There’s nothing in the world like a good soak in the tub, most of us can probably agree on that. Adding goodies to the bath makes it next level, especially when you’re using things like Epsom Salts to help your body detox and your achey muscles relax. We spoke to Dionne Stroebel from BLANTs about all things salts, and where you can get your hands on the good stuff, to take your next soak to the next level.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
In 2015, we started our business – Floatzone Floatation Therapy. Float pods require 400kg of Epsom salt to work. We could have used any old Epsom salt. But we wanted natural. After all, you’re lying in it for an hour!
But what a palaver trying to find a reliable and regular source of natural Epsom salt in New Zealand. Most Epsom salt sold here is manmade. Where we could find natural, there wasn’t enough of it.
We found a company in Australia that could help us. When the first load arrived and we got the pod up and running, we were delighted with the quality of the salt.
BLANTs had many requests from New Zealand for their natural salt products, but shipping costs were prohibitive for small orders. So they asked if we would be their NZ supplier.
This was never in the business plan (ahem, what business plan?!) but it sounded exciting, and fitted with our goals of living more naturally, and finding products to help with the kids’ issues like eczema, gut health and sleep so…
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
We said YES! That was the easy part. Then came the decision making about what to stock, shipping and customs, and all sorts of business-related things that were a big learning curve.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
When we started, we supplied only bulk tubs. These are great for businesses that make products like bath bombs, probiotic deodorant and natural washing powder, but not for people used to buying small packages from the supermarket. So it was great when we began offering 1kg sized tubs. This lets us offer ‘trial-sized’ options to customers who will often return to buy a bigger tub.
The next up and coming change is a revamp to the packaging and website: same affordable, quality products, but with a more pared back design.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
We are still fine-tuning that! Both our children are at school, but those 6 hours fly by!
3pm – 8pm is full-on family time. Or mum taxi time. We’ve cut back to just soccer and swimming, but squad training keeps us busy until 7.30 several nights. I am learning the ways of the slow cooker!
Most evenings the boys will have an Epsom salt bath to counteract the chlorine. This is when we catch up on their day. Then they fill in their gratitude journals while I rub magnesium oil and lavender into their feet to help them sleep. It really is a case of grabbing those quality minutes when we can. I confess, sometimes I’ve got one eye on the clock knowing that I still have work to do. Sometimes I just say ‘pah’ to it all and hop in the bath myself, with heaps of magnesium flakes (to increase my energy), bentonite clay (for detox) and clary sage essential oil (hormone help!)
The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?
I knew nothing about business! So I did a Certificate in Small Business Management at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. It was free, and provided great help and resources. I just found out that I’ve passed, which is a great feeling. But I know it’s just the start of the learning process.