As a little boy, Sebastian loved all things with wheels. He treasured and tinkered with toy cars, motorbikes and trains. It was inevitable that he would not only work in a myriad of roles relating directly to his passion for vehicles but would cherish his own adult toys, like the Lotus 7, a car celebrated by enthusiasts searching for a pure driving experience.
Sebastian had a free wheeling stint with motorbikes in his late teens, which was a licence for spontaneity and freedom, it was a thrill to connect to the road and nature, a force of power with ultimate control. When he met his life partner there was an immediate discord for his motorbike riding and for safety reasons, she vetoed this hobby. He was responsible and took to the new life rules without dismay, she was right after-all, it was a particularly dangerous sport.
As a chemical buyer (98 - 2004) for a company that makes replacement car parts and fixes things, one of the products that caught Sebastian’s attention was an iconic mechanic industry cleaner. The only product on the market that worked to get grease off the skin, sans nasty petrochemicals. Up until this point, most mechanics used a kerosene soak for their hands! The product was moisturising and environmental, it was also made and owned by a small family business in Australia, run by a father/daughter team. The recipe was handed down through generations but was first started early in the 20th century. Of course, the wives of mechanics were having a hard time too with greasy overalls in the laundry so the old family recipe was used to create a new laundry powder, a magical combination of citrus and distilled eucalyptus.
Sebastian and the sales rep, Sarah, shared their passion for all things cars and it wasn’t long before she introduced him to her Dad, Kenny. Obviously, they hit it off and over years of sharing an indulgence for mechanics, Kenny started asking Sebastian for business advice. Eventually, the family company employed him as National Accounts Manager. Sebastian had a great rapport with clients but could see that without an online presence the development of the business would remain stagnate. Kenny, in his 70’s, couldn’t quite grasp the push for digital sales so Sebastian offered some personal investment and commitment to grow the client base through a retail website while Kenny and Sarah continued their responsibility for ongoing account management. The leap to digital is agitating the domestic cleaning market, especially for people and businesses seeking alternatives to big supermarkets.
Right from the first introduction, Sebastian saw a spark in Kenny that was driven by innovation and creativity. He works like a chemistry chef to create new niche products for planet caring consumers. Sebastian‘s love for quality green products stems from his love and protection of local fauna. He plans to develop the environmental arm of the business further and become a key player in environmental products, while still personally feeling as free as a healthy bird driving his Lotus.
- Sebastian and Kenny's story, as told to Nat Power
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Main image: Aarron Norcott