Lockdown business: How Melissa adapted to the pandemic challenge

Planted Melissa Chartan
Melissa Chartan launched her own company, Planted Skincare, four years ago.

FINDING new perspectives is key to tackling the pandemic head-on, according to a local business owner.

Wokingham resident Melissa Chartan launched her own company, Planted Skincare, four years ago.

After revolutionising her own skincare routine, she wanted to bring natural products to the people – but she said the pandemic has not made things easy.

Her cruelty-free brand sells a range of nutrient-dense products including face cream and body butter, and relies on local suppliers and ethical sourcing wherever possible.

“I used to have skin problems and began looking into different ingredients including plant oils,” Ms Chartan said.

“Over the years, I began to get interested in what other ingredients could be of benefit, and I saw such an improvement in my own skin that I started handing out samples to friends.”

She said it eventually made sense to launch her own business and make her passion a vocation. Now, Planted Skincare currently carries four products, all made from bioavailable, natural ingredients.

But Ms Chartan said it’s not been easy leading a business throughout the pandemic, both literally and mentally.

Pre-coronavirus, Planted Skincare attended a lot of pop-up events, selling its wares at monthly markets and festivals.

“Instead, I’ve been getting lots
of headaches with post getting lost and delayed,” the business owner

“Luckily a lot of my business is online, so everything has been fairly similar to normal, but of course life is still so different.

“I took a big financial hit over Christmas when I should have been doing non-stop events.”

Ms Chartan said while it was easy adapting her company to the pandemic because she already did the majority of her selling online, she struggled when it came to changing her mindset.

“I found it really difficult to deal with the pandemic emotionally,” she explained.

“Normally, when I’m sad about something, I give myself some time off but because of the first lockdown, I already had too much time off.

“I found I was struggling to sit in front of my computer and focus at first, so most of my adapting was learning how to maintain motivation with work when I’m not in the right headspace for it.”

While the first lockdown posed a big challenge for her mentally, Ms Chartan said her loyal customers provided much-needed support.

“On social media, I was getting lovely responses from people, particularly customers who wanted to show support during what was a really difficult time,” she said.

“It really did make a difference and made me value the community we’ve built.”

She said reminding herself of how far the business has come gave her a huge sense of fulfilment and happiness, and the pandemic has taught her to welcome new challenges.

Now, Ms Chartain is advising anybody else who feels like they’re struggling to look for new perspectives.

“I’m happiest when I’m seeing things grow, and when I neglected my business it just made me feel worse,” she said.

“Finding new perspectives can help you get into that flow state.”

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