The initial response we are typically met with when people learn we have a business together is commonly one of shock….we almost came to expect responses such as ‘how can a mother and daughter actually work together without killing each other?’ We are never sure people actually believe us when we say it works, but is does, and it works extremely well. Conversely though, many express how much they would love to have such a working relationship.
I am truly blessed to be a mum to two incredibly talented, intelligent and kind, now adult, children and working with Hannah is a dream. We love what we do and are constantly working on new projects.
So before describing our business it seems important to describe our relationship. Although we know many mothers and daughters with great relationships, and some who also work together, from the responses we have received, we have to assume this is not always the case. The reality is we have always been close and as Hannah grew up she became increasingly curious and interested in health, which was a field in which I was already working. Our business really started by accident.
My journey as a health practitioner began when my children were quite young and I began studying Nutrition and Naturopathy. This qualification, along with a degree in Complementary Medicine would take me six years. Not too much longer after that, and after starting a business which was called ‘Health Synergy’, I did further study in Psychotherapy and Counselling, then more study in Coaching Psychology and most recently Somatic Experiencing Trauma therapy, going on many tangents along the way. With significant overlap between all of these modalities, I developed a particular interest in the interplay between physiological and psychological health.
Hannah studied a Media and Communications degree at Sydney University and during this time started an instagram account, at the time called Health Synergy, posting healthy recipes which catered to a number of dietary requirements, such as gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and of course refined sugar free. Really we were having fun, experimenting and creating healthy versions of popular treats. This was unusual at the time. In addition to Hannah’s skills in marketing, styling and photography, she definitely has the business brain in this team!
Hannah built up an engaged and loyal following on instagram quite quickly and we began to be approached by brands asking us to promote them. It is this coalescence, a shared passion and different skill sets that led to the birth of Healthy Luxe. This rebrand (from Health Synergy) reflected the way in which our business had evolved incorporating all aspects of wellbeing, in line with our holistic philosophy. We were aware of the amount of conflicting advice being given on the internet. Even academic studies vary in their findings and conclusions. So our mission was, and still is, to bring as much clarity as possible, whilst also recognising that there is no one size that fits all. Our aim is to encourage people to take charge, to question, to become more attuned with their own needs and empowered in making choices that are right for them.
Even in the early days, we were, and still are, very particular about brands we would promote, in that they had to align with our health values. When it comes to foods, this means produce which is as close to their natural state as possible. That is, foods that have undergone little to no processing.
Buoyed by the interest in what we were doing, and having already built a website, we decided to create an app … how hard could it be? …. turns out quite hard. It’s been a steep learning curve. There were so many ongoing costs with running the app which we didn’t know about, for example.
When we rebranded to Healthy Luxe, we took on board feedback we had received to create an app with many more features. We had many challenges, not the least of which being our app developer going into liquidation just before our app was ready to be submitted and our website being hijacked shortly after.
However, all the angst and heartache was definitely worth it and shortly after launching the Healthy Luxe app we received such great feedback and reached number 3 in the iTunes food and drink category. It was a huge achievement for us and so exciting to see our health app listed in the top charts amongst McDonalds, Uber Eats and Hungry Jacks! We have since also released our app on Android and upgraded it further, with an optional premium subscription which includes more comprehensive information as well as a meal planner. We now work with great teams who assist us with website development and app development.
Without a true passion for what we do, it would have been hard to persevere at times and having each other helped us to keep momentum, support one another and remember our vision. Most businesses will describe challenges of one sort or another, so we know we are not alone here. Patience and perseverance are definitely essential in building a business.
Interestingly, in the current times of world crisis, isolation and confusion, we are seeing more people than ever wanting to pay more attention to their health, and finding themselves with the time to invest in this. This has been great for us.