Derelee Potroz-Smith is the CEO and Co-founder of Woolchemy based in New Zealand. Woolchemy processes wool with its innovative neweZorb treatment to make it super-absorbent. In this Wool Academy podcast, Derelee tells the story of how she and her mother came up with the idea for Woolchemy and how she developed the business over the past 10 years.
About Derelee Potroz-Smith
Derelee Potroz-Smith is the CEO and Co-Founder of Woolchemy in New Zealand. She is a mother of three boys, an engineer, and an environmentalist. Her company Woolchemy have formulated a world first method that makes sheep wool super-absorbent for use in multiple moisture management applications. In 2017, Woolchemy was named finalists in the ’Going Circular’ category of the New Zealand NZI Sustainable Business Awards. Derelee comes from a wool producing upbringing and her mission is to pay farmers fairly for their wool clip and creating innovative biodegradable products for the better of our planet and our people.
Connect with Derelee Potroz-Smith here
Key Time Stamps
[00:55] About Derelee Potroz-Smith
[02:04] About Woolchemy
[03:05] The reason for starting Woolchemy
[05:39] How can Woolchemy make a difference for the environment?
[10:33] How Woolchemy is created
[11:51] The difference between neweZorb treated and untreated wool
[12:55] How much moisture can neweZorb treated wool absorb
[13:39] Odour management of neweZorb treated wool
[15:28] How sustainable is neweZorb?
[16:32] The process of building the business of Woolchemy
[19:56] Key learnings from developing the product and business
[23:20] The resilience of not giving up
[25:12] Key markets for Woolchemy products
[30:55] Working with family in a family business
[34:16] Next steps for Woolchemy
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