A Conversation With Debs From STOKEDNZ

Body Butter + Towelies = ♥️

Introducing Debs from STOKEDNZ, a fellow NZ small business owner and real-life friend of mine 🙌

Debs designs and sells a range of beautiful, soft 100% Turkish Cotton towellies, robes and homewares. She is also a loyal fan of our Body Butter!

I recently caught up with Debs and we got talking about her journey and a bit about her background. Following is a quick Q&A from her (posted with her permission, of course).

What inspired you to start STOKEDNZ?

I had a freak accident which resulted in a brain injury and my life changed a lot. I realised life can be super short and it’s important to do something that truly excites me.

During my recovery, doing adventures in nature was what I missed the most. A towelie is something I used all of the time, but I found everything on the market took forever to dry and was really bulky. So, with a bit of naivety and a lot of hard work I launched STOKEDNZ.

You love interacting with your customers. What do you enjoy about being a small business owner in New Zealand?

Yep! I think epic customer service is one of our best qualities. It wouldn’t be much of a business without customers and I don’t think it’s that hard to go above and beyond for them. I love that because we are a small business, we can react and make exactly what they ask us to.

For example, we made our bathrobes for our aqua jogging friends who have Parkinson’s or have had previous strokes and aren’t as mobile as they used to be. We actually called them on the phone, listened to their feedback, and made exactly what they wanted. I think that is the coolest bit!

What have you learned about yourself since starting your business?

Ooh lots!

That despite the hard times I really LOVE working for myself and doing each day on my terms. I love that I am solely responsible for my happiness and that I love what I do.

I didn’t realise how much I love learning. My old job was nothing to do with business and it has been a steep learning curve, but it’s epic.

I think that maybe I work too much. I would work all hours if my partner didn’t reign me in occasionally!

You say that STOKEDNZ is about people and planet. Why is this important to you?

Yep! Good humans are so important to me. For me, personally knowing our makers, our stockists, and our epic customers on a first name basis is really important. I really care about people. It’s more asking the questions “Are our workers paid fairly? Do they have epic working conditions?” etc. No one should be exploited for personal gain, ever!

And the planet – we only have one of them. That’s why we use a natural fibre, so at the end of the towelie’s life you can dig a wee hole, chuck it in and nature will do its thing.

We also use all recycled packaging and natural inks. I take all of the tape off the cardboard our towelies arrive in and put it in the garden to break down.

We aren’t perfect, but I try.

Little Olive Tree Body Butter is one of your favourite products, and you’ve used it to help your eczema.  What do you love about it?

I love how moisturising it is. It’s easy to put on and keeps my very dry skin super-hydrated.

Find out more about our Body Butter

You have a beautiful quote on your website – “Go after what sets your soul on fire and LIVE your passion, follow your dreams and get amongst life… You only get one of them.” – what sets your soul on fire and what dreams are you following?

My dream is to work on my terms. To be able to take my laptop and work anywhere in the world. To be able to ride my bike or snowboard each day.

For our employees to work on their terms – if the surf is sick, come in after, if their child is sick, work from home or have the day off.

Life is short and we only get one shot. I think it’s super important we are stoked with what we do, as work is such a large chunk of our week and our life.

I am not very materialistic. Experiences mean more to me and I crave freedom more than anything. So my dream is to be able to learn epic things in business, make enough money to live on the road, and employ rad humans.

That’s it, really!

Our Body Butter Is Perfect for NZ Conditions

Little Olive Tree Body Butter 250g

After enjoying a day out in New Zealand’s amazing outdoors, our Body Butter is just what you need to moisturise dry and dehydrated skin. The rich blend of 100% natural ingredients penetrates the deeper layers of your skin, nourishing from within.

Thanks Debs for your friendship and words of wisdom!

Please support our fellow friend and small NZ business, STOKEDNZ!

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