A Melbourne woman who sold her house to create a beauty line inspired by a tropical Bali holiday has revealed the “sacrifice has paid off” as she’s now earning millions.
Emily Hamilton is the founder of award-winning Australian brand Coco & Eve, which sells a range of haircare, body and self-tanning products that “capture the essence of a tropical holiday” through unique scents and colourful packaging.
Despite experiencing “phenomenal growth” in the five years since launching, the mother from Geelong revealed success didn’t happen overnight, prompting her to take a risk and “invest in my idea” by selling her childhood home in the brand’s early days.
“My husband and I saved up money to allocate to starting a business. We had to be OK with potentially losing it all, to just go ahead and go for it,” Emily told news.com.au’s The Beauty Diary.
“A year after launching, we realised the company was growing so much, we decided to ramp up our innovation investment to really capitalise on growth.
“We had to sell our house and we invested $5 million of our own savings into the company. “The money was allocated primarily to research and development, clinical and consumer trials, with the ambitious goal of launching 12 new products per year.”
Coco & Eve initially launched with haircare products which were designed to sit between supermarket and salon-certified offerings.
“This area of the market was really not existing a few years ago and now it is really booming,” Emily explained.
“By circumventing the salon distribution model, Coco & Eve products are not only accessible but also available at a better price point and that is part of the appeal.
“The products also uplift and inspire consumers by incorporating skin and hair-friendly ingredients derived from Bali inspired fruits and plants like coconuts, mangoes, and banana flowers.”
Emily was also able to harness her experience from her previous entrepreneur endeavours, some of which have been hugely successful, such as Bellabox – a beauty subscription service she set up with her twin sister, Sarah.
A few years later, the identical siblings set up Sand & Sky, a skincare brand widely known for its pink clay face mask.
While Coco & Eve is 100 per cent owned by Emily, it’s now part of Supernova – the same umbrella company Sand & Sky operates under – which hit $US45 million (AU70m) revenue in 2021, the AFR reported.
Today, the beauty business also sells an array of other products after expanding across self-tanning, body and most recently an SPF.
But it’s the brand’s first ever product that remains its bestseller, the “Like a Virgin” nourishing hair mask containing coconut and fig, that has won a slew of awards.
Emily, who currently lives in Singapore, said the idea for the $49 product was born during her regular travel between Asia and Melbourne.
“Your hair goes through a lot when you’re out and about – the chlorine, the sea water, the different kinds of products you’re using on the go can all cause damage,” she said.
“It was an instant hit with our fans and is still one of the top sellers.”
Other bestsellers include the “Sunny Honey Bronzing Foam” and the “Antioxidant Face Tanning Micromist”, which she said was the brand’s “most successful launch”.
“Every product in the Coco & Eve range uses high-quality, natural ingredients that are beneficial for skin and hair to drive amazing results for our customers,” Emily added.
The brand is also cruelty-free and environmentally conscious with products being “largely free from harmful chemicals”.
This year, Coco & Eve has been expanding internationally into the US and UK, after securing deals with Ulta and Boots to be stocked in its stores.
“What began as a dream while travelling in Bali has blossomed into a global beauty brand that continues to thrive,” she finished.
“I’m so very excited for the next phase of the business.”
Originally published as Beauty Diary: Bali holiday behind multimillion-dollar beauty brand Coco & Eve