What does it take to run one of Australia’s leading natural babycare companies? It’s all in a day’s work for Amanda Essery, founder of Lovekins. We chatted to her about her inspiration for Lovekins (especially her childhood growing up in Darwin), the highs and lows of business and her secrets to success. Read on, and you can go into the draw to win a $174 Lovekins prize pack!
What was your inspiration to start your own business?
My family and homeland, the Northern Territory, never cease to inspire me.
Lovekins was created conceptually in 2012 when I was pregnant with my son Ethan. In fear of my child being exposed to toxic chemicals in skincare and household products, I attended a natural skincare making course and started creating my own remedies from my kitchen with Indigenous bush extracts from my hometown, such as Kakadu Plum and Blue Cypress. In 2014, my second child Heidi was born with eczema. While the prescribed steroid-based medication failed to help manage Heidi’s skin long-term, she thrived on the natural preparations that I made.
That was the moment when I knew that if I could help my own child, I could potentially help many more.
When did you know the timing was ‘right’?
I didn’t – I took a leap of faith because I believe in taking action. The timing will never be perfect, you either do or you don’t.
How did you make your big break?
I am still searching for the big break moment.
I am beyond excited to see what the future holds for me and my team. Stay tuned – when I discover my big break, I may write a book!
What was your training prior to starting your own business?
There was no training. In fact, many around me thought I was out of my mind when I first started Lovekins as I was leaving a corporate career in the finance industry. Being an entrepreneur is definitely something you learn on the job – I am indebted to my mentors and wonderful business partners I have met along the way. I also appreciate the criticism from those who doubted my vision – it was a great mental training that helped me remain motivated and resilient while working towards my goal and reminded me that failure wasn’t and option.
What are the biggest challenges of being a parent and a business owner?
As you embark on parenthood or entrepreneurship, your responsibilities are doubled and there is no clear guideline to success. Being a parent and being a business owner are both learnt skills, and it is daunting having to embrace the unexpected. I often find myself biting the bullet trying to work through unforeseen situations. That said, being challenged is what drives me to pursue continuous improvement both as a mother and as a business owner. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is your top tip for maintaining a work/life balance?
My answer is to know your purpose.
I love what I am doing professionally so much that it has become a huge part of my identity and personal life. For me, finding a balance is not about separating work and life; it’s about feeling invigorated by what I’m doing every day and knowing that I am giving back to the community when I can. That is my balance.
What is your biggest learning since starting your own business? Is there anything you’d do differently?
My biggest learning since starting Lovekins is to expect the worst but also remember that in each situation there lies opportunities. I am grateful for the past challenges and wouldn’t want to live them any differently.
If I must choose, I probably would tell my younger self it’s ok to take a moment to reset.
What do you do in your spare time to keep yourself sane?
Keeping sane is certainly a challenge for all of us trying our best to balance our career, family, and personal life. When I’m not working, I enjoy learning more about the nature, ingredients, and the new trends in the natural living space. Recently, my children and I started a small veggie patch in the garden. Celebrating the simple moments is how I stay grounded.
What’s one thing other people should do who are looking to start their own business?
Find your narrative and learn how to tell your story. It is easy to doubt yourself, but I believe that our individuality and experience are what make us unique.
Finish this sentence: I can’t get through a work day without…
Taking my daily dose of Kakadu Plum powder – this Indigenous superfood is the hero ingredient in all of the Lovekins ranges. Lovekins is my passion project, and I will always live and breathe the brand.
Want to win the ultimate Lovekins prize pack, valued at $174 RRP? It includes Baby Hair + Body Wash ($34.95), Baby Body Moisturiser ($34.95), SPF30 Baby Sunscreen ($33.95), Baby Nappy Cream ($24.95), Baby Massage Oil ($28.95) and SOS Rescue Cream ($15.95).
Entries are open until Wednesday 6 October at midnight and only the winner will be notified. Entrants will join haven’s weekly newsletter for stories about life + style + parenthood.
This giveaway is now closed – thank you.