Interview: Hanora Health

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Hanora Health currently sells Kombucha and Raw Chocolate Orange bites. I was lucky enough to interview Hanora Health about their products and career plans.

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you? 

Hey Rhiannon, I am really well thank you and I am so excited get the interview underway! A thank you must go out to you for approaching me as well! 

Tell us a little bit about your background. 

Sure, I was born and raised in Zimbabwe where I lived for 14 years. Following this we moved to Malawi for 2 years and finally we arrived in the UK in 2003. This is where I finished off my schooling and studied Sports and Exercise Science at the University of Bedfordshire. Following completion of my degree I managed to land a job in my field. I started as a graduate scientist testing sweat and saliva for our GB athletes ahead of the 2012 Olympics. I know it sounds gross but it was an integral piece of work that allowed the athletes to monitor their training load and hydration.

I am still at the same company 8 years later but, I now work as a Business Development Manager selling a quality assurance programme with the initiative of preventing inadvertent doping through supplementation. The programme is called Informed-Sport which is globally recognised within the supplement sector. During my time at work I gained further qualifications in Nutrition and I was also part of the GB Bobsleigh development squad ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics. Sadly things didn't work out due to injuries and other athletes coming through the ranks but it was such an unbelievable experience.  

I adore your business. What made you decide to set up Hanora Health? 

Ah thanks so much! I have always wanted to have my own business and I am really passionate about the benefits of good health and nutrition. There are a lot of improvements to be made in this sector and I plan to tackle a number of them through Hanora Health. 

In addition to this there is a Foundation connected to the brand: The   Hanora Foundation - Be the Change 

Together we can make the world a better place. Supporting your health via the use of Hanora's products also supports the world’s health. A percentage of the profits will go to projects around the world to improve education, sanitisation, etc. This is a very near and dear project as my Grand was murder in Zimbabwe back in 2008 and I feel this could have been prevented with the right measures being in place. 

I really hope our consumers will be motivated to actually personally get involved in some of the projects when I get them off the ground.  

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What does your business sell? 

Currently we sell Kombucha and Raw Chocolate Orange bites. However there are many more things to be added to the range in due course so, watch this space.

Why did you call your business Hanora Health?

Hanora Health comes from the Maori philosophy of health and well being Hauora. There are four dimensions of Hauora; Taha Tinana (Physical Wellbeing - health), Taha Hinengaro (Mental & Emotional wellbeing - self-confidence), Taha Whanau (Social Wellbeing - self-esteem) and Taha Wairua (Spiritual wellbeing - personal beliefs). Health is all encompassing and I strive to aid our consumers in all of these aspects.

How has your creative process changed since the start? 

All the products are hand made by myself at home so I would say the creative process has changed over time as I gained a better understanding on how to streamline my production. As I scale as a business and make bigger and bigger batches of Kombucha I will certainly need to find more creative ways to stay on top of things. 

How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?

I discovered Kombucha on my travels to USA, South Africa and Australia. I returned back the UK and considered going on a course however what better way to learn than actually doing! I bought a number of books, studied many articles online and started brewing Kombucha in 2 litre pickling jars. The first batches were horrible as I experimented with different teas and sugars. My family and friends were far too polite! However after many many trials and errors I manged to find my grove. I settled on a combination of Green and White Tea along with a Demerara sugar which provides a good base to flavour off. Today I am still learning and perfecting my craft, spending time with other similar business like local beer breweries, reaching out to other kombucha brands is all proving useful and helpful. 

The Raw Chocolate Orange Bites are a little different. I used to make them at home for personal consumption and at one of the markets I decided to take some samples along. With the samples I asked each individual that tasted them whether or not I should launch them as a product and it was a resounding yes. The rest is history. 

Have you always been into health and fitness? 

Yes, you could say it was my first love. I was blessed with a number of transferable skills and that allowed me to be pretty good at several different sports. I don’t play any sports at the moment but I do stay fit by training around 3-5 times a week depending my work schedule as well as doing yoga every night at home. 

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use? 

It provides a perfect platform to attract likeminded people and businesses which allow great collaborations to happen just like this!

Who inspires your business?

Yikes, where do I start! I am always inspired by people that go out there and pursue their dreams and deepest desires. Here a list in no particular order: 

Sophie Radcliffe (@challegesophie)

The Do Lectures 

Hiut Denim 

Mark Shayler

Muhammad Yunus – Author of Banker To The Poor 

John Wood – Founder of Room to Read and Author of Leaving Microsoft To Change the World 

Rachel Hobbs (@Rachelannehobbs) 

I could go on and on…

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Do you have any favourite products from your shop that you adore at the moment?

It’s a tough choice between the Ginger and Lemon Kombucha or the Raw Chocolate Orange Bites. 

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram page?

I hope it will be a hive of activity. New flavours of kombucha, new product lines and launches, some inspirational stories, recipe ideas, collaborations…

What’s your typical working day?

I work full time alongside Hanora Health with the day job typically taking up 40-60 hours per week depending if I am travelling or not. A typical day at home for me would look like: 

06:00 – Alarm sounds 

06:30 – Coffee and Breakfast

07:00/07:30 – Start work, which includes calls, meetings, legal agreements, Contracts, organising my travels and events, emails etc. 

11:00 – Snack break a cup of tea/coffee/kombucha 

11:15 – Back to work. 

13:00 – Lunch normally eaten at my desk. 

13:30 – Back to work 

15:00 – Snack and tea/coffee break

16:30 – Gym 

18:00 – Dinner 

19:00 – Yoga and tying up loose ends for Hanora. This could be flavouring a new batch of kombucha, making up a couple of batches of bites, bottling a batch of kombucha, replying to emails etc. 

21:30/22:00 – Bed

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

Fear! I had Hanora Health as a concept for over a year before moving forward with anything. I didn’t have anything to fear as the reception of the brand and products have been incredible. That is my advice to anyone that is looking to do something of their own don’t listen to your demons take the leap and enjoy the ride! What have you got to lose?

Do you have any exciting plans for this year? 

As 2018 is fast coming to an end my focus will be on next year now. I am excited to be commissioning a new fermenter to make larger batches of Kombucha in January. This will be great as it will give me more stock to approach more local retail outlets. If you know any please pass them my way. 

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What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style? 

Embrace your uniqueness, we try fit in but we are born to shine! 

Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own business?

Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Launch it and use it as a learning experience. If you wait until it is perfect you may have missed the opportunity. 

What’s next for Hanora Health? 

With the new fermenter being commissioned it will allow me to experiment with new flavours hopefully I can add one or two in the coming months. In addition to this I hoping we can get a couple more stockist in the Bath and Bristol area. It can be tough getting the time to get in front of the right people due to working full time but its all good fun.  

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given? 

To be creative we need to remove ourselves from the day to day as it does not allow you to see the bigger picture. Take yourself off to a place that can allow you to think freely without the distractions our modern world. Also don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help. 

You can follow Hanora Health on Instagram ‘https://www.instagram.com/hanorahealth’, Facebook ‘www.facebook.com/Hanorahealth’ and their website ‘www.hanorahealth.co.uk'.  

Rhiannon BrittenComment