Real World, Real People
Welcome to the first blog in our 'Getting to Know' series where we learn more about the talented people behind Little Koha's gift hampers.
We first heard of Real World after reading a blog on NZ Design (recently rebranded to The New) about Founder Nicola Mossman's vision to create natural plant based products that treat our skin with the respect it deserves. Nicola's philosophy, combined with the modern look of her products, grabbed our attention pretty quickly and by the time we finished reading the blog, we knew we had to have Real World in our designer gift hampers. And now we do!
We recently caught up with Nicola to learn more about the Real World journey.
You launched Real World in 2016, what has been the highlight so far?
The fantastic feedback from friends, family and strangers as to how amazing our products are. Everyday we get such wonderful feedback, which is fantastic. People are crying out for natural products and I feel so proud we can supply them with what they want.
Describe a typical day in the Real World HQ?
I get up and get the kids ready for school. Drop off the kids at school and head back home to clean up, make beds, hang out the washing and get into work. Answer emails, label products and pack orders. I try to get everything done while the kids are at school or at kindy, but sometimes work still needs to be done after 3pm, which is why it works so well with the HQ being at home.
What was your career path before creating Real World?
We had an online business and then I took time off to be at home with the kids, which I just loved. I used to love baking and did so much of it, but unfortunately that has stopped as I just don’t have the time anymore.
What skills, characteristics and knowledge do you think is needed to start a new business?
You have to be really passionate about what you do. If you aren’t passionate about it then it will always seem like hard work and a chore. Even though we are busy and it seems like there are endless things to do throughout the day it never feels like work. I love the buzz I get from customer feedback or from making a sale. It keeps me on my game and I never wake up and think ‘oh no I don’t want to go to work today’. I also think you have to listen to your gut feeling - it doesn’t often let you down.
What has been the biggest learning curve so far?
There are so many things that I learned in the last few months. I have never experienced being a wholesaler so that was a really steep learning curve. I basically knew nothing about it so had to learn quick and on my toes!
You have four children, how do you manage work-life balance?
It’s pretty hard at times but the boys are older now and at school from 9am-3pm, so that frees up a few hours during the day. Our daughter is at kindy in the afternoon for 2 hours and two days a week she goes to an in-home carer so on these days I plan meetings or enjoy uninterrupted time to get stuff done. I try not to work on the weekend, but sometimes labelling needs to be done for the week ahead or emails need to be answered, but I try to keep this to a minimum.
Your products are free of nasty chemicals, why is that important to you?
We have four young kids and I care about what they eat and, even more so, what goes on their skin. I think for a while now people have been aware of the foods they eat and where they come from and I think they are doing that more with the products they put on their skin. I always remember the kids choosing a bright blue superman bubble bath and I just thought, 'what is in this'? So many chemicals and toxins. I now love that when I run them a bath at night I can put in our Bath Foam and know it is all natural containing no nasties, and that it is made in New Zealand.
We love the Cucumber and Crushed Mint Body Wash in our Pamper and Bathroom Gift Parcels, where did the inspiration for that scent come from?
It came about when I was catching up with friends having a lovely Gin and Tonic with cucumber and mint. I was drinking it smelling the fresh aroma of the cucumber and crushed mint and thought, hey, this is an amazing scent, let’s make this into a Body Wash! It’s such a great product as it appeals to both women and men.
What is your favourite Real World product and why?
I love our Bath Foam Ylang Ylang & Bergamot. It has the most amazing scent. The smell wafts through our home when the bath has been run and it’s just such a lovely warm fuzzy feeling I get when I smell it, knowing everyone is clean and it’s nearly time for me to put my feet up for the day!