How natural skin care & beauty products store Nourished Life started and grew online

Lisa: So Irene, tell me about Nourish Life and how you got started Irene: Well Nourish Life is an online health and beauty store where women can shop confidently knowing that everything is completely toxin free

I got started because I was working in Corporate, and I realized that I was smothering my body with chemicals every day, and I wanted somewhere to go to replace all of my main stream products with natural alternatives and I couldn't find anywhere, so I decided to set one up myself Lisa: I love that, because so many people say to me all the time, I don't know what my passion is, I can't find my 'why', I don't know what my purpose is And I always say, look for the hard things, look for the things that are really frustrating you Because if you're feeling the pain, then probably other people out there are as well So then how did you start to build, because there's obviously two things going on

You've got to source the product and find it, and by the looks of it you've got a lot of product And do you do all the picking and packing here yourself? Irene: Everything is done here, picked and packed and out the door Lisa: Wow, so you're sourcing a lot of product, you're making sure that that's all ethical and eco-friendly and all of that kind of thing Then the other side of it is finding your audience Irene: I didn't go out looking for customers, people told people and friends, and daughters told their mothers and it just really built through word of mouth and through the blog

Lisa: That's extraordinary Now something that I'm going to drill down on, is set up and startup costs Irene: Do you know what's crazy? I started this business with $100 Lisa: Wow, ok! Irene: I bought $100 lip balms, and I sold them through a shopping cart plug in to my WordPress blog whilst I was still working in corporate And I packaged them and sent them out when I got home of the evening And that's how it started, and those 100 lip balms sold

And then I bought more lip balms and then I bought more flavours, and now I have 2000 different products Lisa: Ok so that's interesting, because you're all about organics, and it sounds like you've grown quite organically And I really like that because I think that so many people think that they have to write 100 page laborious business plans, and tick every box and go big from the start, and then they often set themselves up for a huge failure, but it sounds like you went quite small and started to test the market and iterate and decided ok, and that probably gave you some confidence to say 'people are buying the lip balm, ok I can go on to do something else' Irene: Customers tell you what they want Lisa: For me one of the greatest lessons is Failing Fast

You know not putting all of your eggs in one basket but actually getting out there and testing the market and seeing if people are willing to buy, and then jumping in It's a much easier way to jump into business, so that's my top tip for today Lisa: So you started 3 years ago is that right? Irene: I started almost 3 years ago We turned over, so we had that $100, we turned over almost $400,000 that first year Lisa: Yep extraordinary Irene: And we've doubled every year, so we did 2 last year, and we're on track to do 4 this year

Lisa: That is extraordinary Can you tell me what have been your key tips to actually getting out there and doing it Irene: My biggest tip is to really sketch out the process from when somebody places that order online, from them initially looking at your website, all the way to the final delivery on their doorstep, so if you sketch that out you'll see lots of missing links We had a lot of missing links, and it wasn't until I sat down with a pen and paper, and I realized, there's gaps here and we need to link them Now we have a system from the beginning to the end that's quite seamless

Lisa: So who are some of your most valuable partners? Irene: For me, my entire business is about connecting beautiful safe healthy brands with customers So my most valuable business partners are the manufacturers behind these amazing brands They're scientists, and they make and bring these beautiful products to life And of course people like Australia Post, because it's that end package when you open your door and the postman delivers it and they look at that beautiful pink box that makes customers keep coming back So it's really the logistics side and the manufacturing side

Lisa: So can you tell me Irene, your top tips for turning a hobby into a business? Irene: I think the most important thing is passion, so if you are enjoying and just loving what you do as a hobby, then absolutely go out and just invest a small amount of money, and just get started in the evenings, get started on the weekends, and let those customers that come to you drive you forward You'll know Lisa: I totally agree, and I think these days, with so many people wanting to explore their own businesses or become entrepreneurs, it's really a great start on this side in doing a blog Irene thank you so much for sharing so openly and honestly, it's an extraordinary business and I look forward to seeing Nourished Life explode Irene: Thank you very much

VO: This segment brought to you by Australia Post David: I can't believe Irene started with $100, and 100 lip balms And she's built this empire Dirk Dirk: It's unbelievable And look at the passion that she turned into a business actually

And I think that's for Small Business the most critical thing To turn your passion into an idea But also look for the customer need, and she found that specific need, it's great to see David: And that's the secret to her isn't it She understands her customer like nobody else

And finds the right partners Dirk: Yes, finds the right partners, but even before that, did you hear about how she actually explored the whole process end to end, and looked for the flaws Looked for the bit where she's vulnerable, and just experienced it Because that's David what your customers will experience as well, and going through that is very strong, because it will set you up for success later David: Started up with nothing, and built and empire

Thanks for that Dirk Let's see if we can start a new business and turn it into an empire, through the elevator pitch

Source: Youtube

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