We sat down with Laura Furiosi, better known as @bossymummy to share our New Day Skin Journey with her and her readers. Laura built her brand whilst also being a mum to three small people and so understands the challenges that come with starting a business, working full time in a “real job” and juggling the family. Laura now shares her knowledge through her business coaching courses, which can be found at www.bossymummy.com.au.
Why/When/How did you get your product idea?
We have always been passionate (neurotic even!) about protecting our own 5 children from the sun. My (Joanne's) daughter Lucy has red hair and very fair skin and I would battle with her every day to wear sunscreen. It was always a chore! One morning when I was getting myself ready for work, Lucy asked me if she could try on my face cream, which happened to be an SPF 50 moisturiser with a subtle, citrus fragrance. She loved it and the next morning asked if she could use it again. That was the lightbulb moment for me. She didn't realise it was sunscreen that she was so enthusiastic about applying, she just knew the cream felt nice on her skin and it smelt delicious - like oranges. Being $70/tube however, as well as containing other active ingredients inappropriate for her skin, it was not an option for me to let her continue to use it. That's when the hunt began for an SPF 50 Daily Face Cream that was specifically developed for tweens and teens and ticked all of our boxes. Nothing existed!!! So after speaking with Ange, we decided to set about creating our own. That was 3 years ago. After 2.5 years of countless late-night brainstorming sessions and testing hundreds of creams on the market, flying across the country and convincing a chemist to help us develop our own formulation, we finally launched NEW DAY SKIN in January 2021.
- What is your product's point of difference?
NEW DAY SKIN is not just sunscreen. It is a way of life for our kids. The biggest point of difference is that we are talking directly to the demographic that has been forgotten when it comes to having their own products to protect their skin. POD and product benefits include:
- Scent - we have 2 variants: HAPPY DAYS is a Creamy Vanilla scent and GOOD VIBES has a Fresh Apply scent. These subtle fragrances are what kids (and adults) LOVE about our products. They smell nothing like traditional sunscreen!
- Vibrant, neon packaging with minimal sunscreen reference - we don't look or sound like sunscreen.
- Mineral formulation and therefore suitable for sensitive skin
- Light natural tint, which isn't uncommon, but it is in "kids sunscreen"... kids hate looking like clowns because of the white cast that traditional zinc oxide based formulations leave. Our natural tint blends into all skin tones.
- Price - most formulations of our cosmetic quality charge up to 90c/ml. Our price is relatively affordable at ~30c/ml. This is significant for us as it means our products are accessible for most families.
- How does your product solve your customers' problems?
"THE SUNSCREEN BATTLE IS OVER"! It's as simple as that.
We are giving kids a Facial Sunscreen that they actually WANT to use and volunteer to apply without the nagging from mum or dad. So we're solving a huge problem for parents, but we're also solving an even bigger problem for our society and that is reducing the incidence of skin cancer in this country and around the world. If we can get our tweens and teens to take responsibility for their own skin by giving them sun protection products they want to use, we will be solving a far bigger problem for our population, our healthcare system and our future wellbeing.
- How long did it take from concept to finished product ready for sale?
2.5 years from concept to launching our online store.
- What was the hardest part in that process?
Landing the formulation was definitely the hardest part, closely followed by deciding on the packaging look and feel. OMG, we had some barnies! Developing what we now describe as the "holy grail" of sunscreen is no mean feat, especially when our manufacturer is across the other side of the country. We debated for months over chemical vs mineral formulation, over tint vs no tint, over fragrance vs no fragrance etc etc. All of those qualities are what makes our formulation unique so we are thrilled with the final product, however it wasn't easy. And then the colour selection and design of our tubes. WOW, who ever knew the neon coral we selected for GOOD VIBES would be sooooo difficult to get right! Of course there were so many other challenges along the way too, relating to launching a therapeutic good that requires registration with the TGA and incurs extra costs on top of costs. We have learnt so much!
- What words of advice do you have to anyone about to begin developing their own products?
Be very clear on the problem you are trying to solve, the genuine consumer need that exists and the competition in the market. Seek out "white space" even in a saturated, mature category like sunscreen, and fill it! And have a purpose behind your venture. It has to mean something to you and has to meet your own expectations...you're investing your life into it! Throughout all of our R&D our litmus test was to ask ourselves would we be happy applying this cream to our own faces everyday? If the honest answer was no, we went straight back to the lab.
"Don't launch second best - you have to believe in it 100% to sell it and make it work."
So if it means going back to the drawing board, go back to the drawing board until you are 100% confident and happy with your product. And also, remember to think about the channels you are going to be selling in and get your pricing architecture right from the outset!
- What do you love about running your own business?
The constant learning is so gratifying and seeing our vision come to life and receiving the incredibly positive feedback from our customers is the most satisfying feeling. It warms us to the core knowing people are loving the products we created and we are also doing so much good for our kids and our broader community. We are passionate about our purpose and our mission and living that out each day really is the best! We also both still work full time in our "day jobs" so this is definitely a juggling act, but we love it and watching it grow is truly rewarding.
-What's the best success you've had so far?
We've been very excited by the response we've had from quite a few influential people, including Aussie Olympians and international skin care bloggers. It was very exciting when we received our first order from the US and the UK from customers we didn't know. Working with Olivia Vivian from Ninja Warrior has been a great experience and compliment to our brand. Many people don't know that Olivia is also an ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia and she lost her own father to Melanoma 9 years ago so sun protection is very close to her heart. She tried our products and absolutely loved them and was very happy to endorse them as part of a collaborative partnership.
- What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their own business?
Be clear on your "why" and how your business will deliver against it. "Don't rush things, but take time to get it right." Not everything is going to be perfect, but taking an extra couple of weeks or months to sort out the back-end properly, so you are ready to launch is worth it in the long run. Plan your first 3 months (minimum!) marketing strategy, whether that be digital or traditional marketing. Listen to advice from others who have already been through the start up stage. Outsource the critical parts - e.g. web development, but also don't underestimate what you can learn and accomplish yourself. Manage your cash flow. Stock sells stock, however when selling a physical product, the supply chain can be challenging, especially initially when you are learning supply vs demand. We experienced this ourselves recently after running out of stock of Happy Days. The catch is having the cash readily available to place your next order and the balance is not spending it all selling your first run! That can be a fine and challenging line!