Founder of Clémence Organics Bridget Carmady wasn’t always in the beauty business. Like many entrepreneurs, she started in another industry but saw a gap in the market and decided she would fill it. Bridget is a university educated Naturopath (BNat, BHsc Hons) who began her career in complementary medicine research at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (Western Sydney University), where she contributed to the research, development and conducting clinical trials, with 8 journal publications to her name.
In 2011 Bridget branched out into private practice in the Blue Mountains where she began to attract clients who had skin concerns. She developed protocols for addressing a wide variety of skin concerns. However, she felt her clients were faced with a lack of skincare products that were gentle and made from organic ingredients but still able to deliver powerful results (as well as being super luxurious).
She says “The very first product I made for someone else was for my Dad who was getting radiation treatment for throat cancer. I wanted him to have a balm that was going to soothe his dermatitis, heal damaged skin, and provide a natural barrier. It worked so well that even the oncology nurses were commenting on how amazing his skin was compared to other patients on the ward.”
After years of perfecting her formulations, Clémence Organics was born. She lives in the NSW Blue Mountains with her family and dog Rudi and talks to Professional Beauty about how this lockdown has been different in Regional NSW and how her business is coping.
PB: How has this lockdown been different, if at all, from the other ones?
“It’s definitely been tougher. Last time we felt somewhat untouched by it all where we live (NSW Blue Mountains). This time around the delta variant has infected our area and it just doesn’t seem to be going away.”
PB: How are you surviving financially, if you don’t mind us asking? Is the government aid helping? Is there something else you wish was provided?
“We are doing okay. My husband and I both run our own businesses which can be run from home, and so we are very fortunate in that respect.”
PB: How has your business been affected?
“I feel very grateful to say that my business has held strong over the last few months. I think being primarily an online business has definitely been our saviour. Also the fact that we are certified organic and focus on health resonates well with people right now.”
PB: How do you see our industry coming out of this? Better, worse, the same? And why?
“I think the beauty industry will definitely come out of this changed. Some businesses will dissolve and others will thrive. I think being flexible and being able to shift to online will save many.”
PB: How are you working on your business while you can’t work with clients?
“Fortunately my client interaction hasn’t been affected as it all happens online. To be honest I’m generally struggling to find the time to run my business at its normal capacity due to having to home school my kids.”
PB: What revenue streams have you been able to develop that you hadn’t really relied upon before?
“Whilst the export and wholesale avenues of the business have definitely been affected, the online business has been doing well and so we’ve spent more time developing this side of our business.”
PB: In what ways do you think our industry has fared compared to others?
“I think product-based businesses like mine will have done okay, whilst stores, spas and salons have definitely suffered. This generally means that it’s the bigger businesses that will come out okay.”
PB: What are your plans for safeguarding your business when the pandemic ends?
“We will definitely keep the focus on our online business. We have spent the past few months creating a new website to assist this. We are also increasing our advertising spend to build brand awareness.”
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