A 22-year-old woman who made $30,000 in her first two months of business has revealed how being an orphan has driven her to succeed.
Leis Deng launched her beauty steamer business September – from a granny flat in her mother in-laws backyard – selling out in just three weeks.
‘I expected it to sell quickly but I didn’t expect it to be that quick,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
22-year-old Leis Deng, pictured, who made $30,000 in her first two months of business has revealed how being an orphan has driven her to succeed
The young woman is selling her product from the back room of the granny flat where she lives with her partner
She developed the product so she could get on top of her own skin regime, she is pictured here before and after trying her machine
‘I have sold 230 steamers so far, I pretty much do everything myself from the social media to taking the orders and sending them away,’ she said.
Boxes of steamers now take up the whole back room of the granny flat Ms Deng shares with her partner.
‘My partner helps me and I have a friend who helps too – but day to day it is just me.’
The beauty steamer doubles as a diffuser for essential oils – something which makes it unique.
The spark Ms Deng needed to launch into this new business venture came in January when she decided to take her skin regime into her own hands instead of relying on weekly facials.
‘I have sold 230 steamers so far, I pretty much do everything myself from the social media to taking the orders and sending them away,’ she said
Happy customers are pictured here using the face steamer – which is also useful to diffuse oils
‘I couldn’t find anything multipurpose – I searched and searched then realised I had come across a really good idea for a new product.’
The South Sudanese-born Australian credits her tough past to giving her the mentality to pursue business.
‘I have never had a safety net, I grew up without parents so I knew if I didn’t go out there and do it myself I would amount to nothing,’ she said.
The Glamsteam was designed by the young business woman in January
TIPS FOR STARTING A BUSINESS
1 – Do your research. ‘ I had to contact a lot of manufacturers before finding someone who made me something I loved,’ Ms Deng said.
2 – Find a hole in the market. ‘I realised there was nothing on offer in the sector.’
3 – Work hard. ‘This sounds obvious but you have to be ready to work hard, I basically do everything by myself with a little bit of help from a friend.’
These orders came in within 24 hours and were all packed and ready to go by Ms Deng
Ms Deng’s mother died when she was just one-year-old – she then moved to Australia with her sister who was 16 at the time, to live with her aunt.
She knew of her father but never developed a close bond with him – because of the physical distance between them.
He died when she was ten.
‘When I was 13 I moved to Melbourne with my sister, who had started her own family,’ she said.
‘She is so proud of me now, I used those tough situations in an optimistic way.’
The young woman reveals she feels quite mature compared to others her age.
The steamers have been popular on Instagram with happy customers posing with them
‘Seeing other people my age makes me realise how different walks of life build people differently,’ she said.
‘If I had grown up in a different family, with a sense of security from parents then I wouldn’t be as driven.
‘I think I would just be out here filling space.’
Ms Deng poured $25,000 into the project – money she earned in another business venture.
From designing the steamer on paper to trialing ten different samples from potential manufacturers, it has been a long process.
Abbie Chatfield described using the steamer like going to the spa when she tried it
‘I started in January and because of lock down I couldn’t really take things further.
‘It was a blessing and a curse because it helped me perfect my product but it also would have been perfect for people in lock down,’ she said.
The second sample from the ten she received was ‘the one’.
She sent it to friends who tried it for three months – and they fell in love.
And they aren’t the only ones. Some customers have come back to the store four times – buying the steamers for loved ones.
‘I started in January and because of lock down I couldn’t really take things further. ‘It was a blessing and a curse because it helped me perfect my product but it also would have been perfect for people in lock down,’ she said
‘I messaged one girl when I saw her name kept popping up and she told me she loved it so much she wanted to buy them for her friends too,’ Ms Deng said.
‘It is amazing to know someone loves it as much as I do.’
The business woman has just done a ‘major restock’ and has 300 steamers in the back room of her granny flat – and 500 more being made.
The steamers retail for $129 and are available on the young woman’s Glamsteam website.