When design duo Alisa and Lysandra Fraser, from TV’s The Block, decided last year that late March 2020 would be the right time to launch their new hand and body wash range, little did they know that a debilitating pandemic would be hurtling into its peak in Australia and throughout the rest of the world during this exact same period.
Despite the growing chaos, the twin sisters, who are best known for winning the 2013 season of The Block: Sky High, and now run their own renovation business Alisa + Lysandra, stuck to their schedule and went ahead with the March launch of their new al.ive body® product range.
The timing turned out to be perfect as the urgent need for hand soap due to increased emphasis on handwashing created an immediate demand for the range, which included a naturally derived hand-body wash and a hand-body lotion, in Kaffir Lime & Green Tea; Fig, Apricot & Sage; and Coconut & Wild Orange.
Within five weeks the Melbourne-based pair had sold out of their products and were already 11 months ahead of their projected sales target. To date, they have now sold almost 2,500 individual units and have just restocked.
“We had a very successful launch and were very fortunate to release a hand and body range during this time as soap products just happened to be in demand due to increased hygiene measures,” said Lysandra.
“We had really positive feedback from customers saying they love the product and are now feeling really confident about the range going forward. We know once this crisis is over, people will always be in need of high-quality hygiene products and may prioritise them more now.”
Juggling Is Not Easy
But juggling home life and trying to get a new venture up and running wasn’t easy for these mums.
“As you would imagine, it was quite the challenge and both require your undivided attention,” says Alisa.
“We made it work by planning as far ahead in advance as possible what the days and weeks would look like. For me, the time after the boys go to bed is a godsend, when the world sleeps, we work!”
The pair say that they were lucky enough in that in South Australia, where they live, schools were not required to close.
“The kids had an extra week of school holidays which was a nice opportunity to spend time with them outside of normal operating hours,” Lysandra says. “COVID obviously has been an awful time for all of us but it has made a lot of people reassess what’s important in life.”
Even The Kids Love The Smell
As far as their own kids’ cleanliness goes, Alisa says it’s not been nice trying to explain to them exactly why they need to amp up the sanitising.
“However, they do love using our al.ive body washes at home! And in fact, it’s the first time we don’t have to remind them to wash their hands as they love the way their hands smell after using it.”
Secrets To Our Success
The pair say their best advice for other wannabe entrepreneurs is to plan every single little thing in as much detail as possible.
“And when you’ve finished planning, plan more!” encourages Lysandra. “Plan for your success, plan your contingency and then plan your success. Consider every possible outcome and do your best to make sure there isn’t very much that could surprise you.
2) Get Your Family Involved
“Secondly, ask your kids for their thoughts and opinions, they’re crafty in those little minds of theirs, you might be surprised by what they have to say! In terms of your home life, MAKE time. If something is important, you will make it happen.
3) Back Yourself!
“Lastly, you have to learn to be your own cheerleader. Back yourself. If you don’t believe you can do something, why would anyone else? That’s always been our motto in everything we’ve done and it’s worked for us pretty well.”
Do you run your own business like Alisa and Lysandra from The Block? Or would you like to launch your own business? Tell us in the comments below.