A combination of science and nature has lead Jene to create her own skincare range which she says, allows “nature to nurture.”
What’s your story?
I’ve always had a deep love of all things natural – I constantly long to be on the beach or in the bush, but unfortunately my bad skin doesn’t give me confidence in these situations. I often admire the women who have no makeup on and still look gorgeous on the beach or in my yoga class. So, after 12 years training and working in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, I decided to apply my scientific knowledge to finding a more effective skincare solution. Luxe Botanics came from the combination of my love of science and nature.
What excites you most about your industry?
That the industry is being forced to revisit the types of ingredients traditionally used and how they are made, because consumers are increasingly more educated and discerning. Also, people are becoming concerned with the environment around them. The convergence of these trends has changed the way people think about their skincare and how it’s marketed. This can even be seen in the pharmacy level brands which are now advertising their products as “non-toxic”. It makes me so happy when I see someone reading the ingredients list on their skincare to see where it’s from and what it contains.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Singapore has always felt familiar to me as the vegetation and climate here are very similar to the east coast of South Africa. It’s easy to feel at home here, with the multitude of cultures, colours, smells and flavours always reminding me of home. It’s also a big plus that I’m an easy flight away from my family in both Australia and South Africa.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course! I always say to people that I don’t think I could have started this business in Australia or South Africa. The people I’ve met here are incredibly friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. There are also countless entrepreneurial events filled with useful information. Singapore really does make it easy to do business – they have online systems for everything or a well-trained person on the other end of the phone to help you – and it easily opens the doors to the rest of Asia.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
That it’s ok to do many different things in your life. You don’t have to follow one single path. We all get bored eventually with the same thing, but it’s assumed that you will stick with it anyway. When I watched the TED talk “Why some of us don’t have one true calling” by Emilie Wapnick she really cemented this for me.
Who inspires you?
The woman walking down the street in her heels, pencil skirt and blouse carrying a gym bag; the woman on the beach with no makeup; the woman driving through Africa; and the woman next to me in yoga who can hold her pose perfectly
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The importance of your Why. When you understand your Why you truly understand your direction. Your Why can lead to many different paths, but they will all come back to the same core reason of Why you do what you do. This is so much more valuable than the advice we always hear of “follow your passion” – I have a love/ hate relationship with this piece of advice. I think it leads you to dead ends.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would spend more time relaxing, less time stressing out, more time in yoga, less time doing time wasting activities, more travel, less excuses and more time with family and friends.
How do you unwind?
Short term I unwind with a nice meal, a glass of wine and good company. Long term I travel to places where I can be on the beach or walking in nature, places like Portugal, Iceland, New Zealand, Tanzania and South Africa. This is where I truly find myself again.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket. Easily accessible, yet there are so many remote places you can go to unwind far away from the crowds. The people are unbelievably patient and kind. Since the beaches have been cleaned up its gone back to being more like an unspoilt paradise of bright blue waters and white sands. And of course the amazing local Thai food.
Everyone in business should read this book:
For entrepreneurs, start-ups and “wantapreneurs” – The Lean Start up by Eric Ries. He is in the process of releasing his latest book – The Leaders Guide – with more practical advice for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Shameless plug for your business:
Luxe Botanics is a botanic skin care line, scientifically formulated to allow nature to nurture your skin. The range consists of Marula Oil from Kenya, Camu Camu berry from Brazil, and Kigelia Africana from Malawi; all carefully formulated with entirely botanic ingredients to nourish, brighten and clarify your skin. Through our skincare we aim to create a global community of wellness, conscious women, who share the Luxe Botanics values of allowing nature to nurture.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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