MEMBER STORIES

'You've got to follow that dream and give it your best shot'

'You've got to follow that dream and give it your best shot'
Ethel Fitzjohn
Ethel Fitzjohninfo@fitzjohnskincare.com

Posted: Tue 6th Apr 2021

Ethel Fitzjohn is the founder of ethically sourced, plant-based brand Fitzjohn Skin Care.

A career selling make-up and makeovers gave her the inspiration to provide a natural alternative to products that weren't meeting the needs of women with skincare issues.

Ethel shares her business story and how, with the help of a Bootcamp through the Amazon Small Business Accelerator, is now selling her bestselling product on Amazon's online store.

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in 218 bitesize videos. 

If you're already an Enterprise Nation member, log-in to your member dashboard to access the e-learning. If you're not an Enterprise Nation member, you can join the Amazon Small Business Accelerator for free here.


How did you come up with the idea for your business?

"I worked for a cosmetics company doing makeovers and selling make-up for several years at exhibitions across the country. Many women had issues with their skin and would ask what products I recommended.

"I heard it so many times over a long period of time that I thought it would be good to have my own line of naturally based skincare products. There's a lot of confusion out there. Shops are full of stuff, but it's hard to know what products will work, especially if you have skin problems. Your face is what you present to the world so I decided to go for it.

"There is also some heritage in my family and I do wonder if I'm chanelling it! My great grandfather was a herbalist and on my mum's side, African medicine was important."

How did you turn the idea into a business?

"I did some training in cosmetics formulation and then I started putting my own range together. I wanted to create products that were natural but also luxurious. A lot of natural products are very worthy but they don't look particularly appealing.

"I got graphic designers involved and created a luxury brand.

"I started promoting the brand by going to events because that's the world I knew. It's a great way to talk and engage with customers."

Fitzjohn Skincare

How has COVID-19 affected your business?

"The pandemic meant I couldn't do events which was a big change and it impacted on my customer base.

"It forced me to pivot and focus on something that was already in my long term plan, selling on Amazon. It has been on my radar for a while but it hadn't felt like the right place for me to be, but over the last few years there have been an increase in luxury beauty brands on Amazon and many retailers expect to see you on Amazon before taking a punt on you as a stockist.

"When the Amazon Small Business Accelerator Bootcamp came along, it was perfect timing."

How did the Amazon Small Business Accelerator Bootcamp help you and what actions did you take as a result?

"It was very useful and gave me the structure and skeleton for listing my products on Amazon.

"After the Bootcamp I got set up with Fulfilment by Amazon and sent my first consignment of products.  I also had new imagery taken and worked on my product listing.

"One of the great benefits of the Bootcamp is that you get access to an advertising expert at Amazon. It was really helpful to talk to them about where to begin with advertising on Amazon and for them to check my listing.

"I've also been watching the videos in the Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme. I found the balancing your business video by Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones useful. It's good to be reminded of what you should be focusing on."

What are your tips for business success?

"If you've got a burning idea for a product, you've just got to try it. It's a lot easier to start a business now than when I started. There's so much help out there such as Enterprise Nation and places like Amazon to sell on. You've got to follow that dream and give it your best shot."

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in 218 bitesize videos. 
 
If you're already an Enterprise Nation member, log-in to your member dashboard to access the e-learning. If you're not an Enterprise Nation member, you can join the Amazon Small Business Accelerator for free here.

Ethel Fitzjohn
Ethel Fitzjohninfo@fitzjohnskincare.com

You might also like…

Get business support right to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive business tips, learn about new funding programmes, join upcoming events, take e-learning courses, and more.