Founder of Margifox Distributors Margi Fox reveals how she started from humble business beginnings in her home to celebrating 15 years in the beauty business.
Tell us how you got involved in the beauty industry?
“It was all quite unexpected. I had just immigrated from South Africa (where Environ’s head office is located) when a friend of mine suggested I consider distributing Environ Skin Care in Australia as it wasn’t available here yet. We started off buying for personal use and word quickly spread about this amazing skin care range that actually worked. It wasn’t long before local clinics asked to start stocking the Environ range and Margifox Distributors was born.
We had been distributing Environ Skin Care in Queensland and Victoria for a number of years when we were presented with the opportunity to distribute jane iredale Australia wide – a pioneering mineral makeup range that would work harmoniously with Environ.”
What is it you love about it?
“I love that it’s filled with so much opportunity and potential – it is always growing and changing and attracts many like-minded colleagues and industry peers. There is a great spirit and sense of community that I’m lucky to be part of – plus it’s great fun!”
How did you set up Margifox Distributors?
“The business started from very humble beginnings in my spare room over 15 years ago. Shortly after that I purchased commercial office space (a Queenslander style house) around the corner from where I lived and started out on the bottom floor, renting out the top floor to a local interior designer. Within two years we had taken over the entire building! We moved the business into a more practical office space that we had renovated in the industrial area of Noosa. We have now been in our head office for the past 10 years with a team of more than 20 and opened our Melbourne Training Centre and Office in 2017.”
Tell us how you chose your brands jane iredale and Environ when there are so many products on the market?
“They chose me in a way! When I was introduced to Environ very early on I was so impressed and highly respected the dedication, research and results produced by Dr. Des Fernandes, the founder of Environ. I was fascinated by his view on skin and vitamin A as he was the first person in the world to introduce effective doses of vitamin A into a skin care product. The ethos of Environ aligned with my own personal values and it was important for me to have a brand that I could confidently stand behind, which also delivered on its promises and helped transform the lives of others.
The beauty industry is filled with new launches – how does jane iredale stand out?
“In the makeup category, there is an enormous amount of white noise and clutter to cut through. jane iredale’s mineral makeup felt like a natural fit as it is a true extension of skin care and complemented Environ’s Skin Care products and philosophy perfectly. Jane often says, ‘the most beautiful cosmetic you can wear is a healthy skin’ and our aim with jane iredale is to enhance a woman’s beauty while still nourishing and protecting her skin.”
You are celebrating your 15th anniversary with jane iredale and took out the top honour of winning the 2017 Distributor of the Year award – tell us about that?
“The last 15 years have been a great privilege to work alongside a brand that I truly believe in and actively advocate. I feel a great sense of achievement being awarded this accolade, it is a real honour. It takes a committed, focused and passionate team to achieve growth year on year and these awards are a great token to acknowledge the hours of work behind the scenes that go into distributing the brand. It means so much to know that all our efforts are noticed and the work we do in Australia is of such a high standard. There are over 64 countries competing for this award.”
How important is education as the cornerstone of your business?
“It’s imperative to have education at the forefront of our efforts as we know that knowledge is power in the hands of therapists. We have always offered ongoing professional education for stockists, which include a series of hands-on, practical workshops to accelerate success in-clinic as well as solution-focused in-clinic education. Last year we relocated and renovated a beautiful training centre in Melbourne to cater for our Victorian stockists and provide the best in education.”
How do you ensure you constantly update your clients on the latest launches?
“We are in touch with our clients frequently. We distribute printed and digital magazine style newsletters every quarter that contain everything our stockists need to know about the latest products, promotions and updates. We also have a strong sales force that further delivers this information and demonstrates the latest products, whilst providing education. We also communicate news via our distributor Facebook and Instagram pages as well as our online business hub.”
What is the most rewarding part of running your own company?
“It has been really rewarding to have experienced all stages of the business as we have grown over the years; starting out working from my home study to now running a medium sized business that continues to grow organically with offices in both Noosa and Melbourne. It’s rewarding to work alongside incredibly passionate industry professionals, see mind blowing consumer results that are truly life changing and being a part of all the successes my team share on a regular basis. I also have the flexibility to travel, spend time with international distributors that share the same business model and continuously look for ways to improve business and the direction we are moving.”
Do you plan to take on any other brands as a distributor?
“I’ll never say never. But at the moment I am focused and proud of the two brands we currently advocate.”
What are your business plans for 2019?
“We have found that many salon owners struggle with having enough time in the day to do everything they want to, and they also acknowledge that education is the ultimate key to success. So, with this in mind we have big plans for our education and business support program within the next 12 months that will provide salons and therapists with support and resources for education, marketing and social media.”
On a personal note – what does beauty mean to you?
“For me, it’s about being comfortable in your own skin, being confident with who you are. Beauty comes in so many facets, and I am so blessed to not only live in such a beautiful town, Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast, but to also work with products that work in harmony with the skin and truly do reveal the wearers’ most beautiful skin.”
What is your can’t live without beauty product?
“To narrow it down I cannot live without my Environ Youth EssentiA Vita-Peptide Intensive Serum 4 Plus and Defence Crème Plus as they deliver very high doses of vitamins A, C and E as well as anti-ageing peptides. However, I’m also currently obsessing over jane iredale’s new line of Triple Luxe Lipsticks, they’re absolutely beautiful!”