'How a complete burnout led me to start a global business'
We chat with Clementine Beale, founder of Salt Lab on how a burnout in 2014 led her to create a globally successful business.
SDT: Can you tell us about life prior to Salt Lab?
Clementine: My corporate background is in account management, I worked for Swatch Group Australia before taking the leap into self-employment in 2013. I had studied my diploma in nutrition and personal training and was extremely passionate in this health and wellness space, seeing clients on the side of my ‘full time’ role. In 2013 I left Swatch Group, I found a warehouse space in Williamstown and started the process of transforming it into a wellness hub where I had a vision to run a healthy café, group fitness classes and nutrition consults.
After 6 months of being a tradie setting this up I opened the doors. I had tipped everything into this project (emotionally, physically and financially), so I lived above the gym in a loft style, call it an office space! My life very much revolved around this start-up for what felt like an eternity. I had never been in
business and was not overly savvy, the naivety helped get me there I think. I had one day ‘off’ a week and generally this was spent cleaning the gym and programming the sessions. I ran everything myself so it was a busy period, one I thank for softening the blow into parenthood – late nights, early mornings and not getting out and about too much.
SDT: You suffered a burn out in 2014. Can you tell us a bit more about this experience?
Clementine: Yes, I had spent six months renovating the warehouse into a gym, navigating all the new business hurdles and stressors, opened the doors and crashed. It was a pretty scary time for me as I had just opened a ‘wellness hub’ and here I was suffering from a burn out and felt the furthest things from healthy. With the added pressure of being in the health and wellness space and helping clients through tough periods yet not being able to help myself. It came to a point of needing external support.
My body was reacting to everything I consumed, I would bloat, break out, and have physical reactions to anything I put in my mouth. I couldn’t sleep but was so exhausted I could hardly get out of bed. I was cutting foods based on allergy tests I was getting and nothing was helping. I started seeing a natural practitioner and this was where I started to see progress and a shift. We were doing a combination of acupuncture and elimination of inflammatory foods.
SDT: So what spurred you on to create Salt Lab?
Clementine: My burn out. Once my body was introduced to Magnesium Oil it was able to rest at night, I was sleeping better and my inflammation was significantly reduced. It absolutely changed the game for me I knew I had to share this with others.
I started looking into the ingredients and manufacturing process of the brand I was currently using and when I started to dig into the details of Magnesium applied topically I realised there were some gaps with the quality of the product I was using and what I felt comfortable applying to my skin. Magnesium Chloride is sourced from the earth and like anything sourced from a natural source there are vulnerabilities to quality and contamination depending on where it is sourced from and the level of testing done to check these.
This was where Salt Lab was born, I wanted to provide people with a really honest product that had no nasties, went to all levels to ensure quality and purity. I wanted this product to be 100% good for our customers (not 85% good with 15% harmful contamination like heavy metals).
Then I fell pregnant and this spurred the desire for the quality on even further as I knew I would never put
something on my kids that wasn’t absolutely 100% the best it could be, and I knew I wanted to introduce magnesium oil into their lives from a young age.
SDT: What are the health benefits of Magnesium Oil?
Clementine: Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body, it is needed every single day to
ensure we are operating at our peak (muscles firing, heart beating, helping you relax and maintaining your energy levels, anxiety, depression, sleep). Our body cannot produce magnesium itself, therefore it relies on it from external sources (ideally our food), with our soils being extremely depleted in the goodness they use to hold we are reliant on supplements to fill the void.
The main ailments we see rectified from a daily commitment to this liquid gold is:
- Improved sleep quality – falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer
- Relief from restless leg syndrome
- Relief from aches and pains – whether it be from the gym, or just daily life as we get older
- Children– We have mums and dads all over the globe relying on the addition of a few sprays to their little ones and noticing improvement in their sleep, growing pains and their behaviour and mood.
-And of course, pregnancy - ‘dubbed a pregnant woman’s BFF’ for good reason.
SDT: Salt Lab is now sold globally and has huge fans in Elyse Knowles and AFL players Dyson Heppel, Abbey Holmes. How have you created such a successful brand?
Clementine: I do believe in the old saying of the right product in the right place at the right time. We created Salt Lab to be very different from its competitors from the way we spoke, who we targeted and
the look and feel. We were the first brand to really push social media advertising and have a strong attractive presence in that space. We have always tried to be a personable brand, engaging with our community and being a household name.
Our packaging was designed to lend itself to people wanting to leave it out on the bench in their homes and take pics and share their experience with it which has definitely helped build the brand to what it is today.
SDT: Finally, what would your biggest piece of advice be to entrepreneurial Mums?
Clementine: Oh gosh I feel like I am still navigating this myself.
My ongoing daily practices are to find the balance that works for me.
Also, have boundaries! Be really clear on work days/times and family days/time.