Franchine Young Ireland
Interview with our Member Franchine Young, where she told me all about her business Franchine Young Ireland
Franchine Young Ireland officially launched in 2020 offering the ultimate in organic skincare for the UK, Ireland and beyond. How you feel, what you eat, the lifestyle you lead; it’s all there to see. Deep self-care embraces a holistic approach to health and well-being. The Franchine Young Wonder Balm is therefore designed to be a daily part of your investment back into yourself. Hand made with love in Ireland and available worldwide online, my organic, plant-powered balm is a simple, natural solution to caring for your skin. The wonder balm acts as a cleanser, moisturiser, hand salve, foot balm and hair oil. It is especially well-suited for those undergoing hormonal changes through perimenopause, menopause, puberty, and pregnancy.
What problems does Franchine Young Ireland solve for others?
If you care for your skin and want to look after it holistically with an environmentally friendly product then Franchine Young Ireland is for you. Particularly if your skin is undergoing hormonal changes
What services and products does you provide?
My first and currently the only product in the Franchine Young Ireland line is the multi-use Wonder Balm. Soil association certified – COSMOS ORGANIC 99% organic and 100% natural origin of total.
Why did you start your business?
I began to experience perimenopause in my mid 40s and had absolutely no idea that’s what was happening to me. As I moved into menopause the already varied and intense symptoms became more aggressive. Despite seeking help from so many experts, my symptoms were often put down to a relapse of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and so misdiagnosis continued. It all came to a head on one very precise morning, when I awoke with an angry rash on my face. Until that point, I was able to mask myself behind a little make-up. No matter how bad things were and how terrible I felt, I could at least apply a little armour, get out into the day and keep going. The facial rash put a stop to all that; nothing would conceal it and no prescription or potion would heal it.
How her past experience and skills helped Franchine
Although I only practiced on my family, I was a trained reflexologist and some twenty years prior I had dabbled in making my own skin cream. I found myself returning to these roots and seeking my own plant-powered remedy. My knowledge of essential oils and plants was sound, but I spent months researching at a much deeper level and experimenting with various organic blends and intensities. After many trials I began regularly using a particular combination. My rash vanished and I continued to use the balm I had created. I loved the idea of a multi-use product.
The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing
I also appreciated that often with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and during menopause my skin was hypersensitive to non-organic products. Family members reached out and asked for samples. People gave compliments about the appearance of my skin. Soon friends were asking for jars, and then friends of friends began asking. Perhaps I would still be developing batches just for these select family and social circles were it not for a serendipitous opportunity to turn my balm into a business. It became an opportunity to help others whose skin is undergoing change and who want to find cleaner beauty solutions.
What do you love about your business?
Franchine loves that her business is allowing her to build a customer base that care less about the promises that leading cosmetic companies are making and not upholding. She loves that her customers can trust that we do not need multiple products to preserve our youth. “My journey to create something healing, natural and good for my skin has become something much bigger and more important.” said Franchine. Although she has just began her business, Franchine wish she knew about the certification process and is still learning things like trademarking, EU licensing, branding and marketing. She also wishes she knew about the founding of a company, negotiating with suppliers and developing a homemade formula to a fully licensed product and much more. Franchine describes this to have undertaken a PhD!
Did you always work in this area?
From I was very young I had a curious interest in natural remedies for prevention. I trained in reflexology but practiced only on family and friends and some twenty years prior to making the Wonder Balm I had dabbled in making my own skin cream. That said my degree led me into the field of disability services both in the public and voluntary sectors. For almost 20 years I was a Disability Officer working for various voluntary disability organisations, Q.U.B. and special education schools right up until until 2020. I was also a voluntary Mental Health First Aid trainer for the Public Health Agency.
What would you change about your business?
As I just launched this year, it’s too early to judge what I would change. Although, I do know that I’ve made it through a lot of firsts and moving forward I have a blueprint for adding more products to the Franchine Young Ireland line.
What advice would you give to others who are starting out in business?
Over the past three years I have been supported by some amazing organisations, institutions and people. I quickly learned that without them I would have fallen at the first hurdle. Firstly, my advice would be to take all of the help you can get. Invest NI, The Maw Network, WIB, Ulster Bank Accelerator Programme, Ladies Who Launch, Belfast City Council, the countless women who encouraged, supported and shared their knowledge and last but not least a personal friend and relative who believed in me. Secondly, I started with a vision and central to that was simplicity, an ethical approach and a kindness to the environment that my grandchildren will one day inherit- I have not veered from that since day one. Stick to your vision.
What do you know now that you didn’t know at the start?
Oh my – where do I begin? I feel like I have undertaken a PhD in the past 3 years! Organic global certification was the biggest learning curve. I knew nothing about the certification process and am still learning; trademarking, EU licensing, branding & marketing, founding a company, negotiating with suppliers, developing a homemade formula to a fully licensed product and much more! As I said a PhD.
Why did you join Mums At Work?
I was invited by a fellow WIB participant and I haven’t looked back! Support, support, and more support – I guess I was instinctively drawn to an all-female support network.
What are your goals for yourself and you Franchine Young Ireland?
I want to develop a strong, Northern Irish organic brand – for the whole family. And then I want to take it global.
What do you do in your spare time?
Spend time with my grandbabies, yoga, daily meditation on my PEMF mat and walk my dog. I spend time with my girlfriends who are my cousins. I read anything I can get my hands on regarding alternative health and dabble almost daily in new formulations! Needless to say, I have gained the nickname of ‘doc’ in my family!
Have you collaborated or worked with anyone in the group or been recommended? How has it worked for you?
I have bought goods and services, and members have purchased from me. I’ve given products for samples and prizes and I’ve recycled things I can no longer use by giving to those in the group who can. Most notably my fellow MAW’s are very supportive on social media.
What do you love about MAW?
If I hit a stumbling block, I know MAW will advise and often offer support – that to me is invaluable to a young start up with no previous experience in business or manufacturing.
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