From being ridiculed as being just a mum with a hobby, Bec Connolly has succeeded in becoming so much more than that. With her love of skincare starting from a young age, it was inevitable that she would one day launch her own brand.
Here, we spent some time with her to talk about how she has launched, grown and is scaling her skincare brand, Botanicals by Luxe. The sky really is the limit for this entrepreneur…
Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your brand, Botanicals by Luxe?
I have been a skin therapist for 17 years now, I have always wanted to have my own brand – I wanted to bottle my experience and education into a brand. Having two little boys, this was absolutely put in the ‘too hard basket’ for quite a while. I decided to take that leap and launched Botanicals by Luxe in April 2018; it was difficult at the start to find a small batch manufacturer to take me seriously – one of them even called me a “mum with a hobby”. I finally found a beautiful, local manufacturer who aligns with my values and ethics and we still work together today. I started with just one product, our Hyaluronic Serum, we had 200 units of the serum, and they sold out in 12 hours! Since then, I have launched one product at a time, and now there are 19 products in the range and counting.
Where did your love and interest for cosmetics come from?
From a very early age! I remember sitting in mum and dad’s bathroom as a very young girl, maybe 4 or 5, with a mixing bowl and making “potions” with all of mum’s products – sorry Mum!
I love chemistry and cosmetic chemistry, so turning this love into a brand has been a great fit.
How do you want people to feel when they use your products?
The aim with Botanicals by Luxe is to make people feel good, to feel empowered and increase that self worth through the skin. I also focus on keeping the routine super simple so as to not make things overwhelming – it needs to feel good!
Do you have plans to expand your range in the future and if so, what will you expand into?
Absolutely – my main focus at the moment is formulating a sunscreen to add to the range. I have been working on this for the past 2.5 years and hope to launch in early 2023. It will be a perfect addition to the brand, and I can’t wait to release it.
Looking back since launching the business, is there anything you would do differently?
For sure, being a small business owner – you wear so many different hats every single day, from packing orders, stock control, social media, customer service, marketing and so on. I found delegating and outsourcing hard in the beginning and I tried to do it all, this almost led to burnout in 2020 as the business leapt to new heights – so I definitely would have outsourced some roles earlier in hindsight.
For anyone interested in launching a skincare brand, what advice would you offer them?
I say go for it! If it is your passion then absolutely give it a go. Make sure you have a point of difference, and do your research, also have some great people in your corner to help bounce ideas around.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
Oh haha every day is SO different and it is absolutely a juggling act, but the flexibility the business has given the family has been incredible. Usually, mornings consist of getting my little boys ready for school (breakfast, pack lunches etc etc) Once they are at school it is time to pack the orders, check stock levels, emails, and meetings. I try to get down to the beach at least one day a week and take my admin work there for a change of scene. Then it is time for school pick up and wind down time, the days fly!
What do you do when you are lacking creativity?
As mentioned – I get myself down to my happy place – the beach or anywhere near the water, I find grounding myself and doing some meditation really helps to recharge my batteries and get that motivation back.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Socials have been huge for Botanicals by Luxe, particularly Instagram. Around 80% of our sales come from the platform so it is super important for me to be active on there – providing brand updates, skin tips, product run throughs or just sharing behind the scenes and local love. Geelong is a really supportive community for small business owners, so I have found that people love sharing their unboxing and skincare routines on IG which has been so beneficial.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
Trust your hard work, it is unlocking doors you can’t see yet.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must visit list?
One of my goals for the next few years is to take my family to visit the Maldives! It is the background on my computer and I am always daydreaming of visiting there. A tip for your readers visiting Australia – we went to Hamilton Island earlier this year and wow – just beautiful, white sand, beautiful warm blue waters, so relaxing!
What does self care mean to you?
Self care is so important to me, I find that when I feel good, and my cup is full – I am a better person, I work better and everything just flows easier. I am a big believer in looking after ourselves and our mental health – in order to look after others. It can be super simple like a solo walk, bath with a face mask on – but scheduling this time helps me actually do it, helping to recharge and feel good.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
I am working on the international expansion of the brand which is really exciting! I see the brand as a household name right across the world – watch this space!