Business & Beauty with Natasha Bourke

10th April 2024

Women in Business, sponsored by Phone Plus Group

Natasha Bourke has been described as a “pillar of the New Zealand beauty industry”. For more than three decades, she’s been involved with acclaimed brands such as Dermalogica, Beauty Chef, and Bio-Therapeutics. She’s now the CEO of Two Hundred Doors, Aotearoa’s suppliers of Dermalogica and Clear Start, and helping to inspire and educate skin care professionals so they can offer superb service to their clients.

Small wonder then that Business North Harbour (BNH) welcomed more than 100 guests to North Shore Golf Club for the first Women in Business event of 2024.

Natasha’s business journey was inspired by and began with her parents, who were themselves innovators in the beauty industry. Her mother actually brought Dermalogica to New Zealand, making it one of the first non-US territories to offer the brand.

Keen to expand her horizons, Natasha contacted the GM of Dermalogica UK – and was subsequently chosen for a three-year management training course, culminating in helping to set up the company’s flagship store in Kensington. As well as gaining a qualification, she still gives this advice to anyone interested in pursuing a beauty career: be bold; don’t be afraid of making a direct approach.

Returning to New Zealand, she looked to set up a similar store at Westfield Albany. The concept failed, sadly. Reflecting on this, Natasha says the success of any venture depends on the target market and that a shopping mall wasn’t the right space for the brand. (The branch in Commercial Bay closed, too.) For those considering a bricks and mortar presence, she says it’s vital to know your numbers, recognise that there’s always room for negotiation, and have an efficient exit plan.

What other lessons has she learned?

She likens life’s priorities to juggling balls. Some are made of rubber; some are made of glass. In other words, some you can drop without them breaking.

Succession planning is hard. Succession planning within a family business is harder! But it’s essential. To help with this, Natasha gained great value from one of Icehouse’s programmes*, where she also came to appreciate Peter Drucker’s observation that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

Bringing things up to date and talking about the fulfilling work of Two Hundred Doors, Natasha says she realises that women can do anything – but they can’t do everything, at least not alone. We have to take care of ourselves (“Put on your own oxygen mask first”), and we all need a great support network. Paying it forward to other women in business is the guiding principle she tries to live by.

Concluding, Natasha spoke about the EmpowHER scholarship, a collaboration between Dermalogica, Saben, and Icehouse*. She encouraged business owners wanting to take their business to the next level to get in touch via empowher.co.nz.

Natasha then handed over to Two Hundred Doors’ head of education, Caroline Parker, who gave a most fascinating and helpful presentation about menopause and its effects on the skin. There are a few “hormonal dances” throughout a woman’s life, such as puberty and pregnancy, and menopause is the last dance. “But that doesn’t mean it has to be a Swan Lake tragedy!”

Drawing on her 39 years’ experience, Caroline explained the science in simple language, offering practical tips to help support not only healthy-looking skin but overall health and wellbeing.

It was an insightful, enjoyable session that also seemed to stir an extra level of camaraderie among guests.

Are you a business owner with a turnover of between $1m-$3m? BNH has partnered with Icehouse to offer a practical three-month programme where you'll have the chance to learn new skills, network, and redesign your organisation for the future. Find out more at businessnh.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/The-Icehouse-Business-Owner-Programme-Business-North-Harbour.pdf

Share this article:

Ben Yang

Ben Yang