September, 2019 // ask Carla
The evolution of The Beauty Chef has been a very organic one. It’s interesting how one can veer off into a career that wasn’t planned but naturally develops through a personal need, interest and passion. And now, I find the brand turning 10! To help celebrate this major milestone, I thought it was the perfect time to reflect on some of the most important lessons of the last decade.
1. BLAZE YOUR OWN TRAIL
Nearly 20 years ago, 10 years before launching The Beauty Chef, I was working as a beauty editor and became concerned with the number of toxic chemicals in skincare. I’d always been interested in holistic wellbeing and made the decision to start writing only about natural and organic health and beauty. I’d also had eczema as a child and as a teenager, I worked with a naturopath who dramatically changed my diet—the effect it had on my skin was profound. Then, around 12 years ago, my own daughter experienced similar skin issues. After investigating various studies that looked at the connection between the food we eat, our gut health and skin health, I put my family on a gut-healing protocol. It included lots of probiotic-rich, lacto-fermented wholefoods and after including them in our diet regularly, our skin and overall wellbeing improved dramatically. When my friends began to ask why my skin always looked so ‘glowy’, I realised the power of the gut/skin connection. This was really the birth of The Beauty Chef as from there, I began experimenting with different ingredients in my kitchen at home, lacto-fermenting a selection of skin-loving superfoods, and eventually, I created my first inner beauty product—.GLOW Inner Beauty Essential.
2. PUSH THE BOUNDARIES
I was the first to create an inner beauty powder and it was a real challenge to break into the mainstream beauty market. Although the reaction from wholesalers who tested the products personally was overwhelmingly positive, the feedback from a business perspective was that the idea was a little too left of field. Lacto-fermentation and the benefits of probiotics for gut health and wellbeing were beginning to be understood in the health arena, but it was a very new concept for the beauty world. As the pioneers of the inner beauty space, we’ve been in a great position to work with amazing retailers as they’ve expanded their offerings to include this very important category.
3. THE POWER OF WORD OF MOUTH
You can’t underestimate it! Much of our early success was because the product worked, and people talked about it— they told their neighbours who told their aunts, their work colleagues, their cousins. At The Beauty Chef, encouraging people to be the happiest, healthiest versions of themselves is always front of mind when creating products, and I’m constantly humbled by the positive feedback we receive.
4. PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF
One of my greatest challenges as a female entrepreneur has been navigating traditionally male-dominated spaces like finance and manufacturing, and not having my business taken seriously. In the beginning, I really had to push hard and not take “no” for an answer.
5. DO WHAT YOU LOVE, AND PRACTISE GRATITUDE
As the saying goes, “success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Success requires hard work—it makes sense to spend the big hours of your working week doing something you wholeheartedly enjoy. And at the end of the day, I’m so grateful to be on this journey and at the helm of a brand that I have so much fire, passion and drive for.
6. COUNT YOUR ZZZZs
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason, and I find the best way to feel balanced is to ensure I get a full eight hours. Our SLEEP Inner Beauty Support always helps if I’m restless.
7. MOVEMENT MATTERS
Walking is key to keeping my overall wellbeing in check. It’s not only great exercise but it’s also my meditation, like a natural filing system for my brain. It’s cathartic and calming, and, at the same time, energising. My mind can be full of thoughts, problems and ideas, but by the end of the walk, I often have solutions, resolve and a sense of calm.
8. GUT HEALTH IS A JOURNEY
I love the analogy that our gut is like a garden—for a garden to be beautiful and its shoots strong and lustrous, the soil needs the right bacterial and nutrient balance. And our gut is the same. We need to tend to it gently, constantly nourishing it with nutrient-dense wholefoods. For advice on how to heal, weed, seed and feed your belly, pick up a copy of The Beauty Chef Gut Guide.
9. KEEP LOOKING FORWARD
As a brand, we’re always looking to innovate, drawing on the latest research to deliver products that are as efficacious as they are delicious. That’s why we’ve partnered with The Charles Perkins Institute at The University of Sydney on an incredible research project exploring the bioactivity of fermented foods and the effects they may have on our health. Watch this space!
10. ABOVE ALL, LOOK AFTER YOUR GUT, BE GUTSY AND FOLLOW YOUR GUT INSTINCT!