From linen cupboard to success: Meet the visionary woman behind Lust Minerals

From linen cupboard to success: Meet the visionary woman behind Lust Minerals

When I reflect on where we started, it was myself running the business as my “side gig” with the product stocked in a linen cupboard in my home. Fast forward to now, we have moved into two different warehouses, an office, and have 20-plus amazing staff members who are on this incredible journey with me

Stacey Hollands, founder of Lust Minerals

Meet Stacey Hollands, a remarkable 33-year-old Australian entrepreneur, mother of two, and the visionary behind Lust Minerals, Australia’s clean mineral makeup and natural skincare brand. 

With a passion for creating products that enhance beauty while prioritising health and sustainability, Stacey began her entrepreneurial journey from an unexpected starting point—the humble confines of her linen cupboard.

Stacey’s journey began with a realisation sparked by the loss of her father to cancer at a young age. She recognised the potential health issues caused by chemicals in beauty products and decided to create a solution. Stacey shared, “After losing my Dad to cancer at a young age, it really made me realise we don’t get a second chance and that chemicals can play a part and lead to many health issues.”

As a Dermal Therapist, Stacey noticed that many women were using conventional products that worsened their skin or irritated it. She believed there was a need to marry “clean” and “high-performance” to deliver real results for women. Stacey said, “Few married ‘clean’ and ‘high-performance’ to deliver real results for women.”

“While there were plenty of natural-based products out there, few married “clean” and high-performance to deliver real results. At the time, I noticed that many of the mineral foundations in the market seemed expensive. I wondered why mineral makeup should only be accessible to those who could afford to pay $90 for a foundation.

With an initial investment of $10,000, Hollands embarked on a journey to create her own line of mineral makeup and clean skincare products. Recalling her early products, she said, “My first run of products were a Mattifying Primer, Mineral Stick Cream Foundation, BB cream, and a Mineral Powder Foundation.” 

The brand officially launched in September 2014, just seven months after the passing of Stacey’s father. She shared, “We launched in September 2014. I was 25 at the time, and the launch was seven months after my Dad had passed.”

The beginning

I’ve invested heavily in mentorship to expand my mindset as both a CEO and a leader to ensure that I show up in the business everyday with consistency, discipline and confidence to drive the brand to success.

Stacey was determined to challenge the prevailing myths surrounding mineral makeup and natural skincare. She noticed that many mineral makeups in the market seemed diluted with fillers, lacking the necessary concentration levels and beneficial minerals. Motivated by this realisation, she set out to create a product line that would deliver tangible results using clean, high-performing ingredients. The name “Lust Minerals” was born, symbolizing this commitment to excellence. Stacey recounts, “Our name, Lust Minerals, is a play on that.”

To transform her vision into reality, Stacey embarked on an extensive product development and refinement process. She found a trusted product developer in Australia and invested $10,000 from her savings to create the initial batch of samples. Over 18 months, Stacey meticulously tested various formulations and worked closely with the manufacturer to ensure each product met her stringent guidelines. These guidelines included vegan and cruelty-free ingredients, high-performance capabilities, Australian production, and freedom from chemicals and parabens while remaining suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Stacey sought the feedback of her family, friends, and bridal clients to try the samples. The positive response she received validated her dedication and belief in the quality of her products. As Lust Minerals gained traction, Stacey formed relationships with six Australian manufacturers who shared her values and ethics.

Driven by the voice of her online community and customer feedback, Stacey expanded the product line and pursued new developments.

She stated, “Our relationship with our online community has supported new product development as we really listen to our customers and their pain points.” Stacey placed great value on Australian-made products, ensuring ethical production practices and retaining control over quality and standards.”

As Lust Minerals gained momentum, Stacey expanded her network of manufacturers, forming strong partnerships with six Australian companies who shared the brand’s values.

The brand experienced exponential growth, with a remarkable 487 per cent increase in the first two years. Today, Lust Minerals thrives with a dedicated team of twenty employees and operates from two spacious warehouses, serving customers globally through their highly regarded e-commerce platform.

Reaching customers

Recognising the importance of adaptability and expansion, Hollands invested in influencer marketing and leveraged social media to fuel the brand’s growth. In 2021 and 2022, Lust Minerals underwent a vibrant rebranding initiative, departing from the plain and neutral colour schemes associated with mineral beauty brands. Stacey also emphasised the significance of mentorship and personal growth: “I’ve also invested heavily in mentorship to expand my mindset as both a CEO and a leader to ensure that I show up in the business every day with consistency, discipline, and confidence.”

Stacey initially targeted the B2B salon market but quickly recognized the emerging potential of e-commerce. “In the beginning, I started in the B2B salon market as this was an industry I was very familiar with.  Then we started to notice the emergence of e-commerce in late 2018 and knew that we needed to continue expanding to achieve our vision. Investing in influencer marketing and using social media as a tool really supercharged our growth.

“After years of preparation, in 2021 and 2022, Lust Minerals underwent a vibrant rebranding initiative, as I wanted to depart from the typical plain and neutral colour schemes commonly associated with mineral beauty brands. 

“My goal from the beginning was to ensure that anyone who made the switch to clean beauty didn’t have to sacrifice aesthetics.”

Challenges faced

“I’ve always been extremely passionate about my “why” and the catalyst for starting the brand has meant I have an emotional connection to what I do and how I show up with intention everyday”

Throughout her entrepreneurial journey, Stacey encountered challenges and moments of self-doubt. Balancing multiple roles as a beauty therapist, mother, and business owner, she persevered. Stacey acknowledged the difficulties she faced, sharing, “I’ve always looked at challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow – but there were definitely a few moments of self-doubt when I first started out.” Despite facing competition from well-known brands, she used it as motivation to work harder and succeed.

During the early days of Lust Minerals, Stacey single-handedly managed every aspect of the business, wearing multiple hats and dedicating herself to its success. “When Lust Minerals launched, I was wearing all the hats and running every single aspect of the business. I was doing this all whilst I was also working as a beauty therapist and being a mum,” she recalls.

Despite feeling like a small fish in a vast sea of well-known brands, Stacey’s determination only grew stronger. Rather than being discouraged by the competition, she saw it as motivation to work even harder towards achieving her goals. “I was also up against some pretty big, well-known brands and at times felt like a small fish in a big sea. However, at the same time, this just motivated me to want to work harder to succeed,” she affirms.

Understanding the significance of personal growth and leadership development, Stacey made substantial investments in mentorship. She expanded her mindset as both a CEO and a leader, ensuring that she approached each day in the business with consistency, discipline, and unwavering confidence.

Stacey recognized the importance of personal growth and leadership development, investing in mentorship to expand her mindset as a CEO and a leader. Her deep passion for her “why” and the emotional connection to her brand’s mission fueled her intention and consistency in running the business.

From its humble beginnings, with products stored in a linen cupboard, Lust Minerals experienced remarkable growth. Stacey reflected, “When I reflect on where we started, it was myself running the business as my ‘side gig’ with the product stocked in a linen cupboard in my home.” Today, the brand has expanded into two warehouses and established an office. Stacey credited her incredible team of over 20 staff members who share her vision and passion for the brand’s success.

As the brand gained popularity, Stacey’s confidence in its success grew. The Pro Finish Liquid Foundation became the best-selling product, with one sold every two minutes. Customer testimonials and nearly 5,000 reviews and photos on the brand’s website continued to motivate Stacey to provide exceptional options that had a positive, healthy, and visible impact on the skin.

Taking the eco-friendly approach

As a brand, I want to strive to minimise our environmental impact, and as we grow, it’s important to me that we are doing our part to neutralise this where possible.

Lust Minerals also embraced an eco-friendly approach. Partnering with One Tree Planted, the brand committed to offsetting its carbon footprint by donating and planting 330 trees each month. Additionally, Lust Minerals encouraged customers to participate in their recycling initiative by returning six full-sized used products. In return, customers received a free Lust Minerals product. The used and empty products were collected through a Zero Waste Box provided by TerraCycle, ensuring they were diverted from landfills and processed into raw materials for reuse.

Stacey expressed her excitement: “As a brand, I want to strive to minimise our environmental impact, and as we grow, it’s important to me that we are doing our part to neutralise this where possible.” The commitment to planting trees aligns with the brand’s mission to continuously review and offset its environmental impact as it expands and grows as a business.

Stacey emphasised that Lust Minerals leveraged advancements in formulation technology to bridge the gap between natural ingredients and high-performance products. She believed that the mineral market had come a long way in recent years, and Lust Minerals capitalised on these advancements. Manufacturing locally in Australia was a non-negotiable aspect for Stacey, as it ensured the integrity of the product and allowed for stringent quality control measures. Supporting her own country was important to her, as Australia was her home.

As an Australian herself, Hollands emphasises the significance of supporting her own country. She shares, “It was always something that was at the forefront of my mind when first starting the brand. Being made locally ensures the integrity of the product and allows for quality control, which is more important to us than cost. Australia is my home, and it is important to me that I support my own country.”

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Author: Camellia Menjivar

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