For Elle Gencer, going to a beauty salon isn’t a luxury, it’s a must.
But after starting a family, the mother-of-two no longer had a regular self-pampering routine, resulting in neglected skin.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Beauty Entrepreneurs’ 3 Tips for Minimizing Pores.
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After all, the busy Brisbane mother found it difficult to balance her busy work schedule with family life.
“As a young mom who worked full-time in the beauty industry in marketing, I ran out of time to take care of myself and my skin became dull, pigmented and congested, but a routine spa appointment was out of the question,” says Elle, now 37, tells 7Life.
“My busy schedule didn’t match spa hours…visits were becoming less frequent and the cost was beyond my family’s budget.”
As her young sons got older, she began thinking about how she could spoil herself at home with the tiny window she had to herself – only if she was lucky.
“I started to feel normal again, with no midnight awakenings and feeling a little more rested,” she explains.
“So I knew it was the perfect time to seize the opportunity to follow my passion.”
The idea of starting her own business came to her mind when Elle saw a gap in the market for affordable at-home beauty equipment and skincare treatments.
“There came a point where working all day and a busy off-hours schedule dominated by kids’ activities left little time for myself,” she recalls.
“I was beginning to dream of some overdue self-indulgence, but nothing ever suited spa hours.
“This lack of time to myself has inspired me to create accessible at-home treatments for the modern woman, with an emphasis on innovative technology and spa-grade results.”
Not being able to attend her regular salon, Elle noticed that she was saving money.
“Salon prices, as most women can appreciate, can be upwards of a few hundred dollars per visit,” she says.
“I decided that all women should have access to treatments like microdermabrasion at home.
“I risked it”
She took a leap of faith and invested her savings to found Dermerèn in 2020.
“With great breath, with just $3,000 of my life savings, I took a chance and made a small batch of devices to test the market,” she said.
Elle juggled her full-time job in marketing while quietly working on her business every night after her boys were in bed.
“When I was about to start, I quit my job,” she says.
As her business prospered, she turned her garage into an office space where she could keep all the supplies.
With beauty salons forced to close indefinitely due to the global COVID pandemic, the mom has faced many challenges along the way.
“I distinctly remember the time my first device, the microdermabrasion device (Mycro), launched in 2020 – it came at a time when many of us were affected by Covid,” she says.
“Supply and distribution quickly became difficult and placed a heavy burden on day-to-day business operations.
“However, we were also fortunate because during this time, people were becoming more interested in skin care options at home.”
Their first device, now one of their bestsellers, became a huge hit shortly after it was launched.
“The positive start gave me the self-confidence to invest money in the company again,” she says.
Specially designed for all types of women, the $249 at-home microdermabrasion device is designed to gently exfoliate and detoxify pores, leaving skin feeling fresh and plump.
“Not only does it allow you to do these treatments as soon as you’ve put the kids to bed or come home after a long day at work, it’s a lot cheaper than what you pay for in-salon microdermabrasion,” says Elle.
“You can get a device that you can use for a long time.”
A year and a half later, she signed the lease for her new office and warehouse.
Now, three years later, the company has surpassed $3 million in sales.
“I’m very honored and can honestly say that my business started with an idea at the kitchen table, my own small savings, and boxing products in the garage – all while stepping over children’s toys,” she says.
“More than three years have passed since Dermerèn was founded, I have a great team and, despite my busy schedule, I can spend time with my family and my children.
“Running your own company always involves risks.
“But I am grateful that I was able to offset all the stress of being a small business owner.
“I now have more flexibility to prioritize family when needed.”
As her business “continues to grow”, she always strives to “improve” her range and “raise the standard”.
“Self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s a must,” she says.
“Because of this, my schedule covers every aspect of the business, from dealing with suppliers, to improving our marketing and product development, to delivering the best at-home salon experience available on the market.”
‘roll up your sleeves’
For anyone looking to start a business, Elle says, “I firmly believe that life is nothing without hard work and as the saying goes, ‘The first step is often the hardest.'”
“If you really believe in an idea and are willing to roll up your sleeves, take risks and always keep the customer in focus, then anything is possible.”
7NEWS received no financial benefit for this story.
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