And that’s a rap! Goodbye 2014, hello 2015
Well another year draws to a close and business wise it has been lots of fun, a complete blast! Yes we’ve had our challenges and ups and downs but overall business is blossoming and while there are times of madness, I’m actually feeling like I’ve got some balance back into my life – I’ve had around eight weeks ‘holiday’ away from the lab and day-to-day desk this year which feels divine!
So looking back to this time last year and I wanted to do more travelling with New Directions – we certainly did that with a teaching trip to Melbourne to kick off the first half of 2014 followed by a trip to Taiwan. On top of that my own consulting work took me to Bali, Melbourne again, New Zealand and Scandinavia which was lovely – I find that consultancy work requires a fresh perspective and that’s definitely something I get from meeting different people and experiencing different ways of life.
One of my closer-to-home goals of 2013 was to expand my Stability Testing to cover humidity chamber testing. We achieved that and ran our first few products through the chamber in the second half of this year. Real-time results will help us validate this method and roll it out fully in 2015. We also wanted to get our website up and running (I remember the pain so well) which we finally did plus we launched our Blue Sky Club for those of our readers wanting regular, small dips into our consulting services to help them find their way through the Cosmetic Industry maize, it would be great to see that develop further in 2015, I’d love to see our membership hit over 100 so that we can really start to carry out some chunky crowed funded research! I’m making a note to address that ASAP.
A personal favourite of mine from last year was my goal to experience the ‘farm-to-lab’ journey of some of my cosmetic ingredients. We got to experience that in a very cute way when we helped Clover Fields collect Goats milk and turn it into beautiful yummy honey and goats milk soap bars.
We also put our over-seas trips to good use experiencing tea and coffee plantations in Bali plus following the spice trail – Cinnamon, Saffron, Black Pepper, Clove and Cocoa – yum. However, the most exciting development on this tangent was our purchase of Fox Hill Hollow in September. Fox Hill Hollow is our 50 acres of woodland and paddock out near to Cowra and will be the site of our ingredient R&D centre which we hope will open in mid 2016. That gave me my first experience of collecting and processing Eucalyptus leaves for essential oil (it didn’t work out too well but it did make the house smell nice). For 2015 we will move our honey production and native plants and tree research and activity up a notch to further develop our vision.
Looking forward to 2015 it is fair to say that I would like to see more of the same really plus the energy to go with making it a fun ride – I joined the gym again in November to help in that department. Professionally I have had the joy of working with my sister Rebecca Foxon who has been an invaluable asset to the business, helping with admin plus creating awesome content for our Technical Directorship clients for whom we offer some social media help. Rebecca is also the organisational energy behind Realize Beauty (I’m creative chaos queen) and with her on board we have been able to stay on the ball in terms of data collection and EU compliance for our clients. I’d like to be in a position to allow her role to grow in 2015 too although not too much as like many of us she also juggles children (four of them) with her business commitments.
So I guess that’s it really, more work ahead on Fox Hill Hollow, more Technical Directorship work, More Stability Testing and EU compliance a BIGGER AND BETTER Blue SKy Club and finally more travel! Bring on 2015 – our bags are packed and our muscles (both intellectual and physical) are flexed.
But before we go we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all of our readers on the Realize Beauty blog, we have had another record-breaking year for readers and while we are not yet up there with the Kardashians we feel that our readers are by far the best.
I do hope that your businesses are delivering all that you dreamed they would do and if not, don’t stress, just take some time to step back and gain some perspective and if you want you can call us.
Onwards and upwards fair travellers.