$5K/Month – Building A Natural Skincare Brand in Australia – Mel Young of Flowerdale Valley

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 57:18)


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Mel young, founder of Flowerdale valley shares how her desire to be her own boss and spend more time with her kids propelled her to start a natural skincare brand. Mel also shares how she has grown her business organically over time and grown as an entrepreneur by challenging herself every step of the way.

Episode Summary

Mel Young” shares her journey from creating Australian-made skincare products as wedding favors to growing a successful business selling online and at markets. She emphasizes the importance of idea validation, product market fit, and understanding one’s customer base. Mel found the most success selling on eBay and targets women over 40 who value gentle, transparent skincare products. She also discusses her experience with becoming comfortable on camera and expanding her brand to include microbiome-friendly products. Throughout her seven-year business journey, Mel learned valuable lessons, including the importance of defining expectations when hiring contractors and the need for self-motivation to overcome challenges. She encourages viewers to pursue entrepreneurship if it’s a dream and invites them to visit her website or contact her directly to purchase her products.

  • 00:00:00 In this section of the Tre Talks YouTube video, host Sushant interviews Mel Young, the founder of Flowerdale Valley, a business that creates Australian-made skincare products using plant-based ingredients. Mel shares her entrepreneur journey, revealing that she had always wanted to start her own business and was inspired to create a skincare line after making wedding favors for a bride. Her first product was a balm based on a skincare recipe she learned from CLE Patra. Over time, she expanded her product line to include aromatherapy and candles, wax bombs, clay masks, face oils, and moisturizers. Mel continues to make all of her products at home in a dedicated room, allowing her to be with her children and cater to her introverted nature.
  • 00:05:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the entrepreneur shares her experience of starting a business from home to sell wedding favors and eventually transitioning into a skincare product company. She initially sold her products at a reception center and then set up an eBay store, which she considers an excellent way for new businesses to start selling online without investing much time or money. After seeing the success of online sales, she started selling at local markets to meet new customers and build long-term relationships. Eventually, she moved to a larger market in the city to expand her customer base and gather valuable feedback on her products. Throughout her journey, Mel emphasizes the importance of freedom and control over one’s time in entrepreneurship.
  • 00:10:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the speaker discusses the importance of idea validation and product market fit through customer feedback. He uses the example of testing a product in a small market to determine if people are willing to buy it. The speaker also touches upon the significance of competition and uniqueness in creating demand. He mentions that while some of his products may not be particularly unique, his offerings extend beyond what competitors provide, making his customer base more diverse. The speaker also shares his experience of being one of the first sellers of hyaluronic acid serum on eBay, which continues to sell well due to positive customer reviews. The speaker also mentions selling on other marketplaces, including Amazon, which is significant in Australia.
  • 00:15:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the speaker discusses her experience selling her homemade skincare products online. She mentions trying various platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay but found the most success on eBay. The speaker explains that her customer base consists mainly of women over 40 who want gentle skincare products and value transparency from the brand. She shares that she had to focus on marketing her products effectively to reach her customers online, which was a challenge for her. She also emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s customer base and creating products that cater to their needs.
  • 00:20:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the speaker discusses her experience with becoming comfortable on camera and how it led to the growth of her business. She began by participating in a course that helped her overcome self-doubt and learn to be confident on camera. Through repetition and consistent video creation, she became comfortable with being on camera and was able to attract local businesses to stock her products. The speaker emphasizes the importance of being comfortable on camera for personal growth and business success. She no longer does Instagram lives but continues to create videos to reach her customers and showcase the transparency of her skincare products. The speaker avoids making promises about results and instead focuses on educating customers about the ingredients and benefits of her products.
  • 00:25:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the speaker discusses the approach he takes with his skincare business, focusing on transparency and honesty due to regulations surrounding product claims. He emphasizes that his products primarily help hydrate and moisturize the skin, comparing them to homemade skincare. He targets customers who are looking for gentle hydration as they age or those who have damaged their skin barrier from previous use of various products. The speaker also mentions that he fulfills e-commerce orders from home, handling packaging and shipping, but has outsourced tasks like website creation to freelance platforms when needed.
  • 00:30:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the entrepreneur discusses her approach to selling handmade products with imperfect photography and the importance of aligning brand image with product presentation. She primarily sells within Australia but occasionally receives inquiries from overseas customers. Mel shares her future vision for her business, which involves growing organically and expanding product lines, particularly in the area of skin care. About a year ago, she recognized the need to outsource certain products and partnered with a manufacturing company to create two new moisturizers for her brand, which are set to arrive soon. Mel is passionate about the skin microbiome and plans to offer a range of products that cater to this aspect of skin health. The postbiotic-infused moisturizers, which have been fermented to improve their effectiveness, are an exciting addition to her business.
  • 00:35:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the speaker discusses her vision for expanding her skin care brand to include microbiome-friendly products and the importance of learning and growing in business. She mentions her organic marketing strategies, including a blog on her website, which helps improve Google rankings and establishes her as an authority in the skin care industry. The speaker also expresses her plans to focus more on paid marketing platforms like Facebook and Instagram ads to reach new customers.
  • 00:40:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the entrepreneur discusses how she transitioned from attending markets to running her business primarily online. She explains that she made this change to be able to spend more time at home with her children. When asked about how much time she spends on her business each day, Mel reveals that she can spend entire days focused on her business and then take breaks to fulfill orders and do other tasks. She mentions that she offers a special monthly deal to her customers as a way to be generous and encourage them to try new products. Overall, Mel emphasizes the importance of setting up a business to allow for flexibility and freedom.
  • 00:45:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the entrepreneur shares insights from her seven-year business journey, highlighting mistakes she made and the lessons learned. One of her biggest regrets was buying bulk items, such as baskets and bags, for her customers, only to discover they were slow sellers. This mistake tied up her cash flow and resulted in unsold stock. Another lesson was the importance of clearly defining expectations when hiring contractors. Mel emphasized that she had no business experience when she started and that entrepreneurs learn as they go. In response to a rapid-fire question, she recommended the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, explaining that it teaches the importance of becoming a businessperson.
  • 00:50:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the speaker expresses excitement about innovative products that make everyday tasks more user-friendly, such as the Dyson vacuum cleaner. He also recommends keeping up with monthly bookkeeping as a productivity tip for entrepreneurs. The speaker is currently interested in Tim Ferriss and his approach to business, which focuses on experimentation and data gathering. The best business advice he has received or would give to other entrepreneurs is to pursue entrepreneurship if it’s a dream, and to keep going despite setbacks.
  • 00:55:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Mel Young,” the entrepreneur discusses the challenges of starting a business and the importance of staying motivated despite criticism and financial struggles. Mel acknowledges that not everyone should be an entrepreneur and that it requires a specific mindset to take risks and keep going despite setbacks. He emphasizes the need for self-motivation and the end goal to overcome these challenges. Mel then invites viewers to purchase his products by visiting www.flowerdalevally.com or contacting him directly.

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Mel young of Flowerdale Valley

[00:00:08] Introduction to Treptalks
[00:01:00] Mel’s Introduction
[00:02:00] Mel’s Entrepreneurial Journey
[00:03:00] Transition to Skincare Business
[00:04:00] Product Expansion
[00:05:00] Working from Home
[00:06:00] Initial Sales Channels
[00:07:00] Market Testing & Customer Feedback
[00:14:49] Exploring Marketplaces
[00:16:00] Shifting Focus to Online Sales
[00:17:00] Adapting to Customer Needs During COVID
[00:18:00] Understanding Target Market
[00:19:00] Importance of Marketing and Social Media
[00:20:00] Overcoming Challenges with Video Content
[00:22:00] Leveraging Instagram Reels for Engagement
[00:23:00] Transparency in Product Offerings and Claims
[00:29:36] Website Feedback and Brand Image
[00:30:00] Balancing Imperfection with Sales
[00:31:00] Domestic vs. International Sales
[00:32:00] Expanding Product Lines and Outsourcing
[00:33:00] Embracing Skincare Microbiome
[00:34:00] Future Vision for the Business
[00:35:00] Marketing Strategies: Blogging and SEO
[00:36:00] Time Management and Work-Life Balance
[00:43:03] Building Passive Income and Time Freedom
[00:44:00] Lessons Learned: Bulk Purchasing and Contractor Management
[00:45:00] Business Mistakes and Lessons Learned
[00:46:00] Rapid Fire Segment: Book Recommendation
[00:47:00] Rapid Fire Segment: Innovative Product Excitement
[00:48:00] Rapid Fire Segment: Productivity Tip
[00:49:00] Rapid Fire Segment: Business Inspiration
[00:50:00] Final Thoughts and Product Purchase Information

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley

  1. Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: The E-Myth by Michael Gerber)
  2. An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: Dyson Vacuum Cleaners)
  3. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend/Productivity Tip. (Response: Consolidation)
  4. A startup or business (in ecommerce, retail, or tech) that you think is currently doing great things. (Response🙂
  5. A peer entrepreneur or businessperson whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response:)
  6. One networking tip or building and sustaining valuable professional relationships.
  7. Best business advice you ever received (Response:  
    Believe and persevere)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey there entrepreneurs, my name is Sushant and welcome to Treptalks. This is the show where I interview successful e commerce entrepreneurs, business executives, and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses.

And today I’m really excited to welcome Mel Young to the show. Mel is the founder of Flowerdale Valley. Flowerdale Valley creates Australian made skincare products out of plant based ingredients. And all of their products are handmade in small batches. And today I’m going to ask Mel a few questions about her entrepreneur journey and some of the strategies and tactics that she has used to start and grow her business.

So Mel, thank you so much for joining me today, uh, at Treptox. And I know you’re joining from Australia. So thank you for, for joining me today, bright and early.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Oh, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure. [00:01:00]

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So very interesting business. You’ve started a skincare products line, uh, made out of natural ingredients, uh, or plant, plant based ingredients.

So can you share a little bit about your story? You know, what were you doing before you started this business and what really kind of inspired you to start a skincare products business?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Sure. So I had a lot of different jobs before I did, um, this business, but I always knew I wanted to have my own business.

Like I always had that thought in my mind that I would, uh, do my own thing one day. And so it was always there. And, uh, I was working in kitchens mainly, so cooking jobs, uh, were what I did a lot of. And when I had my children, um, I was working at a local place that was doing weddings and functions and things like that.

And, [00:02:00] um, I, they asked me to do some wedding favours for a bride that was getting married there because I was married at the time to a beekeeper. Um. And we had local honey. So I did that and started a little wedding favor business. Um, that eventually became the skincare business because, uh, I’d always loved skincare.

It was always what I spent all my money on and, uh, really enjoyed making my own soap and, and lotions and things like that, but had never. Done it as a business, but doing the wedding favors, uh, Made me sort of go out and find jars and labels and and things like that and gave me the confidence to take that First step so I continued with wedding favors for a while Then where everybody gets a little [00:03:00] present on the wedding table so you might do a hundred little tiny jars of something and And it was very fiddly and very time consuming.

So, um, after starting in that direction of wedding favors, I then decided to stick with skincare and we had a lot of beeswax. So I started with this product, which is Bee Balm and, uh, this is what it looks like and just all the actual. Based around a, uh, skincare recipe, I learned that Cleopatra used on her skin many years ago.

So that was my first, my first product. I started with just one product and then eventually, um, started doing other products as well.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And right now it seems like you have a wide range of products. I see on your [00:04:00] website, you have aromatherapy and candles, be wax balms, you have clay mask, face oils, moisturizers, and so forth.

Uh, so it seems like you’ve kind of, um, built on your product line over time. How did you, so are you making all of these products on your own? Are you working with other. Um, like a facility that’s creating these products. How, how are you actually creating these items?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Yeah, well, I make them all at home. And so I have a room here that’s fully, um, made up as a, you know, with industrial benches and things like that.

And that’s where I make all the products. Um, so the reason I decided to do a business from home is because I wanted to be with my children. Um, and I wanted to, to be able to be at home because I’m a massive introvert. So those two [00:05:00] things were really important to me. Um, being at home with the kids. So was, was really a big, um.

Instrumental thing with me starting a business at home, and it just has worked doing it all from home.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, I think, you know, for a lot of entrepreneurs, it’s the freedom, right? So for you, it means having the freedom to stay at home with your kids. For other entrepreneurs, it’s like, you know, they want to have the freedom so they can go out and travel and, you know, do things they like.

Um, so I think it always comes down to freedom and having a, you know, control of your own time, which, which makes a lot of sense. So, so you have. Yeah. Um, so when you started out initially and you had one product and you were doing the wedding favors, um, how did you kind of, um, [00:06:00] um, you know, when you transitioned to like a skincare product company, like, did you, where did you start selling it for like, were you selling it locally still, or at what point did you actually get into an e commerce business model?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: So, Yeah. Um,

don’t, sorry. Can you cut that out, that little bit, ?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: It’s,

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: it’s not, um,

got a child at home today. Okay. . Um,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: no worries. That’s, that, that has happened in the past also, so don’t worry, don’t worry about, thank you. Yeah,

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: I got completely distracted. Um, so first I started selling the products that I was making at the reception center where I was working, and that was the only place [00:07:00] that I sold them.

Then I set up an eBay store, and I, I really think eBay or something similar to that is a great way to start your product selling business because you’re not paying, um, or putting in a lot of time to set up a, a website or spending a lot of money on an online presence. Uh, you’re just creating a little business.

Within a business that’s already there. So you’ve got the traffic coming to your to your products. Um, which was really great for me. So I started this eBay store. And from there, I could see that things would actually sell online. So, so that was so for a while there, I had the local reception center.

Another local business that wanted to stock my products and an eBay [00:08:00] store. And after a little while, um, I had two part time jobs at that time when I started the business, gradually I stopped working there. Those two jobs and decided to go to markets. So just a local like farmer’s market, things like that.

And those were pretty small, but I still have customers today who come to my online store who met me at a farmer’s market years ago and tried the product and liked it. So anybody just starting out, I think that a market is a terrific. Way to to meet new customers that become long term customers and when you stop doing the market They’ll still come to your online store So that was that was really brilliant and because those markets were only small [00:09:00] What I thought to myself is I want to get into a great market that has more customers So I started going to The market in the city here in Melbourne, uh, Victoria, that was like, had a lot of foot traffic.

This was before COVID, uh, a lot of foot traffic and. It was a weekly market in the middle of the city. So going there weekly was a really great way to meet customers as well. And a lot of those beautiful customers are still coming back to my store today. So I’m really grateful for that and think that that was a really great, um, Way to meet lots of customers.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Sorry. Also to see what people like and what they don’t like. And it can be a little bit [00:10:00] different, like what people want to buy online compared to what they want to buy at the stall. But. It was really interesting getting customer feedback right to your face and knowing exactly what people liked and didn’t like.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I think, I think that’s, uh, you know, that’s a great example of, you know, idea validation or product market fit where you basically test out your idea or product in a small way to, to make sure that it, you know, people want to buy it. Right. Like if, unless somebody wants to give you their money, like you don’t know if they’re, they’re willing to buy it.


Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Absolutely. To make like a little, a little batch of something, put the ingredients on it, take it to market, see if people are interested and, you know, not, you don’t have to continue with things if nobody’s interested in it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Exactly. Exactly. Uh, with low risk, right? So, um, [00:11:00] the products that you’re creating, like, are they, what is the competition in the market?

Like, are there other products that are similar that are in the market? Or, you know, the products that you’re creating are very unique. And so that’s what is creating the demand. Or is it really that, you know, um, like, for example, let’s say your bee balm, um, You know, you have a b bomb, but other people may have their own, uh, you know, b bombs as well, naturally made also.

And it really comes down to marketing and, you know, bringing your own or building your own customer base and so forth. Um, so that, you know, people are buying from you rather than like other sellers.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Yes. I don’t think that a lot of my products aren’t particularly unique. Um, you could get them At other places.

I think what I offer is. Like, there’s a lot of companies, for example, that just sell bee [00:12:00] product, um, skincare. So, you know, you could go there and get your honey lip balm and your, your bee balm for your face and things like that. But, but what I offer is, you know, actual moisturizers and serums and a cleansing balm.

Uh, that, that people can, you know, add those to the, to the order as well. So it makes it a bit, uh, more unique and also different things sell on different sites. So for example, on eBay, one product sells really well and then, um, but it’s not the best seller on my website, for example. So just having multiple products is.

Is a great strategy. I think, although you don’t want too many products, of course, but just having those, those, uh, different [00:13:00] things to different people. Also, you know, I have my products in a few local shops and the thing that sells well, you know, the best in those places are the candles usually, and maybe the bee bong.

I have a few different, different things to different people.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, that’s, that’s so interesting. I’m just thinking like, why, why does one product sell on eBay? Whereas, you know, other products sell on your website. Like, do you, have you tried to figure that out? Why, why that the reason?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: I was one of the first people on eBay.

selling hyaluronic acid, which is a serum. So first of all, I wanted to say before I started this, I had no training at all in how to make skincare. None. Basically I applied my cooking knowledge and what I’d been. [00:14:00] Sort of whipping up at home, uh, to my recipes and just tried them and so, and just took a, took a, took a punt on them to see what would happen.

So eventually I studied skincare and, you know, cosmetic manufacturing, but that was further down the track. Uh, so I was one of the first people selling hyaluronic serum on eBay. And for some reason, that’s just continued, I guess, because I have a lot of people that have bought it and left good reviews.

And then, so I was. Lucky with that. Mm. Um, so that’s why that sells really well on eBay, I think.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Do, are you on any other marketplaces as well? Is, is Amazon big in uh, Australia?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: It sure is. It sure is. And you know, it’s just a [00:15:00] matter of time that I haven’t on Amazon, to be honest. I also tried, I tried Etsy, um, but it wasn’t really a good fit for my brand.

It never really took off. Mm-Hmm. So. Even though it seems a bit of a funny thing to be selling on eBay, it, it was what I used as a buyer. So I felt comfortable going on that platform. And it just stayed on there, but I’m sure if I put time and energy into it, I could go into Amazon. I just, I don’t use it as a, as a buyer.

Isn’t that funny? You just don’t think.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, Amazon, I don’t, to be honest, I don’t know the Australian Amazon. I think I know, I mean, I’m in Canada, so I know it’s really easy to buy something on Amazon. So I use it quite a bit, but it could be different in Australia. So I don’t


Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: I think it’s pretty similar, but okay, but maybe not as big.

Yeah. [00:16:00]

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. So, um, I guess for you, because you’re manufacturing your products in your home, it’s relatively simple. I mean, you have your recipe, you can create it anytime you want. Um, does it really come down to your, you know, in terms of driving revenue for your business month after month and, you know, maybe even growing it is, it really comes down to how effectively you can put your products in front of the right kind of customer so that they can see your product and then they can buy it.

Um, what have you learned about your customer base? Like who, who’s kind of your target market?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: That was something that I really started paying attention to with COVID. So, because I was going to market and earning the vast proportion of my, uh, income from the market [00:17:00] store and some online sales, but. Let’s say that was supplementary. When COVID happened, I thought to myself, I’ve got to make this work online now because, you know, I have two children and myself.

So I wanted to, you know, really, really make this work. So I thought about, you know, what would my customer want? And that was when I started doing, uh, bulk products. So like one liter, um, bottles for people that love it and can buy a bigger,


Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: bottle. Also, um, refill packs so that they were really easy to post cause they could just go into an envelope and they were cheaper to post.

Um, and COVID was when I really thought to myself, you know, okay, uh, I have to reach my customer online. [00:18:00] What would she really be looking for? And, um, my demographic is women usually over the age of about 40. We want to take good care of our skin, but we, we feel a bit bamboozled with everything on the market.

And we just want some nice, gentle products that we know the ingredients are good for our skin. If I don’t, if I wouldn’t use it on myself, I don’t put it in my products. So, uh, it’s really important to me because my customers, a lot of them know my name and my email address. They know how to contact me on Instagram and things like that.

So I really need to be really transparent, uh, with them. So that has played a really massive role in just the products that I create. [00:19:00] And so at that time, I started to think a bit broader about what my customers would be wanting and decided to get better on social media because before that time I wasn’t hardly using it at all.

And this is something I think is really important for business owners to know is that, uh, it’s a lot of your business is going to be marketing. The vast majority of it is going to be. Marketing. So, and a lot of us, we start businesses because we’re good at making skincare or we’re good at, you know, maybe customer service or whatever it is that we’re selling.

We like that. And we’re good at it. We, but. If you want to have a successful business, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time marketing. And that was really a challenge for me. So I did a course that was [00:20:00] like, it was a great course and it was about, um, how to get on camera for your business and be confident on camera.

And it was just a group of us. And every day we did a Facebook live and videos. And basically just through repetition, you got really fine with being on camera because so many of us are so shy and not maybe not shy, but we’re not used to seeing ourselves on camera. You know, we have this self doubt and, and I think it’s massively important for your own personal growth as well to just.

Learn how to be on camera and be okay with that. So, uh, that time was when I started doing Instagram videos that had me in them sometimes. But a lot of the [00:21:00] time, and they were about customer service. So, oh, you’ve bought this product. Here’s how you can use it. This is what you can do with it. Um, or it might be things like recipes that were helpful for your skin or just how to make a face mask at home, things like that.

So I really broadened my. Thought about what my customer might like to see, what might make her laugh, what she might be interested in. And I tried to show up on Instagram and Facebook showing that. And through that, that was how I got a lot of my local, um, businesses contacting me and saying, we’d like to stock your products.

We’ve seen you on Instagram. So I think that was a really pivotal thing to, [00:22:00] to do is get really comfortable on camera and be okay with not being perfect on camera.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Are you still, are you still doing the Instagram lives or have you stopped?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Yeah, I don’t do Instagram lives. Um, and I don’t, I’ve never really done lives, but I did videos.

So reels. Yeah. Reels. Um, I still do them, yeah, I sort of took, we just moved house, so I took, um, a little bit of time off just recently and let the business just, just go without them for a couple of weeks, but yeah, I think it’s a terrific way to reach your customers. I mean, yeah,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: for sure. I mean, a big part of, you know, I guess skincare that is targeting, you know, as you said, your demographic is, you know, women over 40 years of age and, and so forth.

Um, I’m [00:23:00] assuming that when, you know, uh, when someone is going out in the market looking for skincare products, like they’re trying to achieve some goals with their skin, right? Maybe they have the fear that, you know, they want to men maintain their. you know, uh, their existing skin tone or something like that.

Or, you know, they want to, you know, whatever results that, uh, someone is trying to achieve. How do you, um, I mean, I can, I can see you have a very, you know, very nice skin, but like, is that part of, is that part of like, um, how do you, how do you convince a person? Because There’s so many chemicals. There’s so many products out there.

How do you convince someone that your product is going to get them the result that they’re looking for? Do you promise? Do you make some promises?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: No, I try not to. Um, I, I try not to make promises. Um, I, what [00:24:00] I, what I focus on is really showing the customers what’s in the product. So I might have a, you know, uh, A video where I’m showing everything in the product, everything as it’s going into the product as I’m making it, make it a bit interesting.

Uh, and I, I really like customers to, to see that transparency and then to, to sort of. I think that at that point, they’ll make up their own mind what, what, uh, you know, that that would be great for their skin and, and, and sometimes I’ll, I’ll like have an ingredient spotlight. So I’ll get a shea butter, for example.

And I’ll tell, tell you why shea butter is really great for your skin and what it’s used for and, and things like that. [00:25:00] So that’s sort of been my approach because you do have to be careful about, uh, things that you’re promising to your customers. Um, when you haven’t actually had your things tested for that, there’s quite a lot of regulation around what you’re allowed to say, what you’re not allowed to say.

Uh, for instance, you can’t make claims that your product is good for eczema or rosacea, things like that, certain skin conditions, unless you’ve had, you know, tests done on your product. that show that it’s great for that. So, so the way I got around that was just showing customers the ingredients and the process of making and being really open and honest, uh, in that, in that way.


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: these kind of products, they’re mostly, really what they’re doing is helping you [00:26:00] hydrate and moisturize. Like these are, essentially it’s an oil, right? So you’re basically hydrating and moisturizing.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Absolutely. That’s what I say that my products do. They’re kind of like the skin care that you would make if you were going to make your own skin care at home.

So, you know, have you, if you were making your own skin care at home, you wouldn’t skimp on the ingredients, you’d want to put really great stuff in there for your skin and you wouldn’t use anything like propylene, glycol or whatever that you went, I don’t know what that does, you know, you probably wouldn’t have access to that.

So that’s where my range comes in. It’s for people that. You know, they want to keep their skin hydrated as they get older. Um, they want to keep their skin soft and smooth. Perhaps, you know, often what people do is, often with skin care, what [00:27:00] people do is they’ve used nothing forever. They’ve never used it.

Never, so now they need to come, now that they’re in their 40s, for example, they notice that their skin’s dry and they need some help, so it’s really easy to just use a cleanser and a moisturizer at that point. And just those two things, you really just want to make sure that you’re being really gentle and hydrating your skin.

So there’s that type of person and then there’s the other type of person is the person. I mean, of course, there’s more than two, but often I find people have used everything under the sun on their skin and their skin is now dry and red and irritated because they’ve damaged the skin barrier and the skin barrier is really important to look after and just needs a lot of nourishing and [00:28:00] hydrating.

Yeah. Does that answer your question?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: It does. It does. It definitely does. I mean, it basically comes down to, you know, um, just paying more attention, um, hydrating, moisturizing, um, and I guess, you know, just being taking care, better care of your skin, I guess. Yeah, absolutely. So you’re running your business from your home.

Um, when you get orders, e commerce orders, are you the one kind of packaging it and shipping it out? What is kind of your fulfillment and shipment or shipping strategy? Mm

hmm. Yeah,

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: I have everything here that I need for all my parcels. So when orders come in, I can ship them out usually the same day or next day, and I do it all from home.

I’ve done, I do everything in the business, but I have in the past outsourced things to Fiverr. [00:29:00] Um, and places like that, because sometimes I’ll need help with, um, website, like, for instance, I didn’t make my own website. I don’t know how to do that and it would take me far too long. So I outsource that to Fiverr.

So rather than hire anybody, um, for an ongoing thing in a business, the size of mine, I just outsource things as I need to, to Fiverr. Or another sites similar.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: No, I think, uh, I mean, your, your website looks great. I think, uh, you know, it has, uh, uh, beautiful images. I think, I think your website is, uh, looks very nice for sure.

Oh, thank you. For somebody who’s created, you know, someone from Fiverr who’s, you know, they’ve created the site. Yeah, yeah,

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: exactly. Exactly. It does the job. It could be better. Probably needs an update. But [00:30:00] it’s, isn’t it good to know that you don’t have to be perfect, um, you can still make sales even without the perfect photography.

You know, I’ve done all those photos myself. They’re not. Yeah, I

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: mean, that’s part of the, I guess that’s part of your brand. Like if, if your products are handmade and you know, you’re giving the impression that it’s, it’s kind of like, um, homemade kind of, uh, you know, uh, organic business, you don’t want your photography to be very great as well, because that’s, that doesn’t go with your brand.

Yeah. Yeah. Um, so you’re selling mostly in Australia. Are you selling internationally as well?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Occasionally I’ll get inquiries from overseas and so then I’ll just work out the postage and things like that for them and send them a quote and I can send overseas, but I don’t have it on my website. It’s just a [00:31:00] little bit confusing to do that.

So, so I’m, I’m within Australia.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, what does your future vision for your business look like? Um, you know, every entrepreneur, every business person has kind of a goal for their business. Is your goal really just to, um, to continue to, um, find more customers, to add more products, uh, additional product lines and really just grow your business organically?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Yeah. Um, about a year ago I realized that, that to grow my business, I probably needed to outsource, um, some products. And so I decided to partner with a, a, uh, skincare. Manufacturing company that specializes in products that are great for your skin [00:32:00] microbiome. So I started, I worked with them and they’ve created two moisturizers for me, which I’m, I’m to get soon.

Um, they’re coming in soon. So, um, the reason I outsourced those two products is because the moisturizers are the most I’m consuming product for me to make and I also didn’t have the equipment and the, the know how to create these products that I wanted to, to start selling. So I’m sorry, my dog.

You can edit.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, no worries. It’s all good. Don’t worry.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: I put them in the bedroom.

No worries. I

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: don’t, I don’t, to be honest, I don’t hear, I don’t hear it. Like if it’s, uh, if [00:33:00] your dog is barky, I don’t hear it. Okay. I’ll keep talking then. That’s fine.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Yeah. So the, the skin microbiome is a bit like. The gut microbiome, we have good bacteria, um, in our gut and, you know, it’s really good to eat fermented food like sauerkraut and things like that, um, for your gut in your microbiome, for your, for your microbiome in your gut.

And then your skin actually has that as well. Um, good bacteria on your skin. And when people have skin problems. Often it’s because the balance of the bacteria is out. And that can be caused through things like being too rough with your skin or using soap and things like that that are too, they’re too harsh for your skin, so your face.

Um, [00:34:00] so I became really interested in the microbiome. Of the skin and wanted to create these but didn’t have the know how and the facility at home. So I’ve outsourced those moisturizers and they’ll be coming soon. And, uh, so, so I’m wanting to move more into that area of, of skincare. So I have a whole range that’s great for the skin’s microbiome.

And what it does is when you apply. Uh, product with like a postbiotic on, postbiotic in it, which is what these will have. It’s, the bacteria have already fed on the moisturizer, fermented it, and made it a lot better for your skin’s natural bacteria. So when you put it on, it’s really soothing and hydrating.

And it’s just really [00:35:00] exciting because a lot of people have a skin barrier problem. You know, they’ve been too harsh with their skin. Um, now they’ve got redness or perhaps acne, you know, things like that. Those can all be helped a lot with microbiome friendly skin care. So, so that’s my, my vision is to still have some products that I create at home, but also have.

more products that, that, um, some products that I don’t create that are really great for the skin’s microbiome.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So basically you’re creating a brand and then now you’re adding more product lines, uh, to your business. Um, yeah. And a couple of

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: lines will go as well. Like, so, you know, it, it’s interesting as well with the business that you can, you can learn and grow [00:36:00] and Move, you know, put some products aside that no, you can see an improvement for them.

You can, you can improve on them and come up with new products. You don’t have to be perfect before you start is what I’m trying to say.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, yeah, it makes, makes complete sense. Um, I know you mentioned a little bit around your marketing that you were, you know, making, you’re making Instagram videos on social media and so forth.

Are you doing, um, what, what other marketing are you doing in terms of, uh, really getting new customers and also keeping existing customers?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: So, I think I could do a lot more to be honest, but I haven’t put time and effort into some of the paid platforms like Facebook ads, Instagram ads. [00:37:00] Uh, I haven’t, I haven’t put the time and energy into learning those enough. Um, so I’ve occasionally dabbled in them. And haven’t found them that worthwhile for me.

So I think I really need to, to focus on those. What I have focused on really is just doing organic things. So I have a blog on my website and I like to write a blog piece, um, probably every couple of weeks. And then what’s great about that is that I can put that Onto my Instagram and say, you know, here’s a little bit of information if you want to read the whole blog head here it takes customers directly to the website and I find that having the blog is really great because people go to Google and You know if they [00:38:00] type in anything about hyaluronic acid for example A page that comes up quite quickly is my website.

So, and that’s just from a blog that I wrote actually a few years ago. So, it’s really great for Google rankings to have a lot of information on your site because often people do go to Google, they do want to know an answer to a question about skin care and if you make sure that you’re articles cover that topic, you can really make your rankings go up just organically.

So that, that strategy I learned in a book called, uh, They Ask, You Answer, which I’m sorry, I don’t remember the, the, I think it was Marcus, somebody that was a really good book. Basically, he, [00:39:00] uh, he sells swimming pools. And have written, do you know the book?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: No, I don’t know the book, but I can understand the concept.


Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: And he, he basically wrote down all the information about swimming pools, like heaps and heaps of blog pages to answer every question. And so anytime a customer went to search for swimming pools, There he would be right up in the, the top searches. And, and that gives you credibility with your clients because they, they know that you know what you’re talking about,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: so.

Exactly. Yes. Uh, I mean, the more you kind of share the knowledge, uh, you know about the things that people want to know about and you know, when, and then when they search those questions on Google and you know, your. Content comes up, it kind of, uh, establishes you as an authority and then people want to do business with you.

[00:40:00] So it makes a lot of


Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Yes. Yeah, so I do, I do blogging and then social media and between those two things, um, that has kept. So, so I, I stopped going to market probably a couple of years ago because. I was finding that I wanted, I just wanted to be home with the kids on those days, selfishly, and, um, I could make it work.

through reaching my customers online rather than having to go out to meet them. But I still think going to market was a great way to meet customers as well, but I didn’t need to keep doing it forever.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. I mean, I, I think that’s great. Like if you’ve found, um, you know, your I guess you’re, you’re happy place where you have [00:41:00] enough customers, you know, where, you know, you have enough revenue coming in, you don’t have to go out, you can focus more time online.

So I guess that, that brings me to my next question. Like how much time do you spend every day kind of working on your business or, you know, doing marketing and also fulfillment and all the things, like how much time do you spend every day on your business?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Yeah. Well, I’ve been running the business now for about seven years.

So from the very start. So, it would have been about seven years, and, um, these days, what’s great about it is that you can, I can spend days on it, and then I can spend days away from it, just doing the fulfillment. That’s just doing a post, a social media post and fulfilment of orders. Uh, so that, that’s great.

That’s the freedom that, that we all start the business [00:42:00] wanting. Most of the time when my children are at school, I’m focusing on Flowerdale Valley. So I don’t do the housework. I know I don’t, I walk the dogs, then I come home and I, I’ll probably spend. Probably 6 hours a day, just doing all the marketing, the fulfillment, making of the products, uh, researching anything I need to research, blogging, label designing, you know, all that, whatever just needs to be done, I do that when my children aren’t here, school time,


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: on

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: school holidays, it’s really nice.

Kind of challenging, but it all gets done. That’s the, that’s the beauty of it is that. Once you’ve set it up, you know, you can be you can be doing whatever you want to do and orders can just come in So if [00:43:00] you set it up a few years ago, you know, yeah,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: that’s I mean, that’s that’s really great. I think you know, it’s uh, I mean in a way you can call it Passive income, right?

Even though you have to spend, it’s like you have to spend time to get it going, but now you have more freedom, uh, that you don’t have to worry every day and spend like 20 hours every day kind of building

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: it up. No, no. At first it was a lot of work, you know, I’d often find myself overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done, but A few years on, it, it’s, um, it’s a lot more relaxed, but you still have to be self motivated and get made what you want to make.

Like, I don’t think my customers would thank me if it took me a week to ship out their products, for example. I think customer service is really important. So I always make sure I’ve got. The products made and that when a customer is kind enough [00:44:00] to place an order with me, I want to make sure that I fulfill that quickly.

And and I also, um, I think 1 thing that I started doing a long time ago, which is contrary to everything that. A lot of businesses do. I’ve done it. It’s worked for me. Um, is that I decided that I wanted to offer a special offer every month. So customers order a certain amount. Usually it’s 100 or 99 and then they get a free product put in there every month.

It changes and. They don’t need to put a code in or anything. It’s just automatically included. That’s because I like to be generous and I just like to look out for my customers. And it’s a great way for them to try things that they may not have tried yet. And so it’s always nice to get a little bit of something extra.

So I always make sure I do that. [00:45:00] Yeah,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I think that’s a great strategy. I think, uh, um, doing promotions is a great way to drive business for sure. Um, in every entrepreneur’s journey, there’s always mistakes made lessons learned failures. Um, what has been, you know, you’ve been running your business for seven years.

What have been, uh, a big mistake that you kind of, you know, Part of that, maybe you could have done without that. What was the lesson that you learned and what can other entrepreneur, entrepreneurs learn from your mistakes?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: I think one of the first things that I would do differently is when I first started my business, I would buy things in bulk to get the savings and then realize that I had a whole lot of stuff that I didn’t need.

So for example. When I first started, I went to a gift shop and bought a whole lot of, um, [00:46:00] baskets and bags that were like reusable and, um, for my customers so that I could put the products in. And when I went to market, they didn’t sell that well. They were really slow sellers. And I thought that they would be really fast, so they, they were like, um, you know, little Hessian bags and I’d put a couple of products in them and I thought they looked really pretty, but they were never that popular.

And I’ve still got some of them and I think what I would do differently is just buy a few, even if you just buy 10, try them out at the market, then, then you could always go back and buy more. But it’s hard to move stock that you have, um, and also it ties up your cash flow, so you don’t have that money for something else, which is really important at the start, because everything just [00:47:00] costs money and you’re just outlaying a lot of money.

And you’re not actually getting in the orders as yet. So there were quite a few things like that that I spent on that I really wish I hadn’t. And the other thing is, uh, from time to time, I’ve had a contractor, you know, let’s say I needed some help with marketing or, or, um, one time I got some skincare products tested.

They failed the test and, uh, it was just a lot of money down the drain and also hiring contractors from time to time. It’s your job, I think, to find out beforehand what they’re going to offer you and get it really, really clear. Because if you don’t have it clear what they’re going to offer you, like [00:48:00] really set down that every Tuesday I’m going to spend three hours doing this, if you haven’t asked them those questions, I think in my case that has just led to a lot of disappointment because I’ve hired people, I’ve been disappointed, perhaps we had different ideas of what it was going to, um, What was going to be involved.

So, I think before I started this, I had no business experience whatsoever. And these are just the things you learn. I don’t think anybody’s like, contrary to what we’re told, you know, I’m sure some people are much better at business than others, but I think. There’s not such thing as a born entrepreneur or whatever you just learn as you go and you just got to keep going and keep going.

You got to want it more than anybody [00:49:00] else and you become a business person over time. I was not a business person before, before I began. And I think getting those nuts and bolts sorted with anybody you’re working with really clearly. Is a really good idea.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: No, I think, I think those are, those are great, those are great, uh, business lessons for sure.

Oh, Yeah, uh, now we’re going to, um, uh, do the rapid fire segment. In this segment, I’m going to ask you a few quick questions and you have to answer them maybe in a word or a sentence or so. So the first question is, one book recommendation. For entrepreneurs and why I know you give one recommendation already, but

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: yeah, sure.

Uh, I would definitely say the E Myth because it teaches you that you have to become a business person [00:50:00] and, uh, you can’t just start a business because you like making skincare. That’s going to be a small part of it. And the rest of it will be learning how to run a business. And that’s very important.


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. E Myth is a great book. Yeah, for sure. Um, an innovative product or idea in the current e commerce, retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about?


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: innovative product or idea. It could be anything like

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Well, I guess I’m excited about, and they’re not that new, but I love the new vacuum cleaners, the Dyson, uh, with the, you know, it’s just revolutionized vacuuming. You don’t have to, you know, wander around the whole house with, with a cord anymore. You’ve just got this battery operated, really easy to use [00:51:00] product.

And, uh, I love mine. So just, just love how they’ve just taken something that we all used to do. And made it completely different, but a lot more user friendly, like how often they must have been thinking about what the customer wanted, what the customer needed, you know, we want to be able to vacuum up a mess really fast and yeah, and quickly, so love that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Uh, a business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a

productivity tip? Productivity tip.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: My biggest productivity tip would be to, uh, do your books every single month on, like, within a few days of that month ending, because it’s so much harder to go back and find stuff when time has passed. So. I [00:52:00] always recommend that once, you know, you’re only a few months, a few days into the next month, you should really have written down all your income, expenses, whatever software you use, and have that all sorted.

So, you know, you can just put that out of your mind.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I, I think that’s a great, great advice for sure. Uh, another startup or business, uh, in e commerce, retail, or tech that you think is currently doing great things.

Another startup or business, uh, any products, uh, that you, you like, or any business that you look up to. This

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: shows how much, shows how much time I’m spending online. If not, we can

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: move

to the next, next question, we can

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: come back to it.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Yeah, sure. [00:53:00] I, I guess I’m kind of interested at the moment in watching what Tim Ferris is doing, you know, he did that four hour work week and he kind of, he kind of really looks at the world differently and strategizes how things work and makes everything a process. I really like that. It’s not how I think, but it’s really, I think, really beneficial.

So I would say that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. He focuses a lot on, um, on experimentation and, and data gathering, and then looking at how, you know, what, what is actually working and what’s not. So

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: yeah, it’s really interesting.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, final question, what business advice, what is the best business advice that you have ever received or you would give to other entrepreneurs?[00:54:00]

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Well, two things, two things. I, I think that if you have the dream to be an entrepreneur, not everybody has that, like it’s not, Not everybody has that. So if you have that, I think that that’s a sign that it’s for you and you’ve got to give it a go, because if you don’t, you always feel that, that thought. I know that it was always in my mind.

So if that’s there in your mind, you should definitely give it a go. And the other thing I would say is keep going. So if you try something and it’s not quite right. Not quite working, you know, you just need to give it a little tweak, a little bit more time. It takes time, takes a lot of time sometimes to just, uh, [00:55:00] find your customers.

And so you have to believe in what you’re doing, which is really challenging. And I think most entrepreneurs, if they’re honest, they would, they would say that in the start, at the start, they had a lot of people around them saying, you know, what are you thinking? What are you doing? You’re not earning any money, and that’s a challenge, but, um.

There is an end goal to that if you keep going

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: for sure, for sure. And you’re, I think you’re very correct. Not everybody wants to be an entrepreneur and I don’t think everybody should be an entrepreneur. I think it is. It is. It is. Um. I think some people like to have their freedom and I think, uh, those are, and, and, you know, uh, it definitely requires, as you said, you know, um, taking risk and then keep on going because you don’t, you don’t always get [00:56:00] success right away.

So, um, no, you can be dissuaded by other people kind of saying, Hey. What are you doing or why it’s not working? Why, why don’t you just do something else? So it does require a specific kind of a person to be an entrepreneur for sure. So, Oh,

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: absolutely. Self motivated for sure. Cause you, you know, you have to get up on a Tuesday and do what you need to do without anybody there telling you what to do.

So, yeah, absolutely.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: For sure. Well, Mel, those were all the questions that I had. Thank you so much for sharing your story, for sharing your successes and failures and also, you know, some of the business lessons learned. Um, if somebody wants to purchase your products, uh, what is the best way to do that?

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Sure.

Well, they can head to www. flowerdalevalley.

com. au. And you can also contact me there. So

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: awesome. Well, yeah, thank you. Thank you so much again, uh, for, [00:57:00] for sharing your time, for sharing your story and business lessons learned. Uh, thank you again, and I wish you all the very best and thanks for joining me today at Treptalks.

Mel young of Flowerdale Valley: Thank you. Thank you, Sushant.

It’s been an honor.


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