The mother-daughter duo making skincare from native plants and traditional medicines in the Pilbara have taken home the grand prize at Generation One’s inaugural Dream Summit.
Josie Alec and her daughter, Adrianna Irvine-Stanes, from Karratha, WA, were awarded $30,000 of Minderoo Seed Funding to help move their business, Jummi Factory into its next stages.
Ms Alec said she is still processing the win.
“I think we are still a bit shocked! But we’ve come home and now we’re moving forward into planning,” Ms Alec said.
Jummi Factory uses native plants to create skincare such as lip and skin balms, deodorants, rubs, exfoliators, insect repellent and perfume.
The business was inspired by Ms Alec’s mother, who was a traditional healer.
“My mum is a traditional healer [and] she passed on all her knowledge of that and plants, healing plants from our local area. She passed it to me and my kids,” Ms Alec said.
Stepping into the business world has been a difficult transition for Ms Alec, particularly creating a contemporary product with ancient roots.
“I had to walk that invisible line of where the business was and where I had to take it – but being very clear of legalities whilst modernising something very ancient. It was really hard,” Ms Alec said.
Self-funding the entire business before the award, Ms Alec said this funding award was a huge relief and makes moving forward easier and more successful.
“The biggest picture is sustainability and cultural development. It’s doing what we do best, we have a wonderful gift, we have a beautiful country and we have amazing products that come from that,” Ms Alec said.
“Sharing the beauty of our culture is the main aim for me, sharing that love that makes our culture so special and changing perceptions. If I can bring healing from my culture to someone else in this country or another, that’s it for me.”
The Dream Summit saw over 80 of Australia’s most talented Indigenous entrepreneurs come together in Sydney for two days of mentoring and personal development.
Head of Dream Summit’s Indigenous Advisory Group and a key force in building the event, Mr Leslie Delaforce said the event was aimed at connecting Indigenous business owners from across the nation.
“It can be a really fragmented space, the idea was to get these business people in one room and create that network and fabric of community,” Mr Delaforce said.
Having his own experience building a business, Mr Delaforce knows the struggles all too well.
“You know when you look around to share stories and collaborate with mob, there wasn’t really anyone there. But we tried it out, and we made mistakes but we made it in the end. And I think now it’s about looking at what we have and thinking, how do we pass this onto other mob?”
Mr Delaforce said the amount of talent that Dream Summit witnessed was incredible, but he commended Jummi Factory particularly.
“It is really powerful seeing mob get up on stage and talk about their personal story and how they have applied that to a business – whether they have battled with domestic violence or self-harm,” Mr Delaforce said.
“Hearing Josie’s struggle that she had trying to grow her business, she had those business factors, but also had the viability of the business to grow – and it’s her family passion.”
Mr Delaforce said a goal for the summit is to continue to support its participants.
“Even though it’s back to work, we must keep up that drive through products and services to help the participants – move that ignite stage to the accelerate stage,” Mr Delaforce said.
“We want to help mob come together and we want to build that Indigenous entrepreneur ecosystem.”
By Rachael Knowles