Tracey Hickmott, is an award-winning entrepreneur and founder of Natural Approach. Tracey is our 2020 AusMumpreneur VIC-TAS Hair & Beauty Business Silver Award winner.
Natural Approach formulate a range of naturally derived balms including deodorant, Vegan Lip Balm and Nappy Balm to help you care for your body with confidence. All balms are handcrafted in small batches in Mildura, regional Victoria. Our mission is to do good and build healthier communities by providing products that are good for your body, good for communities, and good for the planet.
When did you start your business?
I started handcrafting my skincare range in late 2017. By mid-2018 I was selling my products.
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
Since the age of 9 I suffered from excessive sweating and body odour. It was an embarrassing burden and really affected my self-confidence. I tried everything I could get my hands on, but nothing seemed to work. I still smelt funky! BO would even embed in my t-shirts and I eventually had to throw them away.
After trying every deodorant, antiperspirant, crystal, and aluminium infused body odour eater I could find, I wondered:
- Why can’t I find a product that works?
- Should I resort to surgery and have my sweat glands blocked?
- If I had surgery, where would that sweat go?
I cringed at these thoughts.
One day I came across natural deodorant balm and I loved the idea of using natural ingredients on my skin. There was just one problem, I wasn’t 100% happy with the natural products I had tried. So, I decided to solve my own problem by formulating a natural balm that ticked ALL the boxes.
Over time, I mastered the art of creating a formula that works consistently at eliminating body odour. This changed my life dramatically.I then went on to study natural skincare formulation to ensure I was undertaking best practice. So, what began in my kitchen as a desperate attempt to resolve my own sense of personal embarrassment about my body odour, has evolved into an Aussie business helping men and women care for their body with confidence.
What are you most excited about in your business?
Helping others care for their body with confidence. It is so rewarding when a customer lets you know how my products have positively impacted their life.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
I have always thought of myself as an introvert, so you can only imagine how difficult it was for me to share my story of why I started my business. If being embarrassed and feeling awkward about having BO wasn’t bad enough, telling the whole world you use to stink is not something most people aspire to! Thankfully I had an amazing coach and mentor who believed in me and encouraged me to follow my passion to create my own dream business. While it took a lot of courage to take the 1st step, I have never looked back as I know how much of a positive impact my honesty, openness, and authentic approach to life and business has had on others and continues to do so.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
I’ve been lucky to receive a lot of great advice over the last couple of years. Here’s my top 6 tips:
- Get a business mentor. Someone you trust who is willing to provide honest feedback, support, and advice.
- Connect with and obtain advice from experts the field. Listen and learn from their achievements, experiences, and mistakes. Ask for their feedback on your idea.
- Test and validate your product or service. Is it something people want or need? What problem will it solve? Listen to your customers and take their feedback on board.
- Don’t be afraid of failing as it is part of learning. As the saying goes “learn to fail or fail to learn.”
- Keep it simple and stay focused. Take one step at a time and don’t overcomplicate or overthink things.
- Know your numbers and stay focused. At the end of the day it should be fun and rewarding.
Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?
I was nominated by a friend and I thought it was a great opportunity to connect with likeminded women to learn from them and share experiences. I thought it was also a fantastic opportunity to promote my business.
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?
Connecting with other likeminded women in business and hearing their stories of why they started their own business, their key learnings and advice. The business exposure was fantastic too.
What surprised you most about the awards?
The number of women in business and the amazing things they were achieving. It was also very well organised and there were so many fantastic workshops available to attend online.
How did the awards help you in your business?
The AusMumpreneur awards helped me build confidence in speaking about what I do, and the business exposure was fantastic. I was featured in the local paper and invited to speak on a podcast. I also learnt a lot from other women and experts in the field.
What advice would you give to others mums thinking about entering the awards?
Definelty enter the AusMumpreneur awards! It’s such a fantastic opportunity to connect with inspiring women in business who are keen to support you and share their experiences on what has and hasn’t worked for them.
What’s happening next in your business? Any big plans for the future?
I am planning on rolling out a new range of natural products, which is very exciting. I am also aiming to go global as I’ve had interest from a retailer in Singapore, so cross fingers they love my products as much as my customers in Australia.
All images featured here are from Natural Approach.
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