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Image / Style / Beauty / Irish Design

#ShopIrish Spotlight: Jo Browne, the beauty and lifestyle brand with sustainability at its heart


by Holly O'Neill
04th Dec 2020

18/11/2018 - NO REPRO FEE: Pictured in Borris House, Carlow. Joanne Browne of Jo Browne supported by Local Enterprise Office Carlow at the launch of plans for Local Enterprise Showcase taking place at Showcase – Ireland’s International Creative Expo at the RDS from the 20th- 23rd January 2019. The Local Enterprise Showcase will feature small design and crafts clients who are being supported by their Local Enterprise Office. Showcase gives them the opportunity to put their product in front of over 5,000 buyers from 20 countries at Ireland’s largest international creative expo. Showcase is presented by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. For more information www.localenterprise.ie PIC: Joe Keogh

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Supporting Irish business is a passion of ours at IMAGE and it’s easy with so many entrepreneurial and innovative Irish businesses to buy from. From now until Christmas we are highlighting Irish businesses or business people that we are excited about. Today it’s Jo Browne, the beauty and lifestyle brand creating beautiful skincare, scents and bamboo bedding.


How long have you been in business? And what was your mission from the outset?

I created my brand in 2016 when I spotted a gap in the market for solid perfume and cologne. Handmade in Ireland, my range now includes natural skincare, including an award-winning cleansing balm, hydrating facial serum, luxury soaps, bamboo aroma diffusers, body scrub, body lotion, make-up removal pads, and a new sustainable bamboo bedding collection.

Of what part of your business are you most proud?

I’m very proud that I have consistently been able to evolve and pivot my business to capitalise on trends and to meet consumer demand. For example, when the pandemic hit Ireland, I was ready with a supply of alcohol to make hand sanitizer and so was able to stay open during the first lockdown when most of my competitors had to close. I have also expanded my business to include homewares such as the Bamboo bedding range, which is going really well as we are all staying home more and enjoying making our homes as comfortable and stylish as possible.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jo Browne (@jobrowne_ireland)

Who are your business heroes?

My business heroes would be Anita Roddick of The Body Shop and Marissa Carter who are both incredible businesswomen and revolutionary in the way they changed the industry – Anita, because of the fact that she built a hugely successful beauty empire by inspiring consumers to buy with a conscience and as a business to give back. Marissa Carter, because she is a tenacious businesswoman who never gives up despite any obstacles she encountered and is now one of the most successful and well-recognised names in the beauty business. I love how she helps smaller Irish business.

How have you found the last six months, professionally and personally?

The past six months have undoubtedly been difficult, I had to let my staff go at the end of March and myself and my husband kept going on our own, sometimes working all night to fulfil orders. At the same time, we had to home school our children and give them time, so that was an additional challenge.

What keeps you positive?

My family and my belief in my products and what I do. I am very lucky to do what I love and to have the support that I have.

 

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A post shared by Jo Browne (@jobrowne_ireland)

What new perspective (if any) have you gained from 2020?

That anything is possible if you work hard and believe in what you’re doing and that your health really is your wealth.

Best/worst moment from 2020?

The best was launching four new products in the middle of a pandemic and seeing them succeed. The worst was having to let my staff go.

How will you celebrate the holidays this year?

By putting my feet-up, switching off from work for a few days, having a large glass of wine and celebrating with my family that we got through the last nine months.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jo Browne (@jobrowne_ireland)

Another Irish business you want to shine a spotlight on?

Polly & Andy – seam-free bamboo socks, which was set-up by my sister Polly to help her son Andy who has sensory issues.

Anything else you would like to let us know?

We have just launched a limited edition Christmas Candle, our very first candle. It is only scented with pure essential oils and all the family can enjoy the scent. In December we will launch our Bamboo Eye Mask which we have just finished designing. We also hope to expand our factory and hope to take our bedding range even further.

You can find Jo Browne here and on Instagram.

Related: #ShopIrish Spotlight: Susan Hunter Lingerie is a Dublin stalwart of luxury and service

Related: #ShopIrish Spotlight: Moyee Coffee Ireland is radically good coffee with radical impact

Related: #ShopIrish Spotlight: McPadden is a new knitwear brand with a mission to make people smile