This month we're celebrating 3 years of being in business. But Little Mango didn't actually start then... Before launching my business, I spent 5 long years working to create the best natural deodorant, and this was the start of my long eco journey.
When I had my first son in 2012, I instantly started looking at everything differently. Suddenly I had a real purpose in life and I realised the importance of keeping myself safe healthy, as well as my family and our planet - all to keep this little bundle that had entered my life safe. I felt this instinctive need to cut chemicals and immediately gave up standard chemical skincare products, fragrances, soaps and of course deodorant.
The switch was actually pretty easy, except for natural deodorant. I tried everything out there with no success. My graveyard of natural deodorants was filling up fast and I even tried splashing apple cider vinegar under my arms for a while. But after months of smelling like a potent concoction of tea tree, cider vinegar and a streak of body odour, I finally had to start making my own.
The first batches weren't pretty! It was grainy and rock hard in winter or liquified in summer. BUT, it worked! And I knew there was something in it - so I persisted. Batch after batch, I worked to make the consistency perfect, testing on friends and family and trying to educate them about why they needed to switch to a natural deodorant. (If you want to find out more check out what ingredients you need to avoid in chemical deodorants).
When I ran out, I hoped someone would start a deodorant business and sell it at my local pharmacy so I didn't have to make it. But no one did.
I continued working on my deodorant and dreamed of creating a business to help people make the switch away from chemicals. But self doubt held me back. Why would anyone buy my homemade stuff? At the time there was nothing like it on the market - I couldn't just go out there and do it! I knew nothing about business! But after my third child and a round of severe PND and anxiety put me in hospital - it finally gave me the shove I needed. I thought if anything good is going to come out of this situation this will be it.
So I bit the bullet and leaped into the deep end. I worked night after night perfecting the recipe. Then nervously, I signed up to a couple of local markets and started giving my deodorant to friends. And to my surprise, instantly, I couldn't keep up with demand. It seemed everyone was in the same boat as me and was searching for an effective deodorant that actually works.
The markets sold out continuously, and word of mouth was getting around. Eventually I couldn't make enough deodorant in my garage and I had to look to contract manufacturing. Fast forward a few years on and I'm so proud of what Little Mango has become. It's been a long personal and eco journey to creating the best natural deodorant, but I love being a part of the clean beauty movement and helping Kiwis become aware of more natural alternatives.
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