I’ve been a full-time employee of Go Native New Zealand since around 2011, but my Mum, Elinor McEwan, founded the company so I have seen it grow and evolve since its conception in 2001.
I have trained and worked as an actor since I was very young and in the beginning working here enabled me to pay my rent while I rehearsed theatre shows in the evenings and weekends.
I learned all the foundations of formulation from Mum and have been making my own skincare most of my life, and most of my own make up for the past couple of years. As I got deeper into the business I became more and more fascinated by the skincare formulation world. Now this is not only my full-time job but I am currently studying for two separate diplomas, one with Formula Botanica in Organic Skincare Formulation and one with the School of Natural Skincare for a Diploma in Formulating Natural Makeup and Advanced Colour Cosmetics. The more I learn in the formulation field the more I realise I will literally never be finished learning, which can be a little overwhelming at times but ultimately is very exciting. I love that the all knowledge I gain can go directly into the business and helping customers with their ingredients and formulation questions. I love customers asking me questions that I may not yet know the answers to, I always want to be transparent with my knowledge, or sometimes lack-there-of, and that way we can learn together and I may learn about something I had not yet thought about.
We’re a small, tight-knit team here and everything is done in-house. This includes filling and shipping orders to product photography, content creation, designing formulas, social media and email marketing… I could go on, anyone who runs a small business will know what I mean! It’s never boring and I feel so lucky that I’m able to use my organisation and productions skills (from those years of getting theatre shows on their feet) and also sate those creative urges with formulating and designing formulas and content. I also get to work with my friends and family which is incredibly special, plus I get to bring my little dog Gus to work with me every day. He’s not as helpful as the rest of the team but he’s very good at letting us know when the courier arrives.
As far as personal life goes I follow a vegan diet, buy only second hand clothing as much as possible and am very enthusiastic about sustainability, conservation and animal welfare. Ethos’ which are incredibly congruous with Go Native New Zealand. I love being able to put those things into practice on a daily basis, from researching the best possible packaging solutions to choosing what ingredients we decide to stock.
I still do the odd bit of acting work when I can. I’m involved in the theatre and comedy industry and am part of a female/non-binary improv troop “Heartthrobs”, we perform live long form improvisation shows based on TV shows and films. In 2020 we won Best Comedy for our show “Lust Island” in the Auckland Fringe Festival and are performing the 2022 Basement Christmas Show.
Comedy is where I met my comedian husband Rhys, we got married in January 2022, surrounded by friends, family and donkeys.
Photo by Kate Little
Most weekends are enjoyed watching a comedy show or theatre production and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends. Because I’m ultimately a big ol’ nerd at heart.
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