24 Mar Launching Your Own Vegan Skincare with Renee Tilley
In this episode, Renee Tilley will tell her story of how she got started her Vegan skin care business, Paudha Healing. She quit her corporate career last year to concentrate on growing her business on a full-time basis with the help of her husband. We talked about Renee’s journey and what changes and challenges she has to face to follow her passion and make her dreams come true.
Finding passion in Vegan skincare
Renee started to work as a legal secretary when she was 16 years old. At 23, she started a coffee shop with a partner who doesn’t know how to run a business. It became an eye-opener for her and became an excellent training ground where she learned so much about business, managing staff, accounting, tax, etc. for three and a half years. Eventually, they sold it, and she moved back to Sydney and went back to being a Legal secretary for twenty years.
In 2011, Renee had her daughter and went back to work when she was seven months old. This phase of her life leads to an interest in nutrition because she wanted to give the best to her daughter. Renee enrolled in a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutrition course and worked part-time. While studying, she learned about herbal medicine.
Then came the realization that to help people, there is a need to incorporate nutrition and herbal medicine, and be a naturopath, but not a nutritionist. Later on, she switched degree, but she felt that it is the best decision she made because it was herbal medicine that sparked her joy. She ventured into manufacturing skin care products like creams, oils, and different remedies initially for friends and family who raved for her products. Her husband encouraged her to turn it into a business because of the fantastic results.
Renee wanted to continue making it their products at home and then employ people to come and help make that product with them. Her husband is very competent at the business side, and he pushes her to get outside of her comfort zone. They complement each other, figure out each strength, and they divide and conquer to run the business.
“It’s easier to buy a product that you tried on your skin, rather than if you buy it online. You’ve heard good things about it, but you haven’t necessarily tried it on your skin.”
– Renee Tilley
Organic, Natural, Vegan? How to tell the difference?
Renee’s products are not certified organic. A certified organic means that it has gone through the accreditation process with Australian Certified Organic. They use as many certified natural ingredients that they can, and components that have a benefit to the skin. A lot of people will think that if a product is vegan, then it’s also natural. But that’s not necessarily the case because a lot of synthetic ingredients can be vegan. To be Vegan means no animal products or animal by-products and not tested on animals, but they are not necessarily organic. A lot of commercial products today are made up of chemicals because these are cheap and they can mass produce products very cheaply.
Marketing the Business
The biggest market of their industry is both offline and online. She firmly believes that the market needs to trust in the brand, in the same way, that they trust the person making that product. She loves the part where she gets to talk to people personally and help them with their concerns and guide them with their products. What makes her day is when people follow them through social media like Instagram, or someone would write a great review on their website, or someone is commenting about a podcast where she was a guest. People love their products. And their business is all about making a difference and coming from a place of service. They are giving back to the community by making these lovely vegan products, and it will benefit people who use it.
Growing herself alongside the business
Renee joined a mentoring program where he gained support from fellow entrepreneurs to discuss and help each other’s pain points and motivate each other as well. To focus on the growth of her business, she invested in Facebook advertising and outsourced this to the experts.
Top tips for people who want to start their skincare brand
Renee gives these insightful tips for those starting entrepreneurs who want to cater to a skincare business.
- Invest in a course.
Since skincare involves chemistry, you should take time to study it. There are lots of online courses you can choose from and having a diploma is a good idea. There are diplomas in natural skin care available in the UK and Australia. They are excellent since they lay the foundations as well. In this business, you have to learn how to make the skin care products, but also the regulations, and other pertinent things to be aware of. There are lots of do’s and don’ts, and it’s very crucial to learn them in the beginning.
- Find helpful YouTube videos.
Even before investing in a course, you may want to start to look up for YouTube videos. Follow the steps and prepare your home-made skin care. This way, you can test if you enjoy doing it and if it will ignite a passion with yourself. If you do, then start doing the research, study the course and all of the business activities that goes with it. What is important is you tried it yourself first.
Amidst the busy schedule, Renee finds time to relax and walk in the bushes, trees and forest in the Blue Mountains and breathe in the fresh air.
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