had a soap manufacturing business and sold her products in the florist I worked at. It was during this time that I fell in love with them. My previous boss then decided to sell the manufacturing business. I was pregnant with my daughter Beau at the time and about to go on maternity leave. I mentioned to my husband that we should look at buying it and then before I knew it – I had a new business and a new baby at the same time!
In the beginning, we were contract manufacturing products for a few customers and about 2 years in we launched our own brand Ahhh… (also around the same time my son was born!). I wanted to create natural and sustainable products that were also fun and a chance for people to relax fully and have some “me time”.
Ahhh is the sound you make when you jump in a hot bath or shower at the end of the day, after a full on day at work or with the kids. As the business and my children grew, so did my passion for sustainability and wanting to teach the next generation how to make better, sustainable choices. When I was growing up, we used soap bars, so did my parents and grandparents and now my children do.
How do you personally incorporate wellness into your life?
With a new baby and a new business, and trying to figure out how to do both at the same time, it can be quite stressful at times. My escape at the end of the day is usually a relaxing bath with one of our bath bombs. For 30 minutes, I can fully relax, read a book and unwind. Our bath bombs are made with coconut oil too, so it was a bit of a time saving hack, as I didn’t have to moisturise afterwards (haha). More recently, I’ve been practising gratitude and journaling.
After a crazy 2020, do you have any new year resolutions for 2021?
Usually one of my new year’s goals is to travel and visit a new country, but I don’t think that is going to be on this year’s list somehow! Personally, I want to eat less meat and move towards a more plant-based diet, starting with at least 2-3 meat-free meals a week. Business wise, my goal for 2021 is for our manufacturing facility to be certified carbon neutral.
What is your favourite product in your range? How would people in our community use that product as part of their self-care routine?
That’s a hard one, apart from the bath bombs which will always be my No. 1 go to self care item. It would have to be the solid moisturisers (which are featured in the Summer Wellness Box). I particularly like the orange and grapefruit one the most. I spent so long trying to get the formula right on these and they have recently just won their category in the New Zealand artisan awards. Each little tube is equal to 2 x 250ml plastic bottles of moisturiser which is mostly water anyway. Our packaging can also be put in the compost at home. You can even use the empty tube to plant seedlings in.
Try Ahhh’s solid moisturisers (full size) from our Summer Wellness Box (see below).