Million dollar beauty queen
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO BE INSPIRED BY THE HARD EARNED SUCCESS THAT ONLINE BEAUTY STORE CREATOR IRENE FALCONE HAS BUILT FOR HERSELF WITH NOURISHED LIFE. SITTING AT HER KITCHEN TABLE WITH $100 AND A BEAUTY BLOG AS A STARTING POINT, IN JUST THREE YEARS IRENE HAS GROWN HER NEWFOUND PASSION INTO A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS. THINK BUSINESS MAGAZINE SPEAKS WITH IRENE ABOUT HER JOURNEY FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO BEAUTY INDUSTRY GURU.
When I was working in corporate, my career goals were very much focused around securing my next promotion, applying for a mortgage, and planning for retirement. Since becoming my own boss, my focus has had a seismic shift. I’m now so focused on creating a safe and inspiring workplace for the people who work for me. I place a large focus on keeping staff motivated and well trained, as this is the best way to keep our customers happy.
think: What is one work strategy that you have followed since day one?
Always listen to your intuition and follow your gut.
think: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer upcoming entrepreneurs?
As clichéd as it sounds, don’t be afraid to take risks. Ultimately, this is what gives you the best return.
Technology definitely makes it easier for businesses. Technology is a performance-optimising tool, but like any tool, it’s only as good as the person who is using it.
think: What have you learned about yourself since starting Nourished Life?
I found a whole new strength and belief in myself that I never thought I had.
As a leader, I’ve learned the importance of leading by example. I’ve also learned to remain calm, even if it seems like everything is going wrong.
think: What have you learned about management in terms of growing a business from a solo operation to hundreds of employees?
Despite enormous growth and an influx of staff, I’ve worked really hard on running this business like a tight-knit group. It’s important to me that everyone who works here feels involved and appreciated.
think: What do you feel was the defining factor that transformed your business from a start-up into a fully-fledged company?
In all honesty, having come from working in corporate I was firmly in the multi-million dollar business mindset when I began Nourished Life. Even though I was sitting at my kitchen table, I never felt like I was a start-up. I feel more comfortable running a fully-fledged company because it’s just the way I’ve been working for years.
These days it’s far more social to be online than not to be! We have a lovely retail store where we can meet our customers face to face, but predominantly we use our social media and blog to communicate with our customers en masse, all day.
Managing high growth and huge volumes of new customers without compromising our core offerings, which are the best customer service and the best sustainable, eco-friendly products.
There was never really a key strategy for developing a brand identity. Excuse the pun, but I’ve always let it be organic. I’ve just been myself from day one. Ironically enough, I was quite unhealthy when I started the business. I was very fatigued and suffering from chemical overload. As I’ve been using my own products and the help of our in-house naturopath, I’ve been feeling so much better. I think my customers have followed my health journey as much as the growth of Nourished Life.
I would probably hold back a little bit before jumping in head first! If I were to start again, I would at least sketch out a skeleton of a business plan.
Do you have an inspiring start-up story of your own to share?
Think Business Magazine would love to hear from you.