James and Manny

First up, tell us a little bit about yourself and your business!

James here, I am 22 years old and I am the owner and co founder of Alya Skin. Manny (business partner) and I are both the same age and both live in Melbourne. I come from an economics and finance background, also previously owning cafes/restaurants. Manny comes from an ecommerce background previously owning a watch and teeth whitening business. Alya Skin was launched in January 2018 and since then we have seen enormous growth. We have worked with over 5,000 ambassadors and will be in 1,000 stores by the end of the year. Our first product is an Australian Pink Clay mask which has taken the internet by storm. We wanted to bring out a hero product and then build a brand around it. We have two new products on the way.

What’s your morning routine to set you up for an epic day of getting sh*t done?

Manny and I both wake up at 6 am every morning and go to the gym together to prepare us for a big day at work. This helps us stimulate our brain from early on in the morning.

What does an average day look like for you?

Getting up early for the gym, going to work and then going for a walk by the beach after work.

When and where did you decide to start your business? How has it evolved since there?

Manny and I launched Alya Skin in a room at the back of Manny’s house where he used to train. We have since moved out from there and now have an office in Hampton.

What book do you recommend to all business owners?

We don’t have a favourite business book, we prefer to listen to podcasts from motivational business owners and entrepreneurs like Gary V and Tony Robbins.

What’s your secret to productivity?

Biggest secret to productivity is work-life balance and a good nights sleep. This way once we get to work, we are ready to work as efficient and effective as possible coming off some rest and enough sleep.

What has been your most successful marketing or business strategy to date?

Our most successful marketing strategy has definitely been influencer marketing. We have worked with over 5,000 ambassadors in just under 6 months. This not only only generates revenue, but most importantly it creates brand awareness.

How do you stay motivated on tough days?

Take a long lunch and listen to music.

What’s something you wish you started doing earlier that has helped your business immensely?

Diversifying our marketing and not just relying on one channel.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in the health & wellness industry?

To believe in yourself and to pull the trigger and take the risk. With a bit of hard work and persistence, anything is possible.

Persistence is the key!

What’s your nightly routine to wind down after a busy work day?

I love food and wine!!! A nice home cooked with with a glass of wine on my balcony is always a good way to unwind.

What’s next for Alya Skin?

We want to take over the skincare world, launching over 10 products by the end of next year. We want to be in every independent pharmacy across the globe, including all the big retail chains. We will continue to work with thousands of ambassadors and hopefully build Australia’s biggest skincare brand.

Any final words of inspiration:

Manny and I are both 22, and for all those our age who are wanting to start a business in ecommerce or any other industry but are scared to take the risk, we say do it! Take the leap and back yourself in because anything is possible. We had no idea what Alya Skin could be, but we weren’t worried, we knew that if we just put our heads down then eventually we would be onto something special. I hope that more young people decide to start their own business, because regardless of success or failure, it is so enjoyable to be part of something from the very start! I have had the time of my life in the last 6 months and couldn’t be happier with my decision of going into ecommerce and skincare.


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