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E-commerce

Irene Falcone never wanted to sell Nourished Life. This is what changed her mind.

Irene Falcone started her e-commerce company, Nourished Life, in 2012, after becoming interested in natural beauty products and realising they were hard to find in Australia.

She set out to become the “organic Amazon” and quickly grew the business into a one-stop-shop for natural skincare, body care, hair care, makeup, sun care and eco-friendly homewares and clothing brands.

This week, Nourished Life was acquired by ASX-listed BWX Limited, the company behind Sukin and other natural beauty brands, for $20 million, a testament to the growth of natural beauty and health products, as well as Falcone’s savvy.

The move was a 180-degree turn for Falcone, who told Internet Retailing that she never wanted to sell Nourished Life. So what changed her mind?

“We were being approached by a lot of companies and investors wanting to talk to us and take us to the next level. I met with a lot of people, but wanted to keep my options open and see what was out there,” she said.

“I truly didn’t expect to take on an investor and certainly didn’t expect to sell the business, but when I met the team at BWX, I was blown away by their operation.

“For us to leverage their expertise was what truly excited me. I knew when I met them that it was the right deal to be done. It came down to expertise and them being such a cultural fit.

“The offer was to buy [Nourished Life], and I wanted to work with these people more than anything, so I did a 180-degree back flip,” she said.

The acquisition is expected to close later this month. Falcone will keep running the business, which will continue to be known as Nourished Life.

“I will keep doing what I’m doing, but on a much larger scale,” she said. The company’s marketing presence and its team – which is currently 30-40 people – will expand in future.

“I’m a huge – almost to the obsessed level – fan of online retailing. It’s my absolute passion. I love the ability to touch and talk to people through social media and get products in their hands as soon as possible at the best possible price. The extra resources, expertise and systems [of BWX] will make that happen,” she said.

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