In March we delivered a tester of Lemon & Beaker products for our customers and the feedback on this brand was exceptional. We had emails from customers wanting to know where they could get their hands on it, and who was making these products. Ash Connolly from Rangiora said "Thank you so much for my March box, I am in love with the Lemon & Beaker cleanser and have just had to buy myself the big one to use everyday. My skin feels tight straight away, but not in that dried out way that some products leave you feeling." We are so pleased to be able to include more Lemon & Beaker product for our customers to enjoy and thought it would be a perfect time to tell you more about the woman behind the scenes.
This exciting New Zealand brand has burst on the scene with sweet scents and high effective formulas and with the founder Hannah Hong not only living and breathing skincare for most of her adult life, but turning her passion into craft by gaining a Bachelor of Science and a CIDESCO Diploma in Aesthetics and Beauty Therapy.
The Auckland native attended Epsom Girl's Grammar school and says every day after class she walked to luxury department store Smith and Caughey's in Newmarket. "I would try all the skincare and whenever a woman would walk by I would know 'oh she's wearing Chanel'. "I was so in love with skincare and perfume I thought I wanted to explore that. I happened to be really good at chemistry at school so I thought 'why not?'"
"I believe skincare isn't only chemical compounds, it's a mix of the psychological emotions attached to it," Hong says. "The packaging and fragrance, it's an entire experience - you use all five senses."
Her passion resulted in her beginning local skincare company Lemon and Beaker, named for two of the ingredients on her desk when she was brainstorming. Hong's passion for skincare has carried her through multiple degrees and charity work. But while starting a skincare company from scratch might be enough for most, Hong has a lot more going on. In 2016 she received a call from a friend working for an NGO helping refugee women in Jordan's capital city Amman.
"She said, 'I heard you make skincare and soaps yourself'," Hong recounted." She said, 'Why don't you come over here and teach these refugee ladies. We need to create some jobs and we need to teach some classes."
Hong loaded up all her beauty equipment - around 50kg of luggage - and travelled to Jordan, with barely any idea of what to expect.
"There were classes being run for these refugee women who had fled their homes, we decided to teach them different classes; facial treatments, nail art, soap making."
The classes were an instant success. "Everyone loved what they were learning and they wanted to find jobs. These ladies were so excited to find a job and once they started to acquire the skills they could go out there and [find one].
"It was incredibly exciting because I didn't realise the benefit of the beauty industry, [in Jordan]." Last year, the factory turned around a US$40,000 profit, which volunteers used to run extra classes and English classes for children.
Hong says once Lemon and Beaker starts turning a proper profit, she'll donate 10 percent of profits to a school for refugee children, something she says is a deal-breaker when it comes to bringing on investors.
"I love doing it; I see it as my most precious time. It's nothing to do with business or me getting anything but I feel like this is the reason I am living... it gives me such happiness."
With a commitment to the planet with their completely sustainable packaging, to the heartfelt way in which Hannah talks about her brand, it is easy to understand why there is a high level of support for Lemon & Beaker and their highly effective products. With a price point that makes them affordable, and results that speak for themselves, this is one brand to keep your eye on.