Ok so not as ominous as Winter is coming but the nights are drawing in, it's getting colder and for some reason it feels like everyday it is raining - perhaps because it has been this week!!! :(
It's been a busy and interesting 4 months since we became UK Distributors for Australia's Certified Organic Eco by Sonya Tanning and skincare range. There have been many many late and sleepless nights! Lots of hard work, passion and determination is being pored into Organically Epic. It's hard work but we are loving it! We are very fortunate to be talking to wholesalers and stockists every day, spreading the word of Organically Epic and introducing like minded, and sometimes not so like minded, individuals and companies to Eco by Sonya. It is going to take time but we are in it for the long haul! Eco by Sonya are a revolutionary brand with revolutionary products so it will take time. They are practically unheard of in the UK market and as soon as you say 'yes a certified organic and 100% natural tanning and skincare brand' it can sound quite unbelievable at first!
You will see we now have a stockists page on the website that is slowly being populated. You will always be able to purchase Eco by Sonya from our website and we will always be here on social media or directly via the telephone and email to answer your queries, however, we want to get the products stocked and on the shelves in every town in the UK! ambitious, yes, but a worthy challenge! Keep an eye out for spray tanners and beauticians offering Eco by Sonya tans in your town!
We had our annual two week shut down in August. We run on a skeleton staff basis for two weeks where we ask our staff to take two weeks off over the School Summer holidays. This is because quite a lot of our staff have family commitments in this time so they at least do not have to worry about child care for a short time and we can get a lot of our administration, website design, office maintenance etc done in this time. We also have a few staff members in the office still working and manning the phones. Don't worry, if you ever make an order during these two weeks, and over a Christmas holiday, you will still receive your items, you won't be forgotten about! We are also always contactable by phone, email and on our social media sites.
I was lucky enough to go on holiday to Australia to visit family and friends, my hubby is Australian. So it was the first time that some family members had met our gorgeous two year old daughter. A flight to Australia I hear you cry, with a a toddler, are you mad? yes, perhaps so... the flight was actually fine, she watched the same film on repeat in between toilet trips and sleeping to it was quite a joy. The jet lag at the other end was another story. Making omlettes for a hungry toddler at 3am in the morning is not something I want to repeat in a hurry.
Whilst in Melbourne I managed to meet up with two members of the Eco Tan/Eco by Sonya team. Mitzi and Alli. I was so so privileged to meet these wonderful ladies. Mitzi is the sales representative for Victoria (like one of our counties but much much bigger) and has nearly 800 clients. Yes, 800, how amazing is that? it just goes to show how successful Sonya and her team have been in the Australian market. UK here we come! Mitzi is so knowledgeable and a force to be reckoned with! I went in to a few stockists in Northcote, Melbourne and the managers that I spoke to all knew Mitzi and were so complementary about the brand and Mitzi's passion for the products. Alli is Eco Tan/Eco by Sonya's global trade show extraordinaire and has just also started working in the International sales team. She also finds time to run her own business as well as being a Mummy so her work ethic and stamina is to be applauded, I don't know how she does it. Mitzi and Alli clearly both love what they do, love their clients and getting in front of prospective clients. They are a credit to Sonya and the Eco team. After speaking with clients of Eco in Melbourne who stocked the products, everyone had great things to say about the products, they are well thought of in the industry and by the customers who use the products. I was so sure after meeting the ladies and going along to shops that stocked Eco Tan that we had made the right decision in aligning ourselves with the brand and distributing the UK. Everyone's passion for Organic and Natural was refreshing and it gave me so many wonderful ideas to bring back to the Organically Epic offices. I've become so enamored with the products, ingredients and everything organic and natural that it's rubbing off on the team, in a good way obviously!
Whilst in Australia we visited family and friends in Melbourne. We stayed in a beautiful house in Northcote, emersing ourselves into the lifestyle for the 10 days we were there. The only downside was the weather, it was Winter and so so cold, given that we'd just left a heatwave in the UK I felt a bit hard done by. We then moved on to Canberra to visit my brother in law, it was definitely freezing there! then onto Sydney to see Aunts, Uncles & Cousins. Our little one was certainly spoilt and has a wonderful extended family. I lived in Melbourne for a year, that's how I met my Husband, and I'd never spent a large amount of time in Sydney. I've been there before but it was always a fleeting visit. This time around we stayed there for nearly 4 days, again in a lovely house in a great part of town, Paddington. (airbnb definitely was our saviour, if you travel and don't like using hotels check out www.airbnb.com it's amazing!) Anyway, I digress, my point is that I fell completely in love with Sydney. It was winter and yes it was fairly cold but not cold as we are used to in Englan. There was something about where we were staying the city that really caught me this time around. We then drove North (yes we did a lot a lot of driving, the ipad got a bashing and we had to wean our daughter off it when we got home) to a lovely little town on the coast called Bonny Hills. This is where my in laws now live. It was quite lovely - amazing views & beaches. Their house was above the beach on a corner plot and had breath taking views of the beach, we even saw some whales! The view sitting out on the balcony/decking at night was something to behold. I've never seen such a clear night and so many stars!
Whilst doing all of this I was still working on social media, still liaising with the team and Karon back in the UK and still making sure I was up to speed with everyone so I felt well and truly shattered when I got home but in a good way.... we landed in the UK in the morning then were off to a friends straight after for a bbq... I don't think we made that much sense when we were there! We won't be doing that again!
I was disappointed that I didn't get a chance to get to the Gold Coast to see Eco Tan HQ. It would have been great to spend some time with Sonya and the team, watching them work their magic and seeing how they run things but alas, our schedule didn't allow the time. Next time. I was back in the office at the end of August with even more passion and vigor than before (if that was possible!). The Organically Epic team are working super hard, and are speaking to as many potential stockists and wholesalers as possible to spread the Eco by Sonya love. We are getting a lot of traffic through our website so we are fulfilling orders, getting new customers and generally offering quite wonderful unique customer service along the way, well I think so anyway :) We all use the products, me not being a self tan enthusiast previously, mainly because of the fake awful results you would get, the smell and worries about what was actually in these bottles of stinky brown goo. I have well and truly been converted and I love Invisible tan and Winter Skin. My team are loving the products, everyone has their favourite - the face tan water being well and truly up there at the moment. One of our team members, Megan, has taken her spray tanning courses and is our resident spray tanner! We have also signed up to the Professional Beauty Show in February 2016, it'll be great to meet you there if you are in attendance. Watch this space and our social media pages for more info on the beauty show and the stand we will be on. More news coming soon, but for the time being, take care, have fun and try to do it all as organically and naturally as possible :) Jayne and the Organically Epic team x