We speak with Paula Francis of SuperFoodLx about setting up a vegan based product line and the challenges faced by a start-up business owner.
Tell us about your business and how the idea for SuperFoodLx came about?
The business idea was born when I was living out of the country and my hair began to become incredibly damaged and fall out. My mum came to the rescue by making me a little pot of oil and posted it to me. Within a few days of using it, my hair felt stronger and looked so much healthier. This product evolved into Illuminism our pomegranate hair butter. This set me on a journey of learning about what ingredients were in the products I was using. I also learned how misleading product labelling can be and that many ingredients used in popular hair products for hair can actually contribute to damaging it.
How did you come up with the name SuperFoodLx?
The brand name is two words put together. A superfood Is nutrient rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. 'Lx' is the term used for the scientific measurement of a unit of light. Pronounced ‘Lux’. We used the Lx because we focus on using ingredients which use light i.e. plants and its pronunciation is also an abbreviation of 'luxury'.
Why a vegan based product line?
Our intention was and is to have only vegan and vegetarian products as it was more fitting with our brand of containing nutrient rich plant based ingredients. Many people are asking for these types of formulations now and have a great trust in them.
Where is your business based?
SuperFoodLx is stocked in various locations throughout London, Guernsey and Burkina Faso
Describe/outline your typical day?
Each day changes! We would like to have a more set routine but as a small business, you have to be willing to do a bit of everything whenever it's required.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
We just jumped right in. We joined various business start-up services for advice and mentorship but nothing beats actually getting out there and selling. That's the only true measure of your idea.
What was the first product you produced?
Illuminism which is our pomegranate seed oil hair pomade.
How do you generate new ideas?
Ideas come from what we feel is needed in the market or simply what we feel is beautiful and helpful for our own hair and skin.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We pride ourselves on self- formulating all our products using the highest quality ingredients and utilising beautiful luxury packaging.
What has been the best way/method that you have used to create awareness of your business and reaching potential customers?
Word of mouth and enabling people to meet us face to face and discuss the products with us personally.
What has been your greatest challenge to date and how did you overcome this challenge?
The greatest challenge has been paying people/services to do things which they haven't delivered on. The best way to plan for problems like this is to have contingency time, contingency money and a contingency plan!
What are you currently learning about your business?
That business-like fashion, changes all the time and you have to be able to keep up.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs starting up a vegan hair/supplement business?
Be brave and plan ahead.
Would you do anything differently?
I would understand that you cannot do everything yourself. Many start-ups are encouraged to do everything themselves such their own taxes, building their own website etc. This is not always beneficial or practical.
What are your goals for the next six months and how are you going about achieving them?
We are actually planning a new vitamin offering with a potential brand refresh. We are still tiptoeing around the idea at the moment.
What is your favourite quote or an affirmation that inspires you?
'Don't you dare give up'.
How can we connect with you? Can you tell us your social media platforms?