Hi, I'm Elsa!

I’m into art, science (especially quantum physics), natural horsemanship, anything relating to the sea..(especially diving), climbing, the colour turquoise, multi-spherical wellbeing, natural things, philosophy, lateral thinking. I’m a big advocate of playful concept exploration, and one of my favourite places to work is aboard a long-haul flight! I believe a great inhibitor of creativity is to become enslaved to a recurring thought pattern and so i find it important to never assume the inquiry complete.

Throughout teenagerhood, my general health and vitality levels started spiraling down, due to a multitude of intertwined reasons - both environmental and emotional. The apparent first step and easiest thing for me to objectify and externalise was food and so I conducted a complete renovation of my diet, paying close attention to what I truly ‘felt’ like eating - learning to discern between what I thought I wanted (crumpets) and what I felt I needed (spinach). I strongly gravitated towards greens, other non-starchy vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, eggs and some kinds of fish.

Everything else fell away as what I needed converged into what I wanted.. It became abundantly apparent that if we can find a way to listen, we innately know what is right for us. The momentum of better decisions gathered, as did my strength and energy levels. I started feeling clearer about all aspects of my life, it felt like progressively the haze was lifting from around my head.

As I observed in amazement these changes that were happening, a deep fascination around the impact of food, and the human relationship with it started forming. I began reading about the things I felt like eating, the biological implications, why my body was asking for them - the reason for the requirement.. A never ending labyrinth and source of wonder.

The organic progression of this was to become deeply confused with why we collectively make such inappropriate choices regarding what we choose to eat. Why we commodify food as we do..why is it that wherever we turn we are faced with such a horrendous display of highly processed products that effectively act as accumulative poison - putting our bodies under enormous stress and taking us progressively further away from our natural state of being, facilitating a divide between what we think we want and what we must innately know that we need?

A close inspection of the pre-existing available ‘healthy’ snacks unveiled that many were either lying - compromising one known unhealthy ingredient for another lesser known one, or positioning themselves as a healthy snack but in fact being nothing of the kind.. Or genuinely ‘healthy’ but falling short of offering a high quality moment of sensory euphoria/tasting somewhat like cardboard. It seemed that if you wanted to help people make a healthier choice and gain momentum in that favour, the healthier choice would have to offer a similar calibre of sensory euphoria to the less virtuous choice, or in fact the healthier product will be reinforcing a bad choice next time the consumer is faced again with the crossroads.

Thus, it became apparent the thing to do would be to explore the idea of designing some products.

We met in New Zealand up in the high country in perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the world whilst Elsa was living there for two years, we immediately saw eye to eye on a broad spectrum of topics, and discovered we were surveying the global state of commodified food from a similar vantage-point. It thus became apparent that we would have enormous fun working together to create ‘Innate’!

I have always been deeply enamoured with art and science, and the beauty of their synergy inherent within every one of nature’s creations. It struck me that food in tune with our ‘innate requirements’ in simplest terms is edible art.. With deeply complex biological properties and implications (science). It’s timeless sense - way beyond trend.

Imagination is the source of both art and science, and so this was unleashed.. and then our first product range was intuitively born into fruition by choosing ingredients to create a balanced flavour profile and a high calibre of nutritional balance, with air-drying as a gentle method to create the desired texture. It was decided to initially create three complementary colours which very much guided the ingredient choices.

Concept/ packaging/branding:

All inspiration is drawn from nature, the thriving of humankind and what it is that we innately require. We see food as a facilitator to bring us closer to our true natural state rather than contribute to greater separation - to innately serve us rather than destroy us. Every choice carries momentum; we want to impart a positive force...

On the packaging we wanted to express through beautiful coinciding simplicity and complexity, the synergy of art and science prevalent in nature. So throughout our designs, configurations we follow nature’s blueprint - implementing the golden ratio.

The Penrose pattern on our packaging is a mathematical pattern conformed using the golden ratio, described by Penrose as ‘impossibility in it’s purest form’. As it’s often considered a paradoxical notion for a snack food product to combine both sensory and genuinely brilliant nutritional properties - we found this befitting!

Every detail is intertwined and deeply significant.

Tess' story…

Hey my name's Tess - that's "Tess", not "Tiss" ... I hail from the south island of New Zealand. I have always had a deep-rooted appreciation and love of nature and the outdoors stemming from my upbringing in rural North Canterbury, where from a young age I was active and outdoors on the farm more often than not! My family grew and cooked almost everything from scratch giving birth to my passion for natural, unprocessed, flavour-packed foods and eventually led me into a career as a chef with a strong focus on ingredients that helped people to thrive!

I spent a lot of my time at school and early 20's training and racing nationally and internationally in multi-sport, cycling and running events and through this learnt a lot about my body, how far I could push it (and sometimes how far I shouldn't push it), it's incredible ability to heal itself and how the food I ate played a huge role in my body's ability to function optimally and recover efficiently. I found this fascinating! I have always wanted to help people make healthier and more effective food choices, I noticed a lot of confusion around what is "healthy" and what isn't and it bugged me seeing products on the shelf which were marketed as "healthy" but were often very misleading.

After some years working as a chef my adventurous nature became too much and I took off to explore the world - immersing myself in adventures such as cycling through Nepal and the Indian Himalayas, working on horseback on a ranch in Uruguay whilst trying to learn Spanish, couchsurfing my way through Europe and studying yoga and meditation in Canada. I found immersing myself in different ways of life allowed me to constantly gain new perspectives and levels of appreciation for the spectacle that is life!

Anyway, I returned home to NZ eventually! Inspired and with a myriad of ideas! I was seeing more and more crap food on offer and people seemed to be becoming more aware of how this food wasn't serving them well - but the healthy choices still weren't readily available. I eventually decided to save up for a food truck, with which I could travel the country and share genuinely healthy, delicious and interesting food whilst educating people on the benefits of feeding your body with good stuff!... that's right about when I heard from Elsa, we had met a couple of years prior whilst both working in the beautiful high country of the south island. Elsa messaged me with her ingenious idea of launching a healthy snack food brand asking if I might be keen to partner up with her on the venture.. me being me, I leaped on the idea, It was exactly what I wanted to be involved in and felt strongly about, and it was another adventure - So I jumped on a plane to England and INNATE became our world...

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