Consumers are increasingly looking for companies to provide them with sustainable and ethical options when making buying decisions. The beauty and cosmetics sector is no exception to this, and the market for environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free products is a fast-growing one.
Sey-Beauté Naturelle is one company making a firm footing in the sector. It is a cruelty-free, vegan and eco-friendly cosmetics company based in Cardiff. It was founded by Meghan Gane who wanted to create high-quality skincare products which were also kind to the environment. Here, Meghan tells of her experience starting out in business and offers advice for other new entrepreneurs.
Tell us about Sey-Beauté Naturelle
Well, the story of my company really begins in my university digs! I was studying biological oceanography at university, which is a really crucial part of my story.
Having that background in marine science has informed everything I do – in protecting the environment and making products which don't harm the natural world. I began experimenting with oils and soaps because I couldn't find a cream to help my dry, sensitive skin. I kept on refining the things I was making and then began selling skin cream while I was doing my masters.
When I graduated, I decided I wanted to turn this sideline to my studies into a full-time business – a business founded on ethical and sustainable principles. I wanted to run a company which made a difference.
My business is very young, but I realised early on that I could harness the support out there for entrepreneurs like me. With the support of Business Wales AGP, which I enrolled on in 2019, I joined the Welsh ICE and officially started trading. All that has meant that I've moved from my original headquarters in my living room to my own lab in the Sustainable Studios in Cardiff. And my products are now delivered to customers around the world.
I've been doing this for a short time, but already I feel like I'm making a difference. I love creating and turning my ideas for products into reality.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
The cosmetics industry is a really tough and very competitive place to do business. I'm incredibly proud to be selling a product that not only gets fantastic reviews but is also ethically sourced, cruelty-free and environmentally kind.
I'm doing something for the good of the planet and offering people a quality product which doesn't carry with it guilt about the impact your buying is having on the natural world.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
It's still early days, but I think I'd have researched the legalities of business a bit more thoroughly before launching. Deciding whether it is best to begin as a sole trader or move straight into a limited company is a difficult choice, so it's essential to get good advice.
I'd have also researched what wider market opportunities there could be, beyond the initial obvious ones. You shouldn't underestimate the importance of getting the right help and advice when you're starting up.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
It's been enormously helpful to me as I've started out in business fresh from university. I looked around for what support was available, and I've been lucky to access support from Business Wales AGP and the Welsh ICE's ICE 50 Programme.
I found Business Wales AGP's workshops amazing in the guidance and grounding they provided, but I think I benefited most of all from the networking opportunities.
They gave me access to potential partnerships and customers. All in all, it's given me invaluable help as I've started my business career.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?
● If you have an idea, don't sit on it – get out there and try it.
● Do your research, make sure you know the type of company you want to be, and who your customers are.
● Know where you want to go and make a plan to get there.
For more information on Sey-Beauté Naturelle visit here.