The inimitable IT girl, Lara Worthington, Founder & CEO of tanning and cosmetics favourite, The Base, reveals the difficult struggles and greatest rewards of launching a beauty business — and what’s NEXT for her growing beauty empire (watch this space!).
GRITTY PRETTY: Let’s go back to the beginning. Pretend we don’t know anything about you. Can you tell us who you are?
LARA WORTHINGTON: I grew up in Cronulla, south of Sydney. I grew up on the beach. My dad was a landscaper and my mum ran the books of his business – that was when accounting was done on paper. I think they even had a typewriter! I have one brother. I have a husband named Sam and we have two sons, Rocket, 2, and Racer, 6. We live in New York but move around a lot because of our jobs.
GP: You’ve always had a strong but minimal sense of style. Since becoming a mother, has your approach to beauty changed?
LW: Definitely. Fashion-wise, I rarely wear heels now. I’ve pared it back a lot more – wearing a lot of shirts and jeans. In terms of makeup, and I’m sure every mother can relate to this, I just don’t have time especially in the mornings. With the boys, our mornings are the craziest. I’ll just pop on a LB Cream and mascara (if I’m lucky) then I’m out the door.
GP: Your tanning and cosmetics brand, The Base by Lara Bingle, is in its third year. What has been the greatest challenge?
LW: People always ask, “How did you start?” My biggest piece of advice is, “Just start”. There is never a right time. Running a beauty company isn’t a walk in the park – I didn’t realise that when I started as I more fixated on the creative side of the business – but my biggest challenge was formulating. I wanted my products made in Australia. I then outsourced everything from building the website, developing the packaging and designing the boxes. I’m lucky to have a mentor in Megan Larsen, the founder of Sodashi. We met at an awards ceremony and we got along so well. I have so much admiration and respect for her. She is the ultimate businesswoman. It’s nice to talk to someone who has gone through the journey you’re embarking on and bounce your ideas off them.
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Photography: Tane Coffin
Makeup: Sarah Tammer
Hair: Travis Balcke