Meet the Maker: Mia Zaicz and Jane Davis from ELIA Balms & Blends
Team Buy Aussie Now
This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.
ELIA Balms & Blends is based on the principal that natural should be normal. If our everyday products are derived from natural, plant-based ingredients and expertly blended, we can avoid so much of the toxins we are exposed to through our personal care items.
Providing effective, natural and low-no waste products that nurture the body and feel special to use. They really care that their customers get the best treatment before, during and after a purchase.
How did you start your homegrown business?
We always had an interest in natural body care however it wasn’t until we really started looking into skincare ingredients and the included toxins that we decided to make a big change and convert to natural body care.
We started with deodorant as we had both suffered skin complications from the brand we were using. The natural choices on the market never quite satisfied so Mia started to make her own. As she developed it further, many of our friends and family started to use it and we saw the potential in the product.
Mia truly has a gift in creating quality products, especially blending oils. (Watch out for a range of natural essential oil perfumes soon)!
I love using the products and sharing them with others so running the business and connecting with customers is suited to my skills and interests.
What inspires you?
We really believe in what we are doing. We are confirming that natural products are an effective and legitimate answer to skin and body care. We personally have a desire live more clean, simple lives and give others a diverse and high quality choice of natural products.
We have had friends recovering (and not) from various cancers who have had to take the natural journey out of necessity. Mia made personal nurturing products for one of these friends when she was going through chemo. This really sparked something in Mia and she was inspired to help people treat their bodies well, all the time.
Natural doesn’t have to be the alternative if it’s an every-day norm.
What are the benefits of manufacturing locally?
We know exactly what goes in our products and can confidently explain the benefits and qualities of our products. We don’t have to compromise; we get to chose what to add and when to release products and how many.
We can run small batches, keeping stock and ingredients fresh. This also allows us to pivot quickly when needed and release new products in reasonable time.
What makes the Australian consumer unique?
I think many Australians value brand loyalty, especially when they get to know you. They may want to experience new, exciting products but building trust is the key to retaining that interest. Australians are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases and packaging so this needs to be considered.
Australians also seem to appreciate a personalised approach that makes them feel valued and listened to.
And of course, in a practical way, Aussies want the purchase to be easy for them, no hassles and no waiting, no mucking around.
What is the best business advice you have ever received?
Don’t underestimate the value of determination and hard work. Just get started!
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business?
Personal confidence was a challenge at first when putting our faces and personal lives out there. We try to keep a work/home life balance but sometimes the business can take over a bit. We find kind of have to live it and its always on our mind.
Marketing is a bit of a challenge for us but we are learning to approach it like any other skill. Having no staff means we wear all the hats, even the ones we have never worn before.
But we do believe any challenge can be overcome with enough determination and insight.
What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?
We realised that anything can change quickly. We know we must be ready to adapt and prepared to change pace and direction if needed.
We were lucky enough to be able to take the opportunity to improve our online game and work on new products together during COVID. Having an online presence that can also be personable will continue to be an essential part of a product-based business.
What was your first job?
We first met in hospitality and got to know each other through this work. It was good to know when we went into business together, that we had a similar work ethic. That really helps us work together on our business.
Favourite Australian film quote?
“There’s a smell in here that will outlast religion!” - Kenny from Kenny.
Thought this could be deodorant related!!!
Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke?
‘Pleasure and Pain’ by the Divinyls. As a duet of course!
Check out ELIA Balms & Blends for all-natural deodorants and more!