Offline My-Skincare Founder on Launching her Own Organic SkinCare Products Online
Myreen Young is both a brick-and mortar entrepreneur with her Yakushi Beauty Salon, as an online entrepreneur with her website MY-SkinCare.co.uk, specialising in all natural and organic products. It's the combination which makes her business innovative, flexible and an accelerator of growth.
After the opening of her beautysalon Yakushi, she immediately started to making her own healthcare and skincare products with simple ingredients, but only 3 years ago she decided to develop this part of her business further both offline and online, since the challenge of making it a scalable business were promising. On the start of the business she says:
"I started Yakushi about 25 years ago with a bank loan (loans were easier to get in those days), I rented a small shop in the high street and persuaded the landlord not to take three months rent up front but to trust me. I employed one girl to work alongside me and we alternated between doing treatments and minding the shop. The first year was tough and selling other peoples products when I was not sure what was in them didn’t appeal to me. As well as being a qualified therapist I had also done A levels in Human biology, Botany and Chemistry and was keen to make my own products."
The products are sold through the website all over the world. Her brand is supported by her salon, her qualification as a lecturer and her own teaching school, The School of Holistic Therapies. On the development of the products she says the following:
"I persuaded a local cosmetic scientist to show me a few tricks of the trade and from then on nothing could stop me I was like a woman possessed. I gleaned a lot of information from my clients and talking to them in the privacy of a beauty room they told me what they wanted from products they bought. My first range was a healthcare care, not sexy but necessary and sold very well. These products were what people wanted every day, muscular aches, joint problems, skin problems, thrush, piles. For these products I used simple ingredients (and today I always keep the ingredients listing small) organic essential oils, organic carrier oils and coco butter. However, in the last 4 years I became more interested in using organic ingredients and moving on to extracts, vitamins and sunscreens."
After the products were a success, Myreen developed the idea of launching a separate company focusing on a professional organic product line. On the starting and funding of this new company she says the following:
I started MY Skincare Ltd as another company and 3 years ago with my current Director George Bailey-Haigh - Director (Cosmetic chemist, Skin scientist and Environmental scientist), who made the first samples. George could see the potential of my ideas and did all the research and development and he put in his time for free. At the time, I could not oversee all the costs that would be involved in developing such a professional product line, but I had got this far so I wasn’t stopping now. I maxed up as many credit cards as I could get and then remortgaged my house.
She strives for perfection, with the high costs associated with it:
"I want much, I want the ingredients to be right, it must be active, natural, organic, the right consistency and there must be no chemicals. On top of that I want it to look perfect; I have changed the bottles twice and the labels twice. It meant that with the advertising and trying to market the product I have stretched myself very thin. At the start I used one of the rooms at Yakushi to use as a office and I think I have never worked so hard in my life; stressful is an understatement."
It took about nine months research to get the ingredients listings right and then another six months to get the consistency right but now I have got products that people like and buy.
Through online sales, affilate schemes, products are sold internationally.
"MY Skincare now supplies over 60 salon across the UK and is sold through our own website and through affilates such as Amazon, who stock all of our products. We sell internationally. The first year of trading all the profit went on advertising and literature, the second year was very encouraging, and now we are hoping to have a very healthy turnover and profit. I talk with my team several times a day and have weekly meetings with my business partner, so that we are both in the picture about the growth of the company. Yakushi has always been my bread and butter and continues to be successful, but we have estimated that our figures for the new online products business is on the way to a 500,000 pounds turnover. Monitoring the new business is very important, we need to monitor stock very closely and we have already talked about expanding and being able to fill and label in quantity so that we do not fall at the last hurdle. More businesses have gone under due to expanding too quickly but I know we have all the pieces in place. In the last six months they have brought out a new product call Malus Stem Cell, it’s the first UK launch and it looks very promising.
The dedicated team seems one of the USP's of Myreen's business.
The business team consists of myself as Managing direcror, Lady Taz Alford - Director, George Bailey-Haigh - Director (Cosmetic chemist, Skin scientist and Environmental scientist), and Dr. David Belgrove Lee - Director of Yakushi and also heavily involved in MY Skincare Ltd. Further, I have four people working for me in the offline and online business.
Some woman get excited about a new pair of shoes, I can get excited when I am concocting my next product. My expectations for MY skincare are big, big and bigger, We have a manufacturing plant in Devon so have the potential to expand.
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