Go Native New Zealand is New Zealand's premium online supplier of natural and organic skincare ingredients.
We stock essential oils, vegetable oils, cosmetic butters, waxes, fragrance oils, raw materials, ready-to-go bases, and more.
We've been in operation since 2001 and in our present form since 2007.
We’re a small, close-knit team of family and friends who are committed to finding the finest ingredients from around the world. These ingredients must be ethically sourced and where possible we buy direct from the growers, so we can establish a relationship with them and get to know their lives and businesses. Often, countries we deal with have no systems in place to be able to stamp their products with Fair Trade or Certified Organic logos, but since many of our suppliers are family or village enterprises, we feel comfortable with their conditions.
We are customer focused and really like to hear what our customers have to say about our products and service and what ingredients they would like us to provide. This feedback enables us to improve our service.
Go Native New Zealand was founded by Elinor McEwan in 2001 and is based in Auckland, New Zealand.
We started as Go Native Soap Company making handmade, cold-process soaps. This led to contract manufacturing soap for a New Zealand natural cosmetics company that exported the soap, mainly to Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
By 2007, we decided there was a need for a good supplier of natural and organic skincare ingredients.
When starting out making your own skincare products, it is very hard to source the ingredients, and especially hard to source them in small quantities.
So, we organised a new website and late September 2007 set off in a newish direction.
We import ingredients from around the world and are continuously searching for new, genuine suppliers.
We have years of experience in the fields of soapmaking and skincare creams so are able to help with most questions you have.
I started Go Native New Zealand in 2001 after almost a lifetime of making my own skincare products.
Because of my husband's chronic psoriasis, I started making cold-process soap (which helps enormously) and produced a fine range of retail soaps and pet shampoos, only to realise retail products are not my forte.
I don't like the publicity that has to go with being successful in that field, so I eventually turned to supplying the ingredients to make the end products. I just love being in the background organising, refining the systems and researching the world for supplies.
My background: I was born in Tuatapere, Southland, the last of seven kids, and grew up in Invercargill, where my heart still is, to a certain extent.
The family shifted to Nelson, where I went to secondary school. I was very involved in sport and played everything available: netball, basketball, squash, tennis, table tennis.
When I was 16, I had the enormous good fortune to win $400. I used it to learn to fly (a 90hp Piper Cub for the curious). It was absolute bliss to take off after school on a sunny day and head up into the skies around Nelson. Such a lovely part of the world.
At 17 I went off to Canterbury University to do a BA in psychology, followed by a year at teachers' college in Wellington and two years teaching in Auckland. Not my thing.
Six months working in an alpine village in Switzerland and travelling as far east as Istanbul followed, then I came home
and worked at the NZ Herald as a proofreader for nearly 20 years and loved it. We worked in the evenings so had all day off to enjoy life. It was like being on permanent holiday.
Alas, technology overtook us and we were all made redundant.
For me it was well timed, as Chelsea, our oldest child, was about to start school and, while my work hours were wonderful for preschoolers, I wouldn't have seen enough of her.
I didn't want to go out to work and miss out on the kids, so I started a preschool in the back of our house which ran very successfully for 18 years.
After two years at school, Chelsea decided she wanted to stay home so there she stayed. Harry, our son, chose the same path. They are absolutely delightful and we love having them around. The four of us completed the New York marathon in 2011. (If I can do it, anyone can.)
I have been married for yonks to an absolute gem. He is just a delight and still makes me laugh. He is also very supportive, enthusiastic and generous . . . and prefers to remain anonymous.
We have three children, Chelsea, Harry and, very sadly, the late Jane.
Friends/family working at Go Native at the moment:
None of us has any title. We just do what has to be done. We believe fair trade is important with the people we work with as well. All receive nearly twice the minimum wage or more.
Chelsea: our daughter who is an actor/comedian but needs a flexible day job too.
Kirsten, a friend of a friend, is a homeopath. Kirsten is from Whangarei but lives with a friend in Auckland while working for us three days a week.
Alannah: a 'retired' dietitian whom I went to school with.
Jacqui: another school friend of Alannah's and mine who worked here for years but has gone back teaching closer to home. Jacqui still makes our liquid castile soap.
Alannah and Jacqui have known each other since they started school together at 5. I joined them at secondary school, when our family moved to Nelson.
We have shared each others lives, loves, joys and sorrows for the past 50 years. Old friendships are such treasures.