Good Change: How a pair of mums are turning over $1MILLION a year

Stine Smith, left, and Kristy Hunter, right, started the business together after becoming disillusioned with the cleaning industry

Stine Smith, left, and Kristy Hunter, right, started the business together after becoming disillusioned with the cleaning industry

A mother and daughter duo have revealed how they gave up running at school to set up a multi-million dollar cleaning company – after being frustrated by the effects of single-use plastic on the environment.

Kristy Hunter, 48, and Stine Smith, 45, from Tauranga in New Zealand, can’t believe the cleaning industry is still ‘stuck in the 90s’.

Speaking to FEMAIL, the founders of Good Change revealed that they are sick of adding to the landfill with every new cleaning product purchase.

‘Every time I use single-use spray bottles and petroleum-based clothes, I think about the world I’m leaving my children,’ says Stine.

‘And I think a lot of people feel the same, we all want to make a difference but don’t really know where to start.’

Mums couldn’t ‘find anything better’ in their local shops but Stine managed to hunt down an eco cloth she remembered from her childhood in Denmark.

But it is in a specialist eco shop and costs a lot of money.

‘I’m also a mother of three, I don’t have time to drive to the next town for a specialist eco shop, I want something I can get at the supermarket with everything else,’ says Stine.

Stine pictured with a boot full of products - women drove up and down the country knocking on doors to get their products out

Stine pictured with a boot full of products – women drove up and down the country knocking on doors to get their products out

So she invited her friend Kristy to a business meeting after school – and they’ve been working together at the Good Change store ever since.

‘People say never to start a business with a friend, but we’re rule breakers, and we both have a natural ability to laugh things off and let complications pass us by. We work well together and have the best time doing things,’ he said.

The two built their first fabric, put their savings, about $30k each, into ordering a container load and then hit the road.

‘It was a cool trip, we drove up and down the country with a boot full, and just knocked on the doors of supermarkets,’ says Stine.

‘You knock around a bit – but that’s the benefit of being mature and confident.’

‘And it was scary because you just used so much family money – but we believed it.’

Soon they were in supermarkets all over the country, then they started their own website and now they sell in Australia too.

‘It’s an amazing feeling when people say yes to you, and you see your stuff on the shelf. It’s even better when they call you to order more.’

moms have built a carbon-neutral cleaning products business - and they're excited about the positive impact their idea will have on the environment

moms have built a carbon-neutral cleaning products business – and they’re excited about the positive impact their idea will have on the environment

Kristy said there were ‘a lot of sleepless nights’ wanting the business to succeed, and how to tell the children holidays would be canceled for a while.

Also Read :  A chance to win Lexington’s St. Jude Dream Home means giving hope to some of the sickest children

‘But we have the ability to laugh at things and because we are very positive challenges seem to float to us,’ he said.

Friends say building a popular business comes with a few extra struggles — trying to manage cash flow and stock levels are high on the list.

‘We’re growing big, which means we have to watch the money, because it’s tight,’ says Stine.

‘It’s easier now that we have some big chains on board because we know what orders are coming in and can plan ahead,’ he said.

Their children take pride in the business and roll up their sleeves to help their mothers

Their children take pride in the business and roll up their sleeves to help their mothers

Families have had to tighten their belts and 'cancel holidays' for a while but are now making progress

Families have had to tighten their belts and ‘cancel holidays’ for a while but are now making progress

The women developed their business plan together then did a business course in Sydney before launching their Good Change products.

‘We have never been so excited about cleaning,’ they laughed.

They had to tweak their plan to go into business with business operators when Covid hit – which is why they decided to launch online as well.

Now they turn over a million dollars per year – and have huge growth prospects.

They have also branched out and sell cleaning products alongside their apparel.

Sprays come in glass bottles, because moms want something that looks good and lasts well, refills come in a concentrated form.

‘We worked with scientists to make the perfect product. My husband was a cynic but now he loves it,’ says Stine.

Refills are tablets, which when added to water make a full bottle of cleaning spray. This means they can be packaged with limited waste.

The mums are proud to have a carbon negative business – in line with their eco values.

They also opened a warehouse in Melbourne and have a key staff.

‘We had a big celebration when we started paying ourselves,’ they said

Kristy says she wants her children to be inspired by her business story.

Moms teamed up with scientists to develop their cleaning chemicals - because they wanted something as environmentally friendly as possible - but still wanted it to be effective.

Moms teamed up with scientists to develop their cleaning chemicals – because they wanted something as environmentally friendly as possible – but still wanted it to be effective.

The range now includes the iconic cleaning cloth as well as cleaning sprays refillable with a tablet and water

The range now includes the iconic cleaning cloth as well as cleaning sprays refillable with a tablet and water

‘It’s important for me to show them that dad doesn’t make all the money while mum spends,’ she said.

And even though they had to cancel some vacations and tighten their belts a bit, the whole family was “involved” in the brand.

‘The children love helping, they pack the products. Everyone does. We’ll roll up our sleeves and do it together.’

The moms also donate money to charities as part of their businesses and are currently helping to provide safe drinking water to families in Cambodia.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.