Walking the Talk
A few years ago, Bo Hendgen walked for eight days into the Nepalese mountains to find a potential new supplier for her Absolute Essential therapeutic plant-oil brand. As a sign of commitment to one's business, that takes some beating. Hendgen, who studied aromatic medicine in France before emigrating to New Zealand, launched Absolute Essential 27 years ago, initially to source medicinal-quality essential oils for her patients.
It quickly grew into a thriving business, and now supplies hundreds of retailers in New Zealand, Australia and Asia with products targeted at alleviating stress, and respiratory and skin conditions. Hendgen emphasises that these are organic and "100 percent therapeutic" essential oils, derived from ingredients sourced from 54 countries. In Nepal, Absolute Essential has invested in building a small artisan production chain, and has raised money for earthquake relief. "I can't with good conscience say we're a sustainable company if the people who grow our product don't have enough money to eat."