In celebration of International Women’s Day, we asked some of our inspiring female founders to share their story of starting a business and they have also recommended a favourite product.
We spoke to Vicki Engsall from the unique skincare range, The Jojoba Company. Tarj Mavi from LAMAV, a skincare and self-care brand. And finally Katie Eales from the luxury and sustainable skincare brand, Sabbia & Co.
What made you want to start your own business?
Vicki: Starting a business was never something that was on my radar as I was a school teacher for many years. However, throughout my fertility journey and turning to all things natural in my life, I developed a new passion for natural skin care. When I heard that my dad was growing jojoba on his farm (one of my favourite products that I had already been using), I felt the need to get jojoba out into the world for everyone as I wanted to share my love and success with it and have everyone else experience what I experienced. It needed to be in everyone's cupboard. Hence my motivation for starting my own jojoba business.
Tarj: When I reflect on how and when the idea for LAMAV first took root, I feel lucky that in many respects, the process of developing the brand happened very organically. Having experienced first-hand how hormonal imbalances can affect the skin—I wanted to use my experience as a veterinarian, pathologist and research scientist to become a clean beauty pioneer and offer consumers a completely holistic approach to healing and caring for their skin. While it took a lot of trial and error in terms of finding bio-actives and ingredients that delivered the desired result, my determination was worth it!
Similarly, the idea for launching a Wellbeing category earlier this year with our Ayurvedic Beauty Powder is something that also evolved very naturally—drawing on my own experiences and Indian heritage. Having always embraced a holistic approach to my own health and wellbeing—I inherently understood the intimate link between our inner and outer health and wanted to develop an inner beauty powder that reflected this philosophy. It was also important to me that this new category was as efficacious as our skincare, and complemented our existing range of products as well.
Katie: I grew up in Port Douglas, in a half Italian/half Australian household. Growing up diving the Great Barrier Reef, camping under the stars and eating 90% homegrown was where I found my deep love and appreciation for the planet. I moved to the Gold Coast to study marketing straight after year 12, I then went on to travel throughout many Asian countries, Europe and the States. In 2017 I met my husband Dave, in 2018 we found ourselves on a remote beach in Sri Lanka and devastated over the amount of single-use personal items we were surrounded by. When we arrived home we decided to minimise all single-use items in our home. As we started to research and test reusable products we fell in love with many amazing sustainable swaps. Our mission was no longer to overhaul our home but everyone else’s. And this is when Sabbia Co was born (September 2019). An ethical brand with minimal impact on the environment, that creates unique facial kits out of sustainable, biodegradable, reusable and chemical free tools. Along with sustainably sourced and packaged skincare that is formulated by myself.
What’s your go-to product from your brand?
Vicki: It's hard for me to choose just one of my babies as I love them all so much and use at least 5 of my products morning and night. They work so well together, it is hard to pinpoint which one exactly is my “go to”. I guess it would have to be our pure Australian jojoba as it is so versatile as you can literally use it anywhere! There are 100 different uses and it is suitable for any skin type or any age group. It can be used as a facial oil in the skin care regime or as an all over body moisturiser or a hair mask or a foot treatment, make up remover, cuticle conditioner, bath oil...I could go on, but you get the gist!
Tarj: Every product has a special place in my heart, but at the moment I’m loving our Bakuchiol 4% Natural Retinol Alternative. I think because there has been such a hype around retinol within the beauty industry over the last few years—and unfortunately it can cause irritation and skin sensitivity in so many people—I was determined to find an alternative that was as gentle as it was efficacious. While bakuchiol is certainly gaining in popularity, when we first launched this product it was still relatively unknown but it honestly does what it says on the label! As a 100% plant-derived alternative to retinol, it works on a cellular level to boost collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles whilst also improving skin tone and texture. The formula also contains a rich profile of antioxidants, so it literally feeds and strengthens your skin, fighting inflammation and protecting it from further damage.
Katie: That's so hard to pick! The Face It Face Kit is my go-to skin 'tool' kit, it has 5 sustainable, reusable and biodegradable tools that cleanse, exfoliate and remove makeup with just water. My favourite skincare product would have to be the Collagen C Serum at the moment as I am currently pregnant and struggling to sleep so am waking up with puffy eyes. The serum not only hydrates and brightens my full face but also doubles as an under eye treatment to reduce puffiness and dark circles.