Meet Mel | Founder of Oasis Black | Women in Business

Updated: Feb 16

Raise your hand if you've ever felt like quitting your job and moving to Morocco. Now meet Mel - who did just that.



After falling in love with her natural, plant oil elixirs, I had the pleasure of meeting Mel on a recent trip to Byron Bay. After realising that society's blueprint of a picture perfect life wasn't all it's cracked up to be, she did what any person striving for balance would do... A complete life overhaul.


Her story is one many of us can relate to.

I sat down with Mel to chat about Oasis Black and her journey up to this point. This is her story, along with a gift for our readers!


What sparked your mission to turn your experience in Morocco into a business back home?

Unbeknownst to me at the time, my Oasis Black journey started when I was on a career sabbatical that saw me living and working in a surf camp in Morocco.


I spent so much time in the dry air, salt water and sun there, that it was out of sheer desperation for a solution to my severely dry and malnourished skin that eventually lead to the birth of Oasis Black.


In Morocco I was making the blends for my own use, but when guests and colleagues started seeing my results, they too wanted to try, and then purchase my blends from me.


(See my personal review of this product over at Oasis Black | Face and Body Elixir | Product Review)


This was when I realised that I needed to help as many people as I could, and that’s what lead me to start Oasis Black.


SPECIAL OFFER!

Balanced readers can visit oasisblack.com and use code GennavieveL20 at checkout for 20% off plus free shipping within Australia on your first order!


What were you doing before you started your own business?

Before I ended up in Morocco I was living a completely different life – though that’s a whole other story...


Basically, I was living the life society and others expected me to live – I had a career in finance, worked ridiculous hours, made decent money and spent that money on all the materialistic things society tells you that you need to have in order to show that your successful.


"In reality, I didn’t know who I really was and what I wanted and I began to realise that I wasn’t actually living MY life because I was trying to live up to all those expectations."



All I knew is that I was working my arse off for someone else, I didn’t have a life and I was miserable and burning out.


That was when I decided to take a sabbatical and go travelling through Europe, which eventually lead me to Morocco and that’s where my whole life and outlook changed and where my current journey began.


Walk us through turning your business idea into a reality.

Whilst my Oasis Black journey began in Morocco, it wasn’t until I returned to Australia that I looked into starting my own business.


Upon my arrival back to Australia, I first sought to finalise my formula (I wanted to include some of our local magical ingredients into my blend) before getting into the legalities, logistics, branding, labelling, packaging and other aspects of building an organic skincare business.


All in all, since arriving back in Australia, it took me just over two years before I was able to start selling my product at my market stall and establishing my website, officially launching in 2018.


How have the public responded to your products?

I am constantly touched by all the fabulous feedback I receive from people who have tried my elixirs. The high percentage of repeat customers I have is particularly humbling as it shows me that people genuinely love my products.


Some of my favourite messages to receive are those of thanks and excitement when my customers tell me that they’ve been told they’re glowing, and then asked what they use on their skin.


I particularly love hearing from customers when they tell me that my elixir has been able to help them heal their persistent skin condition when no other product has been able to help them before.


SPECIAL OFFER

Balanced readers can visit oasisblack.com and use code GennavieveL20 at checkout for 20% off plus free shipping within Australia on your first order!



What has been your biggest hurdle thus far?

Marketing is not my biggest strength, so I’ve struggled with this aspect the most. As a start-up and small business owner trying to do everything myself, marketing has been the steepest and most demanding skill I’ve had to pick up.


The other major hurdle I continually face is the re-education aspect. Given that for many years we were all told that oils were bad for our skin, trying to convince people that oils are actually really good for our skin is the biggest barrier I have to overcome with new customers.


When you’ve felt like quitting, what’s pushed you back on track?

It’s the messages of love, thanks and positive experiences I receive from customers that always reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing, and keeps me going in those challenging times.


How has influencer marketing impacted your sales?

Influencer marketing has helped me gain that all important social trust element a lot quicker than it otherwise might have. It’s also been absolutely fabulous for social media content creation – another aspect I struggle with from time to time.



What advice would you offer other women starting out in business?

It’s not easy. It’s a lot of work and you have to wear a lot of hats initially. You need to know why you’re doing what you're doing and that why needs to be strong enough to pull/push you through the tough times.


I’d also say, just like I would to advise my clients in finance, to start small.


Don’t aim to achieve too much all at once. Don’t start with too many products or services. You’re going to be learning a lot very quickly, and if you start by spreading yourself too thin between all the business requirements and your products/services, then you’re definitely going to crash and burn, hate it or quit.


So start small, see if that works and if it does, then expand slowly.


SPECIAL OFFER

Balanced readers can visit oasisblack.com and use code GennavieveL20 at checkout for 20% off plus free shipping within Australia on your first order!


How have your family and friends been throughout this journey?

This was another challenge for me unfortunately.


On top of all the challenges of starting your own business, I also had some big mental health battles to get through when first trying to get my business off the ground.


I came back from my travels to Europe and Morocco a different person to who I was before I left.


"I was no longer the amalgamation of what my immediate family and society wanted me to be and I certainly didn’t want to live life the way they dictated either."


I had found out who I was and what I wanted on my travels, but because this was different to what they wanted and expected of me, my immediate family tried to convince me that I was mentally ill. Unfortunately I started to believe them.


The mental and emotional abuse that ensued lead me to breaking point. It was at that point, when complete strangers stepped in to help, that I knew I had to flea their grasp on me.


So, I made the decision to leave, I packed my car, and drove away not knowing where I’d go or if I’d ever return.


I continued to work on Oasis Black whilst on the road, albeit at a slower pace than what most other business start-ups would have. On my journey across Australia I found support from a wide network of relatives, other entrepreneurs, new friends and their families. They are now my support network.



Which business women have inspired you?

What’s great about the times we’re living in is that there are so many boss babes now that offer so much inspiration to those aspiring to be their own bosses.


One boss babe that keeps standing out for me though is Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx.


I remember reading about an interview where she was asked what she thought her secret to success was. Sara promptly said that it was because she wasn’t afraid of failure.


As kids, her father encouraged her and her siblings to fail. Sara’s Father would ask them at the dinner table every week to tell him one thing they failed at that week and if they had nothing to say then he’d be disappointed.


He did this knowing that many people were often paralysed by the fear of failure, and so he wanted his kids to try lots of things, push the boundaries and fail. I find this so inspirational.


What’s next for Oasis Black?

I’m currently in the testing phase of a line of organic soaps I plan to release soon that will work hand-in-hand with my elixirs.


I want to be able to offer people the complete solution for a simple yet effective skincare routine. I want to show people that less is more when it comes to skincare – all you need for all over healthy glowing skin is a good quality cleanser and elixir made from all natural and organic botanical ingredients.


It also makes travel a breeze when you only have to pack a soap and bottle of my elixir for your entire body’s skincare routine.


SPECIAL OFFER!

For more information and to shop these amazing oils, visit oasisblack.com.

Balanced readers can use code GennavieveL20 at checkout for 20% off plus free shipping within Australia on your first order!



Connect with Oasis Black:

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

www.oasisblack.com

#oasisblack #oasisgirls


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