Chat with Craig Jones, Founder of MooGoo Skin Care
When did MooGoo start?
In 2005 in a small kitchen in a 2-bedroom apartment in Perth.
Why did it start?
My mother had Psoriasis which is a skin condition. She was using a repair balm that was designed to heal the skin on cow’s udders. This was a type of country remedy for skin problems. The problem was it was very thick and pasty. No problem for cows but a big problem for mum. I learned how to make a non-greasy version for her. Friends would drop over and take some home and before long it became a full time occupation.
Who started it?
What was the first product?
“Udder Cream”…a name my mother thought was “crass”. So it became MooGoo.
Where was it based?
Is it family owed?
What is its purpose?
To make healthy products primarily for adults and children with skin and scalp problems like Eczema, Psoriasis, sensitivities, dandruff etc. However because I (the founder) have become very particular about what I put on my children, we also do natural sunscreen, a healthy toothpaste that has a replacement for fluoride and many other things.
How has the company changed over the years?
Grown! What started in a kitchen is now in about 2500 stores in Australia and exported to 7 different countries. It has almost all been through word of mouth (thanks to everyone who has helped with that) and based on the products usually doing what they say they will do. Also it used to be just me. Now we have a lovely group of people that do all the packing, customer service, accounting etc allowing me to work on what I love which is creating new products and a bit of Facebook etc. (All the easy jobs basically).
What remains the same?
We don’t have any silver haired guys in a board discussing Strategic Plans or Mission Statements. There is not a single person at MooGoo who has ever done anything like this before, but we are still growing and taking on some of the bigger companies and learning as we go. This is good because maybe some of the larger companies will change to some healthier ingredients also if they are given a shove along. The feel of the company is very much a group of friends trying new things and seeing how it goes.
What’s been the company’s biggest challenge?
I want to keep MooGoo a place where I would like to work if I had a choice. So that means making sure people feel valued and rewarded for their efforts as much as possible. So that’s the number one challenge. Another challenge is to overcome a perception that natural products can’t be credible. The reality is that many products that people perceive as “advanced” are based on ingredients that haven’t changed much since smoking was advertised for its health benefits. Ingredients such as SLS, Saccharin, Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Triclosan, Titanium Dioxide etc (and that’s just in toothpaste!)
What’s been the companies biggest learning?
It’s hard work all the time. When we read tabloid stories each weekend like “How I went from unemployed to making $1m a day in 1 year” we just roll our eyes. It’s always hard work and if it were simple then everyone would be doing it.
What has been its proudest achievements?
For me personally it was this year Christmas party. 45 people gathered together on South Stradbroke having a great time in a totally unforced manner. Everyone wanted to be there, and few people would have guessed we were work colleagues. That’s the sort of workplace I have always wanted to create.
What makes MooGoo unique?
It’s not about marketing, it’s about what we make. People trust us that we are making the healthiest products we can, and they pass that on to their friends and family.
What’s your favourite product?
The only product we have in our house from a different company is a nit cream. And soon we will even have our own of that. So they are all my favourite.