Meet Evelyn of 15 Melbourne (Natural Skincare)
A little about yourself
My name is Evelyn Soetono, founder of 15 Melbourne natural skincare. I was born in London and 15 Melbourne Road was where I spent the 1st 7 years of my life before moving to New York. I’m an interior designer by trade, so I guess you could say I’m a creative individual.
What is your craft story?
I’ve always been curious about how things work and paid attention to ingredients in skin and hair care products. In 2006 I was tired of using lotions with crazy ingredients that didn’t deliver and was determined to make my own shea butter lotion from scratch. After months of reformulating my recipe, one particular batch was too thick to be a lotion, so I gave it away to friends and family. They ended up loving it, and my whipped shea butter was born! Since then, I have slowly expanded into soap making and lip care products with all natural ingredients.
How did you come to be on Etsy, do you sell anywhere else or would you like to?
Having an online presence is so important for a business and I wasn’t ready to invest in my own website when first starting out. I had heard of Etsy, checked it out and loved how easy it was to set up my shop! I now also have a website and will be selling at Greenflea flea market in NYC on 77th and Columbus beginning in October.
What inspires you?
The process of creation, whether it’s cooking a meal, working on an art project, or making something functional like a bar of soap or a batch of lotion, gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
Having that creative outlet which allows me to bring joy to others gives me truly one of the best feelings. I was unsatisfied with my chosen career path and was very fortunate to be able to turn my passion into a business. Taking ownership of my own success has been a most fulfilling and empowering feat.
What makes your work special and different from others
At 15 Melbourne we pride ourselves on hand making truly natural products that work and are good for you. All the essential oils used in our products are selected not only for their scent but for the emotional benefits of the oils too. A lot of thought goes into how our products make you look and feel.
What do you know now that you wish you knew earlier (in relation to your business)
After making the leap to self-employment, everything essential to making my business grow came when I needed it; I got my confirmation that I had made the right choice. Turning a purely creative project into a business is a challenge, but with thorough research and organization everything can fall into place.
One lesson I learned is it’s incredibly important to be flexible, and open to suggestions and critique when it comes to growing your business. Business is not all fun either. You have to make sure to keep good records and make sure you are in fact making a profit! Taking care of your customers and getting new ones is critical also.
Even if starting your own business is not for you, I truly believe that having any outlet and taking the time to nurture your craft is very important to maintain emotional balance. Sharing my hobby with the public and seeing how much they enjoy my creations, in addition to meeting other people on a similar path along the way (like you Jane!), have been extremely rewarding. I embrace this adventure and look forward to the journey ahead!
Thank you so much, Evelyn!