It’s a case of; whenever you have an idea pounce on it immediately because you never know where it can lead you.
Mother-of-three Joanna Jensen managed to turn her simple toiletries idea into a $20 million skincare empire — and it’s still going strong today.
Child’s Farm came about in 2010 in the barn of her farm, when Ms Jensen was struggling to find the right products for her two daughters’ sensitive skin.
“When you’re a mother you have to do whatever is needed for your kids, and for me, I had been trying to find products for my two girls’ sensitive skin, and failing,” Ms Jensen told news.com.au.
RELATED: Mother shares heartbreaking images of her little girl with eczema
At the time, Bella was two, and Mimi was four years old and both suffered from eczema.
“Bella was just in so much pain and I really couldn’t find anything and what I could find was medicinal and I didn’t want to use that,” said Joanna.
“She had appallingly sensitive skin. It was red raw much of the time and she had terrible eczema. It was heartbreaking and incredibly frustrating because most skincare products on the market irritated it even further.
“Our whole lifestyle was built on natural remedies and I just thought ‘this is ridiculous there’s nothing available’.”
Ms Jensen’s husband at the time suggested she start her own brand.
“I thought, ‘why on earth not’ and that’s how it really started,” Ms Jensen said.
She did exactly that, developing six products including a $10 “miracle” baby moistures that would soon go viral and contribute to a turnover of $20 million worth of products a year.
At the start, she made everything herself from her ‘freezing cold barn’, drawing on expertise she learned from making shampoos for her horses.
She then went on to work with a manufacturer to create the formulas for her first six products, which she then tried on her girls as well as on friends’ children to find out what worked and what didn’t.
“The change in Bella’s skin was incredible and the feedback I received was fantastic,” Ms Jensen said.
‘THOSE THREE POSTS REALLY CATAPULTED THE COMPANY’
It was only a few years ago when her business “blew up” following three Facebook posts from mums who had reviewed her products.
Leah West, 33, rushed her 18-month-old daughter Lilith to hospital when her neck broke out in a red rash after her eczema became infected. She said it looked like it had been burned and in a post revealed how Childs Farm moisturiser cleared her eczema in days.
Australian mummy blogger Rebecca Little also shared graphic images of her daughter’s eczema prior to using the brand, adding she had tried everything before stumbling across the UK company.
In a post from 2017, Paige Sweeney revealed she too had tried “every single steroid cream and moisturiser” on her daughter for nearly three years, but nothing worked.
Her Facebook posts, showing graphic images of her little girl’s hand covered in red sores, had also gone viral.
“Those three posts really catapulted the company — and those three women are still friends of the brand today,” Ms Jensen told news.com.au
“I hold all of those three women and thousands of other mums, dads and users responsible for the success of this business. Without them I was jogging on quite nice but never of the level of growth we have now.
Ms Jensen said her baby moisturiser has been dubbed a “miracle cream” because of the countless” heartwarming reviews” from parents and consumers shared on social media.
Ms Jensen’s two girls have been using the family-owned products since it hit shelves seven years ago — and while Bella (now 11) still suffers from bad eczema, the moisturiser and creams continue to help manage her condition.
“I wanted to create something different to pharmaceutical companies and I created exactly what I wanted and we have continued to use naturally dried ingredients. We use a lot of coconut derived ingredients and essential oils.”
‘I JUST NEVER GAVE UP’
Before developing the company, Ms Jensen was aware the road ahead wasn’t going to be easy especially because she was also operating an Airbnb&B business from their family farm in Hampshire, renting out their barn for weddings and also breeding horses.
“But I just never gave up and if anyone said ‘no’ to me it just pushed me harder,” she said.
After developing the concept and spending nearly two years sampling products before settling on the final formulas, her six products hit small stores in the UK in 2013.
The following year saw her get a major listing in Boots (one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the UK).
“You just hope it’s going to go all right,” Ms Jensen said.
She realised her handwork paid off last year when sales exceeded Johnson and Johnson in the UK, with a 22 per cent and 20 per cent respective market share in baby toiletries.
“You suddenly think ‘oh my God we are just a tiny brand in middle of nowhere and they are a global pharmaceutical company’. You always dream of creating something big, but you never realise it can happen,” Ms Jensen told news.com.au during a recent trip to Australia.
In December, Ms Jensen took a break for the first time in 10 years and that’s when her success really sank in.
“The girls and I sat down and we spoke about all we have achieved,” Ms Jensen said, adding that she has stepped down from her role as CEO to focus on research and development, creating new products and engaging even more with consumers on what they would like to see more from the company.
“That’s what I’m going to be doing, spending more time with mums, dads, users — it’s what I love doing the most because they will give the best feedback so we can make things to help people and make them smile.”
Ms Jensen sold their family Hampshire farm in 2014 following her divorce and she has since settled, with her two girls, on another working farm, with their horses and other animals.