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Coco Business Inspiration : Viva Voce Skin

Coco Business Inspiration : Viva Voce Skin

At Viva Voce they believe true beauty is about vitality and loving the skin you are in.

October 23rd, 2017

At Viva Voce they believe true beauty is about vitality and loving the skin you are in. They want to help you look and feel your best self and be your best age. Their promise to you is a bit of luxury and innovative high performance skin care to challenge your traditional routines. They want to help you show your irrepressible, vibrant best self.

A brand after our own heart, we just had to find out more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Like many brands, Viva Voce grew out my search for a solution to my own problem. My skin was severely prematurely aged. The result of cumulative sun damage. We love to be active and have always lived near the beach and I adore it. In my late 30s, when I had a young family, I had treatment for breast cancer. The stress and fear around that exacerbated my skin issues dramatically- wrinkles, sagging, pigmentation, dryness, redness.

The products I was offered at the time didnt help, and I wouldn’t/couldnt accept that. It was important to me that I looked healthy and well. I am quite tenacious, so I looked into sourcing cosmetic ingredients for myself, and then I got involved in cosmetic formulation science – and I found my products were actually really effective for me and for other women.I have always had an interest in science, but am equally interested in the beauty and the aesthetic of things, so creating my products has allowed me to blend my interests beautifully. Creating a brand out of these products was really a personal challenge, to see if my products could help other women create healthy skin and regain their confidence in how they look and feel.

Whats your background?
I studied business at uni, then did an about turn and became a clinical nurse. I did that for 20+ years in a variety of clinical settings so I actually know a lot about the human body, which gives me a bit of an advantage creating Viva Voce. I’ve always been intrigued by the business world but this is my first substantial role in it – it’s like coming full circle. I’m learning so much and loving growing Viva Voce as a company to get these products out to the world.

If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Have a more structured business plan and outsource the things I don’t enjoy, like marketing. Starting out, we were excited to have this amazing product that feels beautiful and looks beautiful and we just wanted to run with it, which in retrospect was kind of naive. Viva Voce is a Latin phrase that translates to ‘the living voice’. We know our product is great and we believed that word would quickly spread and people would be queuing to buy it. Marketing is actually way more complicated than that. Products don’t sell just because they are great. On one hand it has been fun learning about the different facets of marketing, but it has also been immensely time consuming and at times challenging.

But really it has been an adventure, just seeing where it goes. So actually, I don’t think I would change anything.

What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Finding time for everything, and making sure we keep our life balanced. We live in a really beautiful part of the world on the beaches in sub-tropical Queensland, Australia, and getting outdoors keeps me happy. We started this business as a bit of an adventure, so it has to stay fun.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I desperately wanted to hang glide. I’m not great with heights so this would be a great surprise to those that know me well. My only solo attempt ended with me crashing onto a bitumen car park, luckily not from a great height. So funny!

2017 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
Our main goal at the moment is to increase brand awareness. We are a boutique family run company, and we plan to remain so. Being independent allows us great agility, so we want to continue our small batch manufacturing in Australia. We have a clean green focus here, an excellent international reputation for safety and very talented formulators, so it makes sense.

To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Outstanding feedback about our products, particularly our Intense Hydration Serum. Every single time someone takes the time to tell us they love it, I get such a buzz. It’s like my third child. Being featured in an international magazine is pretty special too.

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?

  1. Absolutely our Intense Hydration Serum. I use it alone and/or layer it with other things. If I am heading out for some excericise early, it plumps and smoothes and is semi-permeable so my skin can still breathe. It is a great multi-tasker.
  2. High SPF tinted sunscreen.
  3. Mascara

Style means….?
Being confident. Knowing what suits you and allowing your own personality to show. It gets easier as you get older.For me it includes relaxed, simple,elegant items. Like a slip dress, or great jeans, and a flowy strappy top. I loveblue, especially indigo, and I am a big fan of Brisbane (Australian) based designer Cassandra Harper. Clothes have to be easy to wear and fit with my lifestyle. My style icons? – I have two gorgeous daughters and I love watching both of them develop their own unique natural style.

Best thing about London to you?

Statement shoe or statement bag?

If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
Probably jeans, my favourite pair at the moment are Calvin Klein skinny straights.

Favourite love song?
Sail Away by David Gray. The lyrics are kind of sad but the song feels super romantic to me.

Best place for a coffee?

Season, Noosa Main Beach – the view is the best.

View from Season Noosa – Elle

Guilty pleasure?
Champagne. No doubt!

If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?

In an apartment in Queenstown, New Zealand, with a view of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. It is truly stunning! I cant get there enough

In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?

We have a few more products in development and we would love to grow our international sales. We are looking at distribution in the US at the moment. But it has to work with our boutique model. We shall see what happens!

Where can people find out more? (website/social media)




Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.