If you haven’t heard of her, you now will. Shoe String Launch introduces you to Antonette Golikidis, 37, the creator behind the nifty and innovative creation called Little Innoscents – the 100% all natural, organic baby skin care.
Growing in demand, it’s shelved in over 800 stores across Australia from health food stores to pharmacies. The products are also being dispatched to Asia.
With the natural instinct of motherhood kicking in once having her first child Alex in 2004, Antonette went hunting for chemical-free baby care products that offered new mum’s the reassurance their babies skin was taken care of. She “was disappointed to find a limited range of products, which were often difficult to locate, overly expensive or offered misleading information”.
So, instead she decided to create the brand herself. The ingredients were whipped, blended and tested, which she lived and breathed. Ten months later, Little Innoscents was born in her Melbourne home kitchen.
Coming from a Health Sciences and Natural Therapy background, the urgent desire to create organically certified baby care products was her main priority. “Once I had the idea to bring out a range, I stopped all other ventures and solely worked on formulating the range, which took over 10 months of trials & testing,” Antonette said.
The baby care range includes hair and body wash, massage oil and lotion, baby powder, nappy cream and vapour rub. Antonette says, they are multi-purpose products that can “therapeutically treat skin problems” from eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis to dryness and sensitive skin.
And the natural next step for Antonette was to get her ‘babies’ certified by the Australian Certified Organic body (ACO). For Antonette, it meant, consumers had the assurance that her products were manufactured and handled according to strict guidelines to be “completely free of chemicals”.
Despite getting that tick of approval by the ACO in no time, that didn’t stop the countless doors being slammed in her face, but Antonette never looked down and persevered.
“For my brand to get out there and for retailers to take me seriously, I had to promote” she explains. And she learnt the art of negotiating very quickly.
A very proud Antonette, now a mother of two, says it took her two years to get her products into Priceline stores and acknowledges it was her persistence and firm belief in her products that got her there. She can now add giant retailer Toys ‘R’ Us to her proud list of achievements.
“Whether it’s a big company or small web based company, I would send out a 20 page proposal, so they understand we are out there to help them as a retailer to sell our product and ultimately, that’s what they want” she says.
“They want you as a manufacturer, to help them, to get sales on the board”.
With a strict budget to adhere to, Antonette knew “beginning a small business often means you have a fabulous idea but limited cash flow” but as determined as she was, she overcame one of her most difficult business barriers and learnt how to spend the money wisely for a viable business plan.
Antonette strongly believes that it’s “crucial to have a clear vision of the business and express this in a concise business plan” and “to take your vision and turn it into action” as she says without her vision or dreams, her business would not exist today.
Already featured in numerous published magazine articles, the 37 year-old also appeared on Channel Seven’s TODAY Show this time last year, after taking home ‘Australian Mumpreneur of the Year’ crown at the 2010 AusMumpreneur Awards, held at South Bank Brisbane.
Despite her very busy schedule attending interviews, expos, organising launches and raising her two boys, this business savvy mum, wouldn’t have it any other way.
“To me, success comes with determination, passion and willingness to do what is right” she says. “When I stick to these values, all the hectic days are worth it”.
For more information on Little Innoscents, feel free to visit www.littleinnoscents.com.au