Updated: Jun 26
This is Meagan Pate for Female Startup Club.
Hey guys, welcome back to the show -
Today’s episode is sponsored by the DONUT, a 100% FREE newsletter committed to making the news more enjoyable, sign up today at thedonut.co/hype.
And if you’re new here! Hi! I’m Doone, your host and Hype girl in business. Every week we learn from 7, 8 and 9-figure female founders to understand their blueprint in business when it comes to money, marketing and mistakes. Women like Meagan Pate, the Aussie founder shaking up scalp care.
Meagan spent her teen years trying every home remedy for dandruff she could find, and would often cancel plans over her flakey scalp. Lightbulb moment!!! In 2020 she met her now co-founders and started working on launching STRAAND to market. And it’s been a bit of a whirlwind since then! This episode is packed with so many gems you are going to love this.
I particularly loved diving into the subject of co-founders, and searching for the right people based on their skillset; what could make this business the best it could be? It's probably the most valuable resource you can have. You need to consider what’s right for you and right for your brand; go into it with as much understanding as possible of what that might mean. There’s nothing to lose if it’s a business relationship. When business isn’t going well it’s high pressure, it's something to be mindful of. You could have the best friendship in the world but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a work relationship.
While I’ve got you here. Remember that you can access our doc for every grant that’s currently live around the world right now for female founders. You can get the list at femalestartupclub.com/grants.
Ok! Let’s jump into today’s episode, this is Meagan for Female Startup Club.
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
How do you like to introduce yourself? Um That was always a tricky one, isn't it? It's like, what do you do a bit of everything? But formerly the co founder and general manager of STRAAND and STRAAND and scalp care range that was recently launched around seven months ago in Australia, we've launched my D to C and key retailer, Adore beauty and we're just launching in the US at the moment and UK EU and working through some of our Southeast Asia and China plants. So we're very busy. Um And that's what kind of keeps me awake at that. The global girl. Let's hope so. Very global. What were you doing before you started strand? So earlier on in my career, actually my first proper job, I was a makeup artist as I worked at Mac when I was 16 for quite a few years. And then I went into publishing advertising. So I worked in the commercial departments for brands like Elle Harper's Cosmo at Bauer for quite some time. And then over at News Corp for Vogue Vogue Living GQ. And then I spent some time actually advising for beauty brands and doing more brand strategic work but very much in the commercial and creative space. So what does the brand look like? Where does it fit the R and D? Is there space for it? And as part of that, I also have become really heavily involved in another brand called Three Warriors, which is a certified organic self tan, another local one called TBH Skin Care. So that's been a lot of fun. And then I met my co founders for Strand about two years ago now. Um And then here we are, oh my gosh. And then here we are. Something that I was asking you yesterday and something that I was curious about from an outsider kind of observing what you've, what you've done. So far is that, you know, you launched seven months ago, but you're already having such great success, you're already launching overseas. You're in these major retailers, you are having these beautiful events, you've just done your first precede raise. And I was asking you like, but how and you were saying, you know, this is, there's a lot of work in the years leading up to before you even get to starting the brand, which of course, I understand, but I would love to go back to like the meeting of minds, I guess with you and your co founders to understand like, was it always scalp care? Were you just meeting and being like, let's start a brand together or were you, what was the inside? What was the kind of like, let's do this moment. And those early days of discussing a brand, definitely it was always scalp care. I don't think it was positioned a scalp care at that stage. It was still quite early on, but took my business partners, Tim and Jeremy had done quite a lot of market research into anti dandruff. So with that understanding of the category, that's when I then became involved and they're like, okay, we think there might be something in anti dandruff, having Really sensitive skin myself suffered from it. There is, there are 100% is, and then we went through the journey of what actually is this and that's when scout care really came forward and our love, my love of beauty understanding a lot of beauty consumers, particularly from those early years as being a makeup artist. It was like, that's what was missing is actually a lot For a brand and a product that existed in that space. So that's where we started the journey. And obviously, there was a lot more to it. We worked with Nick who is also a co founder. So we've really gone through and we've got co founders who are really great at what they do and nick is manufacturing. So he worked in manufacturing for over 25 years in Australia, working on formulating and developing some of the biggest bands that Australia has been exported. So when it comes to ingredients, product market research, understanding, we're really, I guess had a lot of insight to how to build and formulate the best product, but also where clinical data was coming from from a lot of the key ingredient suppliers. So strand is very, very much based on science, the formulas, then the brand itself, whilst it has that science undertone is more consumer lit. Sarah, our co founder had previously worked and co founded brands such as sand and sky, which again was incredible and is an incredible Australian brand exported overseas. So when it comes to retail and retail conversations, Sarah's very on the poster, right? So it's kind of like there are five of you, you each have a very clear lane that you work within and you kind of all work in harmony. I actually have people ask me sometimes, like, how do I find a co founder? How do you actually find those kind of people? And I'm wondering in your case, you know, it's five people. So that's, that's a nice size of people who have come together. Like, did you, were you, like, actively looking for a co founder or had you just met these people through a network and started having conversations and it organically happened or how did you actually kind of come together and be like, let's do this together. Were you like cherry picking the best people and being like, let's bring you into the conversation or did you just all know each other? You were friends and you know, it happened around the table kind of thing, you know. So there wasn't a friendship previously in Three Warriors, my other business that I worked with Corbin, the founder on. We also didn't have a friendship previously either. He brought me into his business as an advisor and to do some strategic work. Now, we have a really, really beautiful friendship but that just really helped to understand boundaries and ways of working, which was fantastic. So he actively was looking for somebody who could do what I do. And they were like, okay, let's fill this out and then it became a lot more meaningful. So I became a lot more involved in the business. And similarly with Tim, Sarah, Jeremy and Nick, there was perhaps previous friendships through networks of having worked together. Um, you know, Jeremy may have worked with Nick in a previous company or Sarah may have worked with Jeremy. He's really good at bringing people together, but they were actively, I guess, based on skill set and what was needed to make this business, you know, as best it could be. So it's like what's something that is a desirable attribute? Having worked with friends before? I think you can go into it with the absolute best intention and you can have the best friendship that doesn't necessarily then translate to a good working relationship. So, if this was something that I was looking to say, do again, I would always avoid the friendship route because your relationship exist somewhere else. Whereas when your relationship is started through business, you know, how each other operate, you know, how you communicate a lot of the times at work I can dot Point bullet points, you know, quite short, but not through any other reasons, then efficiency. And just to get it quickly in a friendship that might be seen as blunt and then in a friendship is so much warmer and, you know, we'll sit and waffle on a phone for two hours if there's time. So that could be a really jarring relationship. So, yeah, I think again, you need to consider what's right for you and what's right for your brand. Um, but I would go into it with as much understanding of what that might mean. And if you are going in with friendship with a friend would be very, I would lay it all out up front, even expectations. Like, where do we think this will go? What's the exit plan? What if something goes wrong and we don't want to be in this anymore? What do we then do? Mm. And what's the plan b, if one person doesn't want to be in the business anymore or there is a fallout, what's the plan? Like, what happens in that case? You know, God forbid it happens. But what does happen? And I think that's, that's a great point to kind of have all the, all the tough conversations. It's kind of like that, you know, those books, they're kind of like silly books that, you know, you're getting married. So these are all the conversations you should ask your partner. It's exactly the same. Really? Oh. And you don't want to have them because you're so excited and you, you're just so set on a vision that it will succeed. So you don't want to entertain that. So, I think that's been a benefit of going into business with people that a business relationship exists because like that's the expectation and there's kind of nothing to lose to a degree in terms of the relationship. Of course, you always want to keep beautiful business relationships but it's not like a longstanding friendship that you could potentially damage if it doesn't go the way that you both want it to. And when business isn't going well, it's high pressure on everyone and when it is going well, it's great. But, yeah, just something I guess to be mindful of very true. Something we love to talk about, especially early on in the episode is the money piece and how you kind of get from wherever you started to wherever you are now. And I know that you've just recently raised $2 million in pre seed investment with Unilever ventures. But I was reading that you had all kind of putting your own capital to get started and get kind of to this 20.6 months in seven months in what did you need to invest into the brand to get to this point? And how were you thinking about capital from the beginning? So I think early on it was getting a runway to getting it to a proof of concept to be able to get an investor in. Sometimes depending on the skill sets in the team that can be a lot more cost effective. There may be things that people can actually do and it's a good consideration for who you're founding with depending on what way you want to go down if you yourself funding and you know that design is critical, brand is critical. Maybe you bring in a graphic designer really strong creative lead as that founding team similar to sales getting. So maybe bring in a strong sales person. So I think that's always something to consider as well depending on how you get there. We actually raised with Unilever prior to launching. Um So we announced it in January, but it was pre seed investment. So that was based off all the work that we have done to date the formulations. The product obviously, and all the vessels they've seen smell touch going through intense R and D the products do what they say they're going to do. Um But yes, so that's definitely helped and accelerated our launch. Absolutely. That's so exciting. Congratulations. By the way, I guess for you, it's like old news since that happened seven months ago, but for everyone else who's just seen the news. Congratulations. It's very exciting to read about it. So how did it go then for fundraising? Like you just kind of knocked on their door specifically or you started knocking on hundreds of doors to have these conversations? And was it you leading the fundraising process or someone else in the business or collective kind of collaborative effort? Yeah, I would say it was definitely a collective collaborative effort. It was led predominantly by Jeremy and Sarah in our business at different phases that it was probably led by other people depending on where their piece was. Um in terms of Unilever, look, we were really surprised pleasantly surprised and I'm very happy we were working with a company called Limp Harry Wells and they facilitated the introduction and oversaw the deal. They previously I believed worked with other Australian brands to help them gain that funding and early early investment. So like is that company, what was it called? Terri Lynn? Perry Wells? Limb Perry Wells? Is that like a like a broker for investors? Like what's it like? What does that even called? There are brokers? Definitely. So the Lamprey was capital which is headed by Alice Wells and she does quite a lot of the dealmaking there. They can do quite a few numerous different things. Traditionally, Lamprey Wells, a leading global investment bank in consumer m and a very cool. That's so interesting. Okay. So you start the process of fundraising, you successfully raise, you are then focused on your launch, I imagine. So what were you doing kind of in the lead up to launch already being a VC backed business at that point. So I think the thing without mentality too is we're very performance orientated coming from, you know, some self funded brands as well like a dollar has to work as hard as that dollar can work. So coming up to the launch, it was looking at just getting that timing right in when we could hire, we couldn't hide too early, we couldn't hide too late. A lot of the runway to launch was definitely getting market ready. So everything from brand assets, website, social shoot, collateral packaging operations and logistics is a really fun space of business to me at the moment, especially during the COVID period. So we launched about six months later than we wanted to. So that was where a lot of our key focus was we ended up launching mid last year and it was just very much getting everything ready even from collateral like your mailer bags. What three pl are we going to use? Are we going to use a three pl market analysis, negotiating all of our contracts with different stakeholders? So who do we have within the business? But then who do we need outside of the business and who are we comfortable with? And who do we have confidence in as an agency partner or as a small? So I traded to kind of help us hit our goals. So that was definitely we're spending a lot of our time and then also a corporate internal, we're setting up a new business. So there's everything that goes with that like hate our documents, you know, brand guidelines, bringing people on board. What is our culture, what are our brand values? What do we expect? I'm a big believer in clearly communicating what is expected in an environment so that everyone has the opportunity to succeed and then there's hiring. So it's like what head countering hiring, who do we need to hire at, at what point and where is that critical. So it's the interview process, it's searching and looking for talent. And again, your, your team is especially in the early days there. It's just a few of you. So, so, so integral to bringing the brand to life. So that was quite a bit of my time last year. I don't know if you feel the same as me. But today's mainstream news is not engaging, not unbiased and not enjoyable. The donut newsletter is all these things. It's also 100% free and hilariously witty, join 85,000 daily readers and get news that lets you make up your own mind at the donut dot co forward slash hype. That's T H E D O N U T dot C O forward slash hype to sign up for free today. Who did you kind of, what was your first hires to actually kind of launch the brand? Like, was it marketing? Was it performance paid specialists? Even though I guess one of your co founders has that background, like who are the people who you needed to, to really get it out there? I was quite lucky that during my career, I've had a lot of exposure to all different parts of business, particularly over indexing in marketing, advertising, and branding. So that helped when we came to look at. Ok, what do we need from a marketing perspective? But we did need a really strong solid creative lead that I could kind of work with bounce off, not spend days writing briefs and sending iteration changes and losing kind of all of that time. So we had to be in a really good operating rhythm. And thankfully earlier on in the process, I've been introduced to Shani, who is our creative lead and did all those wonderful sweat house things that you saw yesterday. Uh and she was working with a freelance capacity, she had recently gone freelance and, and that was her intention of what she wanted to do as a business. And then when it came to doing our corporate branding, which I think is really important by the way, especially if you want to attract talent and no inspire people. So rather than a boring linkedin post, I was like, okay, let's write some cool copy. We did some fun gifts. Um And as we were putting the rollout for a graphic designer and she kind of tapped me on the shoulder and she was like, so can I apply for this? And I was like, I thought you'd never ask. So that was a big blind literally. And I didn't want to put any pressure on her either. She just started doing her freelance after working as a creative lead and really big Australian beauty bread and had big teams. And so it's just really nice and she was the idea will be like graphic designer. I love that. Oh my gosh. Okay. So you hired a really strong creative lead who could kind of help you with the marketing launch, social media events, activations look really sleek and professional at every touch point, emails, website, package, mailers, packaging. Yes, absolutely. I mean, she's ticking all those boxes. Everything looks very Schmick. How does the launch go? What like what were you, what were you doing that was working to really get the word out there at the very beginning? We do like the whiplash. So there's so within that we then also we did another critical higher which is Emily and she's in affiliate our head of affiliate and influences, which she has a lot of experience in there too. And then we also hired Anna whose content and video editor. So we knew, and I knew from the very beginning, especially with my publishing background that I want strand to be more of a publisher mindset. I wanted to be very digital first. I want to be in a content creation capacity and love creative I almost want and we are bringing to life our own mini creative studio within the brand. And at first in the early days, we have to be quite tight with our palms. And what we're talking about, we only get x amount of opportunity to make an impact or to talk to somebody. So you've got to keep very tight and even if you think you're being repetitive, just come back. And that's why solid calms guidelines are so important because it stops you from going on a tangent as well, especially if you're a creative person. Like I am like this is pretty. Let's go over here. I was like, no, yeah, let's go over here and then that's shiny. Let's go over there and come back, come back, you've got to keep it what's integral to your brand. So around launch, we had this team which is fantastic internally. So content creation is super important. And then we also have a really strong pr partner. So I work with Jesse from hive previously on a few different things and we've just got a really great working relationship which I love. So around the launch, always mindful um that we have to punch above our weight, we have to look and appear so much bigger than what we probably are. So we've got our work set out for us. And I think the way that brands can do that effectively and playing arenas that probably much bigger than they are and have brands that are much bigger than they are in them is to be creative. And the more creative that you can be and the more clever you can be, the more that it will hit, the more that it will resonate, the more cut through that you will get. And it's easy to say it's sometimes a lot harder to execute. But we always as a team kind of come back to that and really try and challenge it. So around our launch period, we had a few delays and we end up just launching with the shampoo. It was critical to get to launch at this point, but it ended up working really well because it meant that we could have this hero moment with the shampoo and really spotlighted Emily with her experience with influences, had worked with a lot of influences who did this really good, Ry. And that was during the early days of earlier days of performance, media and influence are really working. So we tested say one or two, but then the other was we really honed in on beauty authorities. So authorities in our, I always look at things whether it be in campaigns, marketing strategy, even in business is like this theory and I probably won't reset, arrive, but it's about the domino effect. Like what is that one domino that you can push and it will then influence all the others. So when we were going to market, it's like we don't have infinite budget, we don't have infinite resources to make impact. So who do we need to get buy in from really early on? And if we get they're buying and if we know that they love our brand and it will be advocates for our brand and they trust our product that will then make any conversation or any marketing activity that we do next, a lot easier or compound and have a lot more weight and social proofing to it. So it really hard with specific authorities, we worked with them on a longer period because there's still what I would consider quite expensive. So rather than just a once off, it was a three month period and that was great from a cost position also meant that you were both partnering. So there was a lot more depth to the relationship and then leaning in and getting to understand the brand. And we work for people to that we know don't do much pay to play unless they genuinely love the brand. So their audience also know that of them as well. So then they know that if they're saying they love it and they want to do it, yes, they need to make an income, but they wouldn't do it if they didn't like it or if it didn't work, if it didn't do what they're saying. And one person that we went with locally here was Hannah English, for example, and she's a pharmaceutical scientist. She's incredibly clever and she's great at educating her audience and she shares so much knowledge on her channel about the science and the performance. And she was really integral to having buy in early because that helped with the credentials about brand as a serious science brand, even though we are bold and fun and playful and cheeky and trying to remove the stigma of the category we work and the products work. So that was I guess the launch plan and we did it over three months, we went shampoo went kind of hard, heavy on a particular comms messaging. Then we went in with the serum and then we went through with the shampoo and conditioner. So by phasing those product launches, it helped keep newness, it helped keep buzz over that kind of 3 to 4 month period, which I think was part of the reason why we had so much success with press. But then the other part was, it was actually interesting and all of that kind of R and D that we've done before in the White Space as part of that with Hannah, I think it was the serum launch. So this was the second or the third month, we did a scarification of hair virtual forum. So back in my advertising days away that we would bring potential clients in and say like a vogue is you would always invest in research pieces. So what research piece do they potentially not get access to that's going to be really meaningful, that's going to help influence how they connect with their consumers in that kind of marketing capacity. And on a really small level was like, let's do that with the scarification of her. We know that digital online editors, they have S E O, they want to know where trends are going. Um They also have KPI S within their role of what kind of content they're putting out, not just what's like cool or trending at the moment. So we went in and quantified all of the scalp and the scalp data. I think scalp detox was up 350% as an seo term. Quite a lot of things that we're working, that's unification of hair. And we put it on an invite, we sent it to them and invited them to come and learn more with Hannah English myself and Phoebe from the blow so that we could have a roundtable discussion on that. And it got a great turnout. The pickup was pretty good. But then this year in, I think January Princess predicts put out the crown care as one of the big ones and stratification of hair. And all of a sudden all these press are calling pr and is making available to come in and talk about this. So it was maybe a bit early for them when it first happened, but it put in position just as a thought leader in the category in space. Oh, I love that. Yeah, the very, very long term play there, but very worth it. I love that. That's so interesting. I had a question. What was it? Oh, yeah. So, you know, obviously you're funded brand, your budget looks different to a bootstrap brand. And I know that we have a lot of listeners who are early stage, they're kind of solo founders, they're bootstrapping. And I'm wondering like when they listen to you speak and when they're listening to your story, if you were doing this business as a bootstrapped founder, and you didn't have kind of a lot of budget to do all the things. What would you focus if you had to focus on just doubling down on one thing? Like, would it be the influencer side or would it be the pr side or what would you kind of go really hard on if you were kind of doing it solo? It's really tricky because in the marketing mix each channel compounds on, on each channel. So you kind of almost need to have every channel on. But in saying that that's not always possible. So you need to focus your attention. I think it's very specific to the business, the category and what they're doing. But I always look at things is like, what's your higher return value and ours and what your low return value in ours. I think a lot of like bootstrap business can get really obsessed with Instagram for instance. And it's like I need to be on Instagram, need to be posting four or five times a day and then the amount of money that's going into making that content and that's doing that and the people to trauma, it's like, is that actually giving you a return? Is that shifting the dial? Like, is it actually that if you took all those files that you were doing that, could you go into retails, get sales and then use that money to kind of push into that things like the virtual event that we did outside of the soft costs of obviously designing and invite our pr agency organizing the guest list that was cheap, that was free. It was a virtual event, but it was using, I guess my positioning and our relationships as thought leaders to add value. So it's like I think if you're starting a brand, that's like, okay, where can you do an exchange to add value? Three Warriors. The other business that I'm in is still self funded, bootstrapped for years, up until last year, still packing orders in the bottom of the house. Like we get creative and Corbin is a founder has such an incredible story and has incredible relationships with people that he gets a lot of in return just through his networking and his relationships, influences, I think are an important part of the mix. There can be very expensive. Um And the environment of gifting and exchange for product seems to have changed quite a lot um that there's generally a payment needed even if it's just you want someone to review it. So I think I would go really tight on my community, um Friends, family networks, my own personal brand, providing value education and just looking at ways that you can Just get super creative. I still ask this example, always pays out of my mind. I think it was Zoe Foster blake when she want to go to send the press release with everyone and stuck $5 on it and said, Okay, if you have time doing this now, go buy yourself a coffee. I love that. That's great. I haven't heard that one before. Really clever and just like creative. So even though we do have funding, we still try and think in this mindset because our funding is there to help buy product to put it in stores overseas. Um It's not like an infinite amount and headcount also obviously, as we're investing in all these channels. So still with any of our marketing, I think always have that bootstrap mindset, make brand loyalists. I've seen that work so well with three warriors cords bless him was like literally just him in that business for four years wearing every hat and he would dm you know, and just chat to people wearing the brand. And as part of that, Sonia Kruger started wearing it because he sent it to her makeup artist, Sonia Kruger, all the brand for years. Loved it. We get a call from Sonia's manager, Lucy. She's like, Sonia loves your brand. She can't stop talking about it. She's been wearing it for years. Like can you work together? And we're like, we don't think we can afford to work with you as flattered as we are. And she was like, no, she just really loves your brand and wants to make it work. We've now been working with Sonia Kruger in a formal capacity for a year and a half. Our brand has grown significantly and because Sonja is such a die hard loyalist of the brand, she's like a sales, she goes into salons and she's like, oh, you should, you should definitely stop this. And so does her manager Lucy, like it's incredible. And I think those kind of relationships, whether they're paid or their organic will shift the dial because they love you. They love your brand, they're buying it and they genuinely want to be on your team. It's very, very different to if you're paying somebody and they're like, okay, here's my one frame. That's my deliverable catch. Yes. Yes. Very different. Yeah, I love this. I feel like the two takeaways that we just really need to like drill home here is number one, figure out the things that you think are you think you're doing that you think are important, but actually aren't driving those results and switch that to being, where are you getting results? And triple, triple, triple down on what that is, whether that's pounding the pavement to get retailers instead of focusing on Instagram or tiktok content that's not reaching any eyeballs um or whether it's, you know, Mark and speaking to customers and knowing that when you're there doing a demo, you can get someone to be excited and buy your brand versus, you know, something that isn't driving results. And secondly, digging into who your V I P customers are, find out who loves your brand, find out is who is excited and could potentially be a partner in a bigger, a bigger capacity. I love that. That's too great takeaways. Thank you so much. I love that. I needed to like summarize it for myself. I feel like I also needed to hear that because I can be guilty of doing the things that aren't driving the results. But thinking that it's still important, which it is. But as a solo founder and someone who's bootstrapping a brand, you just have to make, you can't do everything and be like you can't do it all. What is going to shift what's going to be, whether it be that day, that week. Yeah. Yes. Oh I love that. What's the domino? That's a very good one. I'm gonna put that on a post. It. Okay. Something else I wanted to talk about and I know we're kind of coming up on time. So I'm just gonna, we can touch on this quickly. Is the event you hosted yesterday. It was a beautiful activation. You had so many nice moments within the activation overall. And we were talking about this before we started recording around how, you know, you were taking this kind of lean approach to creating this activation activations in today's world are expensive, but your approach was, well, let's bring in other female founders and kind of co lab together to, you know, mixed resources, I guess, and put on this amazing thing. And so I'd love to just hear a little bit about your strategy and tell us about that activation. Definitely. I think there's so much power in collaboration in my past life. I would work on events for publishers like Gourmet Traveler Restaurant of the year or vote codes. And we would sell sponsorships to advertisers. They would all come in and they would have their spaces and it would be, would be activated on numerous different platforms. And towards the end of last year, I was just like, why are brands not doing that together? But just then actively being responsible for the hard costs. There's so many again punching above our way trying to be much bigger than what we are. There's so many things and so many creative ideas and so many reasons why we want to have meaningful interaction with our community, with our customers, with press, with creators. But again, it's expensive and you see people doing it and you're like, oh wow, like standard is pretty high too so it can be quite intimidating. So I just got thinking about this idea called Sweat House. I was like, wouldn't it be cool if we did something really fresh around the year when we got started, we got moving and you go in, you just have just a little feel good workout gets endorphins, you come through you get your roots fresh tup. And what else lives in your day? That looks like that. And I'm a huge beauty consumer, use lots of different brands and at different points throughout my day that I kind of interact with them. And I have this beautiful relationship with Priscilla from Bein Body. Um and Keira rumble from habitual beauty and we'll share, support each other, you know, give interest here and then when we need to and I was like, well, they're part of my day banging in the shower. I use habitual, I love the marine Collagen. I was like, why can't this exist? And then I was like, well, naturally it's outside, it's summer in Australia, you must wear SPF it's a non negotiable. So then I thought maybe like, um and I was like, okay, well, why don't we all get together? I kind of pitch them. I actually did a pitch deck of what my idea was, what the concept, what the opportunity for them was and why they should buy in. So I first caught up with, for dinner with Priscilla kind of just said, look, this should absolutely. And I was like, okay, cool, follow through with the pitch deck and I made it look really pretty. It's really important to have very, very good looking decks in anything that you do. And then we went out to a few of the other brands we all got together and like, okay, what do you want out of this? Like what's really important for your brand? How can we activate it? A fabulous pr partner hive facilitated and helped bring it all to life and that's where we narrowed it down. But the key reason for this, well, actually there was, there was a few but it was really looking at marketing efficiencies. So if we all work together, we can pull resourcing. We have a design lead, we do it under a sweat house. So it's very even for each brand to be involved, it's not necessarily a lead brand, even though we're leading in terms of execution, deliverables and implementation, which again, some of the brands that we went to like a banging is a lot more established than we are. They have a huge ADM database, a huge community. So that was a little bit of the exchange. It's like, okay if you're going to to do this, we'll do the creative work. And I also know they're drowning and they're so busy at the moment and have heats going on. So it's like making it easy for them just to say yes as well and removing friction and removing hurdles. So that's what we said, we'll take it on. We'll come up with the concept will come up with the idea how executed the different touch points. We just want your buy in and then your activation to help facilitate. So we did it and we will continue to do it and looking at it as a full marketing concept. So we did a pre sweat consumer competition which we drove to an email database sign up. So each brand shared it on all of their socials, they shared it on their CDN marketing list. This means we have a pulled reach across the four brands. If we were to go to a publisher or if we go to somebody to pay for that type of access or that exposure, It wouldn't be feasible. Like we couldn't afford to do that. But as a collective, we can all share. So we did that. We have the consumer calm and then we have the activation, which was amazing. And to do an activation, look, you're looking at, if you're lucky, $50,000 for something of that caliber by us working together, we're able to then share those costs because it was all cohesively styled, cohesively brand. And it was very clear what was shared costs and what we were doing their high. Our pr partner also did a fabulous job of reaching out to some other sponsors to help contribute to the event that meant that we could have. I think we had around 45 people come through yesterday in four different sessions throughout the day and experience this phenomenal, I guess moment day, a house that we all wanted to say and live in. Yes, we all wanted to move in immediately shampoo we need to sell for something like that, but I'll put it on a vision board. But, and then, yeah, and then within that it's obviously the group activity. And then there was like a nice little labyrinth where you could explore and you went to A B and they did a skin check. They obviously went through the different products ranging, you came to strand and we did a dry blow bar using the lactic acid as a product breakdown from the serum. You walked through to a habitual beauty. Actually, a lot of people ran their straight after a workout because it's quite hot when you have these beautiful marine college in smoothies. And then when you go outside to banging body, they had these lymphatic drainage massage stations and even for banging, it was really important that they were teaching people how to do it rather than having it done to them. So he went away and I learned something like that's really cool. Yeah, I actually did feel that I had that exact reaction. Oh, that was interesting. I'm glad I know how to do that now because it's like you can add value in so many ways. And so many people, I think particularly in media, really interesting people and they're really inquisitive. You really want to learn things. So it's helping to facilitate that journey as well, which I think makes those moments more meaningful. We had the brand founders there myself and Kira. Unfortunately, Priscilla, not, unfortunately for her, I guess was on her honeymoon in Europe. So she's having a great time. But Kira and I were there, we got to chat to people and what do you love about this? What do you not love? What are you loving at the moment and just hear and experience things together? So that was fantastic. And that was really meaningful. And then there's obviously all the content that will come from it that all the brands have been able to capture, which again, we then put through all of different marketing channels were now digging a little bit deeper and this will help form our comms plan for the next month is reasons to sweat. What's what it means for dandruff, how do you manage? See them and then going a little bit deeper even to the route refresh and how you use that product. And now we've got content to help support it, messaging to help support it. But then by in which we can then I guess, continue to reinforce over the next few weeks for the brand positioning in that space. Gosh, I just love it and I love like, I mean, obviously so much went into this event. But what I also love is the takeaway that it doesn't have to be this big $50,000 event. You can also be thinking, you know, how can I do this on a small scale? How can I get together some other female founders locally? In my area and host a beautiful tea party or brunch or you know, massage parlor or whatever it might be, that's complimentary and suitable to all brands involved and still get some of this amazing content and reach and exposure and you know, inviting interesting influences and editors and people in the media space to come along and experience your brand, but just on a smaller level or even things like just I G co lab posts, finding brands doing a bundle, putting a giveaway together, whatever it might be. I think the takeaway here is like, you can do this at any level and with any budget, like truly and it's just about thinking like putting your collaboration hat on and being like, what can I come up with? Like, what's a creative idea that I can do? And maybe you start by thinking really big and then being like, okay and how can I simplify that and do it on a $0 budget or $1000 budget or whatever it might be? Definitely. And even just looking at what's in your toolkit, it doesn't have to be money helps. But are you a great graphic designer? Do you have a really good network? And then if you're looking at like, what do I need to make this really successful? Who is somebody who has something that you don't have that you could exchange? It's like, hey, you might not have this at the moment but I do. Let's do this together. We've got and I'm not sure where this was alive, but we have a partnership coming up with Kira rumble from habitual for Three Warriors. The exchange there is came down to Tasi was in our photographs. We paid for all the shoot will give her some for her brand. And then we're also hosting a consumer comp that three Warriors as a brand is going to pay for and then share it with her brand. So that was the exchange there. It was like Kerry gave her time and she's also given her platform and then in return, obviously, there's a friendship and that mutual wanting to support. But that was what was in the toolkit. It's like, well, we can do it this giveaway which is going to be amazing trip to go to Tasmania. And then Kira you've just visited, you were coming down anyway, let's do a shoot and then we'll do all of this marketing investment. Your brand can then utilize and plug into that. She's heavily pregnant and about to have a baby. Amazing because like, okay, my next thing is done. I can baby. So yeah, I think the key thing is also what tools you have that exists outside of just your budget. What is your kind of key piece of advice that you can leave us with? It was just I just always show up so often I put myself in rooms, environments, places that my imposter syndrome would think don't really deserve to be there or? Oh, that's a bit intimidating. Um, but just, yeah, always showing up and it's like if you just keep putting that one ft in front of the other and if you say you are that if you say I am a beauty founder and that's how I'm going to behave and that's what I'm going to show up there and that's what I'm going to do. The universe response. Um And it just might be chipping away at it. It's like what little skill sets do I need over the years to amass to get there. Yeah, that, that's how I kind of always look at things like just there's something in a skill or something from every experience you're going through and take it into your talk in just one ft in front of the other. Absolutely. Show up, chip away one ft in front of the other.
Welcome Back. Here are the six quick questions. Question number one is, what's your wife? Why do you wake up every day? Show up every day and build strand. I just love creating and that's what I love building things. I love creating. I'm a creative person. Constantly thinking of ideas and how to do things. So yeah, just building something, making something like that's fun. That is fun. I hear you loud and clear. I'm the same question. Number two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? Oh, I have loved sweat. That was great. I did really get a lot of joy out of our Christmas campaign. We did a hedge and machine and we sent it to a lot of people but within sending just a hedge and machine, we tried to facilitate a journey and we did little cards which was like pick your, your main character and it was like main character moment. This is how you activate Y two K 10 years. This is how you activate. So I kind of wanted it to be like a little experiential journey and then everyone wore it to like festivals and fun things and it just felt like over Christmas people ask a lot of people and I just wanted to try and insert moments of joy after what had been pretty hard two years here in Melbourne. 100% God, I love that. Love the hair gem machine, by the way. So cute. So fun. Question. Number three is, what's your go to business resource? If you have to think about something that you're kind of turning to at the moment, be it a newsletter, a book or a podcast um where you are getting value from. I would say my colleagues at the moment I go through phases where I'll read everything from the four hour work weeks. I will be sold the art of creative thinking. I'm not in the reading phase at the moment. I think I'm exhausted, but I'm learning so much from my colleagues and from the environments that I'm putting myself in. Yeah, absolutely. I think network and the people you surround yourself with and the people who you can tap on the shoulder is just like fundamental, especially when you're building a business. But in life too. Um And yeah, having those, having those conversations, even if you don't have colleagues that are working side by side, going out and finding a network and building people that you can kind of building connections with people that you can tap on the shoulder. 100%, like even peer to peer people doing the same stuff that's a big thing even like in my team. And I really, really encourage em, these are only affiliate manager. So make relationships with other companies and other people with affiliate managers, similar with Anna and tiktok. And it's been great because some of the founders, I'm connected with, connected them with their peers within their business and you grow at such an accelerated rate if you have that support network. Yeah, absolutely. Question number four is how do you win the day? What are your AM or PM? Rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated? I try to be good but sometimes coffee. I do listen. This probably sounds a little bit silly but if I find I'm in a bit of a rut. Um and I do need that extra perk. I listen to a lot of sleep stories. Um and like mindful brain rewiring meditations whilst I'm sleeping and I'll do the same on my morning walk with my coffee. I'll listen to like words of affirmations, balloon, your beats and stuff like that. Where do you go to listen to these sleep stories? I want some sleep stories. I listened to a guy on youtube called Michael Sealy. My partner is really funny. He listens to like Harry Potter sleep story. That's bizarre. But these are like meditation. But Michael Sealers meditations, you can just do them on youtube and depending on how you're feeling like you can choose like if you're feeling a bit anxious, overwhelmed. If you want to be in abundance and gratitude, you can kind of pick which one you're resonating more with. And then I fall asleep to them and then in the morning on Spotify, you can find some really great playlists. But yeah, yes, please do. I would love to see what you're listening to. I want some sleep stories. That sounds so cool. Thank you. Question number five is what's been your worst money mistake so far? And how much did it cost? You actually don't know, it could be something like an influencer or a product packaging that was mucked up or you know, a bunch of, I don't know what it could be like, misprinted labels. I am wasting a lot of money on air Fraser at the moment and that's killing me and that's timeline. But yeah, is it a mistake or is it just like the nature of what's happening? And like you plan, you plan as best you can and like, you know, it's going to have something delivered last week. It's still not delivered. So air freighting, air freighting is costing a lot of money that I would prefer not to be spending. Yeah, absolutely. I think we can, we can all agree on that. And last question question number six is just what is a crazy story? Good, bad or ugly from your journey in building this business? Oh, the color orange that wasn't. We originally did some kind of early branding identity stuff and we settled on orange like yeah, we want to be orange but the color chips kept coming back and it was like cheeseburger mcdonald's orange and it was this other orange and every time you get up at six weeks. So the rest of my team, what do you mean when you send away to get a color chip match? So that your vessels, you get to proof them first, but you get that color by the time it goes to supply, it takes forever. Anyway, there was one that we kind of landed on and I used to always not this lipstick called Lady Danger and it was this really beautiful red orange control active back and obsessed with it and this color where we were just didn't have enough of that red and it was haunting me and everyone else was like, we've gone too far. There's no changing it now, but I convinced them and we we're not changing it. And now we have a beautiful strand orange and the rest of my team, I think team and in particular it's orange like this does not matter and like that and now they're like, it really mattered like it really matters. So, yeah, that was a fun, fun sunny. You're like, thank you. I know. I know. Oh my God. I love that. The orange story. This was so fun, Megan. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your story with Strand and where you guys are at right now. I'm excited to circle back and do a part two. Me too. I'm really excited. Thanks so much for having me. It was a fantastic scene yesterday.