A skincare business that started in a Pāpāmoa garage has now partnered with the largest beauty retailer in Australasia.
Pure Mama founder and chief executive Lara Christie says her new partnership with Mecca is a “huge opportunity” for her small business, which sells pregnancy-specific skincare products.
The 34-year-old mother-of-two said the partnership was a “pinch me” moment after being a “long-time fan and customer of Mecca”.
“I believe our pregnancy skincare will make a great addition to Mecca’s line-up of world-class products, and we look forward to supporting women throughout Australasia on their pregnancy and motherhood journeys.”
Mecca is Australasia’s largest prestige beauty retailer, with more than 100 stores in Australia and New Zealand.
Christie said she founded the company in 2018. It took about three years to develop the concept, brand and product and to undertake market research before it launched online in May 2021.
In 2018, Christie said she was pregnant with her first child and “surprised and frustrated” by the lack of pregnancy-specific body care products.
“Our skin is going through so many changes and needs all that extra support, and I spent quite a long time just going, ‘What should I use?’ ... and I was really left feeling overwhelmed because it’s a whole new world.
“I thought, ‘If this is a problem that I’m having as a consumer, then it must be a problem other women are having too’.”
Christie said she saw an “opportunity in the market” to develop products targeting “modern mothers”.
She said their “signature” product was a belly oil to help “support and nourish your skin” from the second trimester.
Additional products include a magnesium body rub, nipple butter and a “bump” scrub - typically used in the shower.
Christie said her husband renovated the garage to be a warehouse and storeroom and she launched her business from their Pāpāmoa home.
She said the products were manufactured off-site and then sent to her. She would then pack and ship them to her customers.
Christie said she worked from home for 18 months before moving into a commercial space in Pāpāmoa “five times the size” of her garage.
She said partnering with Mecca had “always been our goal”.
It was a “huge undertaking” to partner with a big retailer such as Mecca, requiring a lot of work and investment, she said.
“We did whatever we could to make it happen and it’s happened, which is exciting.”
She said it was a “huge opportunity” for her small business.
“We’ve been working really hard to get into the Australian market, but having a major retailer like that support us along the way and partner with us to really get into the hands and minds of people that are shopping with Mecca is just something that we don’t believe any other retailer could potentially do.”
Christie worked in corporate marketing for about 12 years before starting her business.
“I’ve always wanted to do my own thing. Both my parents are entrepreneurs, and we’ve just always had that mindset - just get into it and start learning, fail fast and ask the right questions, and there’s nothing you can’t do.”
Her next goal was to expand further internationally in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In a press release, Mecca’s general manager of merchandise Isobel McNally said Pure Mama delivered “the absolute highest quality of naturally derived products” to support women in their journey through motherhood.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner closely with them to bring this incredible new offer to the Mecca consumer.”