How My Maternity Side Hustle Became a Multi-Award Winning Global Business

How My Maternity Side Hustle Became a Multi-Award Winning Global Business

Our founder, Elaine was recently interviewed by Kidspot. The story of how she started Melvory Skincare with just $80, to what it is today, is pretty incredible! 

Click here to read the Kidspot article.

Melvory Australia Featured on Kidspot

Melvory Australia Featured on Kidspot

The interview:

1. Tell us your story and what made you start Melvory Skincare?

I started making organic body butter for my 2 girls when they were babies and were suffering from itchy, dry and rashy skin. They reacted to many brands of store-bought creams and after months of crying, bleeding sheets and sleepless nights, I decided to combine my pharmaceutical knowledge and the best of natural plant oils and butters to create a soothing cream for my babies. It was a relief for the whole family when their skin started to improve and was cleared of red, itchy rashes.

2. Wow, that is amazing! At what point did you turn it into a business?

Seeing how well my organic butters did to improve my babies' skin, I then made more to give to my friends, who also found that their babies’ skin got better really quickly. One of their posts went viral on Facebook and before I knew it, we had hundreds of mums contacting me on Facebook wanting to buy a tub!
So I started the business with just $80 in my account, making a few tubs at a time, while being a mum to my children. The positive reviews just kept rolling in.

The demand for our trusted Melvory products has grown so much since then, we now have over 45 different products in store - from cleansers, serums, creams and even lipsticks! All our products are pregnancy and breastfeeding safe so mums can have confidence when buying our skincare and makeup.

Melvory Market StallsIn the beginning, Elaine would take her girls - a baby and a toddler to weekend markets where she stood for 12 hours long to try and sell her products.

3 . Tell us the timeline of your journey - how did you get to where you are now?
When I first started, with no marketing background or any experience in business, I sold my creams to friends and family. I was a bit like an Avon lady, messaging and texting everyone I know "Hey, would you like to try my body butter?"

As more orders came in, I then opened a Facebook page and an Instagram page. I had about 10 followers *laughs*. We didn't have a website, so I would take orders manually, pack and then ship the parcels.

When my 2nd daughter was about 9 months old, I decided to try selling at local weekend markets. Those days were long and hard - 12 hours on my feet with a breastfeeding baby and a toddler. I think some people may have felt sorry for me so they bought my stuff. But these customers became life-long customers and my all time cheerleaders. I am so grateful for them.

In 2017, I taught myself how to build a website! Yay! That was when things started to move really fast. I then learnt how to run marketing campaigns online, all the time maintaining an authentic presence on social media. Soon we had thousands of followers worldwide. Instagram became a platform for overseas distributors to find us and now we are stocked in 6 other countries besides Australia with many loyal customers globally. 

In 2019, we moved the business out of our home and into a warehouse with a dedicated manufacturing laboratory.

In 2020, we had our 3rd baby, a baby boy! Oh my heart can't be fuller. Our family grew and our family business is also growing! It is a very exciting time for us and I feel extremely blessed.

4 years into the business, Melvory Australia now makes and sells over 45 amazing skincare and natural makeup products. All pregnancy and breastfeeding safe.

4. What was it like starting a business from scratch while juggling young children?

It was hectic! My story is not an overnight success. It was months of working many hours late into the night, lots of tears, sweat and sacrifices. My children don't go to bed early, most nights they sleep at 9pm. So it is only after 10pm that I could start working in the lab while hubby works in our home office to pack and ship orders.

Our days and weekends were poured into our family business. Everyday was exhausting but I genuinely enjoy making skincare products and every time we hear a mum tell us how much their skin and their baby's skin improved after using our Melvory products, I just feel so so happy!

5. I admire your tenacity, Elaine! Tell us some of your biggest achievements since starting Melvory Skincare.

I’m extremely proud of all my achievements, and I am glad I didn’t throw in the towel when times got tough. With every order that Melvory Skincare receives, we put some money aside and donate that to children living in extreme poverty in Kenya. Having experienced hunger as a young child, my heart is to do what I can to feed vulnerable children who would otherwise be starving on the streets.

To date, Melvory Skincare has donated over 250,000 meals to feed them, provide them with an education and healthcare to help them stay alive and well during this pandemic.

Melvory Skincare has donated well over 250,000 meals to feed children living in extreme poverty in Kenya. Read more here.

6. What is your secret to growing such a successful business while being a mum of 3?
No secret really, just a lot of hardwork and determination. There were times when things got tough, and I just wanted to curl into a ball and cry, but I would think about all the families we are impacting - the many lives changed because of our products, healing so many children from debilitating skin problems. And all the kids in Kenya that we feed. These reasons keep me fighting. They are my purpose, the fire in my belly and I keep going because I know I am doing something good for this world.

Elaine was named South Australian Mum in Business in 2019 and also received 8 AusMumpreneur Awards in 2021.