Tell us about H.A.N.D.
Have a Nice Day Goods (H.A.N.D) is a luxury sanitising scent range made from premium perfume materials such as Bulgarian Rose, Mimosa and West Australian Sandalwood. It is packaged in a glass perfume bottle and is a sustainable choice as refills can also be purchased. We use skincare ingredients such as panthenol and Hyaluronic Acid to combat the drying effects of the alcohol to ensure that your hands are left clean, soft and smelling amazing.
The fragrances have been created from essential oils that are antibacterial and gentle on the skin – they are designed to support us in troubled times and give a sensory respite. Rose and Kunzea is like a hug from your favourite person, Mimosa and Lemon Myrtle is like sunshine in a bottle (my friend is a drug and alcohol councillor, and she uses this fragrance for stress relief as well as protection), and West Australian Sandalwood and Cedar is like a long walk in the forest – it can help ground you and keep you focused on what is important.
10ml pocket size in a pouch with a mini funnel, and 50 and 100ml refills are available through our online store and selected retailers in Australia.
What inspired you to start H.A.N.D.?
I like the products I use to look good and smell good! I couldn’t find a sanitiser that I wanted to buy – the smell, drying effects on the hands and plastic packaging meant that they were generally poor offerings, so I created my own. I had the materials so I made some for myself and for friends who loved perfume or had sensitive skin. Everyone who used it told me they loved it. Feedback was that it didn’t dry the hands out, a friend’s cuticles had started to heal and my neighbour who is a lash artist told me her clients commented on how lovely her hands smell. The lightbulb went off and I worked with a cosmetic chemist to create a new kind of sanitiser. I decided to create H.A.N.D as I now knew there were others like me who wanted more than a standard sanitiser.
Tell us about your career and background.
I have a business called The Powder Room, and I create perfume and beauty products for brands. I am also the Australian and NZ licensee for a French Perfume school, so I teach Perfume Masterclasses all around Australia for private, public and corporate events. I love what I do as I am a complete beauty geek – it’s not just a job but a lifelong obsession with all things perfume and beauty.
I created my first beauty brand called Taylored Potions when I was a teen, and would negotiate with my parents on how much makeup I was allowed to wear. I mean, I was contouring when I was 17 which was in the early 90’s!
I have been in the industry for 27 years. I started as a travelling makeup artist for Estee Lauder and remember vividly my first perfume launch – it’s actually classified as a vintage perfume now. I worked my way up to a sales rep and then moved to London so I could discover more brands and learn about the industry from a global perspective. I was fortunate enough to work for amazing brands such as L’Occitane, Pehaligon’s, Floris and Miller Harris. I was immersed in the world of perfume and I loved every minute. I started The Powder Room 12 years ago when I came home. I am particularly passionate about artisan perfume, I have a deep respect for the art and the skill and years of training required to become a perfumer. I love finding interesting ingredients and I specialise in creating innovative and fun products.
Describe a typical work day for you.
I would love to say I get up early and go for a run and am in my studio by 8am, but that’s just not me. One of the reasons I started my business was I hate working to regimented times. I am a night owl, and I do my best braining in the afternoon and early evening. If I have time, I will walk into the city from my home in Richmond around 9.30. I work across many projects for different clients so I use that time to plan my day to ensure I stay on top of everything. I will spend a bit of time reading beauty trade newsletters, and chatting with Carmel, who does the marketing and social media for H.A.N.D.
I might have a call with a client to discuss a new perfume or products we are working on, I might chat with the cosmetic chemist, or the contract manufacturer I work with. I may have to find packaging, or research new ingredients for product ideas so I can write product briefs. I particularly love chatting with the perfumers I work with and evaluating their submission for projects. At times I will have a call with my French perfume house or bottle supplier at night. Pre-covid, I might meet a friend for a cocktail and dinner after work, but since launching H.A.N.D I am finding I am staying later at my studio.
How are you navigating operating your business during COVID-19?
When it all started, all of my perfume masterclasses were cancelled, a perfume project I was working on for a Saudi Arabian jeweller was cancelled, and I had to delay the launch on a brand I have been working on for years. There were some sleepless nights for sure! But then I created H.A.N.D, and it was all consuming and gave me a focus. I tend to obsess over small details!
I have also had to think about how I am going to run my masterclasses in the future. Luckily one of my clients was open to ideas and I ran a class for 60 people using Webex. I sent my Olfactoriums all around Australia via courier so there was a bit of logistics involved, but it worked well so I will develop this idea further. I was fortunate enough to be successful in gaining a grant from the City of Melbourne to help develop H.A.N.D.
What advice do you have for those wanting to start a business?
Get a book keeper! Don’t give your ideas away. Understand your worth and what you offer, and charge accordingly. Get everything in writing, you may honour your word but others don’t always.
What’s next for you, and H.A.N.D.?
Hand sanitisers are a part of our life now. I believe the product I have created offers consumers more choice so I plan to keep going with H.A.N.D. Once we get a bigger audience and more retailers, I will launch more products in the range. I have been working on a cuticle product made from rose wax – it’s amazing.
I really loved creating my own brand so I hope to launch more brands of my own. I have one other brand ready to launch when things settle down (and I find the capital!) and a book filled with brand and product ideas. I have started a new brand with a friend that we hope to launch in summer. I will continue to consult for other brands, as I love being able to help them bring their ideas to life.