Mum and daughters join forces on skin range

23:57, Jan 24 2013
SKIN SAVIOURS: Carol and Janelle proudly show off their organic Plantae range.

A Nelson mother-daughter trio are combining their various talents to crack the niche market of organic skincare.

Carol Priest and two of her daughters, Janelle and Fiona, launched their new skincare range, Plantae, in November last year. They began working on the product line a year ago and now after six weeks of sales, things are looking good, said Janelle, 27.

Mrs Priest said the response so far was incredible. "It falls beyond our wildest expectations."

Plantae, which means plant kingdom, is a range of organically certified skincare range, formulated and made in Nelson.

Mrs Priest has 20 years' experience in the cosmetic and skincare business. A scientist, she first became interested in organic products after using them during her OE in the late 1970s.

She then spent six years working for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals training as a lab technologist. Using that experience Mrs Priest began formulating her own skincare products, for herself, friends and family.


"It started from there, then I had clients coming to the house. It grew out of the kitchen and into healthfood shops nationwide, on to export. Then I registered my first company."

Being into organics, there was a logical step to not only eat organic food, but also to apply organic cosmetics, for their nutritive benefits, she said.

"Nurture the health of women's skin, and men if they want to use the products, through the application of using cosmetics and skincare products made using certified organic raw materials."

Janelle said as teenagers and young adults the girls had all become addicted to their mother's products.

"We found every time we changed [skin products] our skin got worse, we always gravitated back to it. All our friends use them now, they hated when we moved out because we'd take it with us."

Janelle, who has a Bachelor of Communications in marketing, looks after the sales and marketing aspect of the business, while Fiona, 23, who has a degree in spatial design, is the designer, responsible for packaging, brand design and the website.

Fiona said that as a new graduate, one year out, she was excited to have the opportunity to get straight into designing.

"It's been quite challenging, I've learned a lot in a year. I'm looking forward to exploring more of my designing, eventually to stores, promotional work."

After a couple of years overseas and one in Wellington, Janelle moved back to Nelson last year and, while breaking into the market was challenging, she was enjoying it.

"I think it helps having Mum's expertise, people seem to remember her name around New Zealand.

Mrs Priest's other daughter, Jacinta, 25, is still in Wellington but also has plans to join the family business, bringing with her her expertise in finance.

She said it was a real privilege to get to work with her daughters.

"They've been brought up with me in the business from a very young age. They're very talented, it's not just that they've got the degrees, they are actually really talented at their jobs."

All three women agreed that one of the hardest things about working together was that they were not able to leave work at the office.

Mrs Priest said that although they tried, they often came back to talking about work in the evenings.

Janelle agreed, "It's easy to think about it 24/7. We're learning every day too, as kids we grew up and it looked easy what Mum and Dad did. Now we have this whole new appreciation, there's a lot more too it."

Plantae has three ranges, Purify, Balance and Hydrate, and there are plans ahead to expand these.

For Mrs Priest it is important customers can have a sensual experience. "When a woman closes the door to the bathroom, she should be able to really experience the fragrance and the oils and the texture, which is very creamy."

With more than 95 per cent organically sourced ingredients, which are all 100 per cent natural, the products are certified organic by BioGro, New Zealand's leading organic certifier.

"The international-trusted logo appears on the front of all Plantae products. This guarantees [they] have been produced to an exceptionally high standard," Janelle said.

The products are sold in seven outlets in Nelson, Wellington and Christchurch, as well as one stockist in Canada. People have begun to reorder stock after having tried samples, Janelle said. The range is at Bodywise, The Organic Green Grocer and Hardy's Richmond.

The Nelson Mail