Small Business: Teen entrepreneurs launch Manuka skincare brand, Clearfree
Rangitoto College student William Cole, 17, co-founder of skincare brand Clearfree discusses starting a business in his enterprise class and a future in business.
What does your business do?
We're a small healthcare business we started in February 2017. It was founded by myself, Max Lawton and Josef Morgan. We started off with the goal to produce as many natural products as we could and mainly using manuka oils as a key ingredient that we source from the Hawke's Bay region.
Since then we started with a Manuka oil facial spray which helps with a range of different skin problems such as acne and eczema. From that, we made 800 sales last year, about $15,000 profit. We're also about to release our Manuka oil foaming cleanser in the next couple of weeks.
What was the motivation?
The motivation was a gap in the market for teenagers to have more natural skincare products because a lot of products on the market are chemical-based and we researched the effects of these on the skin and they can actually lead to negative long-term problems such as dry skin which is a contradiction to the purpose of the product.
Originally it started just with school and then we went into the Youth Enterprise.
The reason we settled on skincare is that we suffer skin problems and stats show that 80 per cent of the world's teenagers suffer skin issues so we thought it would be cool to create something natural to deal with.
How long did it take to design and come up with your first product?
For the first product, we went through quite a few choices. The products we were initially thinking about were moisturisers and lotions but we went for the facial spray because we thought it was unique. Also, there are actually no other Manuka oil sprays on the market.