She started out in the family garage with just one brand, a stack of boxes, and little more than big dreams and loads of passion to fuel her fledging cosmedics business.
Now, just a few enlightening years later, Maria Enna-Cocciolone is getting set to take on the world with O Cosmedics, one of Australia’s leading professional clinic-only skin care brands.
After setting up her ‘back-yard’ with more than 1100 partners in Australia and New Zealand, The Carousel’s newest Game Changer tells series host Sarah Harris (Studio 10) she’s excited about the opportunities overseas.
“Now it’s time to save one skin at a time, one country at a time,” says the founder and CEO of O Cosmedics, who is heading to Hong Kong to set up for international distribution.
“When I look back it was the garage and support of my family that gave me the launch pad that I needed to take the next steps.
“My motto has always been there is no room for failure.”
With the family livelihood on the line, Maria says O Cosmedics evolved out of her desire to put the heart and soul and some credibility back into an industry she’d worked in for more than 30 years.
The key was developing a formula using an active ingredient called the V8 peptide complex.
Maria says it has a muscle relaxant component which numbs the communication between the nerve and the muscle and so it gives a softness to the movement in the skin – a bit like Botox in a jar!
“It’s a cosmedical brand which means it just sits underneath a prescription strength, so any stronger and it would need a doctor behind it.
“That’s because it works on what we call functional actives, where we use the active ingredient to the dose or percentage that the scientist recommends that will make a difference to the skin.”
As for her best advice to others thinking of taking their own dreams to market, Maria says make sure you do your homework first.
“The world needed another skincare brand like a hole in the head, so if you’re going to do it, it’s got to be different,” she tells Sarah.
“You can’t produce something that someone’s already done, so you’ve got to find your point of difference, and you’ve got to start from scratch.
“And your story has to be strong, and you really need to appeal to the consumer.”