It’s (very) nearly 2019 and we’ve never been more woke when it comes to sun protection.
Wearing sunscreen on the daily is like brushing your teeth – it’s a non negotiable. A good quality sun cream is the single best anti-ageing product you can own, yet finding the right one for your face can be a tricky task.
Some are too greasy and make your eyes sting. Others are too thick and make foundation ball up over the top. Finding the one that’s just right can make you feel like Goldilocks, except instead of cold porridge it’s bottles and tubes of wasted product and money down the drain.
That’s why Sydney born and Melbourne based Ava Matthews decided to launch her own range of Australian made sunscreen. Having worked in the beauty industry for over a decade, she still hadn’t found The One.
So she set out to make it (with her co-founder, Bec).
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Mamamia sat down with Ava to talk launching a brand, why SPF is so important, and just how scary the TGA really are.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got here?
“I’ve been in the beauty industry for about 12 years, starting in PR for a mix of boutique and huge industry players and then spent some time in NYC doing much of the same,” Ava told Mamamia.
“I realised there was something missing in my career about eight years ago and decided I wanted to transition into marketing strategy and product development which I was able to fortunately dip my toe in the water of at Napoleon Perdis.”
“I then took a job heading up the Mecca Cosmetica private label brand in Melbourne and moved there which is where I met my co-founder, Bec. She was my-then boss and looked after the entire private label business which was three brands of which Mecca Cosmetica was one.”
“This was a totally eye-opening, life-changing experience. I learnt about the specific details of product development – COGS, profit margins, managing a P+L, brand strategy. I’ve always been very creative but I guess Mecca, especially under Bec, made me strategic and commercial(ish).”
“This is also where I learned about sunscreen – making it, testing it, how important it was to skin ageing and general health, wearing it – and the deep, dark legislative side called the TGA which I always imagine as these kind of ’12 angry men’ characters but is more likely a totally normal group of people,” said Ava.