Ditch the Itch
When Caroline Monet developed a natural skin care product out of necessity nine years ago (she had developed eczema on her hands so severe that when her daughter was born she couldn't bathe her baby or even wash her own hair without excruciating pain from her condition, spending many sleepless nights with her hands in the freezer just trying to gain some relief, so as a last desperate resort she made a cream that healed her eczema when all other treatments she had tried had failed) little did she realise that she would literally be a saviour for thousands and thousands of Australians who suffer debilitating skin conditions.
Caroline's Cream began existence in the former international catwalk and photographic model's kitchen.
'I started off making a cream at home in my kitchen," says Caroline. "I had experience in aromatherapy, so used that knowledge, along with a lot of research to create a healing moisturiser. After months of trial and error and many, many batches of experimental cream, I found a workable formula that was filled with soothing ingredients that were all natural.
"My skin improved rapidly and I was very surprised at the results the cream was having with friends, relatives and their children, in treating a variety of skin complaints such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. It was due to public demand that led me to start to produce Caroline's Cream in bigger numbers and in the founding of my skincare company, Caroline's Skincare Pty Ltd.
"In 2003 my first batch of six bottles was taken by a local pharmacy. Now my cream is listed on the registrar of Therapeutic goods as a complimentary medicine, I have two manufacturers in Victoria and WA and my skincare is distributed throughout Australia by my Melbourne based distributor - Doward International Pty Ltd.
"In the beginning I had very few business skills as I'd left school at 15 and had been modelling for 20 years; I was completely computer illiterate, a friend gave me an old computer and I didn't even know how to turn it on! In fact Ididn't have any experience at all in running a business.
"I also started with no working capital (I started my business with $5000 on a credit card and initially offered product on consignment for nearly six months) and it was at least six years before I drew earnings from the business. As demand increased it was necessary to continually pour the income back into it."
It was the popularity of her products that forced Caroline into a very rapid learning curve. As the business grew, so did Caroline's skills. Her endeavours have since been recognised in two significant business awards, '2007 Small Business Champion Award' for manufacturing excellence and the '2008 Telstra Business Woman of the Year' award for innovation. She has also been nominated for the Telstra Business Women's Awards 2009/2010.
Following the success of Caroline's Cream, Caroline created an All Purpose Wash which is based on the same formula as the cream and is in just as much demand.
In the past year the business has grown by an astounding 1000%. New outlets are coming on board every day, with her range now available in over 2000 outlets Australia wide, as well as being sent overseas to customers on a regular basis. The products will also be stocked nationally in Myer and David Jones this year.
She recently broke PayPals record for the largest number of transactions (ordering her products) in the shortest period of time in PayPal's history. Plus had the highest volume of visits/hits in BC Adobe Web software's history. And had the highest volume of sales and biggest demand for a product on record for most of the pharmacies/health stores around Australia. That speaks volumes.
But when it comes down to it, Caroline gets the most pleasure out of the feedback she receives.
"Every day when I check my emails there are testimonials from people who have had success with my products. The business side of things can be very stressful at times, but the reward from making a difference to the quality of people's lives makes it all worthwhile."
FACT: It's estimated that around 4 in 10 Australians have an allergic disease and more than 8 in 10 Australians with asthma have tested positive to a form of allergy. Many of these allergies are to food and environmental factors such as dust and dust mites, pet fur/dander (proteins from pet skin), pollen etc., and can lead to an increased prevalence of asthma, hay fever, sinusitis/rhinitis and skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Caroline's Cream 500ml - RRP: $32.95
Caroline's Cream 100g - RRP: $17.95
Caroline's All-Purpose Wash - RRP: $31.95
for stockist information or phone 1800 369 273