Kimberley Gabbard was looking for a natural product to replace traditional chemical products that were playing havoc with her health. This led her to study Aromatherapy and learn about the healing properties of essential oils. Once qualified, she set out to develop a natural health and wellbeing product that would address a wide spectrum of everyday household and personal issues. A highly skilled aromatherapist, her passion and knowledge of Ayurvedic science led her to incorporate the principles of prevention, cure and rejuvenation into aromatherapy, and it was from this basic fundamental that PRANA+THERAPY was born. An exceptionally unique product with universal applications, it is formulated with a special blend of 19 essential oils in a specific ratio that can be used in a multitude of ways.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
My inspiration for setting up my own company came from the development of the product I now call PRANA+THERAPY. I developed PRANA+THERAPY “Life’s Essential Remedy” as a safe, holistic alternative to my asthma medication, since the medication I was taking was causing a multitude of unfavourable symptoms. My search for an alternative led me to study Aromatherapy at the California College of Ayurveda. There, I gained knowledge about essential oils and their healing properties.
As soon as I obtained certification in aromatherapy, I continued my journey to develop a health and wellbeing product. I used that product as a replacement medicine for my asthma. Later, I was inspired to turn this restorative alternative into a functional multi-purpose product and remedy. I wanted the product and remedy to address a broad range of everyday household and personal problems.
The idea was to be able to use the remedy or product inside and outside as well as for cleaning, breathing and absorbing. The end result was PRANA+THERAPY formulation and a new means of helping others. Most of my work has been self-employment. Previously, I was a natural food chef and the founder/owner of Heavenly Taste catering company and, before that, a beauty technician. After getting married and having a family, I was content to stay at home and homeschool. I was not seeking a new opportunity. However, another plan lay ahead for me, and it would change the course of my life permanently. My soul inspiration is practising PRANA+THERAPY, not running a business. PRANA+THERAPY is what drives my desire for business and fuels my passion.
The launch: How did you start out at the beginning?
I did not plan or anticipate the launch of my business. Everything just unfolded naturally. In late December of 2008, my family and I moved to New Zealand from the United States. Upon arrival, our immigration solicitor told us we needed to start a business in order to meet immigration requirements. We were given 18 months to establish the business. It goes without saying that those painful months were full of learning curves and challenges. We had a lot to accomplish. Besides product development, we had a business plan, branding, marketing and manufacturing to address, as well as all the requirements for our entry into the country. I won’t pretend it was an easy time. I honestly didn’t think we’d be able to stay in New Zealand let alone start a business. However, 12 years later, I am still here and so is Prana NZ Limited.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
There have been two outstanding developments in our business. The first was in 2010 when I had the formulation independently tested for its effectiveness. The results were astonishing and far exceeded my expectations. The second was the last year when we discovered how to overcome our biggest marketing obstacle. The feeling was electrifying and those single two moments of miraculous discoveries will remain with me forever.