I'm Chris Wingard, founder of Kaori Australia and I'd like to welcome you to the website.
Kaori was born from a special place close to my heart, during a period of my life when I experienced a real struggle with my mental health. During this time everyone would say that I needed to do more things for myself. The message was to slow things down and focus on myself – this was hard.
I’m a shy sort of bloke really (some may disagree!) and a real family man. I love dirt bike riding, fishing (a new interest) and I’m a volunteer firefighter. I also really love a nice smelling home. I was disappointed with the scented candles and reed diffusers I was buying (and for the price I was paying), so I decided to try my hand at making my own scented candles as a bit of a hobby. Before long, friends and family were commenting on how great the home smelled and they wanted the candles for their own homes. This was really the beginning for Kaori.
Our small Kaori team has a diverse range of professional business experience behind them, including customer service, operations management, marketing and service delivery. We are genuinely committed to providing the best possible products and service in this business - we've coined this ‘The Kaori Experience’.
So what exactly does that mean for you?
Well, it means no matter how big we get, you will receive a candle that is hand-made, hand-packed and in some cases hand-delivered. It means that we will strive to make your dealings with us, one you talk about over and over. If for some reason it doesn't all go according to plan when you order from us, we are committed to good old fashioned customer service, making sure we follow through and provide you with what you’ve paid for (which seems to be becoming a rarity these days).
Your Kaori experience doesn’t end at this point though, as from the moment you open your product, we want to delight your senses and light up your face with a smile that lasts as long as our products do.
All of our products are tested in homes just like yours...with a smelly pet, an open fireplace, teenagers clothes on the bedroom floor or a toilet that someone in your family has just made a ‘no go zone’ for the next few hours. If our products are not doing the trick, we want to hear from you and we’ll take a look at how things can be improved.
I really think the passion for this business has come from my personal difficulties. It’s been uncomfortable doing things differently, reaching out, opening up and putting myself out there – but I have, and I am doing it right now.
Winston Churchill popularised the phrase 'Black Dog' and in 2005, Matthew Johnstone wrote "I Had A Black Dog". The words "the black dog affects millions and millions of people, it is an equal opportunity mongrel" struck accord with me. Since starting to speak out about my struggles with mental health, I find more and more people talk about their struggles too. We really are all only human, and share similar experiences.
I'm excited to share with you that Kaori Australia proudly supports beyondblue by donating $1 from every sale. Hopefully as we continue to grow, we will be able to increase our support for many of the great organisations that assist people just like you or I, who struggle with their mental health. My personal message to you is to try to reach out to someone for support in any way you can. Don’t sit on it or stay quiet if you don’t feel ok.
So after all my ramblings, once again, welcome to the website, please enjoy looking at and learning about our products. Don't hesitate to call, email, IM, Facebook, Twitter (did I miss anything?). The team are just as friendly, passionate and committed as myself and can't wait to talk to you and bring the Kaori experience into your home.