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.

think:
 How 
have
 your
 career
 goals
 changed
 since
 you
 became your
 own 
boss?
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.

think: 
Do
 you 
think 
technology 
makes 
it 
easier
 for
 businesses 
to
 trade
 online, 
or
 does
 it 
just 
increase
 competition?
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.

think:
What
 have
 you
 learned 
about
 yourself
 as 
a 
leader
 throughout 
the
 years?
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.

think:
 How
 do 
you 
stay
 connected 
with
 your
 customers
 through 

trading
 online?

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.

think:
 What
 is 
the
 biggest 
challenge 
in 
business
 you 
have 
faced
 so
 far?
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.

think:
 What
 do
 you
 believe
 were
 the 
key 
strategies 
used 
to 
help 
shape 
your
 brand
 identity?
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.

think:
 If
 you
 had
 the 
benefit
 of
 today’s
 hindsight
 but
 were
 starting
 again
 from
 scratch,
 what
 would
 you
 do
 differently?
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.

 

irene-falcone

IRENE FALCONE

Do you have an inspiring start-up story of your own to share?
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