How did a traveling Aussie and a beautiful Guatemalan woman meet, fall in love & start a successful skincare company that only sells 100% natural handmade products? Listen in to find the answer and also discover how to grow a business ethically! Toby & Rosie definitely have some great Business Couple Secret Sauce to share so grab a cuppa and have a listen.
SPECIAL OFFER: 10% Off all Toby & Rosie products. Just use the code naturalme18 at the checkout.
Some Secret Sauce highlights from this episode:
If you're meant to be doing something, doors will open up as long as you put the work in.
Knowing that we've changed someone's life for the better. Helped them heal something that’s bothered them every day for years is so rewarding. It's incredible.
It’s what feeds that spirit or energy in us to keep creating and keep going with helping people.
When we get stuck. I say NO/STOP, we need to find help. Get out of your comfort zone, remove your ego, and go out and find someone who can coach you and help you to break through because otherwise, you won't last.
Word of mouth can only take you so far.
Our natural skincare & soaps reflect the passion we have for a healthy, ethical and sustainable lifestyle.
We’re based in Lake Macquarie NSW, Australia and we personally handcraft all of our products using
only the purest, freshest and healthiest ingredients possible.
Our story began in 2009 in Guatemala, when a girl named Rosie, whilst studying at University, went to a party on the beach. Toby, an Australian traveling through Central and South America saw Rosie and it was love at first sight. We dated and spent the next few months building our love together until Toby picked Rosie up in a canoe on the beautiful Lake Peten on New Year’s Eve and proposed.
We came back to Australia together and in 2011, we got married in a beautiful ceremony in Byron Bay. Eventually, our love of nature and the environment got us making our own natural products, just for ourselves but the more we learned about how bad most skincare was the more motivated we became to share our ideas and creations with friends and family.
Whilst researching how to be as healthy as possible, we found that so much attention gets placed on what to eat, but not on what you put on your skin. When you consider that what you put on your skin ends up in your body, it’s just as important, maybe more so because, with skincare, you’re basically digesting chemicals and poison.
Marcus Nicholls 0:05
Hi, we're your hosts Marcus and Ariel and you’re listening to Business Couples Secret Sauce,
Ariel Endean 0:10
where we interview business couples and share their tips and tricks on building a successful business without it destroying their relationship.
Marcus Nicholls 0:26
Hello, today we are in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, chatting to Toby and Rosie from Toby and Rosie, which is a skin and hair care company that prides itself on creating products that are natural, handmade, sustainable and ethical. So welcome to the show Toby & Rosie.
Rosie Nelson 0:46
Toby Withers 0:47
Thanks very much. Nice to be here.
Marcus Nicholls 0:49
Looking forward to interviewing you guys.
Ariel Endean 0:52
Rosie on your website, it says that you have a passion for making the world a better place. And it's in your DNA, which is great because not everyone does care to make the world a better place. They just want to make money or take care of themselves, but wanting to take care of the world, and leave the planet better off is a wonderful thing. And also the idea that this is in your DNA. Have you always felt that way? That you should make a difference, put back in and take care of nature?
Rosie Nelson 2:12
Yeah, well, I always think about my daughter, when I think about doing something good for someone and I think how can she learn something good from me and is by doing the right thing all the time. To me just creating a product for money is never something I wanted to do. I want to help people to, you know, have a better skin or heal problems, like acne, and I think values as I will come back to my family. Values that were taught to me, since I was little, and for me by this is for me caring for the people. And, you know, being caring and how can we transmit these values to my daughter, that's what I want to do.
Ariel Endean 3:09
Yeah. Having children definitely makes you reevaluate what you're doing and why you're doing it, even if you're already there. But I assume in skincare, there's a lot of people make a lot of money by cheating, essentially, by using cheap products and chemical products that damage the planet.
Marcus Nicholls 3:29
And damage your skin as well.
Toby Withers 3:31
It's certainly the case. It's unbelievable.
Ariel Endean 3:31
You guys have started right from the get go, it seems that, you know, that's not what you're about, that it needs to be natural, not to be taking from the planet,
Marcus Nicholls 3:45
And healthy to the individuals. Healthy to you using the product because your skin is an organ. It's absorbing all the time. So you know, it's really understanding that. And you guys seem to have really taken that to heart and gone, how can I produce the best product that's going to be beneficial to myself? And if it's beneficial to myself, then it's definitely going to be beneficial to other people.
Toby Withers 4:11
Yeah, for me it's always been a battle against the companies that are deceptive about this. For skincare, it's 90% lies. Even if it says natural on the front of the bottle or the jar that's often not true. Instead it's ultra refined, there's no benefit. It's just to make that company money. And it's always been a battle between companies like that, the 90% of our industry that want to do the wrong thing. And that makes it hard for the 10% of people that are creating it with their own hands, using the best ingredients they can in their most rawest state possible, to get the maximum benefits for the environment and for people's skin.
Ariel Endean 4:52
Even using the best ingredients possible is going to mean that's a higher cost than a company that would be looking to use the lowest cost that gets you over the tick box of being able to say you are a natural product.
Toby Withers 5:03
It's unbelievable. Like we'll make a batch of soaps which equals 160 bars of 200g soap and we need to put in 1.2 kilos of essential oils. And if you've ever bought a 25ml you'll know how expensive that is.
Marcus Nicholls 5:03
Toby Withers 5:06
So we can put in for that same batch of soaps, we could put in 25 mls of a chemical fragrance oil, which has the nice smell but it's not natural. It's completely chemical. So if we can do that for the same batch that would cost us, you know, depending on what essential oils we use, it costs us you know, upwards from zero to $500 bucks for one batch of soaps. We could we could get away with putting into a $25 bottle of Fragrance Oil. But that goes completely against who we are and why we do what we do.
Ariel Endean 5:58
I love your ethics.
Marcus Nicholls 5:59
That's fantastic. So, Toby Rosie is Guatemalan born so I'm wondering how on earth have you managed to convince her to come halfway around the world and start a natural skincare company with you in Australia?
Ariel Endean 6:15
Well done by the way
Toby Withers 6:17
Thank you. It was kind of Rosie's idea. So we had never had that vision. I was travelling through Central and South America when I met Rosie.
Ariel Endean 6:30
And fell madly in love
Toby Withers 6:30
Yes, fell madly in love straightaway. So I travelled a little bit while I was over there. I had another mate. So we went to Cuba came back. Went to Mexico came back. And then we went through the whole process of the visas and the permanent partner visas and all those things. So then we came to Australia and were just doing odd jobs. I was a plumber before going overseas, but I just knew I didn't love it. That's the opposite of how I want to be spending my life. So we were just doing odd jobs and then we went back to Guatemala for a holiday about two or three years afterwards and Rosie just said, for some reason, let's just go make some soap. I want to learn how to make soap.
Marcus Nicholls 6:31
Toby Withers 6:33
Yeah. And I was like, Okay,
Rosie Nelson 6:40
When I was in Guatemala, you know, the awareness of natural, products and organics, wasn't there. No one was interested. Now 10 years later, people is getting to be more aware of that issue. But when I first met Toby, he was into it. And he taught me all this stuff. Like that you need to be careful, because of all these chemicals. And I never thought that a company will create a product that will have ingredients that could harm your health. I never thought that they were allowed to do that. And then we decided to go back to Guatemala and I said let's go and learn how to make soap. And then we came back to Australia. He was still working and I said to him, let's just, you know, create a company where we make soaps, we do skincare and we put your vision in place which is 100% natural. Really 100% natural which was really difficult to find back then that was 100% natural. And still now they say they are natural, but then you go back and look and it's something, there's always something that is not natural. So then we just start making saops and start making products and one day he said to me, let's just go to Bondi markets. Let's just create the products and let's go see how it goes. So he with his brother started at the markets. That was like our first ever Market.
Toby Withers 8:44
We had an unbelievable response. We couldn't believe it. How much money we made on that day.
Rosie Nelson 8:49
The preparation up to that point included Toby creating our website so people who want to know about us can find us and buy online and then we just start making lots of products. I started designing all these different products while Toby was still going to work at the same time as he had a part time job. When he wasn't working we both were creating all these products and getting ready for that big weekend. And then we just went there and we had such a great response we though "Oh my god we're gonna do this for the rest of our life". We just knew that.
Ariel Endean 9:18
To be so well received must have given you such a shot of enthusiasm because when you start a business you don't know right? You are thinking I hope people like this and I hope they want to share this dream and use these products and then to go and find out that they do is fantastic.
Toby Withers 9:37
Yeah, If you're meant to be doing something as long as you put the work in doors will open up. That's my philosophy anyway. Doors have opened up for us that we would never have expected but you know, we're working hard at the same time but I think it's our intentions are good for everybody and the planet. We only want the best for people and the planet. We want to heal all these skin issues. We want People to understand what Natural Skincare really is all about and because I think we have these values, and we're putting out such positive energy, that the universe is giving us back a little bit of help, or picking us up where we're falling down. That's been something I've noticed along the journey as well.
Rosie Nelson 10:17
Ariel Endean 10:17
I believe that too. I'm curious, what are your roles in the business? And how did you work that out? And have they changed over time?
Toby Withers 10:29
Rosies the boss and I just get told what to do. I can't get into trouble that way.
Rosie Nelson 10:36
No, I am more into the financial. So wherever it's financial, social media advertisement is me. Toby is a little bit of the design and advertising as well. Website is Toby and then product making is between the both of us. He does the heavy work where a lot of weight has to be lifted. I can't carry that much. Sometimes we have to make 200 bars of soap in one day. So he does that, because he knows the recipe and everything.
Marcus Nicholls 11:09
And he's the general muscles.
Toby Withers 11:11
Yeah, the donkey.
Rosie Nelson 11:14
Toby has never been interested in numbers or GST and tax and stuff like that and I love finances. Love it, love it, love it!
Ariel Endean 11:22
That's great when you can get that in a business couple relationship. Because one person does need to be good with the money or at least adequate with the money but then it also makes sense that, one person plays to there strengths. That's awesome. And that lets you Toby go and do what you're good at, or better at in that time that youre not doing finances.
Toby Withers 11:45
I don't like to go to the markets. I like to speak to people. I like to get the feedback. What worked, what didn't work. Just slowly refining things in my mind for, how we can do a better next time when we make a batch of soaps or a body butter or something for the hair. We're always trying to, listen to people and gauge, what worked, what didn't work. And it's just been nothing but great feedback. People just come back to us with fabulous healing stories. For example I had a lady on Sunday, say, "my husband has this sore thing on his shoulder because he's been a cameraman for like years, I've tried everything. Nothing worked until he used your wonder balm." She just puts that on every day and said it's just disappeared. So that's a customer for life. And we've been getting those type of customers ever since we started and they're still with us. It's the best thing about our business, I think, yes.
Ariel Endean 12:29
It must feel so good knowing that you've changed someone's life. Something that irritated them daily. For some people it's a rash on their face, and that impacts their whole interacting with the world, you can help them heal something that outwardly makes them feel uncomfortable. That's incredible. Life changing!
Toby Withers 12:43
Yeah, it is. That what feeds that spirit or energy in us. We help kids with eczema who scratch and have to wear socks on their hands? Now, they don't have to do that anymore. Or teenagers with acne that are too scared to go out of the house because it's all on their face. We've calmed that down for so many parents and kids.
Marcus Nicholls 13:09
Yeah, that's just great.
Ariel Endean 13:11
I talks to you "why" doesn't it.
Marcus Nicholls 13:12
Ariel Endean 13:12
Because running a business is hard work. And doing it as a couple is awesome but hard work as well. There's a lot of information about at the moment about knowing your "why" and obviously a big part of that is loving what you do and feeling that it matters.
Toby Withers 13:25
Loving what you do is important. We're pretty fortunate.
Rosie Nelson 13:27
And we love those messages. We received some amazing messages from our customers
Marcus Nicholls 13:32
Rosie Nelson 13:33
We always re post these messages and say, "This is why we do what we do". Because we feel so good about helping people and we know that we're doing the right thing. And, we are contributing somehow to make a better world and changing, someone's life is huge.
Ariel Endean 13:50
And it's ripples on a pond too! You don't know what that person can then go out and do and achieve that they wouldn't have done if they didn't have the confidence or the health to go do something.
Toby Withers 13:59
Yeah, Or even just change their life apprioach to everything. A lot of people have said, that since they've used something more natural with their skincare, they've gone through their whole life, and they're looking at their diet now. They're looking at other aspects where they can be more natural, a bit bit more respectful to the environment or understand the power of nature. And that's just that ripple effect that you're talking about.
Ariel Endean 14:20
Your educators really! People buy a product because they want a balm to fix something or just to make themselves look beautiful. A lot of people use your products that just love your products that don't have any health issues. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Toby Withers 14:29
A lot of people use us just for vanity and that's ok but it's better if you can do it naturally.
Ariel Endean 14:37
You're educating people through what you do as to what the larger beauty industry lookes like, and the chemicals they use. And I imagine too if you changed what you're putting on your face you may then go and look under your cupboard under the sink and think gosh there's a lot of chemicals here as well. It would end up filtering all through the house. I imagine.
Toby Withers 14:59
Yeah. In a perfect world. And that does happen. You've just got to really like look after yourself. I always tell people, you got to stick as close to nature as possible. The further you go away, the more problems you're going to run into.
Ariel Endean 15:12
Sage advice. Great advice.
Marcus Nicholls 15:16
Communication is the key to a successful relationship. How do you guys communicate with each other?
Rosie Nelson 15:27
It's hard, isn't it? I think that is like one of the hardest things. When we are on the same page is nice and we communicate really quickly, we understand each other, and we do what we have to do, and everything flows. But sometimes we have different opinions about a decision we have to make. And then, you know, it's a bit difficult to get into the same page and to move forward. But we always find the way.
Marcus Nicholls 15:58
What some of the ideas of how you go about that when you do have a little bit of conflict with communication, do you go off and find your own little space to sit on it and mull it over a little bit in the bits and pieces you've said? Or do you come together and just try to talk through it or do you do something else?
Rosie Nelson 16:15
For example, I wanted to open a shop. And Toby's like, argh no, the rent. We have to pay rent, and you have to pay staff and is just looking at where their money is gonna go out. And I'm saying, but that doesn't mean we know going to make money to cover all those things. Because I always wanted to have a shop and have something to franchise and expand in that way. But Toby doesn't see that as, something that he wants to do to develop the business. So he wants to go mainly online and focus online, online, online, online and markets. But, my view is different. So, at this point, how it was solved is that I have to let go of my vision, because it's not going to go anywhere. So at the moment it's not going to work.
Marcus Nicholls 17:07
Maybe a solution to that is you producing the financial argument for it showcasing the benefits. Going through it and showing how you can do it. These are all the benefits and positives and these are the negatives, but lok at all the positives. Then see if it has potential and work out how you feel then? Or it may be something that may just take time? or may never happen.
Toby Withers 17:32
Ariel Endean 17:33
And also the opportunity is not removed. You can open a shop anytime. It might be that you end up doing that in five years but not now. Sometimes that works to. In your case it doesn't alter the direction that you're currently taking with online anyway, because you would still be doing online even if you had a shop. So it doesn't actually impact on achieving both. It is interesting when you've got different hopes and dreams. Because you obviously have the same dreams by and large, that's why it works. But then when you've got offshoot ideas, which happens to all business couples it can be challenging. Determining where you should take your product and how you should deliver it is hard to agree on at times and I don't think there's any one unique way to resolve this.
Marcus Nicholls 18:22
There's so many different ways.
Ariel Endean 18:23
As you said, having a sound argument, and supporting it financially. And you're very much at an advantage on that particular front.
Marcus Nicholls 18:34
And also all the factors need to be taken into consideration. And Toby I'm not trying to be positive about running a shop here, sorry Toby. But more of the idea that if you do do open a shop, then potentially you create it to be semi warehousing, and then you can utilise a shop that you actually have all your product in, which effectively brings it out of your home, which for some people is hugely beneficial, because having it all in their home can be problematic. So it depends on the triggers.
Ariel Endean 19:05
And there is timing. You guys have a beautiful daughter who started school today, so possibly last year or certainly in the first year of life, I'm sure you wouldn't have wanted to have been bound to a shop. So there's different times where things become more possible. And sometimes it is just one half of the business couples dream to go do something and they go do that and satisfy themselves and it either works or it doesn't. And it's a box that needs to be ticked. Something that needs to be done.
Rosie Nelson 19:36
Marcus Nicholls 19:37
Toby Withers 19:39
We want to keep moving up the coast a little bit and I would love to have a farm. We build our own little warehouse on the farm and we have a little shop front, down right at the corner of our block of land in a great little community like Bellingen or something like that. That might happen when it's supposed to happen. But, for me, I don't want to be managing people. I don't want to have to be driving to work. It probably sounds to people listening that I'm lazy but we've got a good thing going on.
Marcus Nicholls 20:11
No not lazy at all.
You create the world you want to live in.
Toby Withers 20:13
Exactly. I love to be at home making the products. And then when we get a bit stir crazy in the house, we go out to the markets and sell it. And if we can just bump up online we'll be fine. Getting popular online is the real challenge for us, the marketing and everything else. Word of mouth can only take you so far. You really need a celebrity to love your product and get it out to the masses, or are paying a lot of money for marketing to get your brand out there.
Marcus Nicholls 20:14
Ariel Endean 20:41
That's great because that was my next question for you. What is your biggest challenge at the moment? And how are you tackling this? So you're saying working out the channels by which to market Toby & Rosie is your current biggest challenge.
Rosie Nelson 20:52
Well we worked with a company in America to do our social media, because at the beginning, we were doing everything and we thought NO we needed someone to come and help us and tell us if we can do better. But everything ended up not doing much for us. And we were spending so much money on it. And I said to Toby STOP. It's better off not doing it at all, because we're not getting any return.
Marcus Nicholls 21:17
It's the hardest thing of social media marketing, and digital marketing is the fact that there's so many people out there who don't do a good job. Trying to find businesses or individuals that genuinely care, and will actually do a good job for you are hard to find. They need to have the knowledge to do it, and the capabilities, and will then come through with that.
Toby Withers 21:49
It's so hard to find.
Rosie Nelson 21:53
Well, the company we were working with were highly recommended and work with really rich business's.
Toby Withers 22:00
Like the head of Facebook advertising. So really high up and, friends with all of these massive investors in America and we got connected to them through a pretty prominent person in the business world, just because they liked our products. Which was cool so they hooked us up. But it was more of a love job where they were told "just look after these guys", we weren't really a paying customer other than paying for the website. But you know, when you're not really you're not paying the dollars in the cents which is what they're held accountable for.
Marcus Nicholls 22:32
Toby Withers 22:34
Things just fell by the wayside and then things became too hard so we just gave up. So it didn't turn out the way we wanted but maybe that was for a reason.
Rosie Nelson 22:45
We actually didn't give up. We send a last email and they never replied so we knew in that moment, that they weren't interested. We felt that vibe, that because of COVID they had a lot of Facebook grants to give away and I think they focused on that, and then, forgot about our business. So, unfortunately, it didn't work. But I said to Toby that we need to find a way that we can work it out ourselves. We don't want to spend that much money on marketing. We feel like it's a gamble.
Toby Withers 23:16
Rosie Nelson 23:16
So we want to just go and do it the free way. So our idea now is going to radios and finding people that have a lot of followers that want to share our product, and then sending the product to them and see if they like it.
Toby Withers 23:33
Beauty editors, writing articles, writing blogs, just sending it all out there doing little cheap videos on our phones of us using the products. More guerilla style marketing this big, big, big, big corporate kind of marketing.
Marcus Nicholls 23:46
Yeah, There's a website called "Source Bottle" that has a whole lot of all the media on there. And you can look at and you can register for certain areas. And it will actually notify you when someone's wanting to write an article on a pretty good product. So you can immediately submit your information to them. It might take you a few goes, but once you build a relationship with a few people in that space, they begin to know you, and then they'll start coming to you to seek your opinion because they can see that the information you're giving them is really good. It's worth checking out.
Ariel Endean 24:34
We'll put the details in the show notes. But working out how to grow your product on social media and not spend too much money is hard. And that doesn't take too much time because you guys are still on teh tools making your products, and your parents as well. So not much free time. Because people will tell you that you need to do a weekly webinar. Do a daily video of people using the product and then get some filming testamonial videos of your customers. And all of this is great but it all takes a lot of time which is hard to fit into actually running the business. So that's a challenge as well. I find too, with the time but you've got to keep trying. And metricing the results as well. Because, obviously if you're doing videos, simple filmed ones wich are more real looking which I think do penetrate more than a highly finished video. You see which ones people respond to more and you go, Okay, we'll do more of them.
Marcus Nicholls 25:38
Do you think being in business together has changed the relationship? And if so, in what ways?
Toby Withers 25:49
Yes. It has, because (I don't know about Rosie but I'll speak for me) it's really difficult for me to separate our personal relationship and our business relationship, because we work where we live. There's no separation between us. So I'm not going to work or Rosie's not going to work for eight hours, and then coming back. Missing each other. And switching off is hard. I'm thinking about the business all the time,. Rosie might be thinking about the business all the time. And I find it difficult to sort of be like, Oh, we just spent eight hours with each other but let's go have some quality time now and spend more time with each other. So I find it very difficult to separate that, husband and wife time versus "this needs to be done that needs to be done". And you will inevitably get back to talking about Toby & Rosie the business. Even if you start going on a tangent of "The weathers nice. So what do you think we want to do tomorrow" you end up saying "did you send that email today or did that thing get done". Yeah, it's like it never stops. That's why we went to a couples retreat on the weekend, just to identify communication issues, and identify ways to create that separation, so you can enjoy quality time with your partner, and then you can enjoy a successful business relationship with your partner.
Marcus Nicholls 27:15
Ariel Endean 27:16
It's definitely a challenge for business couples. How about you, Rosie, how do you feel? Has being a business couple changed your relationship?
Rosie Nelson 27:24
Yes, definitely. Definitely. I think it was very difficult at the beginning, when we have to settle down and say, Okay, we're gonna see each others face all day every day for the next
Ariel Endean 27:37
Rosie Nelson 27:41
So, for me, the most difficult is been making decisions for the business. And getting into the same page, because we have, as I said, different views or visions sometimes. But as the years pass, I feel like we're getting better because we don't have a as much confrontation as we did in the beginning.
Toby Withers 28:07
You learn to let go
Rosie Nelson 28:06
Someone has to let go, or we have to change your thoughts on something. And for us also our priority is Bella. Bella is always there. and we always think about that. We don't want her to also absorb any contention. I want her to see okay, they can communicate, they can make decisions together, we work as a team. And as long as we both are on the same page, like we always gonna be a team and no matter what we're going to keep going. That's how I see it. And it's been working up to this point. And we also have help. When we get stuck. I say NO, we need to find help. So get out of your comfort zone, your ego, and go out and find someone who can coach you and help you to break through because otherwise I think you wouldn't last.
Ariel Endean 29:01
You get stuck in a negative cycle instead of being able to get through that bit to reach another level?
Rosie Nelson 29:09
Toby Withers 29:10
And that's the advantage of having either a mentor or coach or that third party person that you can go and either offload on as a couple or offload on individually and they can give you some sound advice coming back from them.
Yeah. If you're an athlete, you have a coach because you want to get to the next level. If you want to have a successful business, you get a business coach. And it's the same thing for relationships and mentoring and having someone there to be that third person to give you some advice. I think it's super important in in personal development, personal relationship development and business relationship development as well.
Rosie Nelson 29:46
Yeah. And as well I think is the case that you don't see your own issues. And then you need that person to say "Okay, this is a issue, you're doing this wrong and you're doing this wrong" then if you want to break through this you need to do this. And then it's easy because you have the tools and then you can move forward. After going to that couple retreat on the weekend, I felt like a massive weight lifted from my shoulders.
Toby Withers 30:14
So did I.
Ariel Endean 30:14
And as you say it's like a toolkit, which allows you to identify some things that you're doing in your communication with each other that you're not realising you're doing. And learn how yo do this to offset that. Cool, you know, it's great. Put that in your tool kit. And you can constantly build on your toolkit as it's a lifelong learning exercise. But I totally applaud you on seeking help and information and guidance and mentoring. Even reading online about things if you can't go to a retreat somewhere. It's still so valuable. The information is there to read on and read about other people in your situation. It's a fantastic way to learn and grow.
Toby Withers 30:57
I think it's harder for a man to I think, to understand that there is a problem in your relationship, and to go and seek help. I've always been that person that thinks that it will sort itself out. You know, there's always a new day tomorrow, the sun's gonna come up again one day. And I think for a man, it's like giving in, in a way, but it's not. It's understanding what the problem is and not being so pigheaded (speaking for myself) and wanting to like really connect again. I think for us that connection personally, that we've found again, is helping all aspects of our life, including our business.
Marcus Nicholls 31:37
Rosie Nelson 31:38
Yeah. And that's one thing that I see is that when we are not right, our business is not right. So we need to find a way to fix our relationship first. And then we can keep focusing on the business to keep growing. But I can see we'd gotten into a state that we weren't communicating well, and I just knew the business wasn't going well. And I can't focus on the business because I have to focus on a relationship, especially women that are more emotional, and they really want to work it out. I'm super emotional, and I want to kick my relationship butt. So then we can, you know, be in a harmonious relationship and put that energy into the business more than negative energy.
Ariel Endean 32:20
That's right, when it's out of kilter. It just takes energy and that energy is not going into, you know, having fun with Bella or spending time developing a product or enjoying each other's company.
Marcus Nicholls 32:35
Or swimming at the beach, or bushwalking or whatever it is you enjoy.
Ariel Endean 32:41
And in amongst all that there's also your own personal growth, which you still need to make sure that you're taking care of your own story. Not just your couple story.
Toby Withers 32:49
Ariel Endean 32:49
Your parents story and your business story.
Marcus Nicholls 32:52
Ariel Endean 32:53
Yeah, like you Rosie mentioned earlier on when we were chatting that you've gone off and played tennis, because it's important for you to go have something thats just for you which is great. Yeah, I just think that's important, too.
Rosie Nelson 33:04
Yeah. Well, one of the biggest issues I had with Toby is that when I came to Australia, none of my family was here. So I started putting all that energy towards Toby, but then we quickly realised that he can't be my mom, my dad, my sister, all my family in Guatamala.
Toby Withers 33:27
So I'd just run away when trouble started to brew.
Rosie Nelson 33:30
So then I focused on finding all the way's to use all of that energy. So I did soccer and I do tennis, and I'm trying to do the gym and spend some one to one time with Bella.
Ariel Endean 33:45
Just a bit of me time. Obviously for you as well I thnk it's key for business couples to do that. Look, there might be business couples out there that are doing the 24/7 thing and it might work for them but I think it's good to take care of your own story, in amongst it all as well.
Rosie Nelson 34:07
Is there ever a time that you've considered walking away from your business, or your relationship? Silence! Actualy how old is "Toby & Rosie" as a buisness?
We started in 2014 - So 7 years.
Ariel Endean 34:13
Congratualions. That's great.
Toby Withers 34:34
Yeah. It's a pretty big achievement in itself. Just lasting so long as a business.
Marcus Nicholls 34:39
Yes. We were discussing success earlier on and Rosie was saying she doesn't feel that she's yet successful enough. But it's seven years guys, you know, and it's your full time job.
Toby Withers 34:53
It has been paying your bills. We're able to go on holidays whenever we want and we're living the life we want to live.
Ariel Endean 34:59
Yeah. And creating amazing products.
Marcus Nicholls 35:01
Do you celebrate the good moments? The wins.
Toby Withers 35:04
No we don't. We really don't now that you mention it. But that's something we'll probably start to do more often after the whole Connect & Reconnection retreat we did. Yeah, I think that's just as important as commiserating the losses or the failures.
Marcus Nicholls 35:19
Absolutely. So relationship or business wise, have you been in a situation where you've been at a brick wall with each other?
Rosie Nelson 35:26
Well, for the business, I remember saying to Toby, like, with COVID. So we we hit a time where markets were not on anymore. We weren't struggling because our online double. But you always have that fear, like, what's gonna happen when people run out of money. Because at first they were getting money from the goverment, so you say, okay, they have money to spend at the moment, but what's gonna happen if they don't have money, and they losing their jobs? And when I was sending newsletters, I was seeing all these replies saying, I don't work here anymore. Like heaps of people. And I was worried. Let's just sell the business. And he's said NO. And I say, yes, let's just sell the business and just get a buss, make it a caravan and work and travel around. Just giving up because I was so stressed, because we have this problem with the marketing company and then COVID hit so I felt a little bit scared. And, you know, unsure.
Ariel Endean 36:36
There was a lot of fear in the air to. All of the media was focused on fear, everything everywhere was affected. Like if you went anywhere, everyone was worried about touching each other. I just think everywhere, was quite understandably, was anxious. So there was a whole anxiety everywhere. So it's not just that, but the whole environment.
Rosie Nelson 36:57
For some reason, I felt that our business was going to collapse.
Toby Withers 37:05
The relationship, I've never wanted to separate or get divorced. But the business for me, I've always known that I wanted to do this. But with that whole thing with the company in America and seeing how hard it's been to get any sort of traction online with the marketing, as we talked about earlier, that was the only time (three months ago) when I thought "this is not worth it". We're trying to do the best we can for everybody else and the environment. And to see, a lot of other companies that are gaining more subscribers, or they're doing better than us. And their intentions aren't as good as ours. Their intentions are just to make money. Yeah, Or their products aren't as good. And I was disapointed and frustrated.
Ariel Endean 37:48
They obviously have deeper marketing pockets. More money to spend.
Toby Withers 37:51
Yeah. I don't know what it is. But it's frustrating when you only have the best intentions for people. And then other people that don't, they're getting ahead of you. And I was thinking it shouldn't be this hard to get a beauty editor to put one of our products in their magazine. So that was really hard, and I still can feel that emotion of how I felt back then. But then something just kicked in and I thought No, this is what we're going to be doing for the rest of our lives. Until we win the lotto. And we need to pull up our socks and really give this a good go. Because, it's like anything you fail, you got to get back on the horse and you fail again, you got to keep going. Because one day it'll work. That persistence and that hard work will pay off.
Rosie Nelson 38:39
Yeah, I think going back to the marketing company in the US being one of the best companies and having such high hopes and then such terrible results that really collapsed us. Because we're going to someone who was supposed to do the best and give us the best results, but they couldn't. So then we feel like it's going to be really hard to do it ourselves. You know? I felt that way.
Toby Withers 39:07
We're over that now and we're looking forward to the new challenge. We got more time free with Bella being at school. So we're excited to see what we can do with more time?
Marcus Nicholls 39:17
Yeah. Thats really good advice.
Ariel Endean 39:18
And it is a process of just practising. If you think about it, it's like learning an instrument, or a language.Uunderstanding how to make digital marketing work for you, if you're going do it yourself at a reasonable price point, and not spend too much time on it. That's actually hard to achieve. So it sort of like saying Ok I need to go at it in increments where you think okay, well, I'm just gonna try to understand Facebook and I'm going to do that and I'll read some articles and buy some things. Do you know what I mean. It might take a year to work out or two years or three years even to really work out how to do it. But if you're working it out a little bit by a little bit and getting some little wins along the way. I think that's just really the way you need to approach it. We allways hear about the big wins not incremental achievments. One of my bug bears is that you hear stories about huge wins or huge disasters. It's what papers write about. They're what business coaches tell stories about because they're the engaging stories. But really, there's a whole lot of people and buisness's in the middle where people just incrementally achieve their goals.
Toby Withers 40:21
Going backwards and forwards but always slowly moving forwards.
Marcus Nicholls 40:24
Three steps forward, two steps back. Three steps forward again
Ariel Endean 40:28
But they are not really the stories people want to hear. So I think we all get a bit psyched about going from here to there in a hurry and it's really it's more likely to be a gradual upward momentum of growth. You know, like an influencer might shout you out you get a big boost and then something might happen, like your product is related to a negative story and your product goes down in sales. I believe you can't not get better at it if you are doing it every day or every week.
Marcus Nicholls 40:59
Rosie Nelson 41:00
Talking about personal growth. I recently thought, after all the things we went through I say now I'm gonna keep reading, keep studying I learned, things like "where focus goes, and you know, energy flows" and all about intention, and I learned from Tony Robbins as well. I was in a free challenge he made and he said something that stuck in my mind is like, "don't focus on the result. Because that blocks in the energy of what you really want. Focus on the making, on the middle part". So that's what I'm doing now. Just focus on enjoying what you're doing. And he said, in that way when you get where you want to be you've had a great expereince getting there. You have that story to tell. You have that emotion to tell people about. That's good advice. If we focus to much on getting to that point we forget to enjoy the middle bit that we love.
Marcus Nicholls 42:11
That's really good.
Ariel Endean 42:13
Tony Robbins has imparted a fair bit of wisdom into the world.
Marcus Nicholls 42:16
Ariel Endean 42:16
And he puts on a good show as well.
Marcus Nicholls 42:21
What do you feel is your secret sauce for being a business couple? What's your tips, tricks, ideas that you would recommend to other business couples? What things do you think they should do as a business couple?
Ariel Endean 42:33
Or that has worked for you. If you could have whispered in your own ear seven years ago?
Toby Withers 42:43
You know, I've been saying this for a long time and that's learn marketing, you know what we spoke about before. Look, I'm not trying to be big headed or biassed, but we have a great product that really workes and is super natural and super healthy but we won't climb the ranks like other companies that have an inferior product.If they have better marketing they are going to make more money per year than we are. So I think for me, I wish I had paid more attention and learnt a bit more about marketing back in the day, rather than the altruistic naive belief of "Let's just make a good product and it will sell itself".
Marcus Nicholls 43:28
Toby Withers 43:29
I don't know if that happens. Or if that's just positive thinking.
And from the working together as a couple point of view? Any wisdom in hindsight that you could impart?
Rosie Nelson 43:49
I am thinking what would be a good advice for people.
Ariel Endean 43:58
Even for business couples who are a business couple and are struggling a bit with it. Or couples that are thinking about doing it.
Toby Withers 44:07
I would say work on yourself. Work on it. You can't bring in a half a man or a half a woman into a relationship, or you can't bring your baggage in, and they can't bring their baggage in and expect to have a great relationship. For me, now after that couples retreat weekend away I realised it was about being the best person you can be, understanding your flaws, and then working on your personal relationship with that communication. And then once that's solid, and you're working on that and investing time in yourself and your relationship thats when the business relationship will literally take care of itself.
Rosie Nelson 44:47
I think when you get stuck. When anyone gets stuck like in a fight not to put energy on that any any longer. Just immediately find someone who can help them break through that. The loops, the loops, the loops loops that you get into into and never get out of. So instead of wasting energy time, and emotional stress, so to go immediately and find someone, to coach them. It took us six years to find someone.
Toby Withers 45:23
Or to realise we needed someone.
Rosie Nelson 45:24
Yeah. And then it would have been so much easier to seek help. Yeah. But then you cause your own suffering. It's a little bit upsetting when you can't get out of the loop. So, save all that time and stress. Get your ego out of the window and find someone who can help you go through immediately and that's it.
Ariel Endean 45:45
That's fantastic secret sauce.
Marcus Nicholls 45:47
That's great. It is very good.
Ariel Endean 45:48
And we'll put in the show notes, the retreat that you went to because it sounds like it was amazing.
Marcus Nicholls 45:52
Yes we'll get those details off you.
Toby Withers 45:53
Yeah. Sorry for talking about it so much but it really changed our lives.
Marcus Nicholls 45:56
No No No. And that's what's important. It's important that we let more people know about it.
Toby Withers 46:04
Marcus Nicholls 46:05
Okay, so for a bit of fun we've got some dice here and some random questions. Who would like to go first?
Rosie Nelson 46:10
Okay. I will.
Marcus Nicholls 46:16
We got 6.
Ariel Endean 46:20
All right, cool. Rosie if you had a time machine, would you go back and make changes to your business? Or would you go forwards and see where your business ended up? Or would you just pass on the offer?
Rosie Nelson 46:34
I will go forwards I think if I have the chance I would go to the future and see what the future is for our business.
Toby Withers 46:42
I would take in all of the knowledge that we've accrued in the last six or seven years and I'd go back and just utilise that information. Because we've just been sort of butting our heads against a brick wall for a lot of years, doing what we like to do and having a good life. But we definitely could have been doing it better.
Ariel Endean 47:03
And a lot of learning along the way that you could have used to get ahead faster.
Marcus Nicholls 47:09
Sounds like we need two time machines given that you are going in different directions.
Toby Withers 47:14
Look we might have had a new set of other failures if we'd taken that information back in time. Really you need the failure to understand what the positives are or the triumphs are so thats a different way to look at it to.
Marcus Nicholls 47:32
Okay, Toby. Your turn.
Toby Withers 47:46
Die is rolling.
Marcus Nicholls 47:43
14. Okay. In a perfect world, what would you be doing in a decade's time?
Rosie Nelson 48:09
We want to have a spa. A health spa retreat. Yeah. Our dream is to have a farm where we have a shed where we do our products. A retreat place where people come and have this amazing expereinces.
Toby Withers 48:24
And an organic cafe
Rosie Nelson 48:25
Yeah, That has amazing therapies, and there's yoga.
Toby Withers 48:29
Plunge pools, cold pools, ice baths, and a gym. A holistic sort of retreat where you can come but rustic, not those pretty tiled places, you know, very rustic & natural. Where everything's self contained with a big plot of land and we're growing our own produce, and maybe even growing some CBD oil. I think that's a huge industry that I'd love to get into as well. Even to incorporate that stuff into our products.
Ariel Endean 49:02
Sounds amazing. Where will this be located? Up the coast somewhere?
Rosie Nelson 49:08
Well, I was thinking the Hunter Valley because I thought people go there and get their wines & chocolates and then it will be amazing that they come and learn how how to make their own soap.
Marcus Nicholls 49:24
Toby Withers 49:24
An eco friendly lifestyle. That's a bit out of the way and people are coming there because they love to be there and they feel good about themselves. And it's a positive transformational expereince for them.
Ariel Endean 49:36
Toby & Rosies Retreat. I like it!
Marcus Nicholls 49:37
Sounds good. Okay Rosie your throw.......It's 11.
Ariel Endean 49:48
Okay, if you won lotto tomorrow, would you still run your business?
Toby Withers 49:58
I always said I would but obviously, it depends on how much money you would win.
Ariel Endean 50:03
Lets say $10 million.
Toby Withers 50:06
I would like to get a manager. I would like to invest more money into marketing. I would like to
Marcus Nicholls 50:14
Build that retreat.
Toby Withers 50:15
Build the retreat. Yeah, for sure.
Rosie Nelson 50:16
Toby Withers 50:19
I like the idea that people are getting a healthy product for their skin. Like that's my dream and if we didn't do what we do, they would find it harder to access those 100% natural products.
Rosie Nelson 50:34
And you know, those feelings you have deep inside you. I always think our brand is meant to be big for some reason. I have that feeling. Deep inside me I feel the brand is good. I feel good when a lot of people in the market say "Oh my god, I love the brand". So I think not only focusing on skincare, but also doing something else like hemp clothing and make up as well with skincare. Expanding in other areas.
Toby Withers 51:07
Every new product would have to be aligned with our values.
Rosie Nelson 51:11
Ariel Endean 51:11
I think that's a wonderful way to spend $10 million.
Marcus Nicholls 51:15
That's right. Okay - last roll......23. What's one way you show love and support to each other?
Toby Withers 51:32
You go first.
Rosie Nelson 51:46
One way we show love and support is when he listens to me when I have something to say. And he gives me that time to listen and to do something about it. And you know, I think that's important.
Ariel Endean 52:08
That's nice. Giving someone your undivided attention and properly listening is rarer than you'd think.
Marcus Nicholls 52:15
You're listening but are you hearing me?
Toby Withers 52:33
I have different answers now. It's pre that weekend retreat and post that weekend retreat for me.That's really the divide of being more successful, and then suffering with all of the issues that we've been suffering with. But I think that's a really important one that communication skills. When things get too hard, I don't like to hear what Rosie has to say because it goes against what I'm thinking or feeling. I'd just try to run away or block it off, or I'd think it's too much money, don't worry about it, or I'm going to have to work more, don't worry about it. But now, after that weekend I think to show love and support to each other it's a bit more about being able to really separate the business from the personal relationship. And I think we need to identify where we need to do that and, just enjoy each other's company again, because we've lost that a little bit over the course of the business.
Marcus Nicholls 53:31
Ariel Endean 53:33
It's so easy for that to happen and you live where you work which is another layer and so did we for many years, and it's easy to forget. You have to remind yourself why you fell in love, why you got together and chose to want to be with each other in the first place. And I think even for couples who don't run businesses together it's still easy to lose track of this. I think it's a very slow thing that happens over time. And then I think people wake up and realise they're there and they haven't fed and given energy to keeping that love and joy in each others company going.
Marcus Nicholls 54:11
Wow. Well thank you guys. It's been really wonderful to have both of you on our podcast and we appreciate your time. So if anyone is looking for natural ethical skincare products, (and you should be) and not just natural in the sense of natural because natural is what we should be doing and ethical and sustainable but also if you are having skin issues and you've been using all those products that have been continuing to cause problems check them out. Go to their their website or their Facebook page or their Instagram page and have a look.
Toby Withers 54:49
Or give us a call. Because we love to speak to people and hear their problems and help them identify how we can help. For us it's personal. So we really want to personally connect to as many people as possible that need any help with their skin health?
Marcus Nicholls 55:11
Well, that's right. Yeah, that's
Ariel Endean 55:12
And as we said there's nothing wrong with vanity because there are some beautiful products for that and it's nice to treat yourself.
Toby Withers 55:22
Healthy skin is beautiful skin. That's our tagline? If your skin's healthy, you're going to radiate beauty.
Ariel Endean 55:30
We love your story and love your commitment to the ethos behind what you do with "Toby & Rosie".
Toby Withers 55:37
Thank you very much.
Marcus Nicholls 55:37
Thank you guys.
Rosie Nelson 55:38
No, Thank you for coming.
Toby Withers 55:39
Thanks for having us. It's been great.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai