indigo&iris lightning lab


Indigo & Iris, a beauty brand with a social mindset. Something for all businesses to aspire to. Their vision is to create a world where everyone is equal, where everyone has access to quality education and healthcare, using business to ‘evolve the world for the better’. Creating a beauty revolution is no longer just about ingredient sourcing or product testing as this beauty brand is proving with their first release.

Levitate is the first product to come from the Indigo & Iris line – a mascara that not only benefits the wearer but helps to restore sight for many people in the Pacific Islands. With 50% of their profits being donated to help end avoidable blindness, this is the first step for Indigo & Iris to make their stamp on the ethical beauty market. You can do your bit by backing them on Kickstarter now.

We spoke to girl bosses Hannah Duder and Bonnie Howland, the women behind the vision, to find out how they define success, failure and their journey to crowdfunding.

indigo & iris

What does success mean to you, as two young women doin’ it for themselves, at Indigo & Iris?

Success to Bonnie and I is all about impact. The bigger the business the bigger the impact. We want to grow our makeup brand to being a global brand which will mean we can have more of a positive impact in the Pacific regions.

Hannah – you were apart of Lightning Lab XX in 2016, where all ventures that came through the programme had to have a female founder… What did you learn about female-led success and its importance being apart of the programme?

One thing I learnt is that as women leaders we HAVE to be kind to each other, we have to support and help each other more than ever before. It’s not meant to be easy but it’s even harder when you don’t have support from other leaders.

What has Indigo & Iris’s journey been like up until now?

Bonnie left University at the end of 2014 to pursue making Indigo & Iris a reality which started as completing the Live the Dream programme and moving to Wellington. The three years leading up to our Kickstarter launch was a combination of creating Levitate through finding and working with different manufacturers around the world and creating the brand and company.

What’s the most exciting thing about being a female founder?

We really love being female founders because you do inspire other young females; reminding them that it is absolutely possible for them to start a company or be in leadership positions if it’s what they choose to do. Bringing a female perspective and energy into these spaces is so important. It’s an awesome time to be a woman founder; every reasonable person is aware of the importance of gender equality and the historical bias towards women is not just the startup/entrepreneurial space but in every workplace – and things are so much better but of course we are so proud to be a part of the future and continue to make it an even more even playing field.

How would you and Bonnie define failure?

Moving away from our vision and dreams because of others’ advice that doesn’t intuitively feel right.

What tools do you use to make business efficient for you and your team?

Communication is KEY. So making sure you have some processes in place for chatting easily. Bonnie and I are using email, facebook messenger and text. But ultimately the reason we work so well together is because we talk face to face and feel like we can communicate anything to each other. Hannah’s main tools are Xero and Excel! Bonnie’s are adobe illustrator and pages.

indigo & iris

You’ve just launched your first crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign and you’re out to raise 75k! Tell us more about this! What will you do if you meet your goal?

SO excited that we can now offer this life-changing mascara to the world! We need to reach our goal so that we can purchase our amazing suppliers’ minimum order requirement and then we are ALL GO. Proper online sales launch at NY fashion week in Feb 2018 and get our brand global! So we need YOU ALL to get on our Kickstarter and order ‘Levitate’ a STUNNING mascara that will change your life but also others’!

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