Two Australian stay-at-home mums have gained international success with the invention of their new beauty product Skinny Tan which tans but also reduces the appearance of cellulite!
The two mumtrepreneurs, Louise Ferguson and Kate Cotton, re-mortgaged their home and maxed out their credit cards to make it happen, and recently appeared in England on the hit BBC TV show Dragons’ Den – a reality TV show in which budding entrepreneurs get three minutes to pitch their business ideas to five millionaires.
Skinny Tan immediately sparked interest from all five ‘Dragons’, resulting in a total of nine offers – a series record! – to help make the product available in both the UK and Australia.
Skinny Tan is the first self-tanner to combine a 100% natural tanning active with naturally derived body firming actives, free from the chemical DHA and instead includes a natural element derived from the seeds of the Brassica Napus plant.
SheSaid chats to Louise and Kate about their Dragon’s Den experience and their advice for other women wanting to start their own business…
What was the Dragon’s Den experience really like?
Dragon’s Den was probably the most terrifying but amazing experience of our lives. The pitch you see on TV is only 15 minutes however we spent nearly two hours in the Den. A lot of people think that the Dragon investors make their business decisions in a moment, however the reality of it is quite different. Even prior to the show the BBC undertake lengthy due diligence of your entire business and background.
The hours, days and weeks after the show were truly amazing! We were both on such a high after offers from five very wealthy and successful business people who loved our product and recognised what we had already achieved in Australia. The whole experience with gaining two Dragons ensured our recent launch in the UK was a huge success – we have sold £260,000 ($435,000) of product in just six weeks online.
What tips do you have for other women starting their own business?
Just do it! Have no fear and trust in yourself. Ensure your idea has appeal and endeavour to do the best you can with what you have. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you need it and take baby steps> With hard work and a vision – eventually you will succeed.
What, if anything, would you do differently with your business?
At this stage we wouldn’t change anything – even though we probably didn’t do everything right it was all a learning experience which can use going forward.
Describe a typical working day for you?
Some days are much harder than others, especially being mums of 2 young children. We typically work every minute when not looking after the children, cooking dinner or sleeping. We both live and breathe Skinny Tan.
What’s next for you and the business?
We would love to extend our market internationally and eventually rid the world of orange chemical tans. Our tanner is the first tanner to combine 100% natural tanning properties with a naturally derived cellulite active for a dual effect, helping reduce the appearance of cellulite. We are incredibly excited about the future of our brand!