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Braving it as a business in the world of skincare is no easy feat with so many large companies dominating the scene and even being organic or natural is not necessarily a competitive difference in a time when more brands are looking to capture this growing market.
But, Sydney-based skincare brand Delicious Skin is growing strong and has built a solid customer base thanks to their cruelty-free, eco-friendly vegan products developed by Nicola Marie.
It’s not often that you can pick up a skincare product and understand every ingredient on the label and that’s the brand’s key point of difference to most other products on offer locally and globally.
“The CLEAN Butter Cleanser was the first product I developed and that was just it. CLEAN. A new kind of clean that disrupted everything I had ever thought skincare should be. Fresh, moist and terrifically clean without the dryness that came with traditional cleansers.”
The business has grown organically, as friends started to put in orders, said Nicola Marie, and although she originally didn’t intend to start a business she was constantly being encouraged that her products were so good that she needed to share them.
“Building Delicious Skin has been so smooth at every step. I have always had the vision and drive to make this thing a reality despite not having a background in business. I just see what needs to be done next and I do it. Or if I don’t, I listen to a podcast, read a book or ask someone! I am constantly learning and teaching myself what I need to know to make this work.”
Living in a tiny Canadian town at the time, Nicola found her skin suffering from the drier conditions and after going vegan, she was frustrated with the limited options available.
“After watching a documentary and deciding to go vegan I realised that it wasn’t just the way I ate that needed to change, but also my self care products. I quickly became frustrated with the lack of choices, especially that met all of my needs and I wasn’t willing to compromise,” she explains.
She wanted to make skincare products that smelled good, felt amazing and worked well with her troublesome skin.
“I also wanted my choices to have a positive impact on the world and those within it- so cruelty free, eco friendly and vegan were absolute necessities! There was really nothing I could find that ticked all of those boxes!”
Building their customer base through Facebook, Instagram and word-of-mouth, Nicola has been selling her products online through her own custom-built website. The brand has been successful in building relationships with stores to stock the range of products in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
“Wholesale hasn’t been our main focus while we make sure all the products are stable long term and we can fulfil larger orders more regularly,” said Nicola.
“Having a shopfront is definitely a huge dream of mine and something I can see happening too. I am a big fan of believing that if you can see it, you can make it happen. So I have no doubt this will happen and will keep dreaming about that day!”
In the meantime, keeping connected with customers and getting the brand out there has been possible with markets, said Nicola, “that face to face time is one of my favourite parts of the business.”
The delicious difference
When it comes to beauty and skincare, all too often there is a push towards the “ideal” or the “norm”, typically portrayed by companies and brands as what perfect version of skin and health should be. Think about most ads and you’ll see a young woman splashing water over her smooth face in front of a bathroom mirror, a sparkly smile completing the look and “effortless” routine.
“Flawless, thin, fair skin, unattainable. I call bullshit, and I have refused to go down that route in any of my marketing strategies. I want Delicious Skin to represent and help the women I know and love. The women who are most gorgeous when they laugh with their children and every line tells a story,” said Nicola.
“I want Delicious Skin to be about caring for yourself and your skin because you deserve it, but never changing or fixing your skin because it’s wrong. Like many women, I have struggled with confidence and self worth my whole life- a lot of which stems from traditional advertising.”
At the very core Delicious Skin is trying to change that and start a positive movement about natural beauty.
“Part of our catch phrase is ‘nourish your soul’ which encompasses so much of what we try to communicate within the branding. I also make kick ass skincare and live and breathe my company values of being ethical, kind, and cruelty free- it makes me proud to be able to say that.”
While happy with the ways things are progressing there will be some interesting changes moving ahead as Nicola works to continue to shape her vision for the range.
“I love Delicious Skin just the way it is but the evolution is coming. I am so excited to see it all come together and where we can go knowing what I know now. I have so many products in development I would love to release later this year, so you’ll see- watch this space!”