Our Story

A Modern Twist For Ancient Hemp

The story of Hark & Zander has to begin with hemp. The benefits of hemp were known and recorded as early as 5000 BC in China and spread to India, the Middle East, Europe and eventually the new world by the turn of the sixteenth century. With our first product, HempTonic Face Oil, along with our subsequent products, we have harnessed the powerful properties of hemp and given it a thoroughly modern twist. We have formulated a blend of natural oils that enhance each other to nourish your skin and leave it feeling fresh and nurtured.

Hark & Zander founder, Kirsty Harkness, was initially passionate about the latent potential in the hemp she’d planted on the vineyard in Marlborough to replenish and enrich the soil. She’s been growing hemp on the vineyard since 2018 and was the first in New Zealand to innovate this way. Her research is gaining interest internationally and has proved to increase organic matter and improve cation exchange in her soils. With her research into the goodness of hemp for the soil came interest in, and increasing knowledge of, the goodness of the hemp plant and hemp seed for our bodies.

 Kirsty began investigating the ways to blend hemp seed oil with other essential oils for optimal skin benefits, how to naturally preserve the hemp oil, and how to ensure a divine scent. With some help from blending specialists, scientists and, of course, friends and family, she took the hemp oil base and, using nine vitamin-rich active natural plant oils, created the oil you now know and love as Hemp-Tonic Face Oil.

 It wasn’t a simple road! Sixteen different recipes, ups and downs on what testers liked and disliked, what ingredients worked well and what ones didn't, it took well over a year to perfect… but it was worth it. After testing and using this oil over time, and having friends and family constantly asking us to make more, we knew we were on to something special… something too good to keep to ourselves, and so Hark & Zander was born!

Hark & Zander may sound like catchy brand name but it means a lot to us. Here's a little etymology infused with some H&Z swag:

HARK: We love the old fashioned word Hark! We reckon it's a word worthy of reviving. Think: "Hark the herald..." and you get the gist of where we're heading. When you've got good news you want to share it. Hark! Listen up! 

ZANDER: From the Greek Xander, Zander means "Defender Of The People." Yes, it's the perfect objective for a hemp skincare range with some kick-ass punch to it.

So essentially we're saying, "Listen up! We want to share this with you. This crazy-amazing cosmetic range full of hemp-goodness will help your skin. It will defend - protect, nourish and nurture - your skin to the healthy glow you crave." Yes, we managed to get all that in a name: Hark & Zander.

The Future Is Hemp

Encouraged by the results and enthusiastic uptake of our HempTonic Face Oil, we are charging on! We are developing hemp blends for other uses and we can’t wait to share them with you. (If you sign up to our online Hark & Zander family you’ll be the first to hear about our next range coming in 2021, plus you'll get a rather lovely discount off your first purchase.)

 All our products are hemp-based. It’s not just a token gesture ingredient - our HempTonic Face Oil’s primary ingredient is hemp seed oil. It contains Omega 3 and six essential fatty acids, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants in a combination that skin simply loves!

Hark & Zander’s revolutionary hemp-based skincare range has been forged on three key principles:

Find out more about our guiding principles.

And the result of all this?

 Guilt-free, revolutionary skin care without compromise.

New Zealand Made100% natural3M cannisterCruelty FreeSustainableRecycling