To celebrate Women's Month, we figured it was a good time to put a spotlight on Founder and CEO, Ann-Kathrin Joos, who really is a Standard Babe with beauty and brains that we can all look up to 😍 Get to know a bit more about the brains behind the business...
Q: Why did you start this company?
A: It has always been my dream, for as long as I can remember, to have my own business. I started Standard Beauty in the midst of the pandemic in June 2020 when my first business hadn’t really taken off. I noticed that there was a gap in the affordable skincare market, as most skincare items are very expensive. There were some affordable skincare options, but they lacked aesthetics, professionalism and quality. I thought to myself: why should one have to compromise? Daily consumables should be high-quality without breaking the bank, and they should always look cute af. Thus, Standard beauty was born.
Q: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
A: I always knew I wanted to be my own boss and have my own company, ever since I was little. My mum kind of convinced me to still get a degree, which I did - in Business administration. I then took a student job and an internship in London. So without a lot of experience in the corporate world, I started my first business when I came to South Africa 3 years ago. That business unfortunately didn’t take off, but instead of allowing that to deter me, I pivoted and started Standard Beauty.
Q: What is the most rewarding risk you’ve taken to date?
A: When I first moved the business out of my home kitchen into our first 70 square metre office, it seemed like a huge step back then in November 2020, as we were only 2 team members. But my house had turned into a warehouse and it was no longer sustainable. It seemed like such a huge step and I wasn’t sure if we really needed such a “big” space. Which is so funny, as in hindsight, only 6 months later we had to move into a larger space - an actual warehouse and factory!
Founder and CEO, Ann-Kathrin Joos.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?
A: The biggest challenges were and still are to keep up with our immense growth and to find great talent to join the excellent Standard team. Growing so much means that you now have to solve problems, such as where to get a 200L mixing machine, as before we could mix the skincare in a small 20L bucket, or how to set up a proper production line - when only 9 months ago we filled the products by hand with syringes. Or because our demand grows every month, our suppliers keep running out of stock.
Q: What goals do you have for the company?
A: Big ones! By year-end I want Standard Beauty to be South Africa's #1 skincare brand, in terms of size, customer satisfaction, distribution and community. Long-term we not only want to be South Africa’s #1 skincare brand, but Africa's #1 skincare brand. And further to that, I have big ambitions for Standard Beauty to become a parent company for other “Standard” businesses that offer locally-produced products and therefore create employment. Each of these businesses will be of high quality, super cute, offering excellent customer service and yet super affordable. Next week we will be announcing our first branch-off company to Standard Beauty - so watch this space!
Q: What do you feel is the biggest strength of the company right now?
A: Being highly customer-centric. We take great pride in speaking to all generations, ages and backgrounds. High quality, but affordable. Convenient shipping to your door. The list goes on... And, of course, our amazing community of Standard Babes is not one to be forgotten!
Q: What are some of the things you do to shut off when you need downtime?
A: I actually really love my work, so you often find my on a weekend, for example, at a Starbucks working on new product launches, ideas and/or business concepts. But to relax, some things I love to do include spending time outdoors in nature, going for walks, going to the gym, meditating, and meeting with my amazing group of friends.
Q: What are your outside interests? / What do you do when you are not at work?
A: My life is mostly work haha. But whenever I can, I enjoy travelling. All current travel is within South Africa, but as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, I plan to go home to Germany and to London. I recently planted a veggie garden and am really hoping that my new veggies will grow well and thrive.
Science meets nature at Standard Beauty ~
Q: What animal are you the most like?
A: I'd have to say a cheetah.
Q: What is your star sign, and do you feel like you carry a lot of the typical traits of that sign?
A: I'm an Aries, and I do identify with the typical Aries traits: relentless determination, very direct, full of optimism and unbridled hope, generous towards others but also very stubborn and impatient :D