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#090 Derelee Potroz-Smith is turning wool into gold with Woolchemy

Derelee Potroz-Smith Woolchemy on the Wool Academy Podcast

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

Woolchemy website

Woolchemy on Facebook and LinkedIn

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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About the author, Elisabeth

Elisabeth is the founder and host of the Wool Academy Podcast. She also runs her own consulting business where she supports wool industry businesses with strategic communications and project management.
Elisabeth used to work as the Secretary General for the International Wool Textile Organisation where she developed her passion for wool and the wool industry. Her previous education and work experience equipped her also with a broad set of communications skills.

Elisabeth vision is to see the wool industry thrive which is why she supports wool industry businesses communicate successfully.

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