Natasha Broere is a makeup artist and qualified lash extensionist by trade and struggled to find lashes that were sourced ethically, were comfortable for her clients to have on, and weren't made from animal fur. This led her to start HAVA Beauty Co .
HAVA Beauty Co. is dedicated to designing and developing industry first beauty products for makeup professionals and enthusiasts, all sourced and manufactured ethically, with a huge focus on sustainable and eco-friendly practices.
Bringing an eco-friendly alternative to the industry is nerve-wracking. The phrase ‘eco packaging’ tends to bring to mind ugly brown paper packaging, so you just don’t know what kind of response you will get. Making changes from traditional plastic also costs a lot of money, but has been worth every bit of it.
Here’s our chat with Natasha…
What is the vision for your business?
To be recognised as the leader and innovator in the industry for ethical and eco-friendly practices. I want to be a brand other brands and businesses look up to and want to do the same.
Initially, what difficulties did you face starting your business?
Without a doubt the hardest thing was sourcing a manufacturer with documents and certification for ethical practices. A lot of them will tell you their staff have excellent working conditions etc, but don't have international certification to back it up. It took a long time, but was definitely worth the wait.
Another hurdle that I am sure a lot of business owners can relate to is the 'self doubt'! When your aim is to shake up the industry and bring something new, you just don't know what kind of reaction you will get. Like the saying goes, "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. It's so true!
Who or what was integral to you overcoming these hurdles?
I have to give my husband credit where it's due! When I first explained to him what I wanted to do, he was really supportive and has been ever since. I have also worked with a wonderful business coach who pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me a lot. And you can't go past experience at the end of the day. There is nothing quite like learning things the hard way sometimes!
What was the best advice that you have been given?
This is something that has always stuck with me. My business mentor once said, "There are DREAMERS and there are DOERS". It's hardly even advice, but it was really profound. So many times you have an idea in your head and where you want to go with your brand, but it will never happen if you don't get off your butt and do it! No one is going to do it for you unfortunately, you have to put in the hard work for results.
The global beauty industry generates an enormous amount of waste each year, do you think it’s becoming more important to consumers to have packaging and products that are eco friendly?
I think in the past couple of years, there has been a huge focus on plastic waste across all industries. It is a well-know fact that the beauty industry is one of the worst offenders and customers are beginning to demand change.
Was this one of the factors when you wanted to ensure your products was eco friendly and recyclable?
100%! As a brand, you absolutely have to be listening to your customers needs and wants. That was my point of difference. There are hundreds (probably even thousands) of lash brands around the world, but none had recyclable packaging. I was noticing on industry group pages, a lot of comments complaining about the guilt of throwing away so much plastic. I saw a need and went with it.
Was it difficult to find the right packaging as generally the trays the lashes come in are plastic?
Recyclable lash packaging didn't exist, so difficult is an understatement! Thank fully I have some amazing people on my side who helped bring my vision to life. Again, its a huge risk and an even bigger investment, but thankfully has paid off. My customers are absolutely stoked to have a more earth friendly option, and I am so grateful for their support. They are all earth angels!
What do you think you have learnt since starting your business?
Aside from the obvious things like admin, stock control, bookkeeping (which I detest!), I think it has taught me to have a thick skin. I quickly learned that the business world can be tough, and not everyone plays nice! But it's not all bad. That is also where I have learned the importance of having like-minded people in your corner cheering you on. There are some really amazing, supportive business groups out there!
What’s next for HAVA beauty?
We are going global baby! We hope to be in the US and the UK soon, and also have some exciting new products in production.
When can we find your products?
Online at www.havabeautyco.com.au and in New Zealand at our beautiful new retailer Tommie Beauty.