Elka de Wit is the founder of 34.4º (C.I.C.) natural skincare.
Elka was born in Liberia, grew up in West and East Africa and Hong Kong and has also lived in Sicily and Germany. From corporate education to wellbeing management, Elka has developed an eye for business, together with a passion about leading a sustainable, healthy life and having a positive impact on the community.
She's enjoyed living and working in Stoke Newington since 1991 and is thrilled that a local artist lets her use the front part of her space as the N16 showcase for the unique 34.4º collection.
34.4ºis the result of experimenting with different ingredients to soothe her own skin which became easily irritated by the slightest application of synthetic preservatives. Another company run by Elka, ZEPHYR, is devoted to essential oils and nebulisers.
Iza Korgol was born in Warsaw, Poland and moved to London at the beginning of 2018. In 34.4º she acts as a Digital Marketing Manager, although she has a background in Economics and Accountancy. In her free time, she plays video games, practices rock climbing and reads all there is to read about homicides. She’s also passionate about waste-free lifestyle.
“I joined 34.4º because I believe that there are ideas worth spreading. And sustainable and low-waste skin care is one of them. But I was finally convinced when I started using Honey Balm. When I moved to London the condition of my skin worsens drastically. I had no idea what was going on. And when I started using Honey Balm, bam, all the inflammations were gone in a week. When you experience something like that you want other people to know it as well."
Ben Wong graduated in Masters in Music and Theatre, having been trained in Classical music performance as a countertenor, and in Acting. When he is not singing and acting, he is a writer and an illustrator. He was in the creative office at a publisher's in Australia, and wrote a children's book, which aimed to bring awareness to kids with social behavioural challenges. He also helped produce a cook book of Malaccan recipes, being an avid cook himself. He can't help but love cooking dishes from Singapore, where he is from.
Elka has been a wonderful friend of Ben's. Amongst food shared and movies watched, were 34.4º's products to test and marvel at. Ben saw the initiation of the company, and has been impressed with Elka's passion and relentless drive, and what she stands for, in regards to the change she envisions bringing in the community.
Besides loving the products for their natural aspect and amazing scents, Ben also loves the concept of the packaging design. With that, he modified some, conceived some, and enjoys being meticulous with the folds and creases as he packages them, and trains others to do so.
The hair Pomade No.1 must be something Ben uses everyday. Hair products are usually something which one has to wash one's hands off from, and one would worry if they are too drying for the hair, or if they affect the follicle if used for too long a period. But with the pomade, it is nourishing oils such as antioxidant rich organic argan oil, so he is glad that his hair gets conditioned through the day. He even puts it after the shower before bed, smelling like he's walked out of a spa.
Few words from Hannah Devine:
"I am a northerner and have spent the past 6 years studying and working in China, Italy, and France before finally venturing down to the south. I have lived in London for just over half a year and currently work as an analyst in the city center during the week. I joined the 34.4º team just a few weeks after I moved to the city when I happened upon the cobbled yard stand on a random stroll checking out my local area and signed up on the spot to become a volunteer.
I signed up for the 34.4º team to experience another side to London outside of the office and the community spirit of 34.4º has been great for this. The quality of the products means that customers more often than not come back and grow to be more like friends. Chatting away to everyone who stops by at the stall on Broadway and even the bikers who are curious enough to wander over from the Bolt shop in the Cobbled yard and getting to share the awesome products and ethos 34.4º has to offer has helped make London a home.
My favourite product is definitely the Honey Balm! It was my first product and 100% what got me hooked into all the other goodies we offer. It is a simple no-frills product which I use for EVERYTHING, from a moisturising balm when my lips are a bit dry to a deeply conditioning night cream, make-up remover, moisturiser, and even a great primer for my makeup. I like putting it on knowing it is feeding my skin and over time it has become a staple part of how I care for my skin. Its anti-bacterial properties have never failed to keep the spots at bay and most importantly of all, it’s done a great job of helping me all dewy through my first winter and summer in London and I’ve no doubt in the months to come."