Powerful Woman: Lycon’s Lydia Jordane

Professional Beauty brings to you our Powerful Women series – interviews with the leading ladies behind some much-loved salon industry brands across the skincare, cosmetics and technology spaces. Anita Quade caught up with Lycon Cosmetics founder, Lydia Jordane.

Tell us what inspired you to set up your company?

“I made depilatory wax for myself on the family kitchen stove when I was 18, in my final year of high school, with no intention of setting up a waxing business. Ten years later I became a beauty therapist, at a time when there were very few salons in Brisbane. I set up a small home salon business in a bedroom, which then spread to a large area under the house.  Not long after, by popular demand, I trained others in beauty therapy and they naturally wanted to buy my wax.  Before long I received orders from the similarly burgeoning Sydney and Melbourne beauty industry as well as from overseas. It was an enormously exciting time, as the beauty industry was just beginning to grow and it was a lot of fun being on the forefront of that growth and excitement. These days LYCON is exported to over 95 countries and growing year upon year.” 

What was one of the hardest challenges starting out?

“I had two little girls, 4 and 2, when I started my business.  The hardest thing was to juggle motherhood, childcare and to keep everyone happy and taken care of.  I was very blessed to have had a lot of help from my parents, who helped with babysitting, cooking and general other family needs.  A couple of years after starting the LYCON distribution business, my ex-husband also became very involved and left his government job, which was a blessing as well.  I honestly couldn’t have done as much as we did without the extra muscle and extra thinking cap.” 

Lydia Jordane launched Lycon Cosmetics at a young age

Being a powerful woman as a business leader – what is an important piece of advice you can share with your peers?

“I honestly think I was blessed and at the right place at the right time.  I needed to make money to help with the family budget, and didn’t put too much thought into what I would have to do to develop a successful business, there was certainly no business plan. But, really, it was more than just being lucky; I worked long hours, well into the night for many years and I still often do, with passion as my driving force. Quick decision making and adaptability are vital for success and not rushing into things at times has kept me in good stead.  Apart from the great LYCON quality products, I have had numerous amazing staff over the years, which I am very grateful for.  Above all, business is not all about selling and making money; I strongly believe that at the core of my business is a passion for what I do and a drive to help others improve their life in one way or another with what I offer.  In the end that is the ultimate reward for me.”

How have you found the support from likeminded women in the industry?

“There is often a stigma attached to business women being competitive and negative towards each other. However, I have had a lot of support throughout the years, both professionally and personally, from many women, both from inside and outside of the industry.  I got divorced in 1988 at which time I didn’t know if I could continue to grow and support the business as a single mother.  It was during this difficult period that many women gave me incredible support.  I was always encouraged and given the confidence that I could do it.  I am continuously thankful for all my fairy godmothers who never failed to inspire the courage I needed to continue.”

“I strongly believe that at the core of my business is a passion for what I do and a drive to help others improve their life in one way or another with what I offer.  In the end that is the ultimate reward for me.”

What is it you love most about being an industry trailblazer?

“Oh wow!  Most of all I value that I am the pioneer of the Australian waxing industry and that LYCON has been an innovator of many world firsts.  There is LYCON Hot and Strip Waxes and the special ingredients I introduced in wax such as aromatherapy oils, titanium dioxide and micro-mica in the very early 1980’s. Some other world firsts include LYCON Pre-Waxing Oil, LYCOjet superhero hot wax, Rosette Hot Wax, LYCOtec Film Waxes, and LYCOdream Hybrid Hot Wax. I must not be bashful; it is I and the LYCON brand that put Australia on the global map for some of the best wax in the world and remains to be so to this day.  All LYCON R&D is done in-house, which is not all about wax, we have many product innovations in skincare as well. Right now, it is difficult to grasp the reality that we have already run out of room at Pinkenba, after only 4 years. Fortunately, a vacant block of land next door became available, so here we are, poised, for another expansion in about 2 years’ time, which will double LYCON’s footprint and production capacity yet again. I am now 72, still passionate, and loving what I do. There’s no sign of slowing down with many more exciting times ahead!”

This article originally appeared in the March-April 2022 issue of Professional Beauty.

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