Meet Kate and Anna, co-founders of natural skincare brand, Cedar and Stone. Based on the Gold Coast in Australia, they aim to produce skincare products for the face, body and home that reduces the amount of harsh chemicals that are entering the environment and being placed onto skin. They want people to see natural as ‘normal’ and not an alternative.
Their biggest turning point came when the beauty buyer for Urban Outfitters dropped them an email after finding their product. A simple Instagram hashtag handle has produced great things when it comes to getting their name out there, and with a monthly turnover of $90k per month, the brand is growing quickly. Discover what tools they’ve used to achieve this success.
Who are you and what brand did you start?
Hey! We are Kate and Anna, co founders of Cedar and Stone. We are a natural skincare company from the Gold Coast, Queensland (Australia), that has a firm ethos when it comes to minimising harsh chemicals into our environments and onto our skin.
We create ethical and sustainable products for the face, body and home, and we have a variety of products that suit any age bracket. Our biggest milestone so far would be opening our flagship boutique in James St, Burleigh — a store we have created that aims to only stock sustainable and reusable items.
How did you come up with the idea, brand name and logo for Cedar and Stone?
We were both sick of going into stores and finding ‘natural’ products that had ingredients you couldn’t actually pronounce and were far from natural. So we set off to do our own research and that’s where Cedar and Stone was born. We sat down and wrote down a few words that we liked, put them together and read out which sounded right for us. There definitely wasn’t an inspirational story behind the name!
Take us through the early stages of Cedar and Stone's brand journey
It was a lot of trial and error! However, we just said yes to everything and figured it out later. The big break for us was on Instagram, when the beauty buyer for Urban Outfitters found our product and sent us an email. I still remember both of us screaming at the top of our lungs in utter disbelief! She had found us from an Instagram hashtag handle, so it was early on for us when we realised social media would have the biggest impact in promoting our business and taking it to the next level. From there we jumped on board with Facebook, Pinterest — basically any platform a brand can use as a marketing tool, and it’s still our best strategy today.
Recently we worked with Facebook on their Annual Gift Guide, that was definitely one of our best milestones in business and in our careers.
Since launch, what has worked best to attract and retain customers?
Being loyal and remembering the little things. We have loyalty programs both online and in-store, which really give back to the customer and show them that we appreciate their support. Sending out a thank you email here and there or a birthday gift — something to show you care — is really important. Without customers we wouldn’t be a brand.
With regards to business growth, how have things changed from a digital, revenue, customer and sales perspective?
2019 has been a big year of growth for Cedar + Stone. The business went through many strategic changes in order to help grow the business such as a company wide re-brand and significant investment into PR and marketing efforts. These changes have seen an increase in website traffic in the second half of the year as these efforts begin to come to fruition.
This increased website traffic for both our retail and wholesale sides of the business combined with the opening of our first retail store on the Gold Coast in July 2019 has also helped contribute to our increase in sales throughout the year as shown below. 2019 showed our largest end of year quarter on record with consistent sales continuing onto the new year.
How is the business doing today and what does the future look like?
Our business has never been stronger than it is today. The opening of our retail store has meant a huge spike in revenue and exposure. With plans to open another retail store this year hopefully numbers will keep rising and we will only get stronger.
What’s been the biggest learning experience since starting your own brand?
You’re not going to get the result you want straight away. It sounds cliché but keep at it and you will eventually see the rewards come in.
What are some of your favorite online business tools you use to run Cedar and Stone?
We mainly use Shopify, Instagram, Facebook!
*Find full list of tools/platforms at the bottom of the page.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts or other educational resources?
Any Richard Branson book, Mum & Dad’s advice (never goes astray) and most importantly, our customer. We listen to our customers more than anyone.
Who have been the most influential people for you during this business journey?
Again, Richard Branson. He is just an inspiration on so many levels. Also, all the people that have helped us along the way, and anyone who wants to listen to our crazy ideas!
Any advice you’d like to share for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Say yes and figure it out later. If you really want to do something, you will find a way to make sure it happens. Keep at it, no matter the lows — the highs are worth it.'If you really want to do something, you will find a way to make sure it happens.'Click To Tweet
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now or open to new investors?
Currently we are not, however we always welcome resumes to keep on file!
Where can we go to learn more about your current offers/promotions/programs?
On our website www.cedarandstone.com.au
Our instagram @cedarandstonebotanicals
Or you can look us up on facebook!