22 years ago Shirley Livesay had a dream to create a natural sunscreen that didn’t contain any chemicals and was made with nurturing ingredients that would not only protect your skin from the sun, but would also have moisturising properties. After more than a decade of research, testing and making the product from home, she finally formulated a commercially viable sunscreen and UV Natural was launched 11 years ago.
Here is what Shirley shared about running her business.
Q. What did you do before you started this business?
I was a paramedic skin therapist, but at the time UV Natural was launching, I was a stay at home mum
Q. How did you come up with your business name?
When I made the product at home about 22 years ago, I was testing it on friends. The name came to me when I was going to the beach with a friend and applied it on his back as a joke. He was mocking me about me saying that I thought the cream was a natural sunscreen and so when he asked me to put the sunscreen on his back, I painted the words UV Natural. His back got burnt all except the letters I painted with my sunscreen.
Q. How long have you been in business?
Nearly 11 years
Q. How many hours a week do you work in your business?
Q. What kind of online and offline marketing have you done and which has worked for you?
Our website is one of our marketing tools and also word of mouth and sponsorship of elite athletes.
Q. What mistakes have you made in running your business and what lessons have you learnt from those?
We should have had more money at the start up phase for unforeseen obstacles such as chemical companies who did not wish for us to be in the marketplace, challenging us through the courts and continually trying to end our brand.
Fortunately we won, but it cost us our start up money to pay the lawyers, and so we have had to struggle to keep going. We have learnt it is important make sure you understand your own business entirely.
Q. What obstacles or challenges are you facing at the moment?
At the moment, we are trying to grow to the next level and release new exciting products to complete our range and expand world wide. With growth, funding is needed, and so we grow slowly at this stage, hoping that we may find investment to bring UV Natural to the forefront.
We have overcome so many obstacles and have adopted the attitude of "Never Give Up". We know we have something special in UV Natural - the name says it all.
Seeing this company grow to its potential will be fantastic.
Q. Are you able to take time off work to go on holidays? If so, how often?
Not really, maybe once a year for a stay at home holiday with the kids
Q. What is the most rewarding part of running your own business?
When my customers call me to tell me our sunscreen has helped their health and thank us.
UV Natural sunscreens are suitable for everyone in the family, including babies and active individuals. For more information about their products and to order them online, visit the UV Natural website