Success Stories of Formula Botanica Graduates in 2023

Graduate year in review 2023

In Formula Botanica’s 2023 journey, numbers tell a compelling story of the school’s continued growth and teaching excellence. But, beyond the metrics, it’s the individual success stories that paint the true picture of our impact on people’s lives and indie beauty.

In this round-up of the Formula Botanica year, we take a look at just some of the incredible graduate success stories that have come to our notice and show just how life-changing our courses can be.

But first, a shout-out to everyone in our global community – now numbering 19,000 in over 190 countries – for your unwavering dedication to your studies, and to driving the natural beauty movement forward sustainably, one formulation at a time.

We end the year with 2000 reviews on Trustpilot with an overwhelming 91% of them rating us as excellent. We are truly humbled by the trust and satisfaction of our students in helping us maintain a stellar 4.9 score.

Elsewhere online, our in-house podcast, Green Beauty Conversations, has been the auditory companion to countless formulation journeys, amassing over 1 million downloads by the end of this year. Read our School CEO Lorraine Dallmeier’s highlights over her podcasting years in: Zero to a million: celebrating the success of Green Beauty Conversations.

Stronger together: in community and classroom

Online learning needs even more support than classroom-based studying to ensure students remain excited, focused and keen to complete their courses. We realised this from the very early days of Formula Botanica. We pulled off the remarkable feat of answering over 26,000 helpdesk tickets this year. In the supportive environment we foster, where everyone feels able to pose any question, however common or complex, we have seen our students thrive.

formula botanica community
The heartbeat of our community is to be found on platforms like Facebook, where our Online Classroom welcomed a thousand new students to bring our nurturing family to over 13,000. This expansion mirrors the broader growth we’ve seen, ushering in 40 new indie beauty brands to our Graduate Gallery with each new beauty entrepreneur demonstrating a unique business concept and set of personal achievements.

Live and thriving: student support sessions

But, Formula Botanica isn’t just about imparting knowledge; it’s about fostering connections. Over 50 live support sessions, attended by more than 8,000 participants, underline the collaborative spirit that defines our community. As our new graduates completed a staggering 2,000 courses, their accomplishments reverberate in the industry they are reshaping.

It is to their achievements this year that we now turn our focus.

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Graduate greatness: from industry awards to store openings

New indie beauty brands born

Adding 40 new-launch brands to our Graduate Gallery this year is a remarkable achievement and resurgence after the pandemic years. We don’t have space to cover all the arrivals, so we urge you to head over to browse the gallery. Here, we’ve picked a few of those success stories to showcase. But each new brand has a similar story of artisan passion transformed into beauty entrepreneurship.

Plantagonia – Graduate: Carla Pennington

Plantagonia serumCarla epitomises the indie beauty dream turned reality. She launched her brand Plantagonia in November 2023, having followed through a passion that began 12 years ago to create natural organic skincare.

Carla says that it was all made possible through the training she received from Formula Botanica. Born in a small village in South America, Carla grew up with a deep-rooted love of nature and has infused her brand with sustainable ingredients and practices, supporting also The Nature Conservancy.

Inessa – Graduate: Ines Saab

Inessa botanical beauty oilLos Angeles-based graduate Ines Saab launched her brand Inessa with a luxurious duo of oil-based products. Having trained earlier as a holistic esthetician and certified health and wellness coach, Ines had long wished to create a plant-based skincare brand to complement her experience in the wellness sector. Ines’s skincare line is inspired by her own personal journey to find the best products for her skin.

Shivana by Nature – Graduate: Sivan Golan Reizer

Success Stories of Formula Botanica Graduates in 2023US-based Sivan created her brand Shivana by Nature with a range of multi-purpose natural cosmetics targeting mature skincare needs. With the aim of helping busy women simplify their skincare routine, the Shivana range of multi-purpose, natural, and clean products is designed to help its customers save time, reduce costs, and contribute to a more sustainable world.

Shops, pop-ups and events

A few years ago, and certainly during the pandemic, bricks-and-mortar stores were considered a thing of the past. While any new beauty brand certainly needs to have an impeccable online storefront today, there is something special that sets you apart when you open a physical store. You can serve your locality, and meet, greet and gain immediate feedback from customers, whether you’ve decided to invest in a permanent or pop-up location. Here are a few who took the plunge into retail spaces the last year and sought out local funding initiatives.

Sandra Velasquez founder NopaleraSandra Velasquez, founder of Nopalera, a high-end Mexican heritage brand of bath and body products, has rarely been out of the news, so fast is the growth of her business. Graduate of our Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation, Sandra is now one of the USA’s most feted Latinx entrepreneurs. In autumn 2023, Sandra opened a pop-up store in Los Angeles, signalling her first physical location with Nopalera. The brand has been stocked US wide in mainstream stores like Nordstrom for almost two years, but the pop up shows that Nopalera may well have its own stores in the future.

Helen Jimenez HarraneHelen Jimenez Harrane based in Valencia, Spain, took the initiative to pitch her start-up cosmetics’ line Helenis Biocosmetics to investors and visitors at two leading events in her region. Both events had the sustainability of business at the fore. Helen spoke at The Gap in Between, a global meeting focusing on complex sustainability challenges; and the Valencia Digital Summit, which promotes entrepreneurial culture and boosts the innovation ecosystem, serving as a bridge between start-ups and investors. Helen launches her microbiome-friendly product line in 2024 and we admire her spirit in going for funding.

Pooja BhimraPooja Bhimra based in Mumbai, India, did her first local pop-up with her brand Ziji Skin Sense promoting her event with social media reels and posts. As Pooja says, it took some effort but she was so pleased to have taken the step as it helped her overcome her worries about presenting her brand in public and gain enormous confidence to take it forward.

Mentioned in the media

Our graduates have taken the media by storm again this year with excellent coverage in both specialist beauty titles and mainstream media. It has been hard to keep tabs on every mention. From interviews on TV channels to featuring in famous titles like Vogue and Grazia, to praise in local media, our graduates and their brands have not shied away from their deserved spots in the limelight. Here is just a handful of those media mentions.

Naz Bashir founder Solo Skin LondonNaz Bashir, Founder of Solo Skin London, UK, was interviewed on The Islam Channel programme Salam Britain. We have covered Naz’s story as a skincare entrepreneur in the past, as she is truly an example of how to go from kitchen-table artisan to professional beauty business, growing organically and listening to your customers. Hear about Naz’s indie beauty journey in our Podcast Episode 127: From indie beauty idea to selling 500 eye creams.

Lune Martens from Monday Muse
Lune Martens, UK-based founder of Monday Muse had her brand’s cleanser featured in the Grazia, UK, magazine article in a dermatologist expert’s list of skincare resolutions. Lune graduated from our Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation in 2020 and launched Monday Muse as a vegan-friendly skincare brand made for those with delicate and reactive skin.

Jenni Tuominen from HenuaJenni Tuominen, Founder of Finland-based Henua Organics, saw her brand featured in the Japanese edition of leading lifestyle magazine Harper’s Bazaar. Jenni was proud to discover that not only was Henua’s Beautifying Toner selected in magazine’s hall of fame beauty, but that her brand was the only natural and organic one showcased. Jenni commented that this was a huge achievement and showed how Henua is paving the way in Japan.

Awards and nominations

Scarcely a week passed this last year without a graduate brand gaining a beauty industry award or nomination. We did a round-up a few years ago, and even then we felt we could barely do justice to the many by turning the spotlight on the few. This year is no exception as we’ve seen winners and achievers in almost every category within the cosmetics industry.

We know far more of you deserve attention, so please do contact us with your industry achievements so we can credit you in our Graduate Gallery. We’ve room here for only a few highlights from the busy 2023 awards’ calendar.

7 Hopes London logoHazem Sawaf – founder and managing director of UK-based 7 Hopes London, was recognised as finalist in the prestigious Beauty & Wellbeing Award 2023 by the West London Chamber of Commerce. 7 Hopes, located in London’s Covent Garden district, provides natural and organic skincare product design and production services for white label skincare.
Georgia DuvallGeorgia Douvall, co-founder of UK-based Duvall’s Argan Skincare, was the finalist for the Young Rising Star Award at the Pour Moi Awards created to help uplift and inspire women this year.

Liz_Glanville_Tiger_LilliesLiz Glanville, founder of Tiger Lillies Skin Food saw her brand’s anti-ageing elixir, a signature product of luxurious organic cold-pressed oils and botanical extracts, win a bronze award at the 2023 Free From Skincare Awards.

LadoniMary Elle, founder of Ladoni Kind Beauty based in Canada, saw her brand win in several product categories of the prestigious Beauty Shortlist Mama & Baby Awards this year. Ladoni garnered best face oil, best cleansing balm and also the Eco Lifestyle Editor’s Choice Award.

Having launched only in April, this is all the more impressive. Mary Elle credited Formula Botanica for helping her journey with Ladoni and said that the recognition Ladoni gained is a reminder to all students to keep pushing and trusting in themselves on their own paths into beauty entrepreneurship.

Closing 2023: a year to guide you to success

All these mentions and statistics are not mere facts and figures, but milestones in our graduates’ lives that serve also to underscore our commitment at Formula Botanica to empowering individuals to create, innovate, and thrive in the world of natural beauty formulation. The year 2023 may be drawing to a close, but the echoes of success reverberate, setting the stage for an even more remarkable journey ahead.

Celebrate our graduate and community’s wins this past year and be spurred on in the knowledge you have your own unique path to chart in 2024 in the exciting, thriving world of organic, natural and indie beauty.


How to become an
Organic Skincare Formulator

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How to become an
Organic Skincare Entrepreneur

Join over 100,000 other Formulators
By providing your details, you agree to receive additional educational & marketing emails from Formula Botanica, which further introduce our curriculum. Your data is never shared or sold. Read our Privacy Policy.


How to become an
Organic Skincare Entrepreneur

Join over 100,000 other Formulators
By providing your details, you agree to receive additional educational & marketing emails from Formula Botanica, which further introduce our curriculum. Your data is never shared or sold. Read our Privacy Policy.

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Liz Ayling | Formula Botanica

Liz is Formula Botanica’s Content Coordinator and joined our team in August 2020. Liz worked as a professional blogger, journalist and site developer for many years and was also part of the Formula Botanica student community. Read more about the Formula Botanica Team.


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