Behind Smile Boosters

Hi, I’m Sandy Junior founder and sole proprietor of Xand Dental Innovations and Smile Boosters.  Who would have thought that I would be starting my own company in my fifties?  It’s so true, it’s never too late and fifty really is the new forty.  I’m pretty sure I will be working well into my 80’s because I love what I do.  I’ve worked the past 30 years in the dental industry, and I’ve seen how dentistry / dental health is being recognized as such an integral part of beauty and overall health. 

Why the passion for Dental?

I believe that oral health is so important for your mind and body.  I wanted to help create winning smiles.  A beautiful smile isn’t necessarily super straight, super white teeth.  A winning smile is one that lights up a room and gives that sparkle in your eye.  We want to help people be confident to let their smile shine.  It might be by freshening your breath, take care of teeth and gums, flossing, polishing and regular visits to the dentist.

We are naturally drawn to people who smile and can be suspicious or cautious of those who don’t.  There is a real physical attraction factor linked to the act of smiling. Smiling relieves stress, elevates your mood, it boosts your immune system, lowers your blood pressure, makes you look younger and seem more successful.  

On the more serious side oral health disease is linked with diabetes and heart disease, therefore we want to do our bit to help Australians improve their overall wellbeing.

Where did the idea come from?

I went out on my own in April 2017 to start my own dental supply company Xand Dental Innovations selling direct to dentists.  Then in January 2018 a friend of mine (and global key opinion leader) Professor Marcel Wainwright posted a message on Facebook that he was about to go onto QVC Germany – televised home shopping, to talk about this new range of luxury oral health care that he has developed. I immediately contacted Marcel to congratulate him and to also let him know I would be very interested in managing the Hylodent® brand in Australia.

The initial idea for Hylodent® was to sell directly to dentists through Xand Dental but with some good advice from some very influential dentists in Australia, they said to just go direct. So how does one person go out there and sell oral care across Australia?  Thankfully we are living in the age of digital marketing and this is how Smile Boosters online shop came about.

I wanted to offer a full range of oral health care products through Smile Boosters and so incorporated other high-end quality dental products such as TePe, MANFLOSS and Queen of Clean.  The products are top of their league as they are developed by dental professionals that want to make cleaning your teeth easy and fun.

Career History

As mentioned, I spent the last 30 years in the dental industry mainly in sales and marketing for several dental supply companies.  In 2006 I was asked to create and head up the Australia / New Zealand office for French med-tech company Acteon Group who manufacture imaging and dental equipment. It was so exciting and rewarding learning how to set up a small business in Australia.  I worked with a fantastic team of young professionals and I loved every minute of the good, the bad and ugly of managing a team. It was with a heavy heart to leave them and set up my own company, but I knew this was my future.  

Setting up a small business in 2017 is certainly different to setting up a company back in 2006.  In some ways because of the digital age, it was somewhat easier.  We can reach more people in a short space of time.  It helps if you love technology too.

How did you come up with the name?

I wanted a name that felt positive and encouraging.  I was looking for a name that could link health and beauty and therefore I chose Smile Boosters.  By taking care of your smile, you boost your confidence, you boost your mind, you boost your health.  We wanted to show that oral care is linked with beauty and why boosting your smile is important in looking and feeling younger.

What’s your most popular product?

Our most popular product is Hylodent Mouthwash.  The mouthwash has a real wow factor as the taste and feel is completely different to the commercial brands. Hylodent mouthwash does not contain, alcohol, titanium oxide or sodium lauryl sulphate. Like the entire Hylodent range the mouthwash contains hyaluronic acid and xylitol.  Your mouth will feel hydrated as hyaluronic acid moistens the gums, which will also give them a younger looking appearance over time. Hyaluronic acid is also anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and is important for wound healing.  All the ingredients are natural, free from animal cruelty, vegan and safe for children.  The products are developed by a dental professional, with strong scientific backing for the ingredients of choice.

What’s the one dental tip you think everyone needs to know?

Buyer beware! When it comes to your dental health don’t just rely on Social Media trends.  Do your research, look at the ingredients list to understand whether they are beneficial or potentially harmful. Some natural ingredients in high concentrations can be harmful e.g. citric acid in some natural whitening products or some activated charcoals are very abrasive. Ask your dental professional, for recommendations.  Sorry but Kylie Jenner is not your authority on dental care or teeth whitening tips.

What do you get up to when not working?  

I spend time with my incredibly supportive partner Craig and my ever so loyal rescue dog Marco (who thinks is my office assistant).  When we’re not walking, feeding and generally taking care of Marco, Craig and I feed our foody passion trying out new or favourite spots in Sydney. 

With our jobs we get to travel a lot so we really enjoy immersing ourselves in the cultural experiences these destinations have to offer.  We head back to Perth as often as we can as both our families and some dear friends are back were, we grew up.

We have a lot of visitors too, so we get to be a tourist of beautiful Sydney quite often.

Behind Mellow Cosmetics

What inspired you to create your own range of cosmetics?

 My son and my passion to help women gain their confidence by accentuating their natural beauty inspired me to start Mellow!

Plus, It’s always been my passion to work in the Fashion industry working with gorgeous designer clothing and makeup, I also knew I wanted to run my own business in this industry. I worked in retail while doing my Business Degree for a number of years and absolutely enjoyed it, every day is always different but once I had my son I was determined to work for myself and do what I love to do! Towards the end of my maternity leave, it really hit me that I did not want to go back to work and leave my son at Day Care full time. One day I was watching a Youtube Makeup tutorial and also thinking about my goals in life and Voala! Mellow came into my mind! There it was, it just felt so right! I believe I am a positive person and nothing can stop me, when I want to accomplish a task.  I had the vision to design my own makeup line and make it as one of the most popular makeup brands out there; I’m still working on this vision every day! I love to create. I have a strong imagination. I always have these ideas that pop into my mind, I have so many great things that I want to create and launch in the future and can’t wait for the time to come. I am so glad I had my son, he encouraged and inspired me to start doing what I love and every day is a happy exciting day now! It’s been almost five years since I launched Mellow as a brand and since then we have launched into a few department stores and are retailing my products internationally, life has never been busier with running Mellow and my two sons. 

How did you come up with the name ‘Mellow’? 

It wasn’t easy to be honest! It’s hard to find a name that you think suits your brand and you have to be sure that the Company name would be available to register and no one else has a trademark with this name.  

I had a few names in mind but after researching either the website domains or the Trademark was already taken so it came down to Mellow. I love the name, if you search on the dictionary the word Mellow means colourful and Free from Harshness and I think it is the perfect name for my brand as we love creating vibrant coloured products that are Cruelty Free, Paraben Free and Vegan.

What does Mellow stand for? And what sets it apart from other cosmetic companies?

We stand for distributing amazing quality makeup at affordable prices so it’s easy for everyone to purchase, I believe I don’t settle for any less, before a product is launched I make sure that we have produced the highest quality of product.  Here at Mellow we are also absolutely against testing our products on animals on hurting them in any way while our products are being developed and made.

What was the first product you developed, and why?

It was our Gel Eyeliner. I love doing my winged liner almost every day, and what better than using my own Gel Liner from my own brand to use every day to create that wing! Our Gel Liner is so creamy, long lasting and so easy to use and I love using it on a day to day basis, it is currently out of stock and will be back in a couple of months. 

How long does it take for a product to go from the conceptual stage to being ready for market?

It takes at least a year from the time that I have the idea and I start working on it to the time of launch, it’s a lengthy process, especially for a fussy person like me! A lot of samples go back and forth until I choose the best formula and the right colour and not to mention the time that is needed for production.

How long does it take to perfect a formula? And what’s involved?

A good 4-6 months is needed to correct a formula, for example, right now I am working on creating a contour and highlight rangel, it has been 6 months already since a formulas were created for me and I still haven’t found the perfect formula so we continue to work on this with the lab until we get the absolute perfect formula with the right colours.  First I let the lab know what I want and they start working on a few formulas for me, samples are sent back and forth until we reach the desired outcome and that’s when the formula goes through production at the factory.

What’s your most popular product?

Definitely our collab lip kit with social media influencer Pia Muehlenbeck, it was so much fun to work with Pia recently on this launch and it did better than any other product we have launched to date.

What do you think it is about that product that makes it so beloved?

They are just flying through the door, I love them more than any of my other products, the formula is just absolutely amazing, the packaging is gorgeous and all my customers are falling in love with this product. People are really into Liquid Lip Paints these days and they seem to choose them over lipsticks, they are just so trendy and so easy to apply.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?

It was the first round of lipsticks which I launched a couple of years back with the black tubes, dealing with that certain factory was such a mission, the quality of the lipstick itself turned out to be great but the packaging just wasn’t what I had chosen, they sent through a container of lipsticks with a cheaper packaging than I had ordered and expected to receive and it was such a daunting and frustrating task for me to deal with that factory, I ended up changing the people I work with in order to actually get what I wanted to produce. 

Now tell us a bit about you. What’s your background? 

I am a 32 year old wife and mum of two boys, I was born in Iran and moved to New Zealand as a child and we are now living and doing business in Australia.  I finished my degree in Business Management and Human Resource Management at AUT in 2012 and worked in retail then HR and Insurance for a number of years  until I had my son and then Mellow started. 

I believe in being positive, and the power of my mind, I believe in being useful for my self, my society and my planet, that is my major goal in life and can’t wait to be able to do more and more every day. We are given a time to live our physical life on this planet and I am going to take absolute advantage of the time I have been given to me. My family andour health come before anything else for me.

What do you get up to when not working on Mellow?  

My family is my number one priority, if I’m not working, I am spending every minute loving and nurturing my boys and having fun with the rest of my family. My Mum and Dad are my idols so I try to spend a lot of quality time with them as well as hanging out with my loving supportive husband and brother and sister. 

How do you relax? 

Good Question! I haven’t had the time to relax very often in the past 6 months as we are getting busier and busier every day, but when I do, I love to grab a coffee, take a walk or even sit on the couch at home and listen to Zen/ relaxation music and think about all the blessings I currently have and all the amazing things I want to achieve in the future. 

The beauty industry appears to be so very glamorous - have you had any ‘oh wow’ moments? 

Absolutely, it’s hard to keep up sometimes. I love makeup and working in the beauty industry. The competition however is high with so many big beauty brands out there coming out with new launches and collections every month, I try to ignore all that and do what I know is best for my brand and stick to my goals in the meantime.  

What’s been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

Working with huge social media influencers and celebrities on a product launch a few years ago was definitely a highlight for me, we had such a huge positive outcome and I loved every bit of the launch. 

If you had to give advice to someone wanting to enter the beauty industry, what would it be? 

Just do it! Take your time, be creative and live your dream every day and never give up. There are some tough times but the trick is to never give up!

What’s the one beauty tip you think every woman needs to know?

Skin care always should come first for every woman when it comes to beauty but if we are talking about makeup, drawing perfect eyebrow on! It really helps if those eyebrows are on point when you are doing your makeup. 

Behind Because You Matter

Welcome to our first weekly blog, Behind The Brand. In this weekly blog we would like to share with you stories of who is behind the brands of some of our incredible partners and the story behind Because You Matter. We will try and bring you a new story every Wednesday.

Behind the Brand - Because You Matter

My name is  Wendy James and I am extremely excited to say I am the founder of Because You Matter. I am married to an incredible man (Brendon) who gave me the idea of starting this company and I am a very proud mum of two gorgeous children. My Son Jake is 16 and he is an integral part of Because You Matter and my daughter Jasmine is 14, she came up with the idea for individual boxes plus helps wrap some of the gifts. I also have 3 gorgeous dogs who are occasionally the models for some of my social media posts.

Career History

I have had a very varied career, the majority of my roles have been in sales with a strong marketing focus. I am a qualified Beauty Therapist and worked in the Beauty Industry for 10+ years. For the last 8 years I worked for Roche Diabetes Care in various positions, with the last 4 years of these years have been in their management team. I left Roche in September 2018, deciding to focus solely on building Because You Matter.

Where did the idea come from?

I have a massive love for Christmas and am a very big kid at heart, so for the last 8 years I have imported beauty advent calendars from England. It has become a tradition with my daughter that come Dec 1 she comes into my bed every morning and we open up our advent calendars. I have discovered the most incredible products that I had never heard of before and have now added these products into my regular routine. In March 2017, my husband and I were away celebrating our wedding anniversary and I spotted an advent calendar. I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy it without my husband seeing (because well lets face It he doesn’t need to know all the things I spend money on :-) ). So I said to him “I saw an advent calendar but it’s after Christmas so I’m sure it will be on sale” to that he responded “it’s such a strange concept that companies do something for just one month a year, you should do a birth month calendar”. Well, that was like a light bulb moment for me and I immediately responded with “Yes, yes I should but let’s not make it just for birthdays, let’s make it the gift you give someone for a Birthday, Christmas, Valentine's, Mother’s Day, mum’s who have just had a baby, someone who is unwell or just because I love you gift.

How did you come up with the name?

That night, after my husband had suggested the idea, we were buzzing! Over a few drinks, we bounced ideas around for hours. When Brendon said to me what would you call the company, I said “I want a name to make people feel special and valued. Help them understand how special they are and that they matter, because they do matter”. Brendon looked at me and said you just said it “Because You Matter”. 

Surprise Element

I believe one of the most joyous experiences is the experience of a surprise. That is why you will not find anywhere the exact details on what you will receive in the gift box. On our website you can see the companies who feature in the Because You Matter gift boxes and inside the box is an A4 magazine where each company has a double page spread showcasing their products ( this magazine has a spoiler alert sticker on it however, so the recipient can open this after all 30 gifts have been open if they prefer to keep the surprise going for the whole 30 days).

Building on the excitement  

Coming back to me being a big kid, I love unwrapping presents and treasure hunts. I have tried to bring both of these elements into the Because You Matter experience. The 30 individual boxes that are found inside the elegant gift box are all jumbled in order. This means part of the fun is finding the number each day. Once you have found the box and undo the window, each product is then individually wrapped or if it’s a vouchers then it’s hidden inside a beautiful voucher box.