A New Zealand woman who “fell in love” with an idea has just signed a mega deal that sees her products stocked at Coles a year after launch.
A New Zealand woman has just secured a major deal to stock her sustainable beauty products at Coles – just one year after launch.
Mom-of-two Sophie Cooper started Anihana in 2021, a natural soap company that sells shampoo and conditioner bars as well as bath bombs and shower products.
The 35-year-old says she “fell in love” with natural soaps when she collaborated with a local bath bomb company in her former job as a florist.
The opportunity to buy the manufacturing business presented itself in 2016, and despite being eight months pregnant at the time, Sophie decided it was “too good” to turn down.
Fast forward six years, and Sophie and her family no longer supply products to other beauty brands, but instead run their own beauty brand with a sustainability focus.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is that Anihana is available in your local supermarket,” Sophie told news.com.au. The beauty diary.
“Knowing how time-poor busy families can be, being able to make solid hair care bars accessible during your weekly shopping spree is so important.
“It’s so easy now to put one in your cart and try it out if you’re curious to make the switch.”
But while Sophie, who lives with her husband Aden in Auckland, runs a sustainable brand whose products come in fully compostable packaging, she’s the first to admit she knows how bad it can be. difficult to reduce waste.
“My passion for sustainability grew once I had kids. I soon realized I wanted to teach them how to make better choices, and a lot of that came from using bars of soap when I was a child,” she said.
“Make no mistake, we are not zero waste.
“Our bathroom is pretty close and I’m proud that we’re doing our part as a family, but it’s really hard when you’re a busy mom. I knew the bathroom was one of the best places to start making the change, so we started there.
Coles currently stocks all seven Anihana hair care bars — which include three shampoo bars, three conditioner bars, and a combo bar — all priced at $14 each.
The hair care bars are sustainably and ethically made, soap-free, and “affordable and accessible” for everyone without “compromising personality or scent,” Sophie says.
“Being sustainable and using great ingredients should be the norm these days, so we don’t see that as our point of difference,” she explained.
“But we are fun. We want everyone to smile and have fun using our products, and to enjoy the guilt-free “me time” we all deserve.
After Anihana products hit Coles shelves, many flooded social media to express their joy at the move to physical retail stores.
“I was happy to finally get a shampoo bar during my normal store,” one user exclaimed.
“These are so awesome, my hair was so clean afterwards,” added another.
In total, the brand launched in nine retailers in its first year, including Chemist Warehouse and Priceline, and regularly receives rave reviews online – but Sophie is modest about the brand’s success.
“It’s an incredible feeling. I still pinch myself sometimes when I see our beautiful products on the shelves at some of the biggest retailers in New Zealand and Australia,” she explained.
“And it makes my day every time someone takes the time to message me telling me how much they love the products.
“I didn’t expect the business to grow so fast… It sure has been a crazy year.”
Anihana is now working towards her B Corp certification to be a “business for good” and is preparing to add more of her products – soap, bath bombs and shower sprays – to Coles in July.
Currently, Anihana’s best-selling product is her raspberry marshmallow bath bomb, which Sophie describes as her “favorite.”
Customers also love the Manuka Honey Shampoo and Conditioner for normal hair, and the Grapefruit and Chamomile Shampoo Bar for dry/color-treated hair.
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