When Paula discovered her diet and high stress levels were causing her hair to fall out, she and her mum took matters into their own hands and founded SuperFoodLx. This week, we’ve teamed up with them to share their story, featuring their top tips for a start up and discovering what excites them most about building their own business, based on the desire to help others.
What’s your why?
A few years ago, when I was living out of the country, I was shocked to discover my hair was falling out. I lost my hair two inches up the nape of my neck and in various patches around the crown and in the middle, due to a combination of long term stress and what turned out to be dodgy hair care products, all claiming to be natural and organic.
I contacted my mum and she made me a small pot of oil which evolved into a pomegranate pomade called Illuminism. After using this oil for only a few days the shine and strength started to come back to my hair.
I realised if my mum could help me, then we could definitely help others. And that’s when SuperFoodLx came about.
We started with just a hair oil and a hair cream, but when I realised my diet was still causing problems with my hair we decided to start producing vitamins too. We created a vitamin using just two ingredients; bamboo silica and biotin, and also produced a multivitamin using kelp and spirulina, which to this day remains one of our best sellers.
In the near future, we’re also looking to produce a small range of products to help people manage their moods, inspired by the discovery that hair loss and long term stress were strongly linked when it came to our customers. These products will be vegan and as nutritionally dense as possible, as are all our products.
What do you stand for?
We stand for the fact that highly nutritious foods and plant based extracts can really help to keep your body and your outward beauty in alignment. We want to help other women with stress, diet and hormone related hair loss, hair thinning and weak slow hair growth.
What’s your competitive advantage?
I feel our competitive advantage is that my mother and I are walking testimonies of our products efficacy. We have recently crossed over into skincare and if you could see my mum’s skin at 70 you honesty wouldn’t believe it!
What are you most excited by?
We love discovering new ingredients and seeing how we can incorporate them into future products. We also really really love getting the positive feedback from customers – that’s the most important part for us.
What role has social media played in your success?
Oh dear…..I take care of the social media and it really deserves more attention than I have the time or ability for. I know that it could be used more to our advantage but that’s why services like HBC are born to save the day!
When partnering with brands and bloggers, what criteria do you look for?
This has really been a minefield for us as the results have been really varied. I used to just look at follower numbers but as time has gone on I have realised the importance of engagement.
A sincere nature is also incredibly important to us and good, respectful communication.
For example, if a blogger will be delivering late or not at all then that is something that should be communicated.
How do you want people to feel when they use your products?
I want people to feel confident that they are using a good quality product with tangible results. We always share all testimonies we receive and try our best to retrieve before and after photos so that people can feel encouraged.
Who is your ideal collaboration with?
Oooh that’s tricky… maybe Fab herself!
Biggest challenge to date?
Biggest challenge is our original laboratory manufacturer changing our formula without telling us which consequently meant that it didn’t match our labels. When we tried to get the money back they declared bankruptcy and it turns out this is something they had done to several small to medium sized brands. This put us back 2 years as we had no stock and no money left. But it didn’t stop us!
App you can’t live without?
Tiny Scanner – it has saved me soooo much time when having to send back signed contracts.
Top tip for a start up?
First of all make sure you love everything about what you’re selling. It makes it so much easier to be enthusiastic about it. Reading business startup case studies were also a great help for me. They showed me that having problems shouldn’t be viewed as a sign to not start your business, even if you’ve had several.
I also really encourage people to just get out and start selling so that you can get honest, unbiased feedback.