by Hilary Schofield
Delving into the inspiration, influence and individuals behind some of Hobart’s most happening businesses with a social bent.
Three Warriors CEO Corbin Halliday started his natural tanning company in five years ago. Inspired by his journey of health and recovery from mycotoxin poisoning, he wanted a safe, non-toxic and organic product he was happy to put on his skin. His products are now sold across Australia, in the Netherlands, Iceland, Luxembourg, Germany and Ireland.
Corbin, why a tanning company? You know me, I love tanning, red hair, pale, I live in Tasmania, but I can’t not have a tan. So, after being so ill, I started looking for organic and plant-derived products – I found one on the market, tried it and it was shocking – at least for my skin anyway. It made my skin orange and it stunk. I felt good because I had a bit of colour, but it didn’t look good! That gave me the idea to start formulating my own. The crazy thing is I didn’t make it to sell it, I made it for myself, not thinking I would launch it. I put it on, and people were like ‘wow, it looks good’. Then I started spray tanning my friends and they said ‘Corbin this is one of the best tans I’ve had in 20byears. You should sell it.’
How did you start? I researched each component in all my favourite chemical-based tanning products. I have no biochemistry background, but Google’s pretty amazing…I found health problems linked to each ingredient. It’s pretty scary knowing what you might be putting on your skin. For each chemical ingredient I found plant-derived and eco-certified alternatives – it took me a year and a half. I was my own guinea pig until I got it right. If I could go back to my school days now, I would have loved to do biochemistry!
What type of entrepreneur are you? I always wanted to have my own business. Mum had a real estate business and a newsagency. My nan had hotels in Hobart. She was the most amazing entrepreneur you’ve ever met. It was in my blood to do it – when I was little I used to play in nan’s hotel, play shops with my cousin, and pretend I owned it.
Tell us a bit about Three Warrior’s charitable partners? Ten per cent of our profit goes to Wello water. It’s important to make a positive change, create a social impact from each product sold. We’re looking at new partnerships to support our environment. In the long run our planet is the most important thing.
Did you have a business plan? My first business plan is nothing like what it is today. It helped for the initial stage though. What really helped me is creating an image of what you want people to see. Having been a hairdresser, I’m very visual, so when it comes to brand and campaigns, I love that.
How important is living in Hobart? We’re so lucky to have Tasmania as a backdrop. Some of the cleanest air and water in the world, so it’s a no brainer for us to use local, sustainably sourced ingredients. I go to Flinders Island to find my olive oil that comes from these two incredible ladies, they press it themselves. A drop of it on your hand is one of the most hydrating oils you’ll ever put on your skin. It’s the most beautiful ingredient.
How do you achieve balance in your life and business? I bought a jacuzzi! It’s so hard, I burn out every week – you learn to shut-off, but your own business is like your baby. I was working seven days a week for four years. Now I’ve stopped working weekends and I exercise. Your health is really important.
If you could give advice to yourself in the first days of your business what would it be? I’d tell myself not to stress on the little things and to live each day like your last.