Inspired at 30 to make skin care products for her own sensitive skin, Steph started off with a love for gardening and rescuing animals, with Oasis Beauty blossoming in the back of her mind. Eventually she started up what is now a fantastic skincare line. We chat about her journey here.
Was there a particular moment when you realised you could make a business out of selling your products?
No, not really. It was a gradual realisation. The difference between Oasis and other brands is that Oasis wasn’t started as a business. It was my hobby which turned into a bit of an obsession which naturally transformed into a business.
Do you think there is an increasing shift towards products that have all natural ingredients?
I know there is an increasing shift. Global research shows us that consumers are moving towards natural products, transparency in information, sustainable packaging, ethical business practices and accountability. I think it’s about time. When I started making natural products almost 20 years ago, it was still considered a bit ‘hippy’. Times have changed for the better.
Is it important to you to sell products which are much more affordable than high-end designer brands?
When I lived in London, I had the money to splurge on premium brands. However, when I returned to NZ and got my first mortgage, I couldn’t afford luxuries. To be honest, it was a real struggle. So, I started making my own products because the cheaper products were awful and my skin was just terrible. It turned out that I was very good at it and my skin was the best it had ever been. I want other people to experience Oasis and come to the same realisation that spending lots of money doesn’t equate to results.
What is the philosophy that drives your business and your product?
We have four words at Oasis that drives all our decisions – integrity, innovation, honesty, and kindness. That’s us. They are the values that I’ve always upheld from being a one-woman band making lotions and potions in my kitchen to the successful multi-million company we are now.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in starting your own business?
Having never run a business or having any formal qualifications, the whole experience has been one lesson after another. One of the biggest has been how to fund a business when you don’t have any investors or money yourself. I’ve proved you can do it without getting into debt. The other has been the art of how to get up after being knocked down.
Which of your products would you say is the real must-have for anyone who wants to take good care of their skin?
If I had to pick one, it would be sunscreen. If you don’t wear sunscreen every day, expect your skin to age quicker than it should. Sun exposure is beauty suicide.
What are your biggest skincare tips?
Use sunscreen every day, even in winter. Once you’ve got that down, my next tip would be to moisturise. Moisturise your hands multiple times a day as they really do need it. Slather a generous amount of moisturiser on your feet daily and pop some socks on. Moisturise your body after getting out of the shower.
Where can you see Oasis Beauty being in 10 years’ time?
Oasis is a labour of love. I started it at 30-years-old and I’m turning 50 next year. Another 10 years? Well, I’m not exactly sure but it would be nice to have somebody else running the show while I floated around doing all the fun jobs and getting in everybody’s way!