Founder Stories

Founder Gabrielle Requena tells us how she built Wrinkles Schminkles as the pioneers in silicone based skincare.

Wrinkle Schminkles
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Industry

Beauty and Skincare

In 2013, Gabrielle went looking for a non-invasive skincare solution that (really) refined lines and wrinkles, without having to invest in 12-step skincare routines or expensive professional procedures. She learnt about the healing benefits of Medical Grade Silicone, commonly used by doctors and dermatologists to encourage wound and scar healing. Inspired to create a treatment that was a more sophisticated, targeted use of Silicone, Gabrielle created a product that harnesses the same skin-refining powers to help improve the appearance of unwanted lines and crinkles caused by sun damage and the ageing process.

We talked with her to find out how she turned this product into a successful business.

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Introduce your business and tell us your story: what is the origin story for why you started Wrinkles Schminkles?

I am the founder and CEO of Wrinkles Schminkles, the pioneer of the Reusable 100% Medical Grade Silicone Patch.

I created the range in my mid-thirties when I started seeing and experiencing the very normal and natural signs of aging on my skin, yet wanted to do what I could to maintain my skin I have always taken great care of (thanks to growing up in France where facials at a young age are very normal).

I could feel and see the creping of the skin where it was losing elasticity and understood all it needed was something to keep the skin taut so it couldn’t crease while I side slept. Fast forward around 2 years of playing with the idea and prototyping and the range of Reusable Under Eye Patches, Chest Patches and Forehead Patches were born. 

When did you launch and what are the key milestone moments for your business?

Wrinkles Schminkles launched in 2014 and as we’ve just entered our 10th year there are so many milestone moments but if I were to highlight the stand outs, it would be ‘launching in general’ a new brand in a category we created and seeing the uptake and hearing from our customers, media, retailers globally who are very authentically shocked by the results that a simple patch can deliver to their skin; pitching the business on Shark Tank; having a launch event on Real Housewives of Sydney; seeing the brand organically pop up on highly influential segments in the USA like Khloe’s Revenge Body TV Show in the USA, Bobbies Buzz on the Today show; going VERY viral on TikTok during Covid (with one video hitting 55million+ views and still growing) and launching into mass retail with Priceline and a large retailer in the USA later this year with more global retailers to follow.

One of my proudest milestones in 2024, for which I am immensely grateful, is the remarkable team I've been fortunate enough to attract and the positive relationships and culture we've created together. The exceptional quality of our work, the strong camaraderie, and the collective achievements we've attained while practicing authentic kindness and sharing good laughs fill me with immense pride and happiness. While I'm far from perfect, it's crucial to me that my team members are genuinely happy. Even when they eventually move on, I hope they look back on their time with us with a combination of warm feelings and a sense of career achievement.

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We have really invested in ensuring we have the best-in-class tech stack and use data to make informed decisions on which tech and apps we use and/or optimise for better suited ones for our business objectives.

Gabrielle Requena

Tell us about the back-end of your business. What’s your tech stack and tools and apps do you use to run your online store?

We have really invested in ensuring we have the best-in-class tech stack and use data to make informed decisions on which tech and apps we use and/or optimise for better suited ones for our business objectives. 

Currently, we use Shopify Plus for our websites and blog, Klaviyo for our email marketing and SMS, Okendo for our reviews, Loyalty Lion for our loyalty and rewards program Patch Points, and Recharge for our subscriptions. And of course AMP for our cart and Upsells!

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Taking into account true fixed and variable costs across the business, we now understand daily profitability and focus more on metrics like revenue per visit and cost per visit.

Gabrielle Requena

With the rising Cost of Customer Acquisition through Meta what strategies do you believe are essential for brands to think about to scale growth?

An essential shift for our business to be able to scale was to shift from viewing performance of individual ROI’s or ROAS (return on investment; return on ad spend) to instead profitability metrics.

Taking into account true fixed and variable costs across the business, we now understand daily profitability and focus more on metrics like revenue per visit and cost per visit. While this doesn’t combat the rising cost of customer acquisition, it helps us assess how effective we are in our paid adverting and website conversion. These metrics have been the key drivers in identifying our successes and areas we can further optimise.

A final tip, be prepared because as soon as you solve your challenges around scaling, your VERY next challenge will be inventory!

Was there an ah huh moment that launched your growth? What was your secret source?

Being in our 10th year, there truly have been many moments where we’ve been able to step change growth and ‘crack’ the next growth challenge, and again I would note, none of them could’ve been achieved without having the right team members who believe in what we are doing and have the skillset and sense of high achievement we do.

To summarise, our viral TikTok channel was huge for us in 2021. In 2022, embarking into our first mass retail channel with Priceline not only enabled us to benefit from that specific revenue growth but it enabled us to further scale and grow DTC also. In 2023/2024, as well as growing into other retail (TWCM, Amcal, Meijer in the USA and more to come) we have also double down on our DTC growth across our two key markets Australian and USA and are preparing to launch our DTC in the UK. I don’t believe there is ever ‘one’ ah huh moment, there are always several balls in the air and some take longer to land than others but all must be paid attention to.

Your top resources for aspiring entrepreneurs are…

For any aspiring eCommerce entrepreneurs just starting out I recommended the coaching programs at eCommerce Equation and Shecom.co without a doubt. You can learn from the industry experts as well as forge a network of colleagues on a similar path to you.

Find out more about Wrinkles Schminkles...

Website: www.wrinklesschminkles.com

Social: @wrinklesschminkles

Retail locations/wholesale: In Australia - Priceline, Amcal, Terry White Chemmart, Chempro, Good Price Pharmacy and more.

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