The exponential growth of Cropps has made Julene Cropp a very busy woman.
Not only does the eponymous company owned by the former architect and her husband Matthew employ a great team of local ladies to help manufacture natural skincare and personal care products for many other New Zealand brands; Cropps also works closely with these businesses to create bespoke ranges according to needs, markets, and budgets.
So, it was only natural that Cropps started creating several natural skincare brands of its own.
The Bees Brilliance brand, which has been featured in multiple MyTreat boxes including our last box of last year and January 2023's 'Repair & Restore' Kit, is a honey-inspired skincare range by Cropps, designed for local and export markets.
While the Bees Brilliance Skin Brightening collection has been a hit amongst our subscribers, with many saying they "love the Overnight Mask", the MyTreat team has not only decided to put another Skin Brightening cream, this time the Eye Treatment, in all our January boxes; but also the brand's oh-so-luxurious Beauty Elixir Mist just for our LUXE subscribers!
Both products include New Zealand Manuka, well-known throughout the world for its scientifically proven skin-healing properties.
The Cropps definitely know a thing or two about honey. Matthew is a fourth-generation beekeeper and his family has been beekeeping for over 100 years!
We speak to Julene about their business in Brightwater, Nelson and how the journey has been so far for the busy couple.
Talk us through the process of the rapid business expansion.
We started the business in 2015 with a manufacturing contract and a small, empty shed in the main street of Brightwater. Matthew is a resourceful engineer who set up a small manufacturing plant and within a couple of months, we were mixing and packing to fulfil the contract.
After 18 months, we grew too big for the small shed and secured a new manufacturing site around the corner in Factory Road. Whilst the site was currently used as storage of clay for a local Brightwater potter, we drew up some rough factory layout plans, engaged the services of a local draftsperson and builder and within 6 months, we were shifting into a completely retrofitted new cosmetic manufacturing facility. Today, we still remain in the same facility as it was designed to allow for future business. Matthew was delighted as he'd always said that one day he'd have a factory on Factory Road!
How has founding and managing Cropps impacted your work-life balance?
I enjoy working. I love what I do and for me, life is about what you make it.
What's the biggest lesson you've learnt from starting and running a business?
Many people will give you all sorts of advice but the best lessons learnt are the ones experienced.
Any tips on how to repair and restore one's life after the madness of the Christmas season?
No, I don’t really have any tips for post-Christmas madness other than just live one day at a time.
What's 2023 going to be like for Bees Brilliance?
Good question. That is something the team will be discussing in the coming month.
Do you personally have a New Year's resolution for 2023?
Yes. Less time on my phone and more time in nature. For me personally, this is my thinking time where the best creative ideas come to fruition.
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