Coco Business Inspiration : Odara Mineral Beauty

Founded in 2016, Odara Mineral Beauty is the long-awaited creation of a Scottish beauty therapist with a passion for skin care.  With over 25 years experience in the beauty industry, especially in a world of ever-changing technologies and advancing scientific research, its Founder, Amanda Eskdale, understood the need for natural makeup and cosmetics.  She wanted to create a makeup and skincare brand that would enhance the lives of her customers bringing to them not only health benefits, but confidence and peace of mind too.

Here, we go behind the brand to find out more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Odara Mineral Beauty started life in the spring of 2016.  Hot on the heels of my company forming, I launched my first product, Immaculate Mineral Foundation (the most amazing mineral powder foundation ever, combined with nourishing organic jojoba oil, I have to say!), in July that same year.  The idea to have my own natural skincare and makeup line had been with me for a number of years but never thought for a second it would actually come to life.  I had always been a lover of natural cosmetics especially mineral makeup formulas, however, my experience of those already available on the market were frustrating.  I have naturally dry skin…typical Scottish skin, and could never find anything that really suited or I was ecstatic about that would give me the results I was seeking.  Instead of continuing to invest in someone else anymore I decided to invest in myself and so my Immaculate Mineral Foundation and its 5 fantastic shades was born!

What’s your background?
I am an ordinary working girl from the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.  I grew up in the ship building town of Clydebank where and when times were kinda tough.  Money was never the focus in my family.  Hard work, determination, pride and good ethics were and I always had a dream and knew deep down that there was something bigger and better for me on the horizon.  I always loved playing with my mum’s makeup when she wasn’t looking and would watch her intently every night as she went through her skincare routine, and I just HAD to have a Girls World doll in my life!

I didn’t have the best of skins as a teenager.  I suffered quite badly from sensitivity breakouts and dermatitis, eczema etc and, despite failed visits to my GP for help and miracle cures that didn’t transpire, I decided to do my own investigations into curing my afflictions.  A little self-help research and my interest into the human body and all its malfunctions lead me to starting college in the summer of 1990 (at the age of 17) as an excited beauty therapist student.

Since qualifying, as well as having the opportunity to work in some of the most prestigious salons and spas in the UK, I went on to successfully run my own therapy business with facials and makeup being 2 of my favourite services offered.  My father had passed away at the turn of the Millenium.  It was the cause of his death, a rare form of cancer, that prompted me to delve further into cosmetic products, the ingredients contained and the effects they have on our body.  I couldn’t believe how incredibly toxic and unsafe a simple thing like a cleanser or lipstick could actually be!

As a skin therapist, certainly today, the concerns of my clients were changing.  Aging wrinkles and acne were no longer the focus.  Sensitivities and damage of a different sort was becoming the worry.  I realised that poor quality and synthetic chemical-based products, and prolonged use of, was the culprit.  But what to do?!

I would always try to use and recommend products on my clients that were ‘good’ for their skins (and mine too).  I could never stress the importance of home maintenance and the benefits of natural skincare over unnatural skincare.  But this can be very difficult when everyone’s on a budget as cheap and cheerful always wins in the end.  And when the brands that I did settle on would change their formulas or no longer be available I would find myself back at the drawing board.  Most existing natural, organic brands were always priced so ridiculously high or limited to a certain market!  Why shouldn’t these be easily accessible and affordable, I thought.

The makeup trends too have changed dramatically with celebrity influencers dictating looks encouraging the younger makeup user to spend on products that contain harmful ingredients, due to affordability.  This is worrying for my teenage daughter.  So…to cut a long story short…I decided to solve a problem and invest in myself!  The rest is history!

How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Odara Mineral Beauty has been successfully trading for a year.  As the Founder and Company Director, up until now, I had been managing the operations of the business alone.  Now, with a little help from my most excellent fiance and #1 daughter we have grown to a small team of 3 and looking likely to increase considerably within the next 12 months.

If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I’m not sure that I would as I am a firm believer that everything happens for the right reason and at the right time and each step of your journey taken leads you onto the next.  I understand that with every business there are risks to take and mistakes to be made, after all, that is how we learn to succeed.  If and when there are any to be taken and made I make sure they aren’t stupid ones.  So far so good!  At the age of 44, I realise that time is an issue.  I have a 10 year plan and I intend to achieve my set goals by the end of it if not before.  By employing a little patience, breathing when I become overwhelmed, viewing each challenge or decision with methodical and educated thinking and making my ultimate decisions on my gut instinct leads to positive progress.  Always keep the faith!

What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started this company?
My hardest challenge was myself.  I have been in the health and beauty industry for the best part of 27 years and I found it quite difficult to step away from one exhilarating habit to create a new one especially when I have always enjoyed (and still do) being a therapist.  But now I am an Entrepreneur.  I have a lovely supportive client base that I still treat and it’s their enthusiasm and encouragement that has helped me to re-evaluate exactly what it is that I want for my future in both personal and business aspects.

2017 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
This year is the year for brand recognition and to achieve that a great marketing strategy has been implemented.  My aim is for Odara Mineral Beauty to become a household name, for all the right reasons, with a customer base that’ll last a life time.  Building a good and trustworthy relationship takes time and nurturing.  The brand is travelling the country over the next 6 months exhibiting at various trade shows, exhibitions and festivals.  I always feel word of month and one-to-one contact the best way to achieve sales and a sound reputation.   The next product addition is pending and I can’t wait for it to appear.   We aim to be stocked proudly in stores, salon and spas as well as your bathroom shelf!  I am so excited about where Odara Mineral Beauty is heading.

To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
The highlight for me so far has been meeting so many wonderful women during this process, some of which are going through their own similar journey.  As well as achieving support through Scottish Chambers of Commerce and their business mentoring programme and recently being accepted onto Entrepreneurial Spark enablement programme.  It’s a wonderful feeling experiencing the opening of so many doors guiding me on my merry way to success.  It’s a realisation that Odara Mineral Beauty is the right path.

Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
I love to travel and there are so many exciting and beautiful places to visit and experience each with a different vitality and vibrance.  London with its combination of commerce and historical buildings, good food and entertainment, Paris with its jois de veivre and laid-back sophisticated attitude, New York with its diverse culture, high rise buildings and heavenly smell of hotdogs.  But there are 2 places I really feel most at home….the Middle East with its heat and hazy sunsets and, of course, Scotland with its rolling hills, luscious greenery and daily comedy that can be found on the streets of Glasgow or just when you’re popping out for a pint of milk.  In truth, home is where the heart is…so with that I’m making sure I will have plenty.

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Why only 3???  Okay, the challenge is on…

If I HAVE to leave home with only 3 they would definitely have to be firstly, my Immaculate Mineral Foundation in shade Fair Enough.  I love how easy and convenient it is to apply and the coverage is just perfect for me giving me all-day lasting flawless confident wear.  My skin glows leaving me feeling youthful again.  The magic ingredient, organic jojoba oil, helps to soothe and nourish my skin as well as tackle those icky problem breakouts a girl has from time to time, too.  Secondly, my Best Defense Cleansing Oil.  This is just heavenly with its subtle hint of lavender and neroli essential oils to soothe and calm and, again, tackle blemishes keeping my skin nourished, hydrated and balanced.  The Marula oil base has a luxurious consistency feel and a little goes a long way with the Wow! Factor being that it can remove my mascara in a flash as well.   And lastly, my Double Drench Daily Moisturiser, a fabulous 2-in-1 product combining all the benefits of an anti-aging serum as well as light moisturiser that will not only keep my skin hydrated all day long but won’t interfere with my makeup.  Great makeup starts with great skin!

Style means…?
Being yourself!  A good eye accompanied with a great attitude and confidence.  Simply!

Best thing about London to you?
That there is more to it than football and traffic congestion!  It’s stylish, vibrant, mixed, motivating, inspiring and I can get there by plane in an hour!

Statement shoe or statement bag?
Definitely both but if I had to sacrifice one for the sake of my life it would be the bag.  At 5’6” those extra 4 inches matter a huge difference!

If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear daily?
I bought a gorgeous leather jacket about 4 winters ago from a High Street store in Glasgow.  The body part is a soft chenille fur (fake), zipped at the front with a funnel neck.  Every time I wear it I feel like I’ve just crawled into bed.  Seriously snuggly!  So I look forward to chilly days just so I can wear it.  Best feeling ever!

Favourite love song?
Take That ‘A Million Love Songs’.

Best place for coffee?
With my bestie at her place.  Every problem can be solved over a cappuccino and a catch-up.

Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Never look back unless it’s to remind you where you are going.

If you could spend 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On a deserted island beach, under the sun, listening to the waves gently ebbing and flowing.  Calm restored!

In future, how do you plan expanding the company?
The long-term plan for Odara Mineral Beauty involves global expansion certainly for our retail products and the introduction of our professional use range to salons and spa.  By which time our own skin clinics will be available to visit and situated in each major UK town.

Find out more…

Find us online at www.odaraminerals.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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