Beauty therapist Simone Nelson describes her natural skincare company, 2B Organic, as a "concept that was brewing in my mind for 15 years before I finally took the plunge to make it happen". Nelson has spent the last three decades in the beauty industry, so she is very familiar with the skin problems caused by perfumes, chemicals and allergic reactions to harsh ingredients.
“Apart from being 100 per cent hand-made with organic ingredients, a major feature of our range is the emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of plant substances,” says Nelson, who is also a qualified herbalist. “For example, our Ripped Fit Oil for men contains birch oil. This is similar to conventional menthol treatments and naturally aids detoxification of lactic acid from the body without any nasty chemicals.
“2B Organic is aimed at those men and women who are conscious of what they put on and in their bodies and also what they use on their children,” Nelson adds. “The products are suitable for all skin types but we have had particular success with people who suffer from skin problems. I also understand from first-hand experience the difficulties parents can face if their baby or child has a reaction to something, because my two children suffered from severe allergies.”
There are currently 12 products in the company’s range, five for men including beard oil and a moisturiser and a cleansing balm, night oil and body scrub for women. 2B Organic was soft launched on to the market in 2015 but Nelson has able to put only limited hours into developing the business so far as she has been studying (to become a registered herbal practitioner) and working at the same time.
With proof of concept backed by encouraging sales and a staff of three now in place, however, she has begun ramping things up a gear. This autumn she will launch four new products including an organic baby wash and an all-over baby body cream, a carrageen-based night face mask and a herbal shampoo. A further 10 products are in the pipeline.
Nelson is hoping to raise about €100,000 in angel funding to accelerate the rollout of her new products, to greatly expand her distribution network and to launch an organic skincare clinic. It will offer skin consultations and will make bespoke treatments for those with skin problems. “In most cases, skin conditions originate from inside the body so I want to be able to help people heal from inside out based on naturopathic health protocols,” she says. The first skincare clinic will be in Dublin but Nelson has plans to open others and to develop the clinics as a separate revenue stream.
2B Organic is certified for sale within the European Union and the company is in the process of obtaining Food and Drug Administration approval to eventually sell in the United States and Canada. Investment in the business to date has been about €50,000 from personal resources and Nelson has been able to contain costs in the area of design and branding as she is also an artist and has created all of her own artwork. 2B Organic products are currently available online and in a small number of health stores and pharmacies in Leinster.
Nelson sees her business as continuing to target a very specific niche and developing organically. She is fully committed to making products by hand and intends to employ more help to maintain this practice rather than looking for a contract manufacturer.
Nelson will be taking on more staff shortly and is adopting a novel approach to recruitment. “I want to employ people who have retired from their original careers but still want to be creative and active and like the idea of being involved with a small business,” she says. “In my experience retired people are fantastic because they are very engaged and interested and show great attention to detail.”