Meet the Queen of Green - A natter with Lorraine Dallmeier.
Lorraine, please tell me all about Formula Botanica and what you offer?
Formula Botanica is an online training school, run by a team of 12 people around the world. When we first started out, it was a one-woman show but over the last three years I’ve grown it to become a global brand with a global team. We provide online courses for people (mainly women) who want to start their own organic skincare brand anywhere in the world. We currently have 3000 students in 115 countries, which demonstrates the enormous worldwide movement towards green and organic beauty.
What type of person is interested in Formula Botanica courses?
Formula Botanica’s courses appeal mainly to women. Our students have often had children and are now concerned about the number of ingredients and synthetic chemicals they and their families come into contact with on a daily basis. They want to be an entrepreneur, start their own business and bring their organic formulations to a wide audience to encourage wellbeing into skincare and haircare.
What did you do to work out who your ideal client is and how do you reach out to them?
We have been very fortunate in that our ideal student has found us through our extensive presence on social media. Through the work that we’ve done over the last 3 years we have built up a very clear picture of the type of person who enrols with us and follows our courses. We mainly reach out to our customers through our website, social media and email marketing – every month we reach over 400,000 people globally.
What do you wish someone had made clear to you at the start of your business journey? Looking back, what would you tell yourself now that you wish you knew then?
Visibility is a magnificent tool for growing your business but it can also put you infront of hundreds of thousands of people. I was naïve about the realities of online business when I first took on Formula Botanica. I never expected to come face to face with hackers, scammers, trolls, thieves and copycats. I feel like I could write a book about the craziness we’ve seen over the years. Thankfully it’s only made us stronger in the process.
Nonetheless, I wish I had been slightly more prepared for what was going to hit me, although knowing me, I would’ve brushed it off as insignificant anyway!
What part of your job do you wish you could give to someone else to do but you just can’t let it go?
As some of my colleagues know all too well I struggle to let go of many things! I am learning how to delegate as Formula Botanica grows.
How do you motivate yourself on the tricky days?
I love a good to do list. J It keeps me going. On days when I know it’s just not going to happen, I only tick a few items off the list. Other days I really go for it. I take time out to be with my kids too – it keeps me sane.
What is the favourite element of your job?
Watching our students grow and find success. It’s wonderful seeing them take on the world with their artisan brands. I love engaging with our students and graduates on social media too.
How would you describe natural versus organic to the person in the street?
Natural skincare contains ingredients which are derived from nature. These ingredients are often plant-based and can nourish the skin. Organic skincare contains more of those natural ingredients but they are also certified organic, which means that they have been grown according to better ecological standards.
What trends do you see in organic skincare that excite you? How do you keep up with a fast moving market?
I love seeing the movement towards simplicity. Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated, some of the most effective products contain only a couple of ingredients.
The market does move fast, but we set our own trends within it and we’re not dictated to by the mainstream industry. Our philosophy is very different to that of the mainstream global cosmetics market, which is why our courses are different to anything else you’ll find online.
What do you think is the most overlooked natural skincare ingredient?
Oil. I know that you and many of your readers will probably understand that plant-based oils are fantastic beneficial ingredients for the skin but we still operate in a niche.
If you weren’t running Formula Botanica, what would you be doing?
I’d be climbing the corporate ladder somewhere, struggling with company politics, rebelling against working for other people.
I worked as an environmental scientist in the international energy industry for 12 years on renewable energy, oil and gas projects before I took on Formula Botanica. I worked all over the world and lived in the Netherlands, USA, Australia and even the Russian Federation, where I was based on (freezing cold) Sakhalin Island to the north of Japan for three years. This is where I met my partner Richard who then encouraged me to move to the UK with him.
What organic skincare products do you have in your bathroom cabinet? Any that aren’t organic or natural, that you are brave enough to confess too (your guilty pleasures??)
My bathroom is like a shrine to Formula Botanica. Not only do I have samples of every single product you see in our training videos, but I also get sent samples from our graduates and from members of our team, which I love! It means I can pamper my skin and hair whenever I feel like it. It also means that we can feature our graduates online and put them infront of beauty bloggers and influencers.
I also sample many other natural brands too though. I’m currently really enjoying Skincere’s day lotion as it’s very light and I find that many natural and organic brands don’t make light emulsions.
Pop, rock, urban, classical, jazz, dance, something else?
Rock. Acid jazz. And – ahem – country.
Describe a really good day for you.
A really good day for me (at work) is when I wake up, my to-do list is complete and I have the total freedom to fill my day however I want. That’s when I’m at my most creative and my best ideas come to me. I love creating content more than anything in my job. If I had the time, I would be blogging continuously, writing books, developing new courses, filming videos for social media, taking photos.
Outside of my work, a really good day is when I can do something that makes my kids light up. Seeing the world through their eyes is one of the best parts of parenting and I get excited about showing the world to them. My children have already visited ten countries and they’re only 6 and 4!
That's it - thank you Lorraine.
Thank you for inviting me to be featured on your blog! If you want to learn more about Formula Botanica, you can sign up for a sample class on our website at https://formulabotanica.com. Follow us on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/formulabotanica for regular free organic cosmetic formulation tips.