Behind The Scenes- A personal note from founder Nicki Hanning

I want to share with you a bit about myself as the founder and creator of true. I feel today there can be a huge disconnect between the brand and the people behind the brand. So here’s a little snippet about me and my journey to creating true certified organic skincare.

I’m 41 years old, married and a mum to a now 5 year old. Miela started school last week and yes tears were shed by her mum as I watched my baby take her first steps into the big world of school life. There was some comfort knowing my 8 year old son Arlo was there and I had given him strict instructions to look out for her. She’s loving it so I had nothing to worry about.  We have been living in what I like to call paradise, Wanaka for the past 12 years.

I guess I was destined to work in the wellness industry at some point in my life. As a kid I loved baking and spent many hours in the kitchen recreating recipes and adding my own unique twists.

I have always been fascinated by what is in my food and skincare products and am an avid label reader in the search for real ingredients. I like to ask questions and love to learn and find the truth. I like to call myself a truth seeker.

After leaving school I completed an Advertising Diploma in the early 90’s and this is where my life went in a whole new direction.  Little did I know at the time my views of the world were about to be shaped in a really big way. I realised I couldn’t sell something that I didn’t believe in and I didn’t like the clever marketing or trickery of selling false hope.

This experience cemented some strong personal values, one of being true to myself and to only pursue things in life that I truly believed in. After graduating I was lost to the snow for the next 4 years, met my future husband and started my first business at 23 selling gourmet burgers to the snow bunnies. I made real meat patties and used the highest quality ingredients. Sourcing these was somewhat difficult at times being isolated in Ohakune, a small ski town in the North Island.

 Around the same time an innocent purchase of a book, Holistic Woman’s Herbal highlighted something I had been unconsciously doing for years, one of living a holistic lifestyle, taking into account the mind, body and spirit to improve my general wellbeing. I was 20 by now and this way of life became a passion of mine, ok at times an obsession. I practiced yoga, experimented with all sorts of detox diets and foods and became quite regimented in my thinking preaching to anyone that would listen.

I embraced juicing, spirulina and organic foods in a big way and went on to founder Nicola’s Organics, New Zealand’s first BIO-GRO certified organic muesli company.   

During this super busy period of my life something had to give as I struggled to maintain my health and wellness. I ended up pretty burnt out with anxiety and panic attacks, a big red flag to slow down and to start honouring my own wellbeing again. I discovered the importance of the breath and this literally changed my life on so many levels. More on that another time.

I went on to study massage and opened my own mobile clinic in Wanaka, then Naturopathy (I got to my third year but didn’t graduate due to having babies) and finally started practicing the art of formulating natural/organic skincare which I have done for the past 12 years.  

I have been on an incredible journey of personal transformation over the years which is still very much happening on a daily basis. Each day I am reminded and tested with the juggling of my dreams for true and raising a healthy happy family to appreciate the simple things in the everyday. Partial to dancing with my kids, daily lake walks with my dog Piko, long baths with my beautiful kids, date nights with my gorgeous hubby (need more of these), cups of tea with close friends, and the simple act of cooking simple wholefoods for my family.  

I try and practice being grateful for these small everyday moments in life instead of wishing for the bigger extraordinary moments that may never arrive. 

As an older wiser version of my younger self I am now less regimented about the shoulds and musts in my life and have mellowed somewhat. My hubby may think otherwise.

What I have learned on my personal wellness journey is there is no set way or right way when it comes to looking after ourselves. We are all unique beings and what could be one person’s pleasure could be another person’s poison.

My own take on leading a holistic way of life has changed hugely from my early 20’s and is now stripped back to: simple real foods, daily movement, time spent in nature, accepting my own uniqueness, relationships with family and friends, mindful breathing and slowing down to take a few moments each day for myself.

Here’s to celebrating a life of simplicity

Nicki Hanning x


1 Response


July 23, 2015

Lovely read! so lucky to have a great brand like this out of Wanaka !!

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