Flourish Beauty is a natural and environmentally friendly beauty brand. Founder Jo Suddes tells BQ more about the business and explains why she entered this year’s If We Can You Can competition.
What did you do before setting up your business?
I was a hair and make-up artist in the television and film industry.
What inspired you to set up your business?
After working in the beauty industry for over ten years, I witnessed a number of people, including myself, suffer from skin and health problems due to the use of conventional cosmetics.
Did you know the average adult uses 9 personal care products each and every day? This exposes them to about 168 chemicals, some of which are known to pose a risk to our health! The beauty industry is saturated with toxic beauty products which are made up of synthetic man made chemicals, and I soon realised it was a growing problem without a solution.
What makes this business different?
Flourish Beauty is a new kind of beauty store! The first of its kind in the North East, we are passionate about beauty that not only gives results but promotes health and wellbeing. Flourish Beauty’s hand-picked selection of luxury cosmetics don’t contain any unnecessary chemicals that could be harmful to your health or the environment, every product we stock is cruelty-free and never tested on animals. We also consider environmental impacts, including how ingredients in our products are processed down to how they are packaged, and if they are reusable, recyclable or biodegradable.
What inspired you to enter the If We Can You Can Challenge?
I have recognised I can’t reach the business’s full potential on my own. I am hoping to gain some new business contacts and build a network of people who can help me propel Flourish Beauty to the next level.
Where do you see your business in three years’ time?
Flourish Beauty is taking clean beauty from niche to mainstream and with the right team of people we will become the premier, online, natural and organic luxury beauty retailer. The huge growth in the wellness sector has seen consumers taking a more holistic approach to their health, combining food, exercise and beauty.
Research has shown that with year on year growth the natural and organic beauty industry will be worth £17bn by 2024, this means it’s market value is expected to double in the next eight years. It’s a very exciting time to be part of this growing industry.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
Being a one-man band, you forget to stop and look at how far you have come. You tend to focus on the stresses and not the successes. A lot of my journey hasn’t turned out as planned but learning how to handle the ups and downs (mainly the downs) has taught me that each experience is a valuable lesson to be learned. This has helped me grow not only in business, but as a person. Plus, when I started two years ago, I only stocked four brands and now I stock seventeen.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Scaling up, limited budget for marketing, growing organic traffic, the cost of stock, learning to be patient, believing in myself and dealing with the unknown. The challenges never stop but you learn to handle them better each time and this is what helps you to grow and develop.
Who/what gave you support or advice?
For the past nine months I have been part of the Natwest Entrepreneurial Spark programme.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own business?
The journey upward is not always a steady climb - dream big, start small, believe in yourself and always remember why you started.