Elim Founder Shares Founding Story


I’m really comfortable with my mistakes… are you?

I often get asked about the name Elim, and what a wonderful opportunity it is to share this beautiful but personal story with you.

Like everyone in Business I have also had many ups and also many downs. Many mornings where I celebrated and evenings when I went to bed stressing. This is such a normal part of business. Somehow the world out there makes it look like it’s a walk in the park and there is some unpublished book that has all the secrets and only a select very successful few have access to it.

This cannot be further from the truth. In actual fact I tend to think the more mistakes we can make, the further we’ll go. Take it from me, I have been making mistakes for 15 years and Elim now exports a full range of Beauty Products to 18 countries globally.

That I think should be enough proof that making mistakes, sometimes minor and sometimes major is ok.

So it was with this name Elim. Originally I developed only 2 products. They were both pedicure products and we called the range MediHeel.
I thought this was the perfect name for my pedicure, little did I know that there was a law protecting companies from people who just think up clever names and sell under these names.
Today I am very grateful for this law, but it was a cold morning, still in my study (I was running my business from home) when I got the call to say that my name sounded too much like another company called MediHeal with an “a”.

Some might brush this off, but to me this was devastating news. I had bottles and boxes printed with this name on it and every salon I was supplying had this name on their menu. The implication was huge.

You will believe me if I tell you that I had mascara all over my pillow from all the crying.
That morning I called a dear friend and was looking to find a shoulder to cry on some more, little did I know, that was not what was available? Instead she gave me a hard answer and said,

When God took the Israelites through the dessert he certainly knew they were going to face the red sea Shantelle, he also knew what His solution was.
Her words were hard but true. She told me that to every obstacle and problem there was also a perfect solution, but my job was to search it out.

Off course it wasn’t the easy answer and off course I ignored her for the morning. But that afternoon I decided to go have a look at this story about the lost men in the dessert. It was there that I discovered that they arrived at an oasis called Mara, which meant place with bitter water, after this they got to Elim. It was a beautiful place with 70 palm trees and 12 water wells. Imagine the water wells were there for healing. My assumption is that it was calcium rich springs maybe where people bathe and found refreshment.

Not sure about you, but to me that sounded like the perfect idyllic spa. I heard myself say the words ELIM SPA PRODUCTS out loud. And as soon as I said that, it sounded like music to my ears. Spa for those of you who didn’t know is an acronym for Sanu Per Aqua – The Latin for Healing through Water.

What a beautiful name. But the challenge was ahead of me. How do you just change the name of your product overnight without a negative impact? That you have to ask the one who gave me that name…
The next morning I called a friend and told her all about what I was going to do. I said the name of MediHeel is changing to Elim. Off course she thought I was completely crazy. She did however tell me that the name broken up means El, the name of God and if you add I’m to it, it means unstoppable, without limits and into the future…

The weeks following I was walking on water trusting that we would not loose brand equity. We decided to keep MediHeel as the name of our pedicure treatment but from that day on we were called Elim Spa Products.
The impact? None, we grew over 40% in sales that year.

My message here is simply that you might think that you are faced with the biggest obstacle ever, but believe me, there is an answer to every single problem, you just have to go out and find it.