Money makers: A cult herbal concoction
After suffering a brain injury, amateur triathlete Joel Einhorn's herbal remedies helped him to get back on the bike – and make a buck or two.
Amateur triathlete Joel Einhorn suffered a brain injury after crashing his bike in 2008. He couldn't sleep for two days, nor close his eyes without spinning, says Gordy Megroz on Bloomberg. Then, two weeks later, he met an Ayurvedic doctor at an Indian restaurant, who recommended herbal remedies. His head began to clear, and after three months of taking the herbs, he was swimming, running and biking again. The treatments "were good for stamina, endurance, anti-inflammation, and recovery", says Einhorn.
In 2013, he started to build a business around the concoctions he made by mixing the herbs with green tea and honey. "It tasted awful," he says. "But there was no doubt that it was allowing me to maintain a higher level of performance." With the help of another Ayurvedic doctor, Einhorn honed the recipe to include ghee, sesame oil and sugar cane, making a black paste he called Hanah One after a coastal road in Hawaii. A $1m cash injection from investors, including Mars chairman Stephen Badger, improved the packaging, and endorsements from mountaineer Jimmy Chin and snowboarder Travis Rice helped Hanah One achieve cult status. Sales to consumers, who add the paste to coffee and tea, now amount to $50,000 a month.
Sending the yachting market to sleep
In 2000 Mark Tremlett and his business partner Peter Tindall spotted a rather niche market, he tells Matthew Caines in The Daily Telegraph mattresses for beds in yachts. "Why would you buy a boat for half a million pounds, only to sleep on a £30 piece of foam?" The pair launched Naturalmat mattresses made from organic fibres and aimed at the yachting market. A year later, and with a baby on the way, Tremlett spied another niche, this time in the nursery sector.
Within two years, breathable, natural-fibre mattresses for babies accounted for 80% of Naturalmat's sales. In 2011 a chance meeting with Simon Woodroffe, founder of Yotel, saw Naturalmat branch out again this time providing bedding for Woodroffe's new hotel in New York. By 2015, 60% of its sales were to hotels.
Now, with an annual turnover of £3m, Naturalmat is going after consumers. The company has recently opened a showroom in Chiswick, south west London. "Most bed retailers are fusty, dreadful places," says Tremlett, where people feel too self-conscious to test the mattresses properly. So their store features a "Sleep Zone", where customers can try the Devon-made mattresses in softly lit "sleep pods".