Honours student gains practical perspective with entrepreneurial venture
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Jessica shows off her products at the Perth Royal Show
Business Honours student Jessica Boswarva has gained a practical perspective for her thesis on the online market of cosmetic products by starting her own cosmetics business, Akora Hill.
Akora Hill’s aim is to provide women with the products they need to revive their body and relax their mind. There are a full range of products available, including body wash, bubble bath, body scrub, body lotion, body butter, body mist, candles, towels, bags, and multi-purpose cases.
Jessica started Akora Hill with her fiancé Edward Skerritt in 2010 after her experience volunteering with Animal Aid Abroad at the 2009 Perth Royal Show. She saw that many of the cosmetic items in the showbags being sold at other stalls were of mediocre quality, and that they were not matching the expectations of the customers.
After identifying this gap in market, she decided to create a range of quality cosmetic products that could be sold as a complete showbag. Using the knowledge she gained from her ECU Bachelor of Business degree, where she majored in marketing and advertising, she created the brand Akora Hill and developed a range of body care products with a manufacturer in China.
She sold her first showbags for $35 each at the Perth Royal Show in 2010, gaining first-hand experience of the whole marketing process, from product development to promotion.
“I learned a lot about marketing and entrepreneurship with Akora Hill. You have to be willing to take the risks to reap the rewards. No matter how much research you do, you don’t always know if it’s going to work, as the market and consumers are changing all the time,” she said.
Jessica’s risk paid off, with demand for the products after the show allowing her to make her products available for purchase in selected outlets and online too.
One year and one more Royal Show later, Jessica is considering taking Akora Hill further, by moving production to Western Australia and developing an organic line. As testament to the success of her business, she has also received an expression of interest from another West Australian company to buy Akora Hill.Having developed a keen interest in branding as a result of her experience with Akora Hill, Jessica has long-term plans to help others develop their own businesses as a brand consultant.