Media team give hand sanitizer a much needed makeover

In March this year Tracey Hirschhorn and Dionne Taylor launched their side hustle "Shmoist" - an Australian-first fragranced and moisturizing sanitizer. The co-founders pounced on an obvious gap in the sanitizer market during the Covid-19 crisis - upping the cool factor in sanitizing and improve on the two most common complaints people have about this product – the smell and the drying factor on our skin.

“We wanted to create a sanitizer that becomes part of our everyday beauty regime, much like the way we use perfume.”

Hailing from service based backgrounds, neither Tracey nor Dionne had any experience in in the e-commerce space, but pushed forward anyway. The company is flourishing and has succeeded in securing 75 retailers nationally for their product. Check out their story below...

Why did you start the business

We started Shmoist because we were both looking for a creative outlet from our day-to-day jobs. We knew we could work together as we had been unofficially in our respective other business; Tracey is a graphic designer and Dionne has a PR communications agency. We also see an opportunity; at the peak of COVID in 2020 there was a huge shortage of hand sanitizers. Then the market was flooded, all whilst we were bubbling away with our idea of how we could disrupt the market.

We spent months, too many months umming and ahhing with the idea before we decided to take the financial plunge into launching the company and place our first order. We knew that we needed to change the two pet hates people have about sanitizing; the smell and the drying effect on their hands. With zero experience in manufacturing, sourcing products, buying in bulk, product development, we quickly learned how we needed to bring our product to life. We are germaphobes and we knew that consumer behavior had forever changed and sanitizing is part of every day life. We want to make it pleasurable!

What are your thoughts on the future of side hustling

I think it’s so important but what’s more important is to manage one’s time effectively. At one point the side hustle may become the bigger earner, and then priorities will need to shift. If you’re a person who can multi task and needs a creative outlet, or another revenue stream, a side hustle is so fulfilling.

What advice would you give someone starting out in their side hustle

Know your strengths or know how much you need to learn about the market you want to go into. Don’t go in blind. Talk to people in the industry to get some experience shares. And when you finally plunge into it, keep in mind how much time you need to dedicate to it so it doesn’t come at the detriment to other areas in your life like your other work, friends, family etc. Know your priorities. And keep on hustling!

What tips would you pass on to someone who is thinking about setting up a side hustle.

Have structure to your day; know when to dip in and out of your side hustle, and know what the priorities are. Sometimes a small task can take hours and yield small revenue in your side hustle, but still be so rewarding. Know when enough is enough and when to say no or shift your focus. Try new things and be open to advice from those who have walked the path before you.

What are the biggest mistakes you made in the set up stage of your business.

Not starting soon enough! We toyed with the idea of our brand Shmoist for too many months and lost time in the process. Now that we have our systems set up, our suppliers, we know the market, the delays, we can move quicker with future lines. My biggest regret is that we didn’t enter the market by latest mid 2020, we launched in early March and despite us still being super busy, we could have launched sooner if we didn't hesitate.

Check out Schmoist here: