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Words by our Founder, Rachael Akhidenor

The 10-month journey – as told by our Founder, Rachael Akhidenor

It all started with the question - where do you sit in the retailer?

I was having a conversation with a potential US distributor. This was an important meeting. This distributor was a dream name on my list.

We were two months post-rebrand. Last June, almost a year to the week, we had finally relaunched Self Care Originals – evolving it from an activist apparel label into the self-care brand it is today.

I knew the branding was strong. I backed the quality and uniqueness of our Mental Wellbeing Tools. But when I was faced with that question – ‘where do you sit in the retailer’ – I couldn’t find an appropriate answer.

‘Are you stationary?’ No. ‘Do you sit in gifting?’ Maybe? But also, no. For me, the vision for the brand was not aligned to the categories we were being relegated to. The industry in which I believed we sat, was and is, still in its infancy. Case in point – the statement ‘we create self-care products’ would often be met with the question, ‘what’s a self-care product?’

Being at the forefront of innovation has its perks. Yet, the challenge of being at the forefront of innovation is that we are tasked with creating what hasn’t existed before. We’re not just disrupting a product category. We are creating the product category.

We not only have to sell but educate prior to the sell – both to consumers and retailers. When it comes to retailers, we need to within traditional product categories. These product categories are slowly expanding but this growth is heavily influenced by the market’s risk appetite. As an innovator in the Australian market, this, in particular, has its challenges.

But welcome the challenge, we did. And this conversation, along with a number of other data points we had collected since our re-launch, kicked off three months of strategic analysis which has been the guiding light to our growth to date, and now continued evolution into Beauty.

Wellness can be found in many places. It’s in tech by way of meditation apps and physical products. It’s in food and beverage – through Medicinal Mushrooms, Wellbeing Drinks, and CBD and THC products. It can be found in apparel courtesy of brands Sporty and Rich and Museum of Peace and Quiet.

Perhaps, most obviously, wellness can be found in Beauty. Facemasks, skincare, and even injectables have been rebranded as a form of ‘self-care’. It’s this industry that I found to be most illuminating.

Beauty is a booming. It’s growing day-on-day, and it’s not projected to slow down any time soon. But upon a deep dive, I found the expansion of beauty to be a curious, yet promising phenomenon.

Take, The Beauty Chef, for example. If twenty years ago, someone had said bottles of collagen would be found in a Beauty Retailer, I’m sure, many would have been shocked. Yet, the ingestible beauty industry is only expected to thrive. In fact, it’s predicted the global industry will explode from the $5.1 and $13 billion that it’s currently worth to $14.4 billion in 2027.

The Beauty Chef and Vida Glow were incredible case studies for me at the power of brands expanding industries. There is this push and pull between the traditional confines of an industry and innovative brands disrupting said-industries with product-solutions that expand the very definition of what that industry is.

When I landed on this kernel of truth, I suddenly saw it everywhere. The expansion of beauty to include vitamins. The expansion of beauty to subsume sexual wellness (vibrators are now a beauty product). Could it be that beauty will expand to include wellbeing products like mine?

The link between the physical body and the mental body have been well documented. The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel van der Kolk, is a seminal work that has been such a light for me in my own evolution.

The mind-body connection is, and continues to be, well-established, thanks to psychodermatology and the growing interest in holistic beauty. We were our mental and emotional

We’ve all experienced periods of high stress leading to headaches, gut issues, pimples, and stress, courtesy of increased cortisol. We all know that how we feel on the inside impacts how we feel on the outside.

Because beauty is holistic. We need to care for our minds and emotions, just as much as we care for our skin and our bodies. Our Mental Wellbeing Tools help us do just that.

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Self Care™ Originals respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country on which we work, the Wurundjeri Willam people, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.