Madonna is the founder and creator of Anise Botanical Skincare, and a firm believer in sourcing organically. Founded by passion over 15 years ago, Madonna's Business draws on her Scandinavian roots with its simple, clean lines and minimalist values. She produces with only the finest, pure ingredients and botanical essences, her skincare contains no artificial fragrances, parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, pesticide or herbicide residues, synthetic preservatives, fillers or whiteners.
It’s a simple philosophy that I appreciate - as well as how beautiful the packaging looks on my bathroom shelf. So without further ado, meet Madonna, and the skincare that's making my skin glow as winter draws in.
1. Give us your elevator pitch:
Produced in Australia from the finest, pure ingredients and botanical essences, Anise Botanical Skincare is a pure and chemical free range of skincare suitable for the entire family. Our simple philosophy is mirrored in our functional glass bottles and matt-white labels. Designed for a modern Australian lifestyle, our products are as beautiful in your home as they are on your skin.
2. What did you do before starting Anise Botanical Skincare?
I have been making natural skincare for over 15 years but this particular range was launched only 5 months ago. I started my first business at 25 and haven't looked back since then.
3. What made you start this business here and now?
I wanted to create a range of skincare that was not only pure and high quality but also looked amazing sitting on the kitchen sink. Its not just skincare but a lifestyle and homewares range that suits many different purposes. The products are designed to be multi-use and our labels come with suggestions such as blending our cream and wash together to make a mild face cleanser. It harks back to our pure and simple philosophy.
4. What are the key elements that go into creating Anise Skin's unique vibe?
My family on my mothers side are Swedish and I have always been drawn to Scandinavian style and simplicity. This design aesthetic is mirrored in our packaging - simple amber glass with matte white labels. Beautifully functional, pure & simple.
5. What do you love most about running your own creative businesses?
I just love the process. I think a lot of creative people would say the same thing. In the beginning its not really about commerce. You create something you love like you are fulfilling a deep need within yourself and when people respond positively to it then it becomes something you can make a living from. Being able to make money from something that you create with your own two hands would have to be one of the most satisfying things there is. I'd like to say that the hours are flexible and I get my weekends off but its not that glamorous yet. It's a lot of hard work and hopefully you get some little wins along the way to let you know you're on the right track.
6. If you could go back in time to tell your younger, inexperienced self one thing about starting a creative business, what would it be?
Have some faith! When I look back, I see a person who was always in a hurry to get somewhere - to be 'successful'. I have achieved some really great things both personally and professionally but I was in such a hurry to move to the next stepping stone that I missed a lot of the enjoyment of those experiences. Slow down. The beauty is in the details and some of my biggest mistakes have led to some of my most fortunate situations. Trust the experience.
7. Give us three awesome tools that simplify your workflow as a creative and entrepreneur.
+ I use Shopify for my website and online store and I am constantly finding more apps and add ons that help me to do the most amazing things. They also have a great blog with lots of business tips.
+ I use quickbooks online and have the app on my iphone. It is such an easy to use bookkeeping and invoicing program.
+ I use pack and send online www.packandsend.com.au to send my wholesale orders. They give you a choice of up to 6 freight options with prices so you don't need to be tired to no freight company for all of your needs.
8. Which other design / creative brands inspire you?
I am constantly inspired by Yumiko Sekine from Fog Linen www.foglinenwork.com . Her amazing quality linens and simple design aesthetic is just beautiful, I cant ever have enough of it and her style never fades.
9. What’s the first website you load when you wake up in the morning?
My emails and my own website..the back end of it anyway. I like to check over the orders I have for the day ahead.
10. What’s your favourite hashtag?
#naturalbeauty I like to think that we attract the kind of customer who aspires to be a natural beauty in many more ways than one..
11. How do you like to recharge creatively? (Where do you go, what do you do?)
I spend a lot of time alone in my business so I love to meet up with friends who also have creative businesses, share ideas and catch up. I always come home with renewed focus. I am a serial internet researcher as well so a lot of my recharge time comes from seeking out inspiration from this amazing world of creative people that we all live in. Often at 2am and always with a hot cup of tea..