Happy International Women’s Day!
This International Women’s Day coincides with almost 6 months of George! I can’t believe where all that time has gone.
Today (and all days) I am proud to be a female-founded business.
I often get asked about my inspiration behind George, my business journey so far, and my advice for other female entrepreneurs, so today felt like a good time to share my story.
Why I created George (the FULL story):
After spending two decades in the hairdressing industry, I was on the brink of quitting due to the negative impact of harsh, chemical-laden products on my health. I loved hairdressing and was sure there was a better way I could provide this service without harming myself, my clients, or our planet. In 2017, I founded Enough Studio, Adelaide's first low-tox, eco-ethical hair salon. Enough Studio was a manifestation of my desire to create a safe and eco-friendly space that catered to the unique haircare needs of my clients. As the owner and director of the salon, my desire for haircare that aligned with our values only grew stronger.
Did you know? The average woman uses 12 personal care products daily, containing around 168 different chemicals!
As a society, we are increasingly making better-informed decisions on our consumption with health and sustainability in mind, but our hair products are often the last to be considered.
As a hairdresser, I spend my days with women from all walks of life, and over time I have noticed a massive rise in my clients seeking natural alternatives in the beauty and haircare space.
I’ve found my clients were aware of the chemicals in most products but did not understand their dangers or why they’re supposed to avoid them in the first place!
With haircare being one of the last items we look to for a more natural alternative, it is often in times of illness or during efforts to conceive that a woman may, for the first time, consider the effects of the products being used on their hair.
Women these days are under a lot more pressure, which causes stress. We are mothers, partners, and businesswomen. We’re working yet often still the primary carer of children and the home. On top of being surrounded by toxic chemicals, these stresses seem to create health crises in fertility, gut health and skin irritations (just to name a few).
With this lived and observed experience, I launched George Haircare, a natural progression to provide my clients with haircare products aligned with my salon's low-tox philosophy. These products were designed to be cleaner, more effective, and safer than traditional products currently available on the market. I intend to challenge the conventional beauty industry's reliance on chemicals and create a new standard for simple, sustainable, eco-friendly, effective, and fun hair care. By eliminating these harsh substances, we are helping our customers to lead a more healthful life.
Businesses have a choice to support eco-ethical, but I hope in time, it becomes the norm vs. one of a few.
Why George considers sustainability & ethics:
Creating a product that doesn’t contain common, nasty chemicals is one thing. But why stop there? If I was to challenge the status quo, there was undoubtedly much more to consider than JUST the formula. For this reason, I (and, of course, George) take sustainably and ethics VERY seriously.
A note on ethics -
Ethical production practices prioritise fair treatment of workers and safe manufacturing processes that don't harm the planet. This includes avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and reducing pollution. Ethics is important because it allows us to live in a society based on mutual trust and respect and where individuals can flourish in a supportive and caring environment.
A note on sustainability -
Ensures that resources used in production are managed responsibly and that the product can be made over the long term. Sustainable design involves considering the product's life cycle, from sourcing materials to disposing of the product. This includes using renewable resources, minimising waste and pollution, and designing products that can be easily repurposed or recycled.
By considering the ethical implications of our actions and making decisions prioritising sustainability, we can ensure that our products have a positive impact, leaving behind a habitable world and thriving for future generations.
George and Me, a journey…
The journey of launching and growing George Haircare has been both challenging and rewarding. As a female founder in the clean beauty industry, I have had to navigate a fiercely competitive market, grapple with supply chain challenges, and find innovative ways to reach a wider audience. However, with my passion for creating sustainable and ethical haircare products and determination, I’ll continue to push forward. I am committed to creating innovative and effective hair care that is safe for my clients and the environment, encouraging a preference for more sustainable and ethical practices within the beauty industry.
My favourite things about creating George:
Business can be challenging, but seeing your vision positively impact our world is a thrill. Some (not so surprising) joys of creating a haircare business have been:
Creativity: Creating a haircare business allows for a lot of creative freedom regarding product development, packaging design, branding, and marketing. This is an exciting and fulfilling process, as I enjoy creative work.
Helping others: Haircare products can have a real impact on people's lives by improving the health and appearance of their hair. Creating a business that helps people feel more confident and beautiful is a rewarding experience.
Sustainable and ethical practices: Prioritising sustainable and ethical practices, such as using natural ingredients, minimising waste and packaging, and ensuring fair labour practices, creates a business that prioritises social and environmental responsibility and is a meaningful way to make a positive impact on the world.
My advice to fellow female entrepreneurs:
Bringing a unique perspective, prioritising collaboration and community-building, and challenging gender stereotypes, female founders can create successful businesses and make a meaningful difference in the world. That’s not to say that it will be easy, but rather a reminder to keep your vision strong and push through the trying times in business to realise the change you wish to see. My best advice for being a successful woman in business includes:
No one likes a loner! It can be isolating as a woman in business, so it’s essential to surround yourself with supportive and like-minded individuals. This can include mentors, peers, and industry networks.
Don’t let Imposter Syndrome stop you! Entrepreneurs in any industry can face self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Remember to believe in your abilities and the value of your brand, and don’t be afraid to take risks and pursue your dreams.
Be open to evolution! The beauty industry is constantly evolving, so staying ahead of the trends and continuing to innovate to stay relevant is important. This can include new product development, marketing strategies, and embracing new technologies.
A Parting Note:
The eco-ethical beauty space is a rapidly evolving industry, and it is exciting to see more brands like George, doing their bit to challenge the status quo and create a better future for all.
I am committed to continually advancing George, to provide you with the products you and your hair deserves sans the negative ethical or environmental impacts.
On this International Women’s Day, I thank you, our community for your support of my Georgy so far! You, together with my salon clients, continue to inspire me along my business journey.
Without YOU, George would not be who it is today.
PS – take this as your friendly reminder that there is no limit to what we as women can do when we set our mind to something! Whatever dream you're chasing, hold your vision close and make it happen!
Happy International Women’s Day!