Awash with ideas

George Brown jumped in boots and all to launch Wash Bloc.

FOR George Brown, a family that emphasised a love of the outdoors and looking after it, coupled with an adventurous streak, finally gave him the business idea he needed.

Unable to take liquids on planes, he wanted some personal care products, but found the suitable alternatives were pretty much all targeted at women and “pretty kitsch to be honest”.

“I kind of had this in the back of my mind when I was travelling and didn’t really do anything about it, but when I came back I sort of explored the idea more and thought ‘this is really cool’.

“So, one bar saves three plastic bottles, and it’s also fulfilling my need to find an idea that I coud start myself in the garage and sort of teach myself how to make these products.”

He ran the idea past his girlfriend at the time who told him to be more like the My ilo team and spend a good year developing the product.

“But that’s not really my style. So I started playing around with formulas and doing heaps or research, and then two or three months later launched Wash Bloc – probably well before it should have been.”

Luck

A bit of luck scoring a mention in The West gave him a good head start, which in turn led to a refocusing of the company.

“While I thought everyone would just want a simple product, it turns out people want different products for different hair types – they don’t want an all-in-one product.

“And while I thought that females wouldn’t be interest in the product, I’ve actually found a lot of really eco-conscious women – and not just young women, but also elderly women as well.

“So this sort of changed the direction of the business a bit.”

Mr Brown has been working hard getting Wash Bloc into stores: “I think you can reach a lot more people more quickly” and is attracting interest from overseas. I’ve got some successful leads – nothing’s sort of finalised or anything but I’ve sent some product off to New Zealand, so that’s pretty exciting.

“And then I’ve got a friend in the US who’s sampling products with a retail group over there, and he’s got a big distribution network in the US, so fingers crossed that’s going to come together.”

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