SARAH HOWE - SUMMER SALT BODY
Life Instyle sat down with Summer Salt Body and spoke all things natural beauty and skincare.
What was the spark that inspired you to start your own business?
I have always been inspired by business owners and had a passion for natural remedies so this is what drove me to start my own natural skincare company.
What were those first steps you took to launch? And what would you say was the scariest part/your biggest fear?
Summer Salt Body actually started out as a hobby. I made Salt Scrubs by hand and sold them at local markets on the weekends. Before I knew it I had stores contacting me asking to stock the product. A year later I was able to quit my full-time job and work for myself which was a dream come true!
The scariest part was making the decision to quit my full-time job. I was becoming exhausted working till midnight on Summer Salt just trying to get all the orders shipped while still working full time every day for someone else. It wasn't sustainable to do both so I needed to make that decision and I haven't looked back since!
Tell us a bit about how you design/ make your product. Who/where/how/why etc.
I started out making every single product by hand. As the business grew, I needed to hire staff and also looked into getting some products manufactured. We still make a lot of our products by hand and source the highest quality ingredients from all over Australia. I am vegan myself so this is really important to me when developing a new product.
When developing a new product we ensure it is always 100% natural, vegan-friendly and contains organic ingredients where possible. All ingredients in our products actually serve a purpose is healing the skin. We will never use random fillers or toxic ingredients.
Describe your customers and the community you have built/ embraced.
Our customers are focused on natural beauty and want clean skincare products. They know our products will always be natural, vegan and gentle on the skin. Due to our coastal vibe, many of our customers are health conscious, love nature and spend a lot of time by the sea. Our stockists range from homewares + gift shops, pharmacies, surf shops, beauty salons, bohemian boutiques, health food stores, yoga studios, boutique supermarkets, gift box companies and online stores. We have embraced a wide community by offering so many different products to suit different types of stores and the needs of many different types of people. Our aim is to create affordable clean skincare + wellness products for everyone.
What is it that you think your customers love about your brand/ product?
Often we will have a new customer try one or two products and go on to purchase the entire range. They love the affordability of the products and the results they get. They love our customer service as well as the personal touch we provide with every order. They know we are so appreciative of every single customer!
How do you/ your team stay inspired and authentic?
I always have so many ideas for new products. I am inspired by nature and often get ideas when running along the beach or camping in the bush. I am always trying to create new things while also improving the products we already offer. I am never satisfied and will constantly be thinking of ways to change something or make it different.
Who would be your dream collaborator?
I am a vegan and a huge animal lover so I'd love to work with PETA or Animals Australia to find a way we can give back and really make a difference. This is something we hope to do in the near future!
What path led you to Life Instyle and what is it about the show that makes it a great fit for you?
We noticed some of our favourite brands attended Life Instyle a few years ago, so we thought we'd give it a go. We love Life Instyle as it allows us to meet with so many of our current stockists and speak to them face to face as most of our communication is over the phone or by email. We also love making connections with other business owners like ourselves and talking all things businesses as well as sharing information to help each other.
Can you share any spoilers on what we can expect from your new collection at Life Instyle Sydney?
Think gemstone infused wellness and beauty. Also updated packaging for many of our best selling items.
Who are some of the other brands at Life Instyle who you love/admire?
Galina Dixon, Luxey Cup and Viva La Franki Homewares.
Can you share one of your proudest moments in business so far?
We have recently moved into a much bigger factory. This was a really proud moment as it feels like only yesterday I was making Salt Scrubs in my tiny kitchen at home and was jumping up and down when I received an email from a shop wanting to stock them. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. To think about how far we've come in 5 years makes me really proud.
What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?
Delegate! I have had so much trouble delegating work to others. I started off doing everything myself so I found it hard to let go of a lot of the jobs I was doing on my own. By delegating work to others it allows me to spend more time on developing new products and driving the business forward.
What advice would you give someone else thinking of starting out?
Just start!!! I actually get asked this all the time. I meet so many people with business ideas but they never do anything about it. Just starting is the hardest part, from there you can do anything and you never know which direction you'll go in. Start small, you don't need to invest a lot of money into something. Start with what you can afford and grow slowly. This is what I did and it has worked really well for me!
What exciting things are on the horizon for 2020 and beyond?
Lots of new products! We will be focusing on some new gift ranges and merchandising material making it easier for stockists to display our products in store
When you’re not busy with the business, what’s your ideal way to unwind and give yourself a little bit of self-care?
I've got a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old so I love spending time with my babies as much as I can! I always have Friday off to spend with the kids and we often head to the beach or go out for the day. I also love going for a long run which always helps me de-stress and relax. We love going away camping on the weekends. Getting away and switching off is really important. Of course, I also love a good pamper sesh using all of my own creations! My sister and I give each other a facial now and again and it is heaven!
JUST FOR FUN!
Karaoke song of choice?
Scar - Missy Higgins
Sieze the Yay by Sarah Holloway
Loco Love Chocolate
Next holiday location?