This is a new series where I will feature a founder of a beauty brand that I admire and grill them about their business and inspirations. This month I am interviewing Alice Hart-Davies, a very remarkable lady who has made a real impact in the beauty scene. A beauty journalist, she is the author of two books about skincare for teenagers and set up Good Things to cater for young skins. Alice’s work has not gone un-noticed, she has won the Achiever Award from Cosmetic Executive Women UK, and is on the judging panels for several beauty industry awards such as the Aesthetic Dentistry Awards, British Hairdresser of the Year, and the Marie Claire Prix D’Excellence de la Beauté product awards. She took five minutes out from her busy schedule to answer my questions.
What made you decide to bite the bullet and set up your own beauty business?
I wrote a beauty book for teenagers with my eldest daughter, Molly Hindhaugh, and while we were working on this, we developed the idea of launching a skincare line for young skin. Launching a brand from scratch is a slow and expensive business and not something that I would have been able to do on my own, but I was fortunate to find partners with the right expertise, after which Good Things began to take shape. It took a good two years from drawing board to launch.
What is the concept behind Good Things?
In a nutshell, it’s gentle cleansing and care with superfruit beauty boosters, to make the most of young skin. We wanted to create a brand that would look fresh and appealing to young women, that would offer them gentle, effective products with great formulas packed with hard-working ingredients, that smelled great and felt lovely to use — and that was extremely affordable.
What sort of research did you do to find out what worked best on teenage and sensitive skin?
With my partners and our formulator, we put together our thoughts and experience on which type of products and ingredients were most beneficial and helpful for young skin. The products in the range, and the ingredients in the products, developed from there.
How did you decide on the packaging, look and feel of the brand?
With some brilliant creative input on the design side! We wanted something that would look fresh and distinctive, that would appeal to young women and also stand out on the shelf.
What are your future plans for Good Things?
We’re looking at extending the range and developing our sales overseas.
What are your favourite beauty products?
You mean apart from Good Things? How long have you got? I love a good mascara – two in my bag at the moment are Chanel’s Inimitable in black and Liz Earle’s Smudgeproof mascara in dark brown. The older I get, the more I can’t get away without primer – two I love just now are Dermalogica’s Skinperfect Primer SPF30 and Murad’s Skin Perfecting Primer, both of which have a tint to improve the look of skin as well as its texture. I’m also loving Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Colour Cheek Tint in Nude Beach foundation for a quick summery bronzy blusher which works well on eyes as well as cheeks, and Guerlain’s Rouge G de Guerlain l’Extrait, a bright, smooth, liquid lip colour that dries to a velvety finish.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business?
Think long and hard about your business plan, how you will finance the business, how and why your products will be different to everything else that’s out there and how you will bring them to people’s attention. It is always a lovely idea to set up a beauty business but as anyone who has done it will tell you, it is hard work. It is also an intensely crowded and competitive market, and unless you huge amounts of money to spend on advertising and promotions, getting your products noticed is uphill work requiring dedicated effort and creative PR strategies.