When two work colleagues Kate Everitt and Julie Moulder met, they were united with a common bond that inspired them to launch a range of ingestibles named The Fix into the market. They share their story with Anita Quade.
Congratulations on your amazing range The Fix – it’s taken 10 years of research to reach this point tell us about how you conceived the idea and the range?
J: “We’ve worked in each other’s pockets for 12 years now. As working partners and friends we’ve been inseparable. We figured out very early in our working relationship that we had very different strengths that conveniently, were hugely complimentary. Kate worked in the strategy and innovation, I worked in design and execution. But both of us had a love for complimentary medicines and the benefits they bring. In the simplest terms, our job for 10 years was to dig into the lives of everyday people, understand their pain points, what made them tick, what would improve their lives. We are researchers and product developers at the core.”
K: “However, that’s just the worky bit. In truth, it was far more personal than that. I suffered horrendously for over two decades from crippling period symptoms. Pain and cramping, that once it set in, left me bent over vomiting and unable to participate in life. And that was just the pain. Julie suffered ALL of the usual symptoms – breakouts, bloating, tumultuous moods. We spent 10 years helping each other out, racing to the pharmacy for ibuprofen, tolerating each other’s mood swings with a grimace and we shared it all. And then one day, standing in Kate’s back garden, we asked the question: ‘why has no one ever tried to fix the problem of period symptoms?’ And as they say, the rest is history.”
How difficult has it been as a journey to launch the range?
J: “It’s been the hardest thing we’ve ever done in our lives. But not one moment in the journey have we ever doubted ourselves, our idea or why we’re doing it. If we are completely honest, I think we had a far more romantic view on running our own business, but the hustle and the grunt is very real to be women in the wellness business.
Luckily, we both had substantial background in research, consumer studies and the benefits of complimentary medicines, which meant we were able to hit the ground running at very little cost. We spent hours, days, months interviewing girls, women. We spoke to the mothers of daughters to gather more holistic insights. We designed our own brand, packaging. We took on everything ourselves. We had so many friends and family helping us in any way they could and that is something we will never forget. We’d left our jobs, we were surviving off savings and working at full throttle to make this work.
Given our experience in complimentary medicines, there was no doubt that we must have TGA approval and all the support research and evidence that makes this possible. We knew this was no easy feat. It took time and money and a lot of both. But in our minds, it was the non-negotiable.”
K: “We also knew from day-dot the producer of the range we wanted to work with. Of course, they turned us away when we first approached them. We were a startup. We were nobody. So, we carried on developing and building our brand and our range and our research and we went back to them with a concept and they saw our idea and they accepted us and that was one of the most reassuring parts of the journey. For the first time. Someone had validated our mission.”
What has the reaction been like?
J: “It still blows our mind. The reaction runs the gamut of ‘why the hell hasn’t this been done before’ to ‘this is the most exciting and needed product people have seen’. We think it may take some time for girls, women to accept that it’s ok to not suffer every month. We always suspected from the very beginning that our community would need a sense of permission. We are so hardwired to be tough, to accept pain and discomfort. It’s our job to give these gorgeous people permission.”
“It still blows our mind. The reaction runs the gamut of ‘why the hell hasn’t this been done before’ to ‘this is the most exciting and needed product people have seen’.”
Are you open to stocking in beauty salons?
K: “We’d love to be everywhere for everyone. We are obviously sold on our website www.thefixcompany.com.au.”
What is the one lesson you have learnt on this wellness business journey?
J: “Ask for help. Think of your network, community. People like helping, so ask for it. But always, always be grateful. People are busy and they are going out of their way. So, recognise it. If we could have a credits reel of all the people that helped us, we’d put it on a billboard in times Square.”
Anything you wish you had have known starting out?
K: “You are no exception to the rule. As we said, we’re researchers, we listened to hundreds of podcasts and read countless articles and start up stories and honestly, everything they say is real.”
What’s been the most rewarding part of this journey?
J: “Results. The day we started getting feedback, not just from friends and family, is the most rewarding moment by far.
Imagine hearing from women who have suffered for a decade or two with unbearable pain or confidence killing skin breakouts or life altering moods and they write to you and tell you The Fix has changed their life. It literally doesn’t get better than that.”
Any advice to others looking to get into the ever growing ingestible market?
K: “Research. Research and research some more. You are asking for people to put something into their body, which is far more confronting than something topical. So, what that means, you need to ensure its safe to ingest. But then, you need to be able to back what you’re saying. If you say it does XYZ, then it must. This is not an easy job. But once you get it right, wow the results do the job for you.”
What are your plans for the brand going forward?
J: “Oh so many plans. From the start, we had a very clear view of where we are headed. The most important thing for us right now, is that we continue to provide high quality products with the world’s best ingredients and formulations. To keep our focus on products that continue to target the most common symptoms and then we’ll expand from there. There’s no stopping us now.”
This article first appeared in the November-December 2022 print edition of Professional Beauty.
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