SUSIE SIERRA, Artist & Founder, Sierra 24K Gold
Interview by Lux Nomad Magazine
Why did you start your business?
I have an entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve been self-employed since my 20’s when I first started modelling and acting. In my 30’s, I continued performing in theatre, TV and film in Australia and the USA. I love the creative and performing arts.
One day I picked up a paintbrush and started to paint these tropical flowers. I fell head over heels in love with painting and within a year had opened my own art gallery in Sydney. It was life changing. I sold my first painting before it was even finished!
I’ve had a committed beauty routine since age 14 and launching a beauty brand was something I had wanted to do for years. It was born out of a love for high quality, natural products, and plant-based skincare.
As an artist, I express a deeper, emotional kind of beauty in my work, and I wondered if I could bring that into the products and how that could play out. As a result, the brand has a strong sensory theme with the inclusion of natural fragrances and 24k gold. I’ve been a daily meditator for over 20 years so mindfulness and meditation play an important role for the brand.
What is your drive?
I am creatively driven and moved by the exquisite beauty of the natural world. I have notebooks filled with innovative ideas - some crazy and some not so crazy. It’s pure joy to bring a fresh idea into being and watch how it evolves over time. I feel fortunate to be an artist and see the world through fresh eyes each day.
Plant based living is fundamental for me. I’m vegan and passionate about animal advocacy. Through the sales of our beauty products, I support the Australian wildlife sanctuaries along the east coast that look after injured local animals.
I am committed to partnering with initiatives that passionately embrace and preserve nature. It is fundamental for me and an aspect of the business that I really want to develop.
Looking after the earth at this critical time is paramount. We all need to step up. By giving back, we also secure our own survival.
Were there obstacles you had to overcome?
As soon as I started my beauty brand, doors just seemed to fly open, and all the right people turned up which was wonderful! I knew immediately that I was on the right path. Obstacles will always turn up at some stage though and you must be prepared for the unknown especially if it’s a new industry for you.
Raising capital and connecting with suitable investors was new to me and wasn’t easy. It took time and I had to be patient through the process, but it was so worth it because I now have the best investors who are right behind me and support my innovative ideas.
The biggest obstacle so far has been Covid 19. We were just about to launch the brand in the US in February 2020 but because of the pandemic, everything was put on hold. We are still navigating a tumultuous world but I’m happy to say we are launching the brand in the US before Christmas. Stay the course - that’s one of my mottos!
Do you have any advice for other women looking to launch their own business?
Throw the net wide and dream big - choose an industry or subject that you love. Secondly, make sure you have a checklist of what’s important and achievable for you personally and professionally. For me business and my personal life merge and that’s because I love what I do so much but it’s not like that for everyone.
Your check list could include things like - will I still be interested in doing this in 5 years’ time? What do I have to offer that will benefit others and how do I incorporate that into my brand? What am I most passionate about? Can I afford to start to start this business?
Combining the elements of both heart and mind is a good way to start - passion and common sense. Do lots of research. I took 6 months to study the industry and craft the foundation for my brand. Like being on a treasure hunt, I went deep inside myself to find the jewels that would establish the foundations for my brand. Business is business but it’s also a very personal journey.