Their two home enterprises couldn't be more different, but their creativity, hands-on approach and home-sourced ingredients has landed two South Wairarapa women in the running for a national business award.

Karyn Carter, founder of doggytreats, and Adi McMaster, of MartyGirl Skinfood, are finalists in the David Awards, which recognise small New Zealand businesses.

Ms Carter and Mrs McMaster's businesses, specialising in hand-made dog biscuits and skincare products respectively, have been shortlisted in the Solo Meo category. This category is for people who run their businesses single-handedly.

Featherston resident Ms Carter, who began selling home-baked wares under the doggytreats label this year, was delighted to be a finalist.


"It was a surprise - really surreal," the former event manager said.

"I've put a lot of effort into doggytreats, and this is reassurance I'm doing everything right.

"I'm flattered. It's nice to be recognised."

Ms Carter, who featured in Midweek in August, moved to Featherston due to ill health, and marvelled at how many dogs there were in the area.

Inspired also by Wairarapa residents' passion for living off the land, she decided to start a business specialising in home-grown produce for "man's best friend".

As founder of doggytreats, Ms Carter does "the whole shebang" herself - mixing and baking the dog biscuits, sourcing Wairarapa-farmed ingredients, maintaining the website and social media platforms, selling the treats at the Carterton and Greytown markets, distributing them to various outlets and organising labels and packaging.

It's tough work, but just the way she likes it.

"It's hands-on, which is how I like to work.


"I can do everything at my own pace, and mentally it's very rewarding."

Martinborough's Mrs McMaster started MartyGirl Skinfood in 2013, after her daughter, a beautician, asked her to make some natural remedies.

With some help from Google she began mixing potions in her ancient food processor - made from beeswax, olive extract, cocoa butter, avocado oil and lavender water, among other things.

Mrs McMaster said one of the things that set MartyGirl apart was its interactive component; she runs beauty therapy workshops at schools, businesses and community events.

So far she has run pampering sessions at Masterton Intermediate School and Solway College, the Safer Wairarapa Community Trust, several law firms and Wairarapa Hospital.

"It gets people out of their comfort zone," she said.


"It's wonderful for colleagues who don't always get on. They bond by putting on face masks and doing foot scrubs for each other."

Mrs McMaster said Jeanette Hall, her small business tutor at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, encouraged her to enter the David Awards.

"I filled out all the forms with the help of a couple of bottles of wine, then just sent them off and forgot about it.

"It's a bit freaky, but feels stunning."

The winners of the David Awards will be announced this Thursday, via webcast.