Interviews, insight & analysis on Ecommerce

How We Built It: Zaffrin O’Sullivan, founder of Five Dot Botanics.

 Give us the elevator pitch. Tell us about your brand

 Five Dot Botanics makes award-winning natural skincare products that use rich botanical ingredients to help your skin look super healthy and make you feel fabulous. Everything is British made, plant-based and vegan certified. Five Dot products contain only things your skin needs, using only 5 natural ingredients in any product, everything we make is created to give you the ultimate natural glow! 

What inspired you to set up your company

Five Dot Botanics started with a question – “why are there so many synthetic ingredients in skincare products?” Personal cosmetics and their ingredients lists are hugely confusing and half the time they are full of things your skin doesn’t really need. The range was born out of an obsession with a need for clarity over ingredients, a desire to strip out the synthetic and a celebration and a return to natural skincare. I wanted our products to be full of pure plant goodness and to strip back to using only 5 concentrated ingredients in any product we make, offering exactly what your skin needs for your best skin ever.  

 What was your biggest challenge in year one

Getting our first products formulated and manufactured was a really challenging thing, we were exacting about the quality of the ingredients we wanted to use and everything needed to be scientifically validated. It was a whole new area for me as I don’t come from inside the beauty industry. Though it was challenging and the learning curve was steep, seeing Five Dot Botanics grow and become so loved by our customers, has made the effort totally worth it.

 What would you say has been your biggest marketing success

We did a really wonderful collaboration for Menopause month and it was incredible to see how much our brand resonated with a new audience. A lot of menopausal and peri-menopausal women have had skin changes and the simplicity we offer in our skincare and the natural plant-based ethos was something that a lot of women had been looking for. Targeting this niche audience delivered some great successes and we have gained new and loyal customers as a result.

 What has been the biggest mistake you made

Doing international trade is quite complicated for various export and delivery reasons. When we were first starting out, we were quite naive about the paperwork needed to send large shipments. One wholesale order got stuck in the Middle East for months due to a particular document that was missing in the shipment bundle. We tried to retrieve the delivery to resend it but it essentially got lost into a black hole and we had to swallow the loss.

Tell us about your plans for the future

We want to be the most loved plant based skincare brand for all genders. Our mission is to keep growing in the UK and also grow more internationally. Brexit has made it quite hard however we will soon be on-boarding with Amazon in the EU to help with our fulfilment and logistics so it will be a great help having a warehouse hub in the EU. We are constantly innovating and I’m excited to have a few new products coming out including the launch of our first scalp product. We are also about to do another fundraise to help fund our growth so expect much more from Five Dot Botanics in the near future.

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