3 Australian Brands on the Advantages of Investing Locally

The lure of locally manufactured and homegrown ingredients for beauty and skincare brands is more popular than ever. Anita Quade chats to thriving companies about how investing locally has been a dynamic drawcard for business.

Curtis Collection by Victoria Curtis

Tell us what you love most about being an Australian founded business?

Victoria Curtis, founder of Curtis Collection by Victoria: “As a proud Australian, it is a privilege to call my business Australian owned!

I am a Melbourne girl who completed my schooling and university degree locally, so being able to say that I now own a business that is sold throughout the country is incredible and almost surreal. I feel honoured to say that I have run an Australian owned business for over 10 years and been able to offer Australian women a makeup brand that is in a highly competitive world, with international brands on our doorstep, is a huge achievement that we should all be proud of.

Often we do not have the financial backing that the multinationals have, so it speaks volumes and is a true testament to those business owners who have taken on the big brands and stood up to create their own space in the market.”

What are some of the biggest lessons you have learnt when building the Victoria Curtis brand?

“Throughout my journey, I’ve learnt how critical it is to your business to constantly remain passionate about your products, your branding and your customers’ experience. Often it is the emotional connection your customers have with your brand that is the most important. Having a clearly defined brand identity will encourage customer trust and loyalty. Staying relevant, consistent and true to your brand values will enhance the emotional experience your customers have when purchasing your products.

In such a competitive industry, it is imperative to stay in your lane and do what you do best. That’s what will ultimately give you that competitive edge.”


What are the main benefits of being locally made?

Eddie Norcross, DMK & Regul8 National Sales, Business Development & Key Relationship Manager: “There are obvious benefits and value of being locally made, which include a contribution to local jobs, the economy and trade, as Regul8 is also distributed internationally to China, the US, and Northern Ireland to name a few. Although Regul8 is just one small piece of the Australian manufacturing industry, these small pieces are critical to maintaining our high living standard and we are thrilled to be part of that.”

Can you share with us any plans for Regul8 this year?

“We are excited to announce that last year the merger of DMK and Advanced Cosmeceuticals also includes Regul8. This partnership will provide greater availability of Regul8 for Australian and New Zealand skin clinics, as well as consumers.

Unlike DMK, Regul8 is sold both in-clinic and online, and we look forward to growing the availability of Regul8 through the partnership with the largest professional skincare and machinery provider in Australia & New Zealand.”


What does it mean for your spa and salon partners?

Katrina Main, organicspa General Manager: “Being Australian Made means that they also benefit from true connection, local training and support at every level of our business. Our chemists literally formulate across the carpark from the customer service team, marketing sit upstairs and products are formulated, bottled and warehoused on site (all within our facilities, and our control). Information flows more readily and support is in real time.

In summary, we are proud to be Australian Made, in doing so we consciously feed directly into local job creation and uphold high ethical standards and fair workers’ rights. We can choose to be more sustainable in our sourcing, the vast volume of our products travel shorter distances (helping to lower our carbon footprint) while manufacturing through solar panels powered by the Northern River’s sun.

We do export organicspa to other markets and by carrying the Australian Made logo we benefit from recognition, cut through and favourability on an international stage. In particular the Australian Made trade mark ‘speaks’ through language barriers — demonstrating qualities synonymous with Australia.”

What are the main challenges to becoming Australian Made?

“The challenge here is often financial. It takes investment to become Australian Made, and higher manufacturing and wage costs have an ongoing impact on our margins. We could, of course, choose to manufacture elsewhere, reducing labour and production costs, but the benefits of being locally made outweigh the financial cost to our business / brand.

When organicspa was launched the entire range was formulated to be Certified Organic at the highest standard (and still is today). Our manufacturing facility is built to adhere to the national Australian Organic Standard. This is another cost we absorb to stay true to our values, to ensure we contribute to the local economy and produce an effective, yet genuinely organic product range.

There are components of our products that cannot be sourced locally, ie packaging and some raw materials. So while we source locally as much as possible we do have to work with international supply chains and disruption to these (as we have felt in recent years) can be challenging.

Finally staffing can be a challenge locally. Education on specialised cosmetic chemistry / manufacturing is limited in Australia, so qualified staff can be challenging to find. Luckily we have a wonderful team and many who have been with us for many years.”

This is a cut-down version of an article first appeared in the January-February 2023 print issue of Professional Beauty.

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