Emille Mendoza is the founder of Boracay Skin, an all natural coconut oil based skincare range, which is also vegan and made in Australia. We sat down with her for 5 minutes to hear all about her exciting entrepreneurial journey.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
It was from a holiday in Boracay, Philippines in 2009 that started my obsession with coconut oil. The locals were selling fresh coconut oil from the island and told me the benefits of coconut oil for the skin. I’ve been hooked since then!
How did you get your business started?
I didn’t start thinking about starting a business until 2015. Since my trip to Boracay I had been using coconut oil as body moisturizer religiously. People were asking me how I kept my skin so soft all the time. The idea started from there so I decided to give it a go! My studies in Entrepreneurship definitely helped, as it didn’t feel as overwhelming to start a business. I already had my own recipe for the perfect body oil, which is now known as Boracay Skin’s Natural Sun & Body Oil. Using my own funds I started off with one product, set up a website, opened accounts on social media channels and off we went. Within one year Boracay Skin was stocked for the summer season in US giant retailer, Urban Outfitters as well as sponsoring major fashion events such as Miami Swim Week and New York Fashion Week. Currently, we’ve expanded to three products and continue to grow every day.
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
I’ve learnt that you will make many mistakes but to never see them as a failure, only a lesson. Learn from your mistakes to come back bigger and stronger. Always do your research on suppliers and manufacturers. Make sure they are reliable as time really is of the essence! Surrounding yourself with positive and like-minded individuals will keep your motivation going as well as help you when things get tough. My network keeps me inspired and we are all able to bounce ideas off each other regardless of what industry we are in. Network with many entrepreneurs as you can. They can give you the advice you cannot read in books and can introduce you to others that may help you along the way in your entrepreneurial journey.
How important do you think vegan and all natural products are in the marketplace today?
Vegan and natural products are important in the marketplace today as many people are now becoming educated not just about food, but also what they are putting on their bodies. The skin is the largest organ of the body so it is imperative that we look after it! Vegan and natural products are also environmentally friendly and gentle for those who react to chemicals. Boracay Skin aims to keep its ingredient list simple. A little goes a long way!
What are your top 3 tips for starting a business?
1. Just do it! It is a big leap of faith but starting is the most difficult part. Once you start, everything will start flowing.
2. Believe in yourself. Always stay true to who you are and just remember that if this was easy, everyone would be doing it.
3. Have a plan but also be prepared to change. The world is evolving at a rapid pace so you have to be adaptable for whatever is thrown at you.