Meet The Maker - Solid Oral Care
Solid Oral Care is one of our favorite makers. They have mastered the art of zero waste oral care. We love their solid toothpaste that comes in a glass jar. Simply scoop out a little and use like you would any other toothpaste. When the jar is empty you can return it to us and we will collect them up and send back to be sterilized and refilled. We love a closed loop system! Check out our interview with Laura the fabulous founder of Solid.
1. Tell us a little about who you are and what you do...
Kia Ora, I'm Laura. I'm originally from Napier and I did a design degree, before retraining as an Oral Health Therapist. I'm an active relaxer and love building or creating things and understanding how things work.
2. What led you to creating Solid?
I was working as an OHT and just got frustrated with all the waste and single use plastic involved in the dental industry - I felt there must be a better way. I was looking at my own life, and phasing out plastic where I could. I just couldn't find any toothpastes that were up to scratch, so I started learning toothpaste formulation.
3. Which gorgeous corner of Aotearoa do you live in and what is your favorite part of living there?
I live in Tīthai Bay, Porirua - we are about 40 mins up the coast from Wellington. Our whare is about 200 metres from the beach, schools and kindies are close and we live in a beautiful, diverse, culturally rich part of the country - we love it.
4. Share one of your most treasured moments working in your business so far...
I really value feedback from customers - especially when people have had difficulty finding a paste that didn't cause allergic reactions or similar. I get beautiful messages telling me I've made a real difference and it means a lot. And I love how our customers know that we are in this together - that when they bring back their jars, or refill their tablets at Refill Nation, that they are participating in climate action. It's very empowering.
5. As a small NZ business, what has been your biggest hurdle to overcome?
The knowledge and confidence to back myself and my product. I know now that Solid can be a success and that we can even succeed in Australia, but it's taken me a while to get there. I've just completed the Ministry of Awesome Electrify accelerator especially for female entrepreneurs and having this supporting, nurturing community behind me has contributed a lot to this feeling of confidence.
6. How are you celebrating Matariki this year?
We have already started! We have had a school Matariki parakuihi and there are heaps of community events to celebrate too. We will get our whānau together and probably head along to the 'hangi under the stars' community event in Porirua.
7. With Matariki being the start of a new year, what's a skill or goal you want to accomplish this coming year?
Love this question! We have some big goals at Solid - we are currently exploring export to Australia and looking at raising money so we can grow even faster. But I think with so much going on the skill I want to keep growing is just the ability to stay calm and go with the flow. My whānau and team need me happy and healthy, not stressed out and overworked!
8. Apart from working with rad businesses like Refill Nation, what do you put into practice to be a sustainable business?
Our whole kaupapa is based around sustainability, especially stopping the 16 million toothpaste tubes currently going to landfill in Aotearoa every year. We take back all our glass jars to be reused and we have 16 refill hubs around Aotearoa (including Refill Nation of course). We don't use any plastic in our packaging, have implemented a bunch of policies in our manufacturing process and have been carbon zero and climate positive for the last three years. Most importantly, we want demonstrate the different ways that we can all be responsible for what we produce and consume. This is why Plastic Free July is so great - people can see all the different options and work out what is going to work for them and their whānau.
Check out the Solid range here.