AUT alumna Stephanie Farquhar is the founder of Beautico Skincare, a certified organic skincare range that launched in June 2017.
Stephanie graduated from AUT with a business degree in marketing and a couple of years later headed overseas, first to Sydney, Australia, and then on to London, UK. After five years, Stephanie came home thinking she was going to start a tourism business.
Beautico came about inadvertently: "I'm passionate about what I put in my body and on my skin. And one day I read the label on my skincare and was shocked to see what I was using – it was a lightbulb moment – I knew I had found my passion."
All the ingredients in the Beautico range are listed on their website, beauticoskincare.com, complete with explanations of what they do and why they're used.
"I believe that making a conscious choice about the ingredients we use in skincare is a massive change that needs to be made. I have to do something to try and help provide education, information and an alternative choice."
"It's definitely a balancing act meeting client deadlines and running my own business. Long hours and working six or seven days a week. But it’s worth it."
Six months into the Beautico journey Stephanie wanted to make sure she wasn’t missing anything important in her planning, and she found AUT’s CO.STARTERS programme.
"I was looking at other courses around Auckland, a lot of them were tech-based or were more like incubators, I’d studied at AUT, and it has a good reputation."
"The nine-week CO.STARTERS course was a great way to help me figure out how my business model might work, meet other like-minded people starting businesses and hear from entrepreneurs who had already been successful. Plus the number of connections that I’ve made – all the people I needed to get the business and regulatory side of things sorted out has been a real bonus."
Stephanie says the biggest hurdle in starting her business was the organic certification process. Having to get information on all of the ingredients and prove the products could meet the standards was an arduous process. It took her 18 months from the initial idea to having a product in hand and she says it was hard to keep up the motivation and passion.
After about a year of development an issue arose with the product packaging, which left Stephanie feeling fairly burnt out. This led to a decision to work in the Hubud and Outpost co-working spaces in Bali for four months.
"Bali was great. I was surrounded by other like-minded solopreneurs who were all going through different stages of business and it gave me fresh motivation and passion for creating a business and lifestyle I love." Forbes rates Hubud as one of the top 10 coworking spaces in the world.
And now? It's been four months since Beautico's launch and Stephanie has been trying out different marketing strategies while bootstrapping the business. The results of those strategies are coming in and Stephanie is looking forward to being able to grow demand both in New Zealand and overseas. Meanwhile, the 'day job' is contracting out her excellent marketing skills: “It’s definitely a balancing act meeting client deadlines and running my own business. Long hours and working six or seven days a week. But it’s worth it."
"CO.STARTERS was a great way to help me figure out how my business model might work, meet other like-minded people starting businesses and hear from entrepreneurs who had already been successful in business. Plus the number of connections that I made – all the people I needed to get the business and regulatory side of things sorted out has been a real bonus."
Everyone should start their own business – it’s been a struggle to get here, but there’s a quote I like: ‘spend some years living like most people won’t, so you can live like most people can’t’ – that’s what I’m doing now.
Any advice for people starting out? “Yes – It’s all possible. Visualise your dreams and take action towards making them a reality. Vision has to go hand in hand with taking action to make it happen".