Why home wellness is spawning a plethora of business ideas - Sydney Morning Herald

Why home wellness is spawning a plethora of business ideas - Sydney Morning Herald

Why home wellness is spawning a plethora of business ideas - Sydney Morning Herald

Posted: 19 Oct 2020 12:00 AM PDT

"Wellness has been a growing industry over the past eight to 10 years and now it's becoming way more mainstream," says Alison Morgan, founder of business coaching firm Relauncher.

"Because information [about household toxins] is so readily available on social media and online, people are becoming far more educated."

Morgan, who works predominately with wellness-focused brands, says that as consumers strive to improve their living spaces and adopt healthier habits, businesses are smart to tap into the emerging market.

A new report from tech industry analyst CB Insights has highlighted the importance of doing just that – it named at-home wellness services and products as a key investment opportunity in the wake of COVID-19.

"If you're looking to go into the health and wellness industry, at first you might think it's flooded but it's absolutely not, there's so much room for growth and we'll continue to see that," Morgan says.

"People are proactively taking steps to have this holistic nature in their life. So, new businesses starting up really should be looking into the health and wellness aspect of their product or service, because that is where the general public is looking to first."

The founders of Melbourne-based eco-wellness business Sensori+ have seen first-hand how hungry consumers are for gentle solutions to common household pollutants. Their signature product, an all-natural air-detoxifying spray, sold out in 15 minutes when it launched two years ago.

"At that stage we were in two countries only, Australia and China, and it just became such huge news," recalls co-founder Ali Shoraka. "We hadn't really anticipated the buzz it created, which was quite promising."

They were able to scale their business quickly by selling on Amazon Australia, which allowed them access to a larger pool of customers. In its first six months of operation, Sensori+ had expanded to multiple global markets including Amazon UK and Amazon USA.

"It's important to us that we're able to partner with a company who can connect us to people not just all over the country, but all over the world, and who care about the same things that we do," says Sensori+ co-founder Ben Xu.

Unlike regular air fresheners that mask odours with synthetic fragrances, the Sensori+ mist uses a plant-based molecule to neutralise more than 100 airborne toxins, including formaldehyde, benzene and sulphide.

It's vegan and has been tested for safety and efficacy by global authorities including Ansto and SGS.

The technology is the brainchild of Xu, who spent more than seven years developing ChlorosPURE, the molecule used in the spray, for industrial emission control.

He teamed up with Shoraka, who has a background in luxury beauty, and architect Marc Wang to translate the formula into an appealing consumer product.

"The brand was built on this model value of how can we bring wellness and sustainability together in the form of premium home fragrance and skincare products?" explains Wang.

"When we looked at developing this collection of air-detoxifying mists we really looked at how we could make it super clean, not using any alcohol or synthetic fragrances at all, but deliver a useful freshening experience."

Boasting chic packaging and sophisticated botanical scents (as well as an unscented version), Sensori+ landed at just the right time, coinciding with the wellness boom.

They've since instilled the patented formula into a raft of products including candles, shower oils and body lotions, and have adapted quickly to the pandemic with a detoxifying mask spray.

The chic packaging and sophisticated botanical scents have coincided with the wellness boom.

The chic packaging and sophisticated botanical scents have coincided with the wellness boom.Credit: Supplied.

"Particularly this year, what we've been through with the bushfires and the pandemic changing the environment and the amount of pollutants that we're exposed to, today no one can close their eyes and pretend nothing has happened," says Wang of the brand's hyper relevance.

"People are starting to think, 'how can I have a solution, how can I improve and protect my wellbeing?'"

Morgan adds that part of the appeal of wellness-focused products is that they are often built on an ethical framework, such as sustainability or charitable support for under-served communities.

Sensori+ is no different – the company backs up its sustainable message with 100 per cent recyclable packaging and Australian-grown ingredients.

Describing the brand as "obsessed" with the clean, safe and ethical concept, Shoraka says other businesses should take note.

"I am really confident that wellness is here to stay – it's not a trend," he says. "I can definitely see that within this decade, brands who will fail to adapt to the holistic wellbeing model will really struggle to keep their connections to the consumer."

Amazon.com.au put small Australian businesses front and centre at their recent Amazon Prime Day 2020, which marked the two biggest days ever for Australian small businesses on Amazon.com.au. Head to www.Amazon.com.au/shoplocal to shop products from hundreds of Australian small businesses.

Editorial: Make choices to support small business | Opinion - The Reporter

Posted: 30 Oct 2020 05:00 AM PDT

Who would have thought last spring when business shutdowns started that the holiday season would be here while the COVID-19 pandemic remains? And now, as thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and Christmas-Hanukkah shopping, a fall resurgence of the coronavirus has business owners wondering if things will get worse before they get better.

Is there anything that people can do to help? As it turns out, there is: Consumers can make choices in their holiday shopping to support local enterprise, a choice that can keep businesses alive.

The philosophy of shopping local was made popular several years ago with a nationwide campaign started by American Express, "Shop Small," that spawned Small Business Saturday on the post-Thanksgiving weekend kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

In this pandemic, small business advocates are suggesting consumers embrace the concept not just for a day but as a shift in habit.

"We need to make the months ahead small business months — 2021 should be the year of the small business," said David Zellers Jr., Montgomery County commerce director, quoted in a recent Business story for MediaNews Group.

"Every time you spend a dollar it helps support a neighbor, a friend, a family member. Those dollars are reinvested in the community time and time again," Zellers added.

"It's no secret that this pandemic has affected small local businesses, with 58% of small businesses worried about whether or not they will have to permanently close their businesses," wrote the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce in a recent blog post.

"Now more than ever it's important to support brick-and-mortar retailers and small businesses," said Rachel Ammon, marketing and communications director for King of Prussia District.

Another campaign in Montgomery County is the $300,000 Make It Main Street marketing campaign by the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board and Montgomery County Commissioners. The campaign will use advertising, billboards social media and public relations to encourage support of the small businesses that support the county's tourism and hospitality industry.

Some may say that patronizing local businesses is more difficult in a pandemic when online ordering and home delivery are touted to reduce virus spread. Local businesses understand that need for safety, too, and have enhanced online ordering and developed deliveries and curbside pickup practices to accommodate contact-less shopping.

Restaurants have increased their takeout options with both delivery and pickup alternatives. And while outdoor dining wanes in the cooler months, many restaurants have invested in heaters to extend the season for their newly renovated outdoor spaces.

Supporting local business requires paying attention to what those businesses offer and seeking out ways to boost business. In its blog post, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce encouraged the purchase of gift cards for restaurants, especially for people who may not yet feel comfortable about dining indoors.

"Gift cards are like interest-free loans, and they are a great way to keep your favorite bars and restaurants open with the promise of seeing them again when the weather warms up," the blog post stated. And they make great gifts mailed or emailed to family and friends in place of in-person gift exchanges.

Zellers said consumers can take another step to support local businesses.

"If you have a great experience at a local business, promote them on social media. People always look to other people for ideas on where to go — let them know. Be a champion of small and local business," he said.

And always, Zellers said, follow local, state and CDC guidance about the virus. Ultimately, the biggest boost for local businesses will be when the virus is contained.

"We will see things reopen as we continue to do well. Striking that important balance and recognizing that the more everyone works together to follow the guidance the more we can support our businesses. That is what it is all about at the end of the day," Zellers said.

The focus on small business has potential beyond the pandemic to bolster this part of our economy that can have a lasting impact on our towns and neighborhoods.

Think big about shopping small this holiday season. It could be the antidote to 2020 that our communities need.


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