Cherie-Ann & Indira Organics
From the Royal Australian Air Force to Organic Skincare
Cherie-Ann Bourghouts is the Founder of Indira Organics, a premium range of clean, Australian-made organic skincare.
"I started the journey of looking for chemical-free products in my household because there was a link between chemicals and my son's allergy. I really struggled to find a decent brand of Australian organic skincare. I'm a very creative person so I decided I would try to create something. And I did!"
Check out our interview with Cherie-Ann Bourghouts and find out how The Trust helped her take an idea out of the kitchen and build it into an increasingly successful business.
Like many other business owners, Cherie-Ann Bourghouts never expected the sudden and immense changes that the COVID19 pandemic would bring.
Indira Organics, the skincare company that Cherie-ann Bourghouts had started around a decade ago, was ‘chugging along quite nicely’ and she had enrolled in a business course that was due to start at the start of this year to "take it to the next stage".
"I was very much invested in that process when COVID hit but one of the things that the course reassured me about was that what I was doing matters and is making a difference. So I thought, yep, I'm definitely on the right path."
Indira Organics had come out of Cherie-Ann's desire to find skincare products that would be suitable for her son who has a severe peanut allergy. Ultimately, it led to her solving her own problem.
"I thought that there might be a business idea in it so over time I developed the products further, showed them to friends and family and it really snowballed from there."
COVID presented another problem - one that Cherie-Ann quickly identified as one she could not just solve, but would also take Indira Organics on a whole new path.
Hand sanitiser. Or rather, the lack of it.
a new range of organic hand sanitiser
“I thought, this is the perfect opportunity for me to solve another problem, a more urgent problem. I have my own lab, I was able to understand how to formulate two different hand sanitisers, and I had all the people I need on my team ready to go.”
Cherie-Ann pulled her small team together to create the hand sanitiser product and admits that her relationships with her team and suppliers were critical.
"When supply was very low, I was able to get the key ingredients and containers because, thankfully, I'd already built up reliable relationships with key players in the industry. Everything fell into place."
"But that's not by luck - it's through making those connections over a number of years and building those relationships. So when the rest of us were suffering from everybody else's supply chain issues, we were ready to go."
Once again, Cherie-Ann has solved a problem, one that we were all experiencing, and says that being able to identify an opportunity was key.
"The hand sanitiser has brought a different element to my business. My online skincare product sales hadn't been affected but I was experiencing a significant impact from my other clients. Salons who were stocking Indira Organics had to close their doors."
So what does she think the future holds at this very uncertain time?
"The future is really exciting for Indira Organics. I'm still learning and working on putting that into practice so I'm absolutely excited to visit the salons as they open their doors again, to approach them and show them how magnificent our products are. I feel very confident that we are going to be well received."
Cherie-Ann joined the Air Force in 1997 and studied at the Australian Defence Force Academy, receiving her Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree from UNSW (ADFA) in 2000. During her 20 years of service, she was deployed to Iraq and was responsible for Airfield Engineering and Engineering capability across 12 major RAAF bases in Australia. On transferring to the Air Force Reserves, Cherie-Ann attended ADF Transition Seminars, received career coaching and successfully applied to undertake The Prince's Trust's career transition course. Cherie-Ann is now using her skills and experience to complement her business training in developing her own organic skincare company, Indira Organics.