Go with the FlowMotion
When Californian-born Michele Surcouf was diagnosed with chemical sensitivity back in 2013, she started cooking up her own beauty products using natural ingredients. While experimenting with a hair gel recipe, she created a mystery liquid that was water-based, completely natural and silky smooth. A year and half later, Surcouf’s company FlowMotion, which sells her organic personal lubricant, is going from strength to slippery strength. It is BioGro NZ organic certified, NZ Vegetarian Society approved, water-based, with no added scents or flavours, and does not contain any genetically modified ingredients.
It has been recognised in several business awards including the 2014 Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards and this year’s David Awards.
She admits there have been plenty of challenges along the way, not least because she had never written a business plan. Creating a sex-aid made for controversial dinner table conversation; “Initially I thought: ‘Thank God most of my family is dead!’ Now, to me, it’s like talking about toothpaste – but I still come across people who turn red and shuffle around and look at their feet when I talk about it.”
Research and development was scary, partly because of the stunned looks she received as she dumped armfuls of lube bottles on the chemist’s counter, but mainly due to what she discovered among their ingredients. According to Surcouf many lubes are filled with all kinds of artificial additives, hormones and chemicals such as glycerins, glycols, parabens and even chlorhexidine, a disinfectant used to scrub up before surgery. These ingredients can cause burning, irritation, thrush, allergies and have even been linked to cancer.
FlowMotion’s single product range, by comparison, is simple and almost 100 per cent organic. The main ingredients are organic Indian cluster beans (a natural lubricant), healing aloe vera and water.
Surcouf says she is happy she has created a product that can help fellow chemical-sensitive sufferers enjoy the best things in life without reactions, itches or pain, and hopes she can inspire others to read what goes into their products before they put them onto, and into, their bodies. FlowMotion is at 25 stockists around the country including Commonsense Organics and ecostore or it can be purchased online, or try it for free, at flowmotion.co.nz