The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role:
Director, Creator, Formulator, Sales & Marketeer, – I wear a lot of hats!
Tell us about your Company
There are just two of us (at the moment) – my husband, who is the behind the scenes support and me! I started the company five years ago when I hit a career break. As an avid consumer of beauty products my husband suggested I should “try and make it” myself, so I did! I love the creative process of what makes a cream work and how it is formulated. I am not content to just follow a recipe, I want to know how each ingredient works, why, it’s the purpose and to learn how to make a cream, serum or body oil extra special. I have created my skincare range after doing a lot of research and consulting with Cosmetic Chemists, especially in the technical areas, to make sure every product was correctly formulated. I aimed to make a luxury “Natural, Organic Cosmeceutical ” skincare range that would contain 99% naturally derived ingredients and I am very proud to have achieved that. A lot of people ask me where I got the name NURA from two words NUtritional floRA = NURA®. Nura’s products are formulated using the nutritional bioactive elements from the plant kingdom which nourish, protect and repair. When I started out on this journey, I wanted to create a skincare range that would be “pro-aging” (not anti-aging) to nourish and feed the skin. Having grown up in South Africa where the climate is very dry and hot, I have always used skincare products. Using creams from an early age has led to life long love of beauty products.
What do you love most about your job?
Almost everything but I especially love making and creating. There is something special when you make a product and see it come together. I love researching ingredients and formulating the next product. There is never a dull moment with all the varied roles I carry out, from designing the packaging to being creative with product display at shows, meeting customers and talking about the products.
What motivates you to get up every day to go to work?
The freedom of being self-employed – every day is different. I can be making 20 litres of a cream one day, then designing Christmas packaging and planning for shows the next. Fulfilling orders is rewarding too. Knowing that my products are being used and appreciated gives me a great sense of achievement.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
My husband is my primary support and sometimes when the pressure is he acts as co-worker sticking labels on bottles. I admire how he has been so incredibly supportive, believing in me from the start and being my most honest critic. Also, he deals the finances for the business and is particularly helpful when it comes to filing tax returns! My kids too have been giving their opinions on social media marketing. They’re far more savvy at this than I am, so I look to them for advice. We are effectively a family business!
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
It is a little tricky when you are on your own! However when things get tough, or when a formula I have been working on works, I turn up the music. I love “Spotify” and search for music that will get me off my chair and dance. My children, when they are back from uni will just watch and frown, but it is such a great way to let off steam I just ignore them and carry on!
What are the biggest challenges facing your job:
Social Media is my biggest issue. I have a love/hate relationship with it, but I’m trying to overcome it. Also looking at how I can grow the business and take it forward by getting the products into more retail outlets is another concern. I worry that if I push too quickly, I won’t be able to manage the upscale in production and cash flow.
What lessons have you learnt from a previous project?
To be organised, plan well ahead and not allow procrastination to hold you back – if in doubt ask someone for help. Taking time to choose the right environment to show and sell your products, not every event will suit. Take time out to relax too, when working for yourself it can become all too consuming. I try to be kind to myself by allowing for some “me” time (I am usually found in the bath, testing my latest Bath Spa product with a good book). Having family time too is very important, and I try to maintain a good family/work balance.
What advice would you give to someone entering ….
Be prepared. It is a very crowded market, but there is space to develop your own niche, your own story and your own brand which will give you your specific customer. Be flexible too. You may have a target audience in mind when you first start selling your products, but this might need to be tweaked. You will only really know who your customer is once you start selling. Do your research on ingredients, make sure your product is sound, been tested to current EU regulations and on volunteers too. Accept that you can’t sell to everyone. The important thing is to try and be as distinctive as possible to make your brand/product unique.