Meet Tash Scutts, who left fashion to found Lovebyt, the Australian-made vegan oral beauty brand
Tash Scutts was firmly ensconced in the fashion industry as a buyer at one of our favourite homegrown labels, Bassike, when she had a change of heart that took her career in an entirely different direction. Using the skills she'd honed at Bassike (which she describes as an “incredibly well-oiled machine”) and from her Bachelor of Business with a major in marketing, Scutts launched Lovebyt with the aim to be a premium, locally-made and vegan oral A-beauty brand. Here, she talks us through the credentials that make her products stand out and why being made in Australia forms the backbone of her business.
Tell us about when you started Lovebyt and how the idea came to be what it is today?
“I started Lovebyt in 2017. I was happily employed in the fashion industry for eight years prior but I wanted to have my own business. When I told my husband, he said, “Great, but you have to do something that’s not done very well.” It was his idea to do a natural toothpaste. There was so much buzz around natural cosmetics and what we put on our skin, but no one was thinking about toothpaste and what we were putting into our mouths. So, I started to research what went into toothpaste and was appalled. This set me on the path to develop an Australian-made toothpaste with no nasty chemicals.”
Tell us more about your philosophy and how it guides your brand and product development?
“My vision for Lovebyt was to create a premium oral beauty range. I wanted it to be made in Australia and be free of nasty chemicals. I have two vegan daughters, so developing a vegan formulation was really important. In addition, the packaging needed to be elegant enough to complement our bathrooms and sit alongside towels, perfumes, soaps and candles.”
How are sustainable and ethical practices incorporated into your business?
“Our products are 100% Australian made and owned. Lovebyt toothpastes are made in a manufacturing facility that is GMP (good manufacturing practice) certified and is also approved by the TGA for Health and Safety. We have taken the initiative to produce new products in our range that have a more conscious footprint with regard to packaging and recycling. Our toothpaste tubes are recyclable through terra cycle and we are investing in 100% recyclable tubes for 2021-22.”
What is the importance to you of being made in Australia? And why is it so unique in the beauty industry?
“Australian-made beauty is the backbone of our company. I believe that it is an investment in our country’s future to keep manufacturing here. A lot of businesses in the beauty industry and other industries make their products offshore to increase their margins and still sell cheaply to consumers. With Australian-made products, we have the benefit of transparency to make sure the ingredients are the best available and the workplace is the safest and fairest possible.”
What changes have you seen in the Australian beauty industry and the ‘A-beauty’ category in recent times?
“More customers are seeking clean beauty products without the harsh chemicals. At the beginning of 2020, I participated in a small clean beauty trade show called The Green Edit, which was a huge success. I think this really demonstrated how people’s hunger for natural ingredients in beauty products has shifted gears in a positive way.”
What excites you about the potential and future of Australian-made beauty and skincare products?
“I’m excited that there is a focus on Australian-made beauty. Why would we import products when we can make beautiful products with beautiful ingredients here at home? I love that customers are supporting Australian-made. This also opens up our export opportunities. Overseas countries are loving Australian-made beauty products because they know that they are made with quality ingredients.”
What is the one product you always recommend from your range?
“I always recommend our Charcoal and Mint Botanical Toothpaste for the teeth whitening benefits and suggest alternating with either Cinnamon and Clove Botanical Toothpaste if you have teeth sensitivity or with Peppermint Botanical Toothpaste if you love a strong mint toothpaste. You can use Charcoal and Mint at night and either Cinnamon and Clove or Peppermint in the morning.”
What is your personal beauty regimen?
“Number one is wear sunscreen. Number two is always wash your face morning and night. I get my hair cut every six weeks and wash it once a week. I have dry hair from colouring and this allows the natural oils to nourish it. I always wear my hair up so I can get away with a weekly hair wash. My go-to treatment is a monthly body massage from The Calmm. It's the best massage I have ever had.”
What has been the most rewarding part of being a business owner? And what has been the most challenging?
“The most rewarding is the positive feedback from customers who tell me they love Lovebyt toothpaste. Or that their dentists love it. It makes me feel so happy that I have created a product that makes a difference in people’s lives. The hardest part is I have to always be thinking three steps ahead. So I don’t often stop and soak up the wins because my mind is already onto the next thing.”