Hayden Brass discovered Tasmania’s ‘best kept natural secret’, the Kunzea Mill, while working at his parents’ market stall aged 13.
Flash forward 15 years and its wellness brand Zea generates millions of dollars a year, its “flagship product” being a natural pain relief cream containing the therapeutic plant.
The 29-year-old, who grew up in Launceston but now lives in Melbourne, told Daily Mail Australia that while his parents sold a lot of health products at the Saturday market, customers kept asking for Kunzea.
The ingredient is a little-known Australian herb with therapeutic properties and is considered one of nature’s most effective multi-use oils.
Hayden Brass (pictured) launched Zea in 2016 and in the last fiscal year the company made $3.2 million in sales selling natural products containing Kunzea – a plant with therapeutic properties
Kunzea (pictured left) is a little-known Australian herb with therapeutic properties and can be identified as one of nature’s most effective multi-purpose oils. Zea sells a range of products containing Kunzea, but the most popular signature item is undoubtedly the pain cream.
Shortly after graduating from college, Hayden launched Zea – a natural personal care line based solely on Kunzea.
Working from his shared bedroom, Hayden launched the company in 2016 with the help of his father, although the products were developed in collaboration with leading botanical scientists in the country as part of Kunzea research.
Sadly, Hayden’s father passed away a few months after launch, and although it was a tough time, he became “more than ever” motivated to continue growing.
In the first year alone, the brand made $70,000 in revenue, compared to $600,000 in 2018-19 and $3.2 million the previous fiscal year.
Kunzea has also been described by many as “the natural alternative” to Voltaren or Deep Heat.
“Kunzea is a cousin of tea tree oil, but we believe it has the potential to be even bigger on the world stage. The plant flourishes in northeast Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands, such as Flinders Island,” Hayden said.
What is Kunzea?
Kunzea is a rare genus of plant endemic to Australasia and native to cooler coastal areas of Australia (southern New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania)
Kunzea ambigua, also known as ‘White Cloud’, ‘Tasmanian Kunzea’, ‘Zea Oil’ and ‘Tick Bush’, is a tall shrub that can reach three meters in height.
Australian Kunzea is Zea’s signature ingredient. In fact, the name Zea (pronounced zee-ah)
Satisfied customer, Geoff Surtees, said the cream works to provide instant pain relief as it soaks into the skin quickly.
Today, the brand sells a range of products containing Kunzea, essential oils with honey, but the most popular item is pain relief cream.
Customer Geoff Surtees said the cream quickly relieved his pain due to its rapid absorption.
The 63-year-old came across the brand at the Sydney Easter Show four years ago after suffering excruciating knee pain and has been using it ever since.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal – I can climb stairs now and don’t have to always check where the elevator is.” I carry a tube with me everywhere I go now,” Geoff told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Before I started I had tried every other similar product on the market, but after trying Zea cream I haven’t looked back.
“It made such a difference as I struggled to get out of bed every day, walking and stairs weren’t an option.”
Geoff said only a pea-sized amount of cream is needed.
The anti-inflammatory product contains 100% natural active ingredients, as well as vitamin E for mild muscle, joint and nerve pain.
“Kunzea is a cousin of tea tree oil, but we believe it has the potential to be even bigger on the world stage. The plant flourishes in northeast Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands such as Flinders Island,’ Hayden said.
Zea’s more recent focus has been on sustainability and being a for-profit company
“We have an ambitious goal to improve the quality of life for 10 million people around the world by 2030,” Hayden said.
Zea’s more recent focus has been on sustainability and being a for-profit company.
The company donates 1% of all sales to environmental causes and recently became a Certified B Company.
This means that Zea has met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
All products are available on the Zea website and in select pharmacies in Australia.