Seeking ways to manage a chronic illness is often how many well-known health brands start – and that’s certainly the case for nutritional product company Nuzest, too.
Potts Point local Trevor Bolland started it with the aim of creating nutritional supplements that might help his daughter, Monique, with her multiple sclerosis – and the products are now sold in over 13 countries.
I’ve known Trevor for a while now. His family has bought and sold property through me several times in Potts Point and now my whole family swears by his Nuzest supplements.
I recently had a chat to Trevor about how it all started, what it’s like working with his daughter and what he loves about being a Potts Point local.
Trevor, thanks for chatting to me! How long have you lived in Potts Point now?
We moved to Australia from New Zealand about 23 years ago. Originally we lived in Balmoral, and once our daughter had flown the nest my wife Christine and I decided to try apartment living. We started off in Milsons Point and we ended up in Potts Point – we’ve been here over 15 years now.
You run Nuzest out of Potts Point. And you’ve mentioned that your daughter Monique’s illness was a catalyst for you creating the company?
Yes, that’s right. When Monique was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I was in another business and I decided to exit that and focus on helping Monique because the prognosis was pretty bad. We spent a lot of time learning about lifestyle and nutrition being important factors to help manage any chronic disease. When you have a disease like multiple sclerosis, your lifestyle is a huge influence on how you’re able to manage it – to improve your prognosis and enjoyment of life. Part of that is good nutrition and supplementation helps optimise that. I became more and more involved in that and ultimately, we developed our signature product; a high quality multi-nutrient for foundation nutrition called Good Green Vitality (previously Good Green Stuff). That is now accompanied by Clean Lean Protein, a pea protein isolate sourced from Europe and a children’s version of Good Green Vitality called Kids Good Stuff.
And how’s Monique doing these days?
Well, the first neurologist that she saw predicted that she’d be in a wheelchair by now – and she’s not. She enjoys a full life, is now married, and is the proud mother of our grandchild. And she still works in the business as our global brand and marketing director. Obviously the multiple sclerosis is still there, but with a combination of managing that lifestyle and traditional medical treatments, she’s pretty good.
So you work together at Nuzest?
Yes, we do now. After our time investigating possible solutions for managing her disease, Monique started a health clinic and spa in Potts Point which provided all the natural treatments she had experienced while attending clinics overseas. This included naturopathic consultations but also massage and natural facials. Relaxation and managing stress are also key for people with MS. She ran that for five years but sold it to assist me start the Nuzest brand. Her experience in running a business and marketing health services together with a degree in digital media and a graphic design background were obviously a good fit to join me in the new venture. Nuzest is still very much a family company with my son-in-law, Christopher Barge, having agreed to join us as Chief Operating Officer a few years ago.
How fantastic. Do you enjoy working together?
Absolutely. Not many dads have the joy of seeing their daughter every day – with different employment/careers and their own families to worry about, most parents are lucky to see their adult kids once a week, or for many, much less often. We work together well and I love being able to share this journey with her. It’s also good to now have my son-in-law involved. He is a great asset to the business. I am not sure about husband and wife working together but we have a big office. And I think they respect each other’s territory!
Well you’re clearly all doing something right because Nuzest has been very successful – what’s your secret?
I hadn’t been in this type industry at all before, so it’s been a big learning curve! But I think we’ve grown by default. We’ve planted seeds in many places, and most of them have germinated and we are getting good global traction. We were also lucky to have started at the beginning of significant growth worldwide in this industry. And we have also attracted some very good people which is the key to any business success. Obviously it has not been all smooth sailing. We have had our share of challenges and disappointments. I think that one of the main contributing factors was to establish proof of concept for our business model and for the brand. We chose New Zealand because I already had a good network there and because it is an ideal market to understand and prove market acceptance. A long-time family friend with a background in marketing and communications took on the distributorship and was very quickly able to establish a foothold. Nuzest is now a household name in New Zealand.
What’s your global footprint like now? And did COVID have any impact on your business?
We’re in over 13 countries including the US, UK, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Middle East. We’re currently negotiating contracts in several other countries. We are sold in both retail shopfronts and online. Distributors who have well established direct-to-consumer sales experienced a noticeable uplift in sales – and overall, the business has continued to grow through COVID.
As you’re the owner of a health brand, I’d love to hear what your fitness regime is like. Is it all smoothies and 5am runs?
We’re a pretty healthy family – my wife is very fit and goes to the gym regularly. I’ve always been keen on sport with rugby and swimming dominating my childhood and young adult years. I spent 15 years in the Navy and exercised throughout my military career, and I’ve never stopped. But my main exercise these days is really road cycling. I do try to eat healthily but still enjoy a good red, a cold beer and pizza.
It’s all about balance right? Okay, let’s chat about real estate – I know you’ve bought and sold quite a bit in the area.
Yes, we’ve based the business in Potts Point and we’ve bought commercial units here – and we’ve certainly owned a few residential properties here over the years. We used to move every couple of years as my wife loves interior design and she’d do up our apartment then say, ‘Right it’s time to do another one’! But we’ve been in the same apartment for about six years now – it has panoramic views. We’re very lucky. It’s the longest time we’ve lived in the same spot in 40 years of marriage!
Sounds like you really love the area… Have you made a lot of friends here?
Yes – interestingly, it’s more community minded here in Potts Point than the suburbs – we’ve made more friends here than we ever did living in Balmoral. You see the same faces at breakfast every day at your local café and of course you cannot help saying good morning to the people who live in the same building.
Speaking of cafes, what are your favourite local haunts?
We’ve always gone to Zinc for breakfast, but there are many great cafes and restaurants. Joseph Hyde, Room 10, Jeremy & Sons, Douce France and Anatel are all great cafes. We enjoy Cho Cho San for dinner and also love to have a cocktail and light meal at Giorgio’s by El Alamein fountain – it’s a bit like being in Europe outside under the umbrellas, people-watching. And Franca’s under the IKON building has had an amazing fit out and beautiful food. There’s too much choice – I could keep going! It’s just a great place all round to live.
You can find out more about Nuzest at their website.
Photo credit: Nuzest website