[7 MINUTE READ]
Happy Friday everyone! It’s been a rainy few days here in London, but that is no excuse not to look forward to sunnier days ahead.
This week, we had the pleasure of chatting to Megan Gordon, Co-Founder and CEO of Beached. Beached is an Aussie beauty brand that aims to take the fuss and waste out of the beauty industry through its multi-purpose products.
"Beached beauty has a deep love and respect for the great outdoors and understands that there is more to life than beauty."
Welcome to CAROLINA GMX Megan! Could you start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel it has influenced you today?
Thanks so much! I was brought up on the Gold Coast in Australia and lived a very outdoorsy lifestyle, playing a lot of sport and spending endless days at the beach. My Aussie upbringing has certainly shaped who I am today and inspired me to start Beached beauty. Beached beauty has a deep love and respect for the great outdoors and understands that there is more to life than beauty.
I definitely get that sense, even from the bottles! How did you get started in the beauty industry?
The beauty industry and the start-up world were completely new to me. Before Beached beauty, I worked at Barclays head office in Communications, which I really loved. That was my first job since moving to London from Australia, and I really noticed that women in the office made a lot of effort with their appearance compared to what I was used to back home. I was surprised at how much they had to carry around in their bags to freshen up after work; the beauty routines seemed cumbersome and wasteful.
I always found the cultural differences really interesting, but it wasn’t until I was back home that I came up with the idea for Beached beauty. I was admiring the way women in Australia care less about looking done up or perfect and opt for the ‘less is more’ approach. I don’t think it is so much about the beach, it is a sustainable lifestyle choice and a state of mind.
So, with Beached beauty, I wanted to give women a choice. No matter where they are, no matter what the weather, they can choose to buy smarter and have fewer, harder working products, so there is not as much faff and waste.
It totally makes sense! What is Beached beauty’s approach to sensitive skin and allergies?
It is definitely important to us! Our formulas are at least 97% natural and free of nasties, not because all synthetics are bad, but because I believe in the tremendous power of nature. If you can use effective natural products and avoid any concerns surrounding synthetics, then why wouldn’t you?
I couldn’t agree more! So how do you consider your customer’s potentially allergic reactions or sensitivities throughout the manufacturing process and when selecting ingredients?
Natural ingredients don’t always mean they’re skin-friendly; in fact, many can cause sensitivities. So, we’re careful to use naturals that have a proven track record of being good for your skin, and try to avoid those that we know are prone to causing irritation. From psoriasis to keratosis pilaris, we have helped numerous customers who suffer from skin problems.
That is so awesome! We are always really keen to hear about what brands are doing in terms of sustainability too. Could you describe what the Beached beauty approach to sustainability is?
I am incredibly passionate and hands-on when it comes to how we make our products. By that, I mean the impact on our planet. We are by no means perfect, but with everything we are doing and all the plans we are building, I keep asking myself and the team what could we be doing better and how can we make a difference.
At Beached beauty, we put our money where our mouth is by encouraging women to buy less, not more, banning unnecessary outer packaging (a marketing ploy!), and making our bottles from 100% recycled plastic. As we move forward, we will build on this by moving our range to aluminium packaging and offering eco-friendly refills. Watch this space!
We will! Your commitment to sustainability is very encouraging. Do you think consumers are more conscious of the ingredients in their beauty and skincare products nowadays?
Yes and no. Now, more than ever, consumers are researching and educating themselves on ingredients, and indie brands are setting new standards when it comes to authenticity and transparency. However, there are still many consumers who aren’t as interested and fall prey to the greenwashing and clever marketing that goes on in the industry. For example, many brands proudly display lines that read: “100% organic Jojoba oil” or “100% natural fragrance” on the front of the pack. Naturally, consumers are led to believe that these products are natural when, in actual fact, the natural ingredients make up a fraction of the overall product.
Wow, that is very thought-provoking. Marketing definitely plays a huge role in consumer activity! Moving back to Beached beauty, what were your biggest challenges in starting up the company?
The biggest challenge was - and is - getting women to reappraise what they have become used to for years, and breaking the cycle of buying more stuff, which they don't need. We want women to buy less by using smart, quality formulations that do more than one job.
I personally love a multi-purpose product. It just makes sense… Plus, it takes up less room when you travel! What strategies do you think have been key to the success of Beached beauty?
The most crucial thing for any brand nowadays is to have a strong set of values and sense of purpose. From our mission to reduce waste to our transparency, our customers and partners like supporting us because we are genuinely trying to make a difference.
Totally! It makes a huge difference! What is your favourite thing about your job?
Without a doubt, it is reading customer reviews. I knew we were onto something special when the customer reviews started coming in. I had women reaching out to say that they had tried every product under the sun and had almost given up before they found Beached beauty. So many customers are grateful to have products that do more than one thing as it is better value and makes their lives easier! It is during these moments that I realise all the late nights and early starts are worth it.
"We encourage women to own less beauty products and spend less time getting ready."
And what does an average day look like for you?
In the start-up world, no two days are the same, but typically it starts with a call with my Co-Founder to check-in and prioritise the day’s work. Following that, I could be working on anything from social and email campaigns to product development or financial forecasting.
It sounds really busy. Have you been able to create a work/life balance?
I recently became a Mum, so I’ve been working part-time for the past few months to spend quality time with my daughter, Ada, and adapt to this new stage of my life. For the most part, I am good at setting work boundaries, but this is now more important than ever. I have to learn to be smarter and more efficient with my time so that I can properly enjoy my time off with my daughter.
That is wonderful! Congratulations! And which is your favourite product in the Beached beauty range?
This is always a tough one, but if I had to choose one product to be stuck on a desert island with, it would have to be Rays for Days; you can use it in so many ways! Not only is it amazing for your skin as it contains lots of Vitamin C, but it gives you the most beautiful, natural-looking glow that I’d be absolutely lost without. I mix it with a tinted SPF when I want to use it as a base, but you can also use it to highlight and as eye shadow when heading out.
I have to try that! So, what do you think makes Beached beauty stand out?
Beyond the bold, vibrant colours, Beached beauty is unique because - unlike other brands - we encourage women to own less beauty products and spend less time getting ready. We are all about supercharged, natural products that can be used quickly and in more than one way.
That is definitely unique in the beauty industry. Could you describe your biggest “pinch-me” moment since starting Beached beauty?
It would have to be receiving coverage in some of my favourite magazines like Vogue and Stylist. Also, receiving endorsements from the likes of Jodie Kidd and Bryony Blake has been pretty special.
Wow! You definitely have a lot to celebrate. What inspires you?
Nature. Being outdoors inspires me to not only share the power of nature within our products, but also to protect it and ensure nature will still be there to be enjoyed by our children.
That’s a very real concern. What words do you live by?
“Work hard, play hard” has always been a mantra of mine as it reminds me that there is more to life than work and you need to have fun along the way. I should really update it to “work hard, play hard, rest hard” though as it is super important to have some “you” time too.
100%! What’s next for Beached beauty?
Our next stage is all about sustainable expansion; we want to expand our range and our reach in the right way. We are working behind the scenes to develop truly sustainable packaging and lead the way with products that are natural, vegan and biodegradable.