Another of our International Women’s Day inspirations is Elka de Wit, founder of 34.4º, a natural skincare brand that positively impacts society, the environment, and most importantly – the bees that help make 34.4º possible. Elka has built her business around her own code of environmental and social ethics, but this isn’t the only reason we admire her. Her love of and respect for the bees who were the true catalysts for 34.4º is brilliant and is something we can all take inspiration from. Read what Elka has to say here:
1. Briefly describe your job/role and how you got there:
I’m the founder of 34.4º Skincare Naturally, a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) entirely staffed by volunteers. One of my main jobs at the moment is recruiting volunteers to donate 5 hours of their time once every 6/8 weeks 🙂 I’m determined to prove that we can make a lot of money, 50% of which will be given to charities of our choice and the other 50% to be equally divided between employees and re-investment in the company. I’m interested in bees, as they indicate what state the environment is in. This is why we’ve always donated 3.44% of every single sale to the Natural Beekeeping Trust whose focus is on rewilding the environment with wild bees not on honey farming
2. Who/what is your inspiration – in design and in life?
I adore both Art Deco and the Japanese simplicity of design. In life my biggest inspiration was my grandmother who founded in me a love of nature, which is now at the heart of the 34.4º brand.
3. Tell us about a favourite creation – this could be a recipe, cosmetic product, piece of art, garment, moment, or life hack:
Our HONEY BALM which is our flagship product, is my favourite product. It has few ingredients but can be used for many different things. It makes a great: moisturiser, primer, after-shave balm, lip balm, make-up remover….and… pollen blocker (inside the nostrils) to prevent hayfever 🙂
4. Tell us your favourite way to pick yourself up and/or unwind:
Yoga, meditation, listening to Mongolian chanting or listening to audiobooks and going to the cinema
5. If you could ask the ladies in India a question, or give a piece of advice, what would it be?
My question to the ladies is this: “Do you have any ideas as to how our 34.4º brand could help you?”