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NZ Lifestyle Block - April 2009 "Flower Power" by Nadene Hall

"I decided to make soaps and I learnt that from books and adapted recipes in order to make soaps which are suitable for dry or problem skin.  I wanted the soaps to be useful rather than just pretty and smell nice." 

The first experiments were a family affair.

"Mainly on my husband and our girls," laughs Pauline.  "We just tried things out."

Dairy farmer Robert often had sore, cracked hands so Pauline decided to fix them.  Through research and experimentation she combined oils and butters and had Robert try out various mixes until she was satisfied with her heavy-duty, water resistant balm.  The result:  Pauline's very popular Hand & Heel Balm.

Other skin conditions then came under her scrutiny, leading to an all-natural range of calendula-based products.

"I get great feedback from people with psoriasis and eczema who use my Calendula Ointment, Calendula Soap and mild shampoo.  The calendula gives it that little bit of  "oomph", because of it's healing properties and there are so many people out there with skin sproblems.  I get a lot of pleasure out of helping people.  The calendula ointment is fantastic - you can put it on anything:  cuts, grazes, rashes, cold sores, fungal infections, cracked heels, nappy rash, chaffing - anything!:

As her 50th birthday approached, Pauline began pondering if it could be a full-time business, not just a hobby.

"I'd always wanted my own business - I was still working (off-farm) when I started this.  In the back of my mind I could see I could turn it into a business.  I thought, 'Can I do this, will it succeed?'  But I was getting so much positive feedback, that gave me more courage, the belief, that I could do it."

After attending business development courses, Pauline took the plunge and Infused with Nature was born.

"I should have done it years ago.  I just love it.  The courses were fantastic with business planning, sales, marketing, that  sort of thing, that helped a lot."

 Infused with Nature's calendula-based products have now taken over her life, even though the calendula itself is only in the ground from November to March.  While she loves gardening, Pauline says it is the growing of the calendula that is the most back-breaking part of her business.

"The planting is the hardest bit, getting all the seedlings planted, then once they're growing, we have to keep the weeds out."

As with all new ventures, Pauline has learnt better ways of doing things as the years have gone by.