The Power of your Tribe with Kayla Houlihan
"It’s lovely to have a community of other like-minded business owners surrounding you and I hope that sharing my successes with others inspires them to try new things to keep growing their businesses." - Kayla Houlihan
Q&A with Kayla Houlihan from Tribe Skincare
The powerhouse behind Australia’s fastest growing all natural, vegan, cruelty free skincare range, talks about finding your niche, the power of marketing online, sharing her success with like-minded women and attracting your tribe.
Q: Kayla, you are behind one of the most exciting Australian skincare ranges we have seen to date, tell us all about Tribe!
A: Yes, it certainly does feel crazy to be at the forefront of such a quickly growing brand! Everyone always asks me what I put the success down to, but there is no one-thing that the success can be attributed to. I really feel that the skincare industry needed a brand that is purely focused on sensitive skin. Most of our customers say that they have spent years looking for skincare that they didn’t react to, so it’s refreshing for them to finally find something that works. So now that we know it works and people love it, we are focusing on getting the brand out there to become the go-to brand for sensitive skin.
Our core brand values are to provide skincare to Aussie women that is all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free and Australian-made. We have really shouted that from the rooftops and so many women really connect with these brand values. We totally believe what they say that “Your vibe attracts your tribe!” and we are loving our new found tribe of like-minded women.
Q: In an industry which is highly unregulated, how important was is for you to make sure your products were free from nasties and not tested on animals?
A: The skincare industry really is so unregulated and we were completely surprised by this. When creating Tribe, we were thinking, “What boards do we have to register with? What legal hoops do we have to jump through?”, and to be honest, there was nothing like that. It’s crazy to think of some of the nasties that are put in skincare, and there are 2 main reasons for it:
1. Cost - fillers and synthetic ingredients make skincare much cheaper to produce.
2. Preservation – if a skincare brand is distributing their products to hundreds of retailers or overseas stockists, the products need to have a very long shelf life.
So basically, our skincare costs more to produce and has a much shorter shelf life. We are all about quality ingredients and the skincare is produced in small batches with natural preservatives. Our exfoliant is bottled in powdered form (as it preserves better) and then you mix water with it each time you use it. That’s how far we have gone to keep the products totally natural and free of nasties.
Q: Where most people choose to keep their marketing strategies to themselves, you are constantly sharing what has worked for you within your business. This has helped such a large number of people! What is it about giving back to those in business that you love?
A: If you try something and you love it, you tell your friends and family, right? Well if I tell my friends about a ROI I got from a marketing campaign or my latest mailchimp strategy, it is going to get little interest from them or add any value. The business community give me a much better response of genuine interest and ideas. I love talking about the things that work for Tribe with other business owners, hoping that it will save them the trial and error (which can be costly and time consuming). While I have really enjoyed each day of my business journey, it really is so hard. It’s lovely to have a community of other like-minded business owners surrounding you and I hope that sharing my successes with others inspires them to try new things to keep growing their businesses.
Q: What has been your main inspiration to create this beautiful, business based life for yourself?
A: There was a perfect little spot in the market waiting to be filled, which was ‘skincare for sensitive skin’. I needed it, the clients at our salon needed it, and I was pretty certain a lot of the female population needed it. The natural skincare industry also needed changing up. It was often in very minimalistic, earthy packaging with leaves as the images and the same marketing messages of self-care and living a toxin-free life. That is all lovely, but I decided to change it up and make skincare a fun and more lively experience. I want people to genuinely get excited about their skincare routine.
In terms of creating my business-based life, I always used to think it would be cool to ‘not have a boss’. But now I realise business is so much more than that. It’s an exciting and challenging journey. Tribe is fulfilling a niche market, and I feel motivated everyday to help Aussie women with their skin.
Q:The Launch Gals is a movement that encourages women who want more, to find it or create it for themselves, what would you say to the women who may be scared to take that next step?
A: There is never going to be a right time. You just need to start, and continue working through each step and connecting the dots until you create something that somewhat resembles a business. It’s not going to be perfect from the beginning, so do what you can, and always be looking forward.
If you already have a business and are feeling scared to take the next steps to scale it, figure out what is working for you and focus your time and money on that aspect of your business. A narrow focus can lead to great productivity and success. I focus heavily on Instagram to generate our web traffic (and then sales) so this is where a lot of my time and marketing spend is going. If I also had a pinterest, youtube and snapchat account to manage, I would have less time to put into Instagram. So I simply do not have these other platforms. Once Tribe’s instagram was converting well, I started scaling it by using influencer marketing to grow the audience. It’s a lot less scary to take a small step than a big step. So take a little step everyday and it can lead to big progress over time.
Just for a bit of fun!
Q: When I face a big challenge…
Aap out what little steps need to be taken and start chipping away at the bigger task ahead.
Q: The most courageous thing I’ve ever done as a woman is…
Started a business!
Q: The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
You can’t be something for everyone.
Q: My BGP (best gal pal!) would describe me as…
Driven, positive, and a little bit quirky.
Q: My go-to beverage order is…
Cider! But I did just enjoy a few too many Singapore slings on holidays last week!
Q: One book I’ve read that I’ve considered life changing is…
‘Water For Elephants. This was the first book I read in my adult life, and it inspired my love for reading.
q: My favorite quote is…
‘Control the controllable!’
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