The Heavenly Skincare Exporters
Lisa Dermody, Director of Divine Cosmetics, did not always plan to be a leader in the skin care industry. In her first career, she pursued what she studied in university – Environmental Policy and environmental education. She worked for several years with local government bodies at a state level pursuing those goals, until the day she decided to start a family. Her work commitments took a back seat and Dermody focused on being a full time mother to her three children.
When her youngest child turned three-years-old in 2006, Dermody started getting the itch to return to the workforce. Fortunately, the perfect opportunity soon presented itself to her. She met cosmetic chemist Dr. Lyall Williams, who had formulated a large number of cosmetic products and was looking for a way to get them into the market.
Deremody and Dr. Williams teamed up, and the two of them soon began working together with the intention of bringing his products to market. By October 2006, the pair received an opportunity to acquire a struggling pet grooming manufacturer. They seized that opportunity, and took over the company and all their assets, which included their invaluable client list.
That list has included some of Divine Cosmetic’s oldest clients, and has helped push the business into several international markets. Now the company is primarily export focused, developing skincare products for a variety of major clients around the world.
Clean, green and natural
Divine Cosmetics started out small, but as the years have gone on their reputation has soared. Today, international customers appreciate their brand of Australian-manufactured products, which are uniquely made from Australian essential oils such as Tea Tree and Eucalyptus.
That “local Australian quality” has been a key factor to the company’s success, Dermody says. She states that a majority of her clients want Australian products that their local manufacturers can’t mimic.
In order to meet the requirements of all those customers around the globe, Dermody and her team communicate consistently with them in order to formulate products to their exact needs, and taking their specifications into account.
“They know their market better than we do, so if they say a specific ingredient won’t sell, we re-formulate the product to meet their demands,” Dermody explains.
Consistency is another key factor behind the success and growth of the Divine Cosmetics brand, Dermody says. She explains that this can only be assured by proper staff training and close inspection of all products before they leave the factory. To help with that, the company has recently implemented a new EPS system to gain better control over production quality.
Success through relationships
The majority of the company’s staff members, suppliers and partners have been with Divine Cosmetics since inception, Dermody says. She finds strength in the solidity of those relationships, and she goes to great efforts to maintain them.
For example, the workforce has been an integral part of the company’s growth. In order to reward them, Dermody has tried to create an atmosphere of flexibility and fun.
“Part of creating high-quality products is having low turnover rates,” she says.
To achieve those law rates, Dermody ensures that all staff members are included in the decision making process, and consistently recognised and rewarded for their hard work.
When it comes to the company’s suppliers, Dermody also goes out of her way to keep their bonds strong. She accomplishes that by staying in close contact, and by remaining loyal whenever possible.
“If we need something urgently, we know that our suppliers of over seven years will bend over backwards to get it for us,” Dermody says. “We rarely have to say no to our customers because our suppliers rarely say no to us.”
The Export Council of Australia recently named Divine Cosmetics as a finalist in their prestigious Premier’s NSW Export Awards. Divine Cosmetics has been nominated in both the NSW Asian Exporter Award and the NSW Small to Medium Manufacturer Award – which has been an honor for the company, says Dermody.
“It was really a proud moment to be recognized for our hard work as a small business,” she says. “It’s a good feeling when an independent person looks at what you’ve done and says ‘Yeah, that’s worth recognising.’”
The Premier’s NSW Export Awards is a yearly award program which recognises excellence in the export of goods and services by NSW business, recognizing the significant contribution of these businesses to the economy through job creation and increased prosperity for the community and country.
Dermody feels that since the company is still relatively new and has gained so much international market share in such a short period of time, the Export Council took notice.
“Starting up as a manufacturer and competing on the world market is not easy, but we know what we do has been working, and we plan to continue forward in this direction.”
Dermody also credits the recognition to the generous marketing budget they gives to their international clients. “This innovative approach has worked well for us and has resulted in marketing brochures in several different languages promoting our products,” she says.
That approach has allowed for Divine Cosmetics to focus on its strength as a manufacturer while giving their customers the freedom to promote their products in a way that works best for the local market.
Bigger and better
With the company growing at a fast rate, Dermody has recently moved her staff to a bigger factory which has an upgraded laboratory and mixing rooms.
“We are preparing for the future growth that is expected and hoped for,” she says
The company is currently focusing on two new markets, South Korea and the USA. Divine Cosmetics has also been in the US market for the last 12 months and has only recently gained traction, which is step forward for the company.
“It is great to see the benefits of our hard work when it comes to the US market but we definitely want to see further growth in the near future,” says Dermody.
The Korean market is a new venture for Divine Cosmetics – they are just trying to concentrate their efforts in the country and see where it leads.
The company is always looking for new growth opportunities, no matter where in the world. Dermody predicts that as long as they maintain their “great products, flexible attitude, and strong client base,” that those opportunities will keep presenting themselves.
For more information, please visit their website at: Divine Cosmetics
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