19-year-old cosmetics company Natural Compatibles offers affordably priced, quality liquid foundations, eye shadows, lip colours, blushes and bronzers. In this Q&A, founder Denise Richardson and her daughter Louise Mucha share some of the insights that have helped the company to achieve lasting success.
Q: What’s the best business decision you’ve ever made?
A: When we moved the business from Cairns to Melbourne in 2002 we purchased our own premises. Having our own premises has allowed us to manufacture our pressed foundations, shadows and blush in-house. We also allocated space within our premises for a customized training centre enabling us to run product training sessions for all our new stockists from our head office.
Q: How do you delight customers?
A: Our aim to provide friendly, efficient service to all of our stockists (salons). Natural Compatibles stockists are the face of our company to the end consumer so it is important that we are able to respond to their needs quickly so that they can best represent our brand. We provide a full support service to our stockists from assisting in marketing activities to providing detailed product training an attending salon promotion nights regardless of their location in Australia. If our stockists don’t have the tools to sell our products then we are going to both lose.
Q: Best tip for managing people?
A: Lead by example.
Q: What’s more important in business: passion or preparation? Why?
Establishing and operating an Australian based makeup company has never been about just selling lipsticks for us. We believe that makeup can change the way for you feel about yourself. We are committed to educating women on the correct tips and techniques to highlight their natural beauty. After 18 years in the beauty industry you need passion to keep the message fresh and alive – if you are not passionate about what you sell then you won’t sell it.
Q: What’s your favourite networking activity? Why?
A: We love to exhibit at the Beauty Industry Trade Shows. Attending these shows gives us the opportunity to showcase our latest products and services to new and existing clients as well as see what the other beauty companies are doing. We also enjoy the opportunity to speak to beauty therapy students as they are the future of the industry. As an Australian based manufacturer, if we are to have a future then we need to build a rapport with tomorrows key opinion leaders. We strongly support the Australian beauty industry and it is an opportunity to show our support of the professional associations.