Natural skincare has taken the world by storm over the last couple of years and we are absolutely here for it. Particularly when it’s by a local brand creating beautiful products.
Claire Slunecko is one such creator of beautiful products. Along with her partner, she created anskia, skincare products that won’t cost you or the earth a fortune.
We sat down for a chat with Claire about her brand and why we should all be using natural skincare.
How long were you a Gold Coast local?
Twenty-two years! I was born on the Gold Coast and grew up there (apart from a short stint living in Canada when I was young). I studied law at Bond University and then in August 2017 moved to Brisbane to work as an intellectual property lawyer. I have been in Brisbane since then – though my partner and I love to travel as much as possible (I am currently writing this from Iceland).
What did you love most about living here?
The richness and diversity of the natural environment. The Gold Coast has a treasure trove of unique and diverse landscapes. My childhood is filled with memories of road trips to Sunday markets in Bangalow, lush rainforests in Springbrook, endless coastlines and natural waterfalls. The weather, food (hello, Rick Shores) and people are an added bonus.
Tell us about your business anksia…
We are a natural skincare business (using predominantly organic ingredients) that launched a few weeks ago in December 2019. Our products are handcrafted in Australia. The name ‘anksia’ is derived from our native Australian banksia wildflowers. We have a strong focus on transparency, and provide a breakdown of each ingredient used on our website including their origin and purpose. We also believe that you shouldn’t have to compromise on products that are beautiful and luxurious, and conversely, products that are effective and natural. We spent a long time pouring over minute design details like letter spacing, glass jars for our packaging and clean and effective ingredients.
How did anksia come about?
The idea was birthed from a conversation with my partner about our own difficulty and frustration in finding skincare products that were natural, beautifully packaged and consciously priced. Our bathroom cupboards seemed littered with products that contained harmful ingredients that didn’t improve our skin, were packaged poorly (almost always in plastic) and were excessively priced. This was the inception of our idea and from there we worked hard to create products that we ourselves would be proud to use.
Why should people be choosing natural skincare?
Your skin is your biggest organ, and is porous, so will absorb everything that is put onto it. There are a number of health problems linked to chemicals and synthetics used in cosmetics, including skincare products. What is going on your skin is just as important as what you are eating. We encourage everyone to review the ingredients used in their cosmetic products, even where they are claimed as being ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. Greenwashing is prevalent in the industry. In our experience, natural skincare is also far more effective, much more environmentally friendly and does not require testing on animals (unlike most synthetic ingredients).
What’s your personal favourite product?
My personal favourite is the Luminant Facial Oil. It feels so luscious and like a drink of water for my skin. I apply it at night and whenever I fly.
Any advice for someone wanting to start their own small business?
The most important thing is to actually start! We meet so many people with great ideas that never try to execute and wonder ‘what if’ down the track. Start with a small step, and the rest will naturally follow. Failure is also how you grow and learn, so don’t be afraid to pivot and persevere around inevitable roadblocks. Lastly, sharing your idea with others is a great way to hold yourself accountable to executing on your idea (pen to paper can also help to commit yourself).
What’s in the works for 2020 for you?
We are continually working on improving our products and making them more sustainable and environmentally friendly. So that will continue to be our goal in 2020. We are also looking to stock our products in holistic, and sustainably focused online and physical stores that align with our ethos – we are currently in talks with a beautiful store in the Capricorn Coast that reached out to us. We launched just a few weeks ago so this is already a huge milestone! We would also love to expand overseas and increase access to Australian natural skincare products.