Catherine Wilson. Co-Founder and Resident Skin Expert at Essentialderma.com, an Australian-based derma roller and micro-needling skincare company from Hawthorn East in Victoria.
Essential Derma was founded in 2018 and has helped tens of thousands of Australians to improve skin conditions such as premature aging & wrinkles, acne scarring, stretch marks, poor hair growth, and pigmentation issues.
What makes Essential Derma different is its specialised approach to customer service and 1 on 1 unlimited support to ensure people are consistently improving their skin.
For more information on derma rolling. Visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Catherine, to know a bit more about her journey as a skincare expert.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Catherine: Entrepreneurship didn’t come naturally to me, I’ve always been the type of person to work a “normal” job but one day I just said to myself – Let’s Go For It!
I actually attempted a few different businesses before Essential Derma which had mixed results. I put this down to having zero experience and just figuring it out as I went along. This is a slow method, but you learn ALOT so I don’t count this as wasted time.
In 2018 I decided to start a business I’m actually passionate about (skincare) and that I’ve been involved with for 10+ years. With the help of a good friend of mine Jake Duncan, we launched Essential Derma.
Q. How did you get started?
Catherine: Jake and I knew we wanted to do something skincare related and we had both been personally experimenting with skincare devices such as derma rollers for many years.
We knew launching a business in a very high competition industry such as skincare would be way above our budget and experience level, so we decided to focus on what we had grown to love over the years and that’s micro-needling.
Looking around the market we noticed that people were offering micro-needling as a service or selling derma rollers to people to use at home, but they weren’t helping people with the core issue of fixing their skin. They would sell the product and then forget about the customer altogether.
Our goal was to ensure that not only did we sell high-quality products, but we also consistently follow up with the customer and make adjustments to their routines so their skin constantly improves.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Catherine: The biggest startup challenge was to do with capital and trying to start off as lean as possible while we started the business. We knew from past experience that we didn’t want to drop a lot of money testing the market. So we decided to test the market by selling a similar product that already existed.
Once we validated the market we went all-in and developed our own products under our brand.
Q. What is the Most Memorable Thing You’ve Done Since you Started your Business?
Catherine: Our memorable moments to do with this business are very personal ones. We’ve had a lot of customers reach out to us and tell us how happy they are and how our products have changed their lives.
We’ve even gone as far as creating a notice board at the office that shows these memorable moments for our staff to check out.
Sometimes people forget that the main purpose of business is to solve a problem. If you focus on solving problems then the business will usually be successful.
Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?
Catherine: The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
Q. What are your top 3 favourite online apps, tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
- Grammarly – For consistent spell checking and talking ‘on brand’.
- Zapier – This does wonders for automating tasks easily
- Klaviyo – We’ve tried a number of email marketing software and Klaviyo is by far the easiest to use for eCommerce brands.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Catherine: I don’t care too much about leaving a legacy on the world. What I actually care about are the individuals I help with their skin. I find that my motivation to work hard is far higher when customers give feedback about how our products have changed their lives.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Catherine: Don’t tell people about your business until it’s off the ground. Most people will hit you with constant negativity like “It’s already been done”. This will suck your energy and make you second guess your choices.