Meet Sonya Driver, our March woman of the month. This amazing lady is the founder of Eco tan, Australia’s first certified organic natural tanner which took the tanning world by storm. This mother of two has had her fair share of adversity, yet in amongst it all created a thriving business that serves for the betterment of the people, planet and animals! We spent some time chatting with her on all things business, ‘balance’ and service to others. You will love this refreshingly honest Mumpreneur!
Do you mind taking us back to where eco-tan all started for you?
Sure, it all began when my sister was diagnosed with a melanoma and after the scare we still wanted that bronze glow without the risk of harmful UV exposure so we began getting spray tans.
We thought it was a safer alternative but after a little while I became concerned about the ingredients we were putting on our skin.
I began to research the ingredients used by many different brands and it didn’t take me long to decide that this was indeed not a great alternative after all.
So I started making a tanning range from ingredients like chocolate, flower essence, chamomile and all things natural and organic.
At what point did your hobby of making at home tan turn into an actual business idea?
Quiet early on actually because word of mouth spread quickly…within a few weeks I had a beauty therapist contact me wanting to put in an order for herself and I thought “wow” ok there’s obviously a demand for this…it really took on a life of its own in a short space of time especially when health retreats like Gwinganna Health retreat started using it.
In 2011 you received the first Australian organic tanning product accreditation, what was that moment like for you?
It was a really humbling moment…I remember needing to catch my breath and just take a moment…it felt so surreal
What’s your advice to other budding entrepreneurs out there when it comes to starting or growing a business?
1. Establish good foundations- including a vision and mission that aligns to your values that goes beyond ‘monetary’ gain.
2. Know your strengths and weaknesses, this was something I needed to learn the hard way, when I started I thought I had to be the entrepreneurial energy force and do EVERYTHING- the packing, the sales, the formulating, the admin etc. but it just lead to me burning out and doing things I didn’t enjoy.
3. So my last tip would be to outsource the things you don’t like because often they’re also the things the things we’re not very good at.
How do you create space for you, whilst juggling motherhood, work, life and play?
Ok, so here’s the truth, I suck at balance!! But I do like to do small things- I enjoy running, I love to laugh- humour is so important, I use the power of prayer or meditation whatever resonates for you on a daily basis. I guess for me it’s just about taking small snippets out of the day to those things.
What exciting things are happening at Eco tan that we should keep our eyes and ears open for?
It’s definitely global expansion.
The 2016 & 2017 agenda for the business have been about making that happen and we’re definitely doing a lot more international export.
For me personally I want to continue growing a brand that aligns with organic, natural, cruelty free products that are good for the environment, people and animals.
I also love that it allows me to give back, so I want to do even more of that.
I actually just came back from Germany and Romania, where I spent time with a Romanian family that would spend 13 hours a day digging in the dirt to find worms so they could sell them.
They had no real shelter yet alone beds and running water, being able to give them the resources we can so easily take for granted is an amazing feeling and something I intend on doing more of.
For more on all things organic, natural tan head to the eco tan socials and you can find Sonya on Instagram through the link below:
We’re so excited to have brought back our woman of the month segment and we’ve got more amazing women lined up for the months to come but we’d also love to hear who would you like us to interview?
Leave us a comment below!
S & M.x