When Belinda Franks dreamed up the concept for her own completely natural skincare confections, the busy mother of two had little idea of the splash it would make around Australia, all the way from her home in picturesque Tasmania.
Her self-made artisan brand, My Lily Earth, is a considered response to skyrocketing consumer demand for ethical products that are both good for your health and good for the planet.
Handcrafted in small batches, the skincare and bath creations offer a star-studded selection of organic ingredients that are perfect for those who uphold a vegan lifestyle or take a holistic approach to well-being.
"I love how nature can provide all these wonderful resources to make completely natural skincare. My Lily Earth only uses Australian ingredients without any nasty synthetic fragrances, preservatives, anti-caking agents, colour or fillers," Franks told the Australian Gift & Homewares Association (AGHA).
"My small home-based business originally started from wanting to be able to make my own natural deodorants. Friends and family all encouraged me to pursue my dream of creating a natural skincare range," she said.
Initially rolled out on e-commerce platform Etsy, My Lily Earth rapidly took off and within 18 months had been specially requested to contribute product to the gift bags for Miss World Australia.
"Our current stockists are mainly small boutiques located all around Australia, as well as our online stockists who use our products in their gift hampers. We have also been lucky enough to be featured in nationally distributed gift boxes, The Vegan Box and The Earth Box," Franks explained.
My Lily Earth has kept its product packaging simple with planet-friendly recyclable jars and tins, drawing upon an inspired and modern neutral colour palette.
The end result is a visually stunning imprint, perfect for sharing across social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook.
"I have found Instagram to be really beneficial to our promotion and I do all the product shots myself," Franks said. "Beautiful photography of your product is really important, as well as hashtags to draw people in."
Franks added that she holds ambitions of being able to stock the My Lily Earth brand in local boutiques, gift shops and health shops, with a view to eventually establishing her own bricks and mortar store.
"I do have goals for the future in being able to expand and employing someone to come on board, who is just as passionate about natural products as myself," she said.
For the first time ever, My Lily Earth was spotlighted as an exhibitor in The Launch Pad at the AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair 2017.
Exciting new ranges at the Gift Fair included genuine vegan lip balms, a selection of face masks that users can easily mix themselves at home, body oil, and bath salts.
"I knew that being an exhibitor in The Launch Pad was a fantastic opportunity to really put myself out there and hopefully get some recognition for my brand," Franks said.
"I received so much wonderful feedback and advice from retailers and other stockists, which has been invaluable. I made many wonderful connections and highly recommend other retailers who have not yet done an AGHA Gift Fair to give it a go.
"Anything really is possible if you put your mind to it, work hard and don't just give up because of a few bumps in the road. My little business keeps growing and I am very excited to see what the future may bring."