At the age of 22, Hillary Wilcox is a Melbourne-based qualified Naturopath, Herbalist and Practitioner of Nutritional Medicine, and is also the founder and creator of certified organic, Australian-made and owned skincare brand, MAAEMO. We caught up with her to find out what an average day looks like for the young entrepreneur. She takes us through her routine - from an alarm-snoozing morning through to lights out at 12pm.
But first we have a few questions around Hillary's recent skincare launch and the moment she decided to pursue the life of a girlboss. Read on.
Tell us about the moment you came up with your killer business idea and decided to take the plunge and follow your dreams.
HW: I can remember the exact moment the idea came to me! I was sitting in the student clinic where I was practising as a student Naturopath. I had just made a herbal cream for a patient who was suffering from eczema. It was a return patient and they had seen amazing results since the last cream that had been made from them. I remember wishing that I could make all my own skincare products myself and fill them with nourishing and healing botanical extracts that were not only certified-organic but actually good for my skin. I started researching and that’s when I noticed the huge gap in the market for high-quality, certified-organic skincare that looked beautiful and performed well, so I decided to fill that gap myself.
What has been the biggest challenge in creating a certified-organic skincare range?
HW: I think finding the courage to start up a business is the biggest challenge in itself! But I also found the formulation process to be quite challenging. I’m very fussy with what I put on my own skin and I had a really clear picture in my mind of what I wanted the products to be like, so I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than perfect. It involved so much trial and error, and this definitely tested my patience. There were times when I thought I’d never get there, but there was honestly no greater feeling then receiving that perfect sample and knowing in myself that I had created something incredible!
You're only 22 years of age and a total girlboss. Has your age been a pro or con in starting up a business?
HW: Being on this journey in my early 20s definitely comes with both its advantages and disadvantages. I gave up things like having a gap year and traveling the world with my friends so that I could finish university and save money in order to bring my dreams to life. At times it felt like I was missing out but now I am so so glad that I started when I did.
I think your 20s are your years to take risks and be bold. When I look at what I’ve achieved in such a short amount of time it just motivates me to set more goals for the future!
Timeline: A Day In The Life Of Hillary Wilcox from MAAEMO
7:30am: Alarm goes off and I hit snooze at least twice before getting up to make myself a coffee. I usually jump back into bed to have snuggles with my puppy, Rufus. I also use this time to check my morning emails for the business and update Instagram posts.
8:30am: Breakfast! I have porridge with blueberries, honey, cinnamon and Greek yoghurt every morning, followed by a shower and my MAAEMO skincare ritual to get ready for the day.
9am: I jump on my laptop and start going through lectures and write out my university notes for the next few days. There’re normally plenty of assignments that require attention as well (fun!).
12pm: Once I’m satisfied with my studies, I put away my “uni student hat” and become the Director of a skincare business. I’ll spend an hour or so packing orders and writing out custom notes for my lovely customers and MAAEMO devotees.
1pm: I quickly eat some lunch and have a coffee whilst putting on the laundry and smash out some housework.
2pm: I head to the post office to ship off customer orders on the way to my university lectures in Melbourne. Snacks are highly necessary for the 1 hour drive so I normally spend this time eating Brazil nuts and singing along to the radio.
3pm: Arrive at university where I’ll spend the next 3 hours taking notes and learning how to be an even better Naturopath! (Sneakily, I check my emails every hour or so to respond to customer enquiries).
7pm: I arrive back home from university, and if I’m lucky, my lovely boyfriend will have dinner cooked for me. Otherwise I’ll start cooking before putting on my favourite TV show and updating my Instagram.
8pm: Another shower and my MAAEMO skincare ritual before hopping into my pyjamas for downtime with my boyfriend and Rufus!
9pm: This is bedtime, however I’m quite the night owl. I normally lay in bed for the next 3 hours brainstorming and researching new ideas for the business. It may be a new collaboration or new products or ingredient research. I’m always brainstorming something before bed!