From a wandering conversation in the valley of the Peak District to becoming a 100% plastic-free and natural business - here’s a timeline of our story. Where have we come from, what we’ve become, and what’s up next? As such a small business, every step, no matter how small has felt like a massive achievement to us. We thank every single one of you who has ordered, trialed our products, and shared reviews to help spread the word of KiteNest.
November 2014. Where it all began
Let’s paint you a picture. Two Lincolnshire lads, backpacking through the Peaks, the rain is pouring. Markus’ hair wax runs into his eyes - it stings. What the heck is in this? Why does it hurt so much? Maybe we could create something better? Something more natural? A huge investigation takes place. What on earth are all of these nasty chemicals in products? What damages do they have on the planet? On our skin and hair? What ingredients qualify as ‘natural’? Which ingredients are best for both hair and the planet? We learn an awful LOT! We’re excited to start operation KiteNest - experimenting making our own hair waxes.
February 2015 - KiteNest is born
We feel kickass. Two best buds creating something with our hands. Uniting Chris’s experience in art and design and Markus’ passion for science and the environment. Hanging out, having fun - in a Breaking Bad kinda way (minis the you know what). KiteNest natural furniture wax, body butter, lip balms, and nourishing Himalayan Salt Scrubs are born.
September 2015 - Laura creates our iconic KiteNest branding
A serious shout out to our designer, Laura, who’s been with us from the start. Beginning with our very first logo and our iconic ‘K’ she’s given us a brand identity that we’ll be forever proud of. We’ve loved watching how our packaging designs have become bolder and brighter every year.
December 2015 - Chris and Markus attend their first event to sell their products
Heighington Christmas Market. The first time we reveal our products to potential customers. Honestly, we can’t remember much other than we were both wearing Santa hats! But you must have been nice to us as we carried on!
May 2016 - The birth of KiteNest HQ
Chris and Markus spent two weeks constructing KiteNest HQ - a cozy custom 18ft build space dedicated to our business. It’s a custom-built laboratory which enables us to make products, research new additions to the range, and to pack and post orders.
Our key considerations were cleanliness, temperature, and space. We had to ensure we had a clean and safe environment to create products in line with legislation. We also needed to insulate to ensure that temperature changes couldn’t damage the workshop or its contents. It’s been pulled together by a secondhand kitchen and every single inch was made with our own hands. Our finished workshop is somewhere we now spend a lot of time and it’s a great feeling to sit within your own Kingdom like this. We do still wonder what our neighbours must think we’re up to in there as they’re yet to ask us!
June 2017 - KiteNest launches 100% Organic Dry Shampoo
Almost three years in and we make our biggest-selling product. Our 100% Organic Dry Shampoo. There’s still nothing else like it on the market. A blend of 100% plant-based powders and clays that give you refreshed, shiny hair - without a single drop of water and under 60 seconds. It’s no wonder you all love it so much. Haven’t tried it yet? See for yourself why our Dry Shampoo is the perfect remedy for refreshing your hair out. You can even choose a blend for your hair type.
May 2018 - KiteNest switches plastic Himalayan Salt Scrub jars to glass
We’ve always been conscious of playing a responsible role in ensuring our business is as eco and sustainable as possible. That also includes our packaging. So moving our Himalayan Salt Scrubs over to jars was a natural move for us. Glass is a fully recyclable material. In a closed-loop, it can be recycled over and over again without degrading in quality. Thanks to glass recycling collection points and facilities, significant amounts of raw materials are saved and natural resources are preserved. Glass recycling also helps in saving energy as cullets melt at a lower temperature than raw materials. Every tonne of recycled glass saves 670 Kgs of CO2 being emitted.
July 2018 - Emma Joins the KiteNest team
As KiteNest continued growing from strength to strength, we struggled to keep on top of our social media and website alongside making customer’s orders and testing and creating new products. So, that’s where Emma comes in. She’s our Comms Guru. She’s a busy Mum of 4 who’s just as mad on wildlife as us and is down the road in Newark. She pieces together our e-newsletters, takes all of our product photography, keeps the website up-to-date and manages our social media accounts. You may have spotted her in our emails. We got on so well with Emma, and admired her passion for educating the world about the crisis facing the environment, that we asked her to join the team forever. That’s how two become three and we couldn’t be happier, after all someone has to play referee when there’s a disagreement!
December 2018 - KiteNest exhibits at the Lincoln Christmas Market for the first time
For anyone who’s ever visited the Lincoln Christmas Market - you’ll know what a wonderfully festive atmosphere there is. The smell of the chestnuts roasting, festive classics playing through overhead speakers, trinkets to discover on every turn. It was fantastic being part of the market, however, there were awfully bad snowstorms and we had to make the best of things. That means extra mulled wine to stay warm. But it was great being part of such a celebrated, local tradition.
February 2019 - KiteNest launch their first zero-waste Shampoo Bar
Adding to our list of 100% natural products is our luscious lemon shampoo bars. They’re zesty, revitalizing, and come entirely plastic-free. One thing we’re really proud of is their accompanying seed cards. Listing your ingredients, they’re printed with vegetable inks and are 100% biodegradable. So once you’re finished with it they can be popped in the ground to grow bee-friendly wildflowers. Now, that is clever zero-waste haircare.
April 2019 - KiteNest launch their crowdfunding campaign to go 100% plastic-free
We’d worked tirelessly to ensure we continued to push our eco-credentials. BUT, there was still one item of plastic left - the lids of our Organic Dry Shampoo. Made from recyclable plastic, it was a long and tough search to find a sustainable alternative. Eventually, we finally found an alternative to plastic caps - the only set back is that the creators required a minimum order of 15,000! As a small, family-run company, placing such a large order is completely out of our grasp. So, that’s why we turned to you with our crowdfunding campaign. And as always, your support was never failing. With the help of 126 supporters, we smashed the target to become a plastic-free business, forever.
March 2020 - New tinned Organic Dry Shampoo launches
Working hard behind the scenes for several months we finally get our new refillable aluminum tins designed, printed, manufactured, and sent to us. We then had to spend many weeks making all of the Dry Shampoos to fulfill your pre-orders and crowdfunding rewards. We’d never done so much intense packaging and posting. Everyone has now received these and wow, we’ve been blown away by your wonderful comments and affirmation for our plastic-free alternative. We absolutely love them. They look brilliant. Colorful, bold and sturdy. Take care of them and they will last you a lifetime (including the use of our refill pouches). So they are everything we needed to become an entirely plastic-free (and environmentally-responsible) company. If you head over to our Instagram IGTV account, you can see a video of the tins and why they’re so awesome.
March 2020 continued… surviving through Covid19 and lockdown
Luckily, we got all of your Organic Dry Shampoo orders posted in the nick of time. Literally two weeks after, Covid19 swept through our country forcing many small businesses to put on their breaks. Fortunately, as we create personal hygiene products we’re classed as an essential business. But this has come with its challenges. Only one of us can access and use the workshop at one time (due to social-distancing measures) and we’ve all had to work remotely under the stress of key worker jobs, children and dogs.
It’s been hard work, but touch wood, we are still going strong! In June we created and handed over 3,500 of our natural cosmetic products to Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust. Rewarding their staff to some pamper time, they received a mixture of our naked body butter, Himalayan Salt Scrubs and lip balm. It felt fantastic helping to reward frontline staff. We appreciate everyone’s orders and support during this time as we continue to adapt and survive these hard times.
We hope this little timeline gives you clearer pictures of the trio behind KiteNest. Where we came from, our ambitions and struggles facing us going forward. Like all small businesses, we rely on people supporting small and local businesses more than ever. We hope you’re all keeping safe.
Emma, Chris & Markus