Who are you and what business did you start?
Lauren Harrison and Kerrie Field – owners of Pod Organics an Organic skin care business designed for the whole family. Our self care range Sweet Pea & Me is multi tasking, vegan and lavender free. We like to think of it as affordable luxury for the whole family.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Pod Organics was ‘inspired by nature and made with love’ and has been a life long journey to find natural products that would nourish and nurture the most precious and sensitive skin.
The inspiration that brought the business to life was founded in love and the encouragement from my amazing mum(Kerrie), mentor and best friend who taught me (Lauren) that anything is possible if it’s founded in love and a desire to improve life for others. Both mum and I have a passion for skincare, but more importantly, a passion and deep respect for nature and the raw ingredients that Mother Nature has to offer to protect and nourish our skin.
Pod Organics is the culmination of my (Lauren) life’s quest to find a natural solution that would soothe, calm and treat sensitive skin conditions. Throughout my life, both before and since having children, I have experienced a number of skin and health conditions and now my little ones have developed minor skin irritations. I understand how important it is to know what you are putting in and on you and your baby’s body.
Pod Organics is 100% natural, organic, vegan and lavender free skincare brand that offers skin solutions for every member of the family. Each product is designed to bring joy and luxury to everyday essentials, while soothing and calming even the most sensitive skin types. These skincare products fit seamlessly into every family’s routine: gentle enough for babies and toddlers, practical enough for fussy husbands, and indulgent enough to help mums recharge and unwind.
Describe the process of launching the business.
In developing the business we focused on three key areas develop the brand and launch into the market.
1. Consumer trials for all formulations. Key to the success of the brand was consumer input. This served two purposes as it assisted with product development and enabled the connection to early stage followers.
2. Soft Launch – the second stage was to build a following on social media. we achieved this by sharing the back story and building the brand owners profile on social media. This combined with trial participants and existing connections became the vehicle to facilitate a soft launch to the market. During this time we also ran a number of Business showers to introduce the products to various groups which facilitated the launch of our e-commerce site.
3. Retail Launch – In May we launched to retail at the Naturally Good Expo. Being at the expo gave us an opportunity to showcase our products and explore opportunities with a large number of retailers and distributors. Since the expo we have secured a number of retail outlets.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Since launching the products we have continued to expand and communicate with our consumer trial base who have become loyal supporters , advocates and returning customers . Additionally we have continued to build on our social media strategy and have engaged with influencers to build awareness for the products. As skin care is a saturated market we also looked for opportunities for the products and brand to be recognised.
We entered a number of reputable organic skincare awards and applied for recognition through a number of respected industry associations. Since launching the business we have won a total of 9 awards for the five products in the range. The award programs gave us the opportunity to present our products to leading beauty and skincare experts and compete against market leaders. Winning these awards and gaining industry recognition has given the brand increased exposure and credibility.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We continue to build the brand through awareness raising, increased retail presence and and increased social media followers. In developing the business strategy we adopted a go slow approach to building authentic followers, aligned influencers and identification of specialty retailers and distributors. Sales have continued to grow as have retail outlets and our social media following.
The future for Pod Organics is focused on increased sales , building a community of loyal customers, engaging with new customers through new channels and expanding the product offering to meet consumer needs.
During the next twelve months a number of key partners will come on board. These include distributors, third party e-commerce platforms and expansion into influencer marketing.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
The following have been learning experiences for us : Finding and understanding our point of difference, Gaining credibility for products through awards programs, profile and partnering with credible industry bodies like Organic Beauty and partnering with The Green Edit and being able to demonstrate functionality and credibility for the products through customer feedback, reviews and testimonials.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Shopify, Xero, Klavyio, Liveplan, Social Media i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram. Photography tools such as Lightroom, Photoshop, Canva etc.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The Books and podcasts that influenced our journey were: Dearing Greatly, Brene Brown, The Resilience Project, Girl Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis, You Are a Badass at Making Money, Jen Sincero, Everything is Figureoutable Marie Forleo, Work Strife Balance, Mia Freedman. Podcasts – Mindful Biz Podcast, Rise and Conquer, Mums with Hustle, No Filter Mia Freedman, She’s on the Money
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Plan, Plan, Plan. It’s so easy to jump straight in.