A tête-à-tête WITH NATALIA MICHAEL OF NO NASTIES KIDS


 

We all know little girls love playing with their mama’s makeup. But unfortunately most cosmetics are filled with nasty chemicals, which is the last thing mum’s want to put on their children’s skin. Which is why Noosa-based entrepreneur, Natalia Michael, created ‘No Nasties’. Handmade locally in small batches using natural ingredients, the brand’s hair & makeup collection has been a huge international success. Here we talk to the mum of 2 about her entrepreneurial journey, the work/mama juggle & the secret to her success.   

Writer: Rebecca Walker, The Conscious Wordsmith

When and why did you launch No Nasties?

I launched No Nasties Kids in 2016 from my kitchen! I had been made redundant while on maternity leave with my sick baby and around that time my eldest daughter was gifted a play makeup set full of toxins with a badge that said “Non-Toxic”. I started to make natural play makeup for her and was soon making it for friends and family, and so, No Nasties Kids was born!

Do you have a background in cosmetics?  

Apart from wearing it, no, not at all! I am just really passionate about natural products and natural living. I spent a year learning as much as I could and then a chemist checked and approved my formulas.

Have you always been business-minded or was launching the brand a leap-of-faith?

I have always been business minded as I was raised by my business minded parents. They taught me about business, working hard and working smart and to always believe in myself. I owe them everything. 

Your products are toxic-free. Tell us about the natural ingredients you use instead of nasty chemicals. 

I always choose the natural option first. We don’t use ingredients like synthetic fragrance, fillers or synthetic based preservatives, we opt for natural mica, tapioca starch and we are vegan too. The brand is always evolving and we are always looking for ways to innovate to be better and as natural as possible while being stable. I have learned so much over the years and it still amazes me that brands can use terms like organic and natural when they have 1 or 2 natural or organic ingredients. Learning about ingredients is really important.

You are a Mama of 2. How do you manage the work/motherhood juggle?

Geez, this is THE question! Haha It has gotten easier as the team has grown and my handsome hubby joined me full time early last year but the first 5 years were HARD.  For the first 3 years I was doing 80-100% of everything including hand making the products! I have only just this year purposefully decided to take more time for me. A few things I do is outsource cleaning to a local all natural cleaning company called Eco Elite and they have been a blessing! I also don’t work weekends and have learned to release my inner control freak and hand over bodies of work to my amazing team! It has taken time!! 

What are the biggest pros/cons of being a ‘mumpreneur’?

It’s really an evolution I feel… You evolve so every year and every day the challenges are different as are the upsides. This year for me the challenge is that we are about to grow tremendously and I am reaching to pull that all together and the upside is I have more “me” time to finally get to the gym, get a facial, go deep sea fishing with my buddy Renae from Boho Sisters and learn to knit! The cons of business is always stress but I have seen so many things now that it takes a lot for me to feel really stressed.

What advice do you have for women who are keen to launch a new business but are too afraid to take the leap?

DO IT! It won’t be easy and it won’t always be fun but it will be worth it. Stick to it, give it your all and don’t give up. Every time I have thought of giving up and didn’t, things got a lot better. Trust in yourself and surround yourself with other people with big dreams too, that helps! 

The brand has won multiple awards, including a ‘Best Innovative Business’ award. What‘s the secret your success?

I don’t know if there is a secret to success, I guess it is different for everything but one thing I do and the team does is show up every day giving our best. We also ALWAYS put the customer first, always.

What has been the highlight of your business journey so far?

Finally being in our warehouse, which feels like a home away from home and moving the business out of home. Being able to go home to “home” and not to my home and business has been the best!

What are your plans for the brand’s future? Do you plan on expanding the product range?

We are doing so many things!! New stockists, new products (one that I am ridiculously excited about) and working with really amazing people! In about 3-4 months there will be some huge changes.

To visit the No Nasties website, go to:  https://nonastieskids.com.au/