For many of us the dream of owning your own brand remains just that, a distant dream but that doesn’t have to be the case. I caught up with Simone Wyndham owner and developer of Shizen, an environmentally responsible range that was started off life on a stove top in Bondi. So, what does go on behind the scenes of a boutique brand?

Simone Wyndham from Shizen

Q) Before winning the Aromatherapy Course how interested were you in the beauty industry? 
 I was also working in PR and was a natural products enthusiast. I use to look at labels of products and wonder what it would be like to actually know what the ingredients were and what they really did.
Q) Would you class yourself as a “pack watcher” (Someone who reads labels and wonders about the ingredients) or a “beauty addict”?
 I’d call myself a Pack Watcher, but now I do know what more ingredients are and what they do. Often this means I put down the pack really quickly.
Q) How easy did you find the transition from aromatherapy student to brand owner and what did it entail?

  I spent 3 years perfecting my first lip balm, so years of trying every lip balm on the market, my friends and family thought I was crazy. I had shelves lining my apartment with different formulas and products. Once the formulas was complete, it was a fairly easy transition.

Q) Which bit was the easiest /most fun. Making the product to go into the pack or creating the brand look and feel?
 Hard to say, both are lots of fun. Packaging can be hard as we don’t make allot of packaging here in Australia, so you have to look overseas for it (which is a shame), but then coming up with a perfect formula, is very exciting.
Q) What is the hardest part about launching your own brand?
 Money! Without a trust fund, big savings or loaded parents, its really hard. I’ve seen allot of brands launched with other peoples money and without money to start with it can really take some time to have the money you need to get it all up and running. I took baby steps, investing a little at a time whilst working away in another job.
Q) You are still launching products and growing the brand over 6 years after launch, how easy has that been?
 It’s been really hard. Having a small brand in Australia is hard; trying to compete with the larger brands with more shelf space, Hollywood celebrities and an army of staff is near impossible. You’d walk into a store and find your brand pushed to the bottom shelf or so messy you have to replace half the stock. It can be quite upsetting. Online is a great way to go for small businesses, you can sell direct, give personal services and don’t have to compete with the large brands. Also export is great, in Australia we have such a large space and such a small population so selling overseas, seems huge by comparison – Which is a shame really – so tell your readers to support Australian owned and made cosmetics!! (I’m sure they do anyway)
Q) Where do you get your inspiration from?
 Generally from travel overseas, or from customer feedback.
Q) What  advice  could you offer to someone wanting to launch their own range today?
 Start saving! And don’t expect to make millions, it can take years to get the brand up and running and even then its like a roller coaster!

Shizen have now branched out into a whole range

Want to know more about Simone and her range?  You can follow her on Twitter:  
http://twitter.com/ShizenLip

Or read more about the products and plans for the future on the blog:
http://shizenlip.blogspot.com/

For any of you who’s New Year Resolution is to create your own brand we can help! We recomend having a read of this article before contacting the Institute Of Personal Care Science to start putting your dreams into action.