Cosmetics director shares her journey to inspire future leaders

Published 4:00pm 8 March 2022

Cosmetics director shares her journey to inspire future leaders
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Having started her own cosmetics company a decade ago, Derelle Mitchell knows how hard you must work to succeed in the business world.

Mrs Mitchell (pictured standing in the middle) is the Managing Director at Health Focus Manufacturers at Clontarf - a company that delivers skin car and cosmetic products to Australian and global markets.

“I’ve always had a desire and drive to run my own business as I am a very hands-on person,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“When I was looking for a business to really sink my teeth into, this stood out as a good opportunity because personal body products are always in demand.

“But I couldn’t have done it on my own, which is why I have got a good team behind me.”

Today, the company has more than 40 employees, with the majority being Moreton Bay locals.

The team helps to make products for companies all over the world.

“We do everything from scratch, from dog shampoos to high end skin care products like moisturisers and serums,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“A client will come in with their brief and chat with our sales team and chemists, and from there we will get into the lab and formulate a sample.

“The process can be quite long – sometimes it can take anywhere from 8-12 months to get a product to market, ensuring we tick all the boxes to make sure it’s a success.

“Some products might have 20-30 ingredients, which can be quite complex, and they might have to be mixed in a certain way.”

Hard work and support the key to succeeding 

As someone who has done the hard yards in the business sector, Mrs Mitchell has plenty of advice to pass on to the next generation of women, which she is sharing in celebration of International Women’s Day.

“In business, it’s always one step forward and 10 steps backwards,” she said.

“It might sound like a bit of cliché, but that’s exactly what it’s like in the early days when you are trying to establish yourself and get new clients.

“Hard work does pay off though because Rome wasn’t built in a day.

“You need to be prepared for the journey, and all the bumps and hurdles that will come your way.

“But if you can stick with it, the results can be very rewarding.”

Mrs Mitchell credits her mum for being a strong role model that has shaped the woman she is today.

“My biggest role model is without a doubt my mum. It’s her attributes of hard work, being reliable, loyal, compassionate and resilient that inspire me,” she said.

“She has always been a hard worker. She is 80 now, but I can remember when I started the company she was on the filling line at the age of 70, filling the bottles and doing whatever it took to help me succeed.

“Without her support and the support of my family, I wouldn’t have succeeded because it really is a team effort.”

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