It wasn’t Michelle Brass’s intention to create international brand Zea Relief. However, when an oil she was regularly asked about at local markets in Tasmania led her to the kunzea plant, she knew she was on to something good.
“Ten years ago, while I was working at the local markets in Tasmania selling a full range of essential oils, local Tasmanians kept asking me for one specific oil we hadn’t heard of. We did some digging and discovered over 20 years of research on the kunzea species and the components within the oil,” Brass explained. “This got us excited and we couldn’t believe that nobody was using it commercially. So, as a family project, we started testing, investing, promoting and learning about kunzea oil. I started to use it at my naturopathic clinic on clients with various chronic conditions. The customer feedback and results that we started to see were remarkable.”
In 2016, Brass’ son Hayden decided to go “all in” and turned the family project into a business, Zea Relief. “We engaged with an incredible formulator who helped us nail the exact formulation for arthritis and the pain management market. It’s high quality, cruelty-free, chemical-free and skin friendly,” said Brass. “It’s this formulation of the actual Zea Relief products that’s our biggest innovation. We have developed the first topical pain relief product to contain kunzea as the key active ingredient to be listed as a ‘therapeutic good’ in Australia.”
Having a product-based business has been both rewarding and challenging for Brass. “Seeing customers apply our products to their body and see almost immediate results has been extremely rewarding. And seeing our product come to life and grow over the past few years has been exciting.”With a strong family focus and solid sales growth year on year, Brass said 2020 is set to be another big year. “We plan on launching nine new products including a large pump bottle version of our popular 100 gram cream and much anticipated kunzea honey, which we believe will be the next Manuka honey.”
Readers also enjoyed our story Slim by Nature Founder Zhanna Gee.