Meet the women behind a thriving Australian organic beauty brand
Megan Potter is a home-grown Australian beauty brand that develops, formulates and produces organic skincare, haircare and makeup. We talk to the brand’s founders about the journey so far.
When cousins Megan Potter and Amanda Hawtin put their heads together in early 2018, they realised two things.
One, they were both passionate about creating a business that delivered the freedom to do something they loved and the flexibility to work around their family. And two, with Megan’s 15 years’ experience in the beauty industry and Amanda’s background in business, their skill-set pointed to one thing – building a beauty brand.
Four years later, as the Megan Potter brand goes from strength to strength, we asked Megan and Amanda to share some insights into how they’ve built the brand, the challenges they’ve faced and what lies ahead.
Why was it so important for Megan Potter to be certified organic?
Amanda: “We knew we wanted to create products that contain only the ingredients you need and none of the fillers you don’t, but the ‘certified organic’ status means that you really are getting what you want in an ingredient. It’s about so much more than just being pesticide free. It means that none of the ingredients we use have been processed or manufactured in a way that harms the environment or were grown on land that’s been deforested.
And when we source something from another country, we know it’s been purchased ethically and that there’s no child labour involved. But more than that, it means our ingredients have been harvested and processed in the right way and at the right time in a plant’s growth cycle to ensure they have the beneficial properties we’re after, whether that’s anti-inflammatory, anti-redness or antibacterial.”
How have you grown the brand?
Megan: “We started selling to family and friends, and then friends of friends who’d pass on referrals to their friends, so it grew that way at first. We also held regular workshops to help people understand the benefits of our products and, I guess, to start building a community.”
Amanda: “And then eventually we approached some of our customers to share their ‘before-and-after’ photos, and that grew into using brand ambassadors and influencers. We tried running social media ads but didn’t get the results, I think because people know when it’s an ad. So now we give away quite a lot of product to influencers we make the effort to meet at local events and who we feel are on the same page as us. Megan is very confident and she’s such a great face for the business. She’ll talk to anyone and I think once people meet us, they realise that our products are genuinely unique and that we’re completely invested in this. We’re our own guinea pigs.”
Megan: “And we always say, if you don’t like it, please don’t feel obligated to share it with your community. We only want people to talk about things they genuinely love. We’re definitely not about the hard sell.”
What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
Megan: “It shocks me to say this, but the hardest thing to get right has been our labelling. Being in the beauty industry, there are so many things that legally have to be on a label, and labels also have to be waterproof and that’s expensive. And then you have to physically get them onto your product, which, if you don’t have an expensive machine, means doing it all manually.
It’s also been a learning curve negotiating with printers when labels aren’t printed properly. And we’ve spent a lot on graphic designers whenever we’ve needed to tweak or adjust things, so this year I’ve taught myself how to use the right design software so we can save a bit of money there. That’s what you have to do in a small business. You wear a lot of hats.”
On the other hand, what’s been your biggest achievement?
Megan: “Mandy is working on a few new product-related things, but in all honesty, the next thing we’re looking forward to is Naturally Good in June. We’re purely an e-commerce business at the moment, so we’re ready to find and meet people who want to work with us, whether that’s stockists or a distributor or possibly exporting overseas. That’s our next step.”
Exhibiting for the first time at Naturally Good 2022, Megan Potter will be on display sharing their products and knowledge – be sure to come along and check them out! Registration is free to attend here.