Starting out as a hobby, Nestaaniia Curran began making her own wax melts at home and gifting them to friends and family members. Receiving positive feedback, she was encouraged to start selling them. Treating her daughter’s nappy rash and eczema at the time, she added homemade natural balm creations to her range and Beyond the Starz NZ was born. Her products now include handmade wax melts, resins, baby diaper balm, kawakawa balm, lip balm and reiki-infused bath salts. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind her business, the challenges she has overcome along the way, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
There are a couple of reasons I started this business and it greatly stemmed from the encouragement of some good friends that what I was doing as a hobby could maybe become something more! Like many others during the lockdowns, I needed to find something to occupy my time and give me a much-needed break from everything going on at home.
I’d heard lots about wax melts so decided to buy a kit. After making the first couple of batches, I was hooked, and the idea intrigued me – so I bought some supplies. I made a range of wax melts for a year and was giving them away to friends and family. People kept telling me I should sell them, but I ignored them at first and continued giving them away.
I then moved on to making balms – the motivation behind this was my daughter. With the diaper rashes and the eczema, I wanted to be able to help relieve these for my daughter and wanted to ensure this was being done as naturally as possible. I decided I wanted to be able to share these with other people that wanted to know exactly what they were putting on their child or were wanting to take a more natural route to alleviating these issues.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
It went from a random thought to an actual product that I shared with those close to me. Once I’d made the decision to actually turn this into a business, I started out by word of mouth and letting my friends and family know of my plans. It started with verbal recommendations and turned into a Facebook page. From there I launched my e-commerce website and added an Instagram page. I am still working through this business thing and how to navigate the world of social media and e-commerce, but I get to have fun doing something I love while I figure it all out!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
To be honest, I think this breakthrough is yet to come, but it is currently a series of small steps leading me in the right direction. The first breakthrough for me really was making the decision that this is something I could do as a business, as well as realising that I enjoy this far more than my full-time job. So I guess right now it’s the realisation that I am not built for office work my whole life like I thought I was! That thought alone has opened up so many doors I cannot wait to explore
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
This is something I am still learning to manage. As a single parent that works full time and runs this business on the side, finding time to do everything can seem near impossible sometimes, but the biggest thing is prioritising! It’s realising that I am not superwoman and cannot do everything, all the time!
Generally, it’s a matter of doing my full-time hours during the day while my daughter is at kindy, spending time with her in the afternoons and doing business stuff in the evenings once she is in bed. Weekends are generally saved for relaxing, family activities and additional product making where necessary. Thankfully, I find the making of things quite therapeutic and have no issues using this as a way to unwind after a hectic day or a busy week. I do often forget how to schedule proper time for myself, but this is definitely something I am adapting to as I go. You can’t pour from an empty cup so I try to make sure my cup is full and then the cups of those around me can start filling from the overflow. I think this is something that I will be constantly learning and adapting to.