After a long break, we continue to conduct case studies about our inspiring customers. Last week we interviewed Caroline & Anita – the creators of Made Kind. Just like for us, sustainability and personal approach are very important for their business.
The Story Behind Made Kind
Tell me a little bit about your business and how it started?
Anita: We sell planet friendly products that are kind to the environment, for home and personal use.
Caroline and I have known each other for quite a number of years – we’ve met when our children were in nursery. At the time we were talking about how Caroline’s daughter was suffering from migraines. I had a friend who had cancer and switched to using natural skin care products. Meanwhile, there was a lot in the press about how cleaners were bad for internal environments, and we were all breathing these chemicals in.
We wanted to work on a project together and came up with an idea of creating home cleaning products that were safe for pets and people to use, but also not hurting aquatic life at all when they go to the waterways, making sure that we don’t make a lot of plastic that ends up in the oceans and doesn’t biodegrade. We decided to create a range of products that ticked every single issue that we thought there was.
Caroline and Anita
We made strict guidelines while going through a long process with a specialist manufacturer and created the range of four core cleaning products – and you shouldn’t need anything else, really. We started selling them, and at the same time developed other products that would fit under the same umbrella – natural, refillable and kind to the environment.
We officially launched in November 2020, but we’ve been working on Made Kind for more than a year before that, because our cleaners had to go through stability testing. They don’t have lots of preservatives and toxic chemicals in them, so we had to have them tested to make sure that they don’t get bacterial growth while sitting in the bottle. That period of testing took some time, especially because that was during the pandemic.
There is a lot involved in creating a new brand – much more than you can imagine. – Made Kind
What products do you sell now? Are they all handmade?
Anita: In addition to our home cleaning products, we have created a range of handwashes, hand lotion, soy wax aromatherapy candles, shampoo and very recently – a conditioner.
We use a specialist manufacturer based in the UK who make our cleaning products, so we don’t handmake those. But we do bottle them ourselves in the glass bottles. Handwash and hand lotion, shampoos and conditioners are handmade in the factory in Peak District. We also have aromatherapy candles and room fragrance that we make ourselves.
How important is environmental sustainability to your business?
Caroline: I think what’s great about starting a new business it’s being able to make sustainability a number one priority, especially after having long careers in large corporate businesses where it wasn’t prioritised. At Made Kind it’s in a heart of everything. And we don’t need to backtrack, we can actually be forward-thinkers in terms of sustainability. Every decision we make is about the impact it’s going to have on the environment and therefore how it will benefit us because we all need a healthy planet.
We sell our products in glass bottles which you can refill, eliminating plastic waste. We would never buy polystyrene or bubble wrap and always use slightly more expensive chips made from biodegradable products.
Made Kind Experience With Stitchedboxes
How and when did you come across our boxes? Why did you choose us?
Caroline: I follow Pittch Socks on Instagram and I saw that they were using these beautiful handmade boxes to house their socks in. Then we found out about the heritage and the story behind the boxes. We liked that they are really sustainable in terms of the card being made of recyclable material, they’re handstitched with staples and not glued, and also the fact that they are so sturdy, they can actually be used for years to come either as keepsake or storage boxes. They are not boxes to be thrown away.
The reason why we initially had the idea to put Made Kind products inside the boxes came from a local bathroom and kitchen shop near us who liked the Made Kind products and wanted to gift them to their clients as a ‘thank you’. And we started making up these giftboxes with such products as kitchen cleaners with a nice brush or handwash and pack everything in the stitched boxes.
They were so well received that we just thought “well, what a greatest idea for us to have a gift section on our own website”. And it’s been fantastic for us.
What do you use our boxes for?
Anita: We use them for gifting for a number of occasions. For example, “new homes” is a really good set, where people can buy the giftbox of cleaning products. It’s teachers gift time at the moment, so we have giftboxes with sustainable candles or handwashes to choose from.
Caroline: And our customers love the way it’s presented – a finished item that they don’t even need to wrap, it already has a real luxury feel to it.
How important is packaging to your products?
Anita: The fact we have our logo debossed on the top of the box is really important to us from a branding point of view. People like to save the box, so it keeps our brand in people’s homes. And aesthetically the boxes look very nice. Kraft paper has been a very popular look for a long time.
What do you like most about stitched boxes?
Caroline: We like the relationship we have with the people at Stitchedboxes. It’s a real personal touch when it comes to ordering and following the whole production process. We have been drawn into the process in a really lovely way where we can see, touch and feel how they’re made. It makes us feel more connected to the product. We love the fact that they are handmade, and we have seen people who work there for years and years, who put their passion into it.
Can you describe your experience with Stitchedboxes in three words?
Honest, Passionate, Reliable. 🙂
How do you see the future of Made Kind?
Anita: We have many different avenues that we are pursuing to bring our brand to more people – that’s what we would like to do. Retail sales are very important, but we also sell to wholesalers, hotels… We supply lots of local businesses which we really love doing.
Caroline: And I think we would love more businesses to buy our giftboxes to pass onto their clients because for them it’s a personal touch and shows their appreciation to their clients. And also their clients like the fact that it’s a sustainable product. So I think there’s a lot to go for us in the gifting area.