From garage to warehouse: homegrown beauty business eyes growth in Asia
Cameron Campbell had a simple goal when he and his wife decided to start-up their own business and that was to create a comfortable source of income for his potentially growing family.
“So I created Mine.Tan.Body.Skin,” he says. “We started out of a bedroom at home, then we moved to the garage, and then to our first warehouse. When we moved to the warehouse eighteen months ago, that’s when we set up Marque of Brands.”
Marque of Brands distributes, imports and manufactures some the world’s finest beauty and tanning products, thanks to business partnerships with brands such as Norvell and St. Tropez.
“The business was driven from a passion for beauty and our desire for family life down the track. I left my previous role and joined forces with my wife, and that’s when bigger brands came into the picture,” Cameron says.
Gathering partnerships was not as much of a challenge as they first assumed, says Cameron, citing a mutually rewarding focus as the key to attracting other brands.
“A traditional importer and distributor would go and buy a product and sell it –they don’t necessarily work in partnership with the brands that they represent. That’s where we’re very different. We work just as hard working with their brand and helping them as we do on sales.”
“We didn’t have much, we had a tiny bit of money and we put everything in. From that we were lucky enough to have a good relationship and good cashflow,” Cameron says, pointing out that their relationship with ANZ played a major hand in getting them off the ground.
There’s no doubt that Marque of Brands is growing, with around sixteen staff members now working hard on keeping the business’ many moving parts well oiled.
Apart from importing and distributing, keeping up with a growing online customer base, and offering their exclusive products nationally, Marque of Brands offers full sales, marketing, education and training support as well.
With such a variety of different services on offer, Cameron says it’s important to have employees that are multi-skilled.
“It’s a challenge particularly because we’re a small business. We have employees that are capable of doing two or three things. We’re not fortunate enough to be so big that we have a marketing department, a finance department, and a human resources department. We have people that do multiple functions – and we’ve found good people. Without good people we don’t get anywhere.”
In terms of future plans, Cameron says that growth is currently their number one priority and aim. The company is expanding its overseas reach, and is looking at Asia as a region of importance.
“External markets are key. What we’re doing with China is really important. We’ve got some unique products about to hit the market, an example being Pure Blanc. This is a whitening product that is primarily targeted towards Asian markets. If we can take Australian products to where there’s a demand, that’s where we see the biggest opportunities for growth.”
Cameron acknowledges that it isn’t easy to succeed in business, and suggests that there are people that can help.
“The biggest advice that I’ve got to anyone is to never be afraid to have conversations with people. What I mean is, go and speak to the government departments, go and speak to the customs guys, go and speak to an accountant, go and speak to the bank,” Cameron says.
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