Founder of Vida Glow - Anna Lahey - is a shining example of the beauty behind her products.
Just one week away from giving birth to her second child, she was cheerfully speaking to The Grace Tales team, working on her brand, raising her young son, and managing to glow her way through it all.
If that’s what happens when you consume Vida Glow, sign us up. As a brand new Business Member of GRACE Collective, we spoke to Anna about the benefits of marine collagen, how she balances it all, and her tips for managing business and family. (Hot tip: find that village.)
Can you tell us a bit about your background, and how Vida Glow came to be?
Vida Glow started in 2014. I had discovered collagen in Japan, and started taking it for my personal use as my hair, skin and nails were never quite where I wanted them to be. I suffered from significant hair loss and resorted to “natural” looking hair, extensions and acrylic nails. Within 3 weeks of taking marine collagen, I noticed a dramatic decrease in the amount of hair I was losing. By the 5 week mark, my skin had improved, my nails were strong and growing so quickly. Nothing in my diet or lifestyle had changed. I had taken so many different hair, skin and nail supplements in the past, and nothing “really” worked. This was a game changer! I raved to everyone about it, and it sparked an idea to do further research. The research was incredibly compelling. I discovered over 30 years of clinical and scientific studies on the benefits of collagen supplementation. And with that, an “idea” was born.
I studied International Studies at the University of Sydney, and was working in licensing at the time, my Fiancé (now husband) worked in property. We didn’t have any experience in bringing new products to market, so we presented our “idea” to our business partner who had a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the area and together we launched Vida Glow with one product, the original marine collagen, on 13 September 2014, the date of our wedding. It was a great year!
What are the benefits of marine collagen?
There are so many benefits of collagen supplementation. We, as a beauty brand, focus on the benefits for hair, skin and nails. These are:
- Combating the signs of ageing by reducing oxidative stress, which prevents the cross linking of collagen fibres, raising moisture levels and as clinical studies have shown; increasing skin hydration by up to 91%.
- Increases skin’s plumpness
- Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
- Improves skin tone and texture
- Improves skin’s elasticity by increasing the density of fibroblasts which are the cells responsible for rebuilding collagen.
- Reducing inflammation, and helping to clear the skin.
- Promotes hair growth
- Assists in hair regeneration
- Improves hair health
- Strengthens hair follicles
- Improves the appearance of hair, volume and shine
- Strengthens the nail structure
- Corrects damaged nails
- Promotes nail growth
- Improves nail health and quality
What would be your must-have Vida Glow product for mothers?
Definitely the marine collagen. Especially for new mothers during the post-partum period. The changes hormonally after birth, and the nutrient depletion that often occurs really takes its toll on hair, skin and nails. It’s safe whilst breastfeeding and the results are visible in a short span of time. We have amazing reviews from breastfeeding mothers.
How do you incorporate your products into your daily routine?
I take the original/unflavoured marine collagen every morning in a glass of warm water. I also have the Beauty Greens daily in plain cold water, it’s my afternoon pick me up. I love our greens, it tastes great with its subtle pineapple and mint flavour. It’s light and refreshing and I love the boost of energy and extra nutrients it offers. Our greens are enriched with protein, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, minerals as well as the classic greens and sprouted blends. I have a smoothie 3 – 4 times a week and when I do I always add one scoop of our Chocolate Beauty Protein and Beauty Skin. All of our Beauty Powders are Natural, Australian Certified Organic, Non GMO, Vegan, with No Soy, Fillers or Added Sugars.
Vida Glow Cosmetics is part of my daily skincare routine, I’m obsessed with our new skincare range, it’s enriched with Red Algae Marine Collagen. The range specialises in natural formulations with key active ingredients. The Active Vitamin C Serum is my favourite and has really helped with pregnancy pigmentation, which unfortunately I do suffer from. All Vida Glow products are proudly made in Australia.
What do your days look like - how do you balance your business with family?
My son Edward is 19 months and I’m due to have my second baby one week after writing this! So my days are never routine and it’s definitely a juggling act. This year Vida Glow has had some exciting opportunities and growth. I’ve travelled A LOT, to LA, Philadelphia and across Europe as our global expansion continues and we’ve managed to take Ted on most trips with the exception of two – New Zealand (2 nights) and China (5 nights), with thanks to my parents. My husband, our Director, travels with me, which for China was extremely helpful being 34 weeks pregnant.
Operationally I’m not as involved as I was before Ted, I’m not in the office every day. Thankfully, he arrived once our business was established. My role is very much as the brands’ spokesperson. I still head product training and education, whether it’s with new staff, buyers, distributors, PR … and am involved with our staff daily via texts, calls and emails. We are so blessed with amazing staff and I cherish the relationship I have with them.
I’m also very involved in New Product Development which is an area I’m particularly interested in. I love the research aspect and overseeing the conception to the final product journey. I’m in charge of content, so being across the development of new products is important.
I’m lucky that I’m able to ‘work’ in a business that I’m so passionate about, proud of and wholeheartedly believe in. Products that are part of my everyday routine. It’s a thrill seeing the growth we’ve had and how our business has evolved. From working full time for someone else, whilst starting Vida Glow, to then working from home, hiring our first staff member, getting our first office and now moving into our new, purpose-built office and fulfilment centre. I’m proud to have started Vida Glow, and proud that our success has come from products that are making a difference in people’s lives. Products of exceptional quality, that deliver visible results.
Balancing business with family isn’t easy. There’s an entire village around me, being my parents, my sister, as well as my husband and I managing our schedule around family time. I really do believe that the most valuable thing you can give your children is… your time. So ‘mothers guilt’ definitely creeps in. I try and be as present as possible when we’re together. My priority is our son, my husband, our dogs, our family. I reason that so many mothers go through this juggle of working and raising a family. We are all just trying our best, securing the future of our children, whilst also being stimulated and having an identity outside of being a mother.
Have you changed your beauty approach or your diet during pregnancy?
I suppose I’ve become a lot more aware of what I’m putting in my body and on my body. I have a much greater appreciation of the vessel I live in, I do take better care of myself. My first pregnancy was an incredible learning experience, and although I’m more relaxed this time around, I’m definitely conscious of my diet and beauty regime through pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What advice do you have for women starting or growing a business with a young family?
Establish a support system. Have the conversation with your partner, family and friends. Talk about how you intend to juggle the balance. Be grateful to the people who support you, I know I couldn’t do it without them. Growing a business is demanding, as is having young children. Mostly accept that you CANNOT do it all, and that sacrifices will have to be made. There will be days when you feel like you’re doing a mediocre job at home, and a mediocre job at work. There will also be days when you’re patting yourself on the back. Try and make time for yourself, to have a massage, or to talk to your girlfriends honestly. None of us have it all together. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed.
Try and breathe in, savour, the moments when you’re enjoying it, whether that be a success in business or a great cuddle or laugh with your little one.