Maddy: Our journey here today was paved with purpose. After I was diagnosed with a skin cancer in 2015, we knew that our time spent under harmful UV rays was at an end. But as lovers of a natural bronze, we didn’t want it to come at the expense of a confidence-boosting tan. So, we searched high and low for the perfect sunless glow - without any luck. Every product we tried missed the mark. If it wasn’t full of chemicals, it had that synthetic faux tan smell. If it didn’t have the faux tan smell, the packaging was gaudy, and remained hidden in the back of our bathroom cabinets. If we wanted a sunless tan that ticked all of the boxes, we knew we’d have to create it ourselves.
Rhi: Maddy and I have been best friends for over 21 years. I have always worked in administration the architecture and design industry and Maddy has had a very successful career working in accounting - a world away from the beauty industry. We always had a deep yearning to do something great with our lives and after Maddy’s cancer scare in 2015 we knew that we wanted to change the sunless tanning game for good. Luna Bronze was born as a result of us not being able to find a sunless tanning solution that not only emphasised the importance of skincare, but complemented our day-to-day beauty routine.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Rhi:I just finished reading The 1 Minute Commute by Robert Gerrish. I purposely chose this book to reignite my inspiration for why I started this crazy journey. Working from home or on the road had started to become very lonely for me but this book reiterated the fact that I had created an opportunity that enabled me to have freedom and flexibility in my life which is one of the most satisfying rewards of a successful start-up company. I am now reading Own the Day. Own your Life by Aubrey Marcus and WOW!
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Rhi: Our families and partners have been supportive from the get-go and we couldn’t have done this without them. We know that they have opinions and thoughts about decisions we have made along the way and we welcome their feedback. The good, the bad, the ugly!
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Maddy: I believe that our success comes down to creating a unique range of products with strong branding. We have created a range of sunless tanning products that have changed the way consumers see, use and feel about tanning. Each bronzing product contains nourishing skincare elements, including enriching essential-oil elixirs, wheatgerm, caffeine and goji berry extract, which, when combined with naturally-derived DHA build our luminous, signature tan.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Rhi:That good work, good products and a sustainable business takes time. If you want to be in it for the long haul then don’t rush. At the beginning of this journey I was in such a hurry to get to the finish line that I have ended up having to go back and revisit tasks (website, collatorell, ideas) because they were not executed to their 100% potential at the time.
Maddy: Do not overpromise and under deliver. At the beginning of your journey your reputation is all you have so make you have your company ethos and branding set out in stone and stick to it from the very start. This will hold you in good stead for the journey you are about to embark on.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Rhi: Go for it. I know that it is easier said than done but if you truly believe in your product or idea and believe you have discovered a gap in the market then get to work. Maddy and I learnt very quickly to always lay your cards on the table and that no idea is too big and no dream is to out of reach if we put the work in.
Maddy: You will suffer setbacks and you will lay awake at night questioning whether you have made the right choice to take the leap into the great unknown. At the end of the day, life is always better with an “oops” than a “what if” and if you are passionate about the direction you want your life to take it you will find that the path is naturally paved for you. Rhi and I are complete opposite and that is why this business works so well. Find someone who understands you and compliments your skill set (this is so important). We are able to tell each other exactly how it is without letting our egos get bruised. If one of us needs a break or some extra assistance to achieve a set target the other will pick up the slack, we really do read each other like a book. Aswith all relationships business and personal we have different ideas and opinions but our solid friendship and commitment to our vision for Luna Bronze grounds us.