Based in Titahi Bay, Porirua, Solid is a sustainable toothpaste company whose mission is to stop the 16 million toothpaste tubes that go to landfill in Aotearoa every year. Solid tooth tablets, pastes and powders are vegan, cruelty free and have no palm oil. Everything is packed in glass bottles and jars that can be reused and returned. Co-founder Laura Nixon is a dental hygienist/therapist who has spent most of her career working with tamariki and adults to help improve their oral health.
How did the idea for Solid come about?
I always found the amount of plastic and waste that we generated in the dental industry frustrating. When I was on maternity leave, I started to embrace more zero waste options – cloth nappies, reusable straws, that sort of thing. There was no toothpaste available that was both sustainable and good for you, so I began to study toothpaste formulation and make my own.
What do you love most about being a business founder?
Getting great feedback – I love it when someone tells me that they love our products or that we inspired them think differently about plastic and/or waste.
What has been your biggest challenge so far in your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome it?
Time! I have two kids, so juggling everything is a constant struggle. I think it’s also helped though – I have to be super focused when I do have time because I can’t afford to waste it.
What’s a business highlight you’re proud of?
Being stocked in dentists – it’s important to me that our products are, first and foremost, good for you. Having dentists and dental professionals jump on board and support the kaupapa has been really exciting for me. We have had some good wins – we were a finalist in the Sustainable Business Awards in 2021 for the ‘Circular Economy’ category, are currently in the Creative HQ Climate Response accelerator and are Carbon Positive with Ekos – and that’s always super exciting too of course.
What or who inspires you?
Brianne West – what she has done with Ethique is a huge inspiration. I love how she nails the sustainability side, but still makes beautiful products that people want to use and that are scientifically formulated. Solid is in many ways modelled off her.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Failure is an opportunity to do better.
Do you have any advice for female entrepreneurs in NZ?
Support each other and give it a go. There aren’t as many of us, so we have to look out for each other, share the wins and work together. If you can get something off the ground there is some great support available – the first step is always the hardest.
How do you unwind from running your own business?
Me and my son do puzzles together. I also make time to do physical stuff i.e. play netball and go to the gym.
What three things can’t you live without?
Iced coffee, chocolate and my whānau.
If you won RISE UP, what would you use the money for?
I have my eye on some chunky equipment – a filling machine, a big mixer, that sort of thing - to streamline the manufacturing process.