Kellie Collis quit her job to found Salt by Hendrix a vegan and cruelty free brand based in Australia. Taking inspiration from the Australian surf with it's gorgeous beach babes and glorious sunsets Salt has garnered a cult like following among beauty editors and bloggers alike.
Photo: Instagram @saltbyhendrix
Hi Kellie! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
My background is finance and law and after years working in Banking I decided it was now or never to pursue my love for skincare. Initially I created a range of products to treat my son’s sensitive skin and as the business evolved, we grew into a more holistic brand with a wider product offering. When I launched the business, I ran the business, marketing, product development, supplier relationships and operations; though as the business has grown, I now have an amazing team who help me with more operational activities whilst I focus on product development, leading our team and managing the overall business – basically anything that focuses on making our brand the best it can be.
How did you first become interested in skincare?
I have always had a keen interest in skincare particularly with a natural flavour. When my son was born, and even throughout the pregnancy I became conscious of what I was putting on my skin and the long term impacts. There really is nothing like clean, hydrated, fresh skin and my interest in achieving this at home (rather than just a salon) grew from there.
Why did you decide to start your own brand?
I wanted my children to know that no matter what stage of life, you should always pursue your dreams and goals. Being a corporate girl, continuing my career would have been the safer route but ultimately it wasn’t what I wanted for my own life. I decided, it was now or never and jumped straight into it. Each day presents its own challenges and we don’t have the amazing resources of a large corporate company but we also get to be agile, make changes and improvements as we see fit which is really empowering.
What’s the concept behind the line?
Plant based hydration. We wanted to use organic ingredients that offer simple but amazing skin treatments for the face and body. The products need to look, smell, feel and actually be amazing on the skin.
For someone who may not know about your line, can you tell us how you recommend using your products in a daily routine?
We love our facial oils particularly Mermaid and Botanic Facial Oil. The Botanical facial oil is amazing on clean fresh skin, it is heavily aloe based so is great for hydration, feels incredible and has anti-aging plant extracts. We would then recommend finishing with our Mermaid Oil which is full of vitamins and minerals and is a really luxurious, high quality but affordable product.
What’s the hardest part of running your own business?
Getting a business off the ground is challenging, but taking to the next level and dealing with things like cash flow, getting your operations in line with your long term business goals, having your inventory growing with the business and balancing this with being the best Mumma I can be is hard but absolutely worth it.
What are some new products / projects in the works you’re particularly excited about?
We have an amazing eye treatment oil (edit: Eye Babe is here!) and some more organic based cosmetic products coming out which are super lovely.
How do you figure out what ingredients are going to combine properly for each product?
We do a lot of testing (on people, never, ever animals) and engage in experts for the best possible result. We can’t be perfect at everything so where need be, we engage the best to help us.
Can you walk us through the creation of one of your products from idea to the finished product?
We always think about the end result and what we would like to achieve. We then look at ingredients, sourcing them (ethically only) and start testing. And testing. And testing. Until we get the perfect product.
Photo: Instagram @megandwally
Are there any beauty items you find yourself constantly carrying around?
I have dry skin and lips so I always keep an oil in my bag and a lip butter (plus water). Hydration is everything to me!
What’s next for Salt by Hendrix?
More cosmetic and plant based face treatments. We are so passionate about delivering beautiful looking products but with even better functional performance, we are continuing to research and develop products that meet these goals.
Finally, tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018!
Sharing the SALT by Hendrix line around the world and making sure I give us much love as I can to my family and team.