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The Australian coffee scrub that put on an oscar-winning performance

Posted 5 years ago in Small business by Marina Holmes
Posted by Marina Holmes

When family-owned skincare company Core Metrics was invited to the Academy Awards, they thought the email was a hoax. We spoke to co-founder Tijana Desancic to learn about the company philosophy that earned them a spot on the red carpet.


“Core Metrics is a family-owned and operated skincare and cosmetics business,” Tijana explains. “My parents own the business and myself, my twin sister Ivana, and our close family and friends all work under one roof to bring it to life.”

“We work with the laboratories, bottle manufacturers, printers just to name a few suppliers to develop quality skincare for the Australian market. We have five brands that showcase the therapeutic benefit of a particular natural ingredient, such as goats milk, coffee and papaya.”

Representing Australia at the Academy Awards

The Reservoir-based business, which has been working with Australian pharmacies for 15 years and exporting for four, has been enjoying increasing interest from overseas.

But interest from the US came in true star-spangled form when the company’s all-natural coffee body scrub – C-Lab & Co Coffee Scrub – was invited to feature in the ‘Honouring the Academy Awards Gifting Suite’. This is an exclusive event where select brands put their products in the hands of celebrities.

“I genuinely, wholeheartedly thought the email was spam,” Tijana explains with a laugh. “I ignored the request for months until someone phoned me and I realised it was true! Then I had eight weeks to pull together all the marketing and get to America. It was absolutely crazy.”

The flexibility to follow opportunities

In the midst of an unplanned trip to America, Tijana maintained business-as-usual operations.

“Everything’s still at your fingertips – through your phone or iPad,” Tijana says. “It’s the world we live in now. I logged into Xero, did the pay run, reconciled accounts and checked customer orders from America. No other account-keeping software has given me that functionality and security.”

“I love the idea that something as potentially complicated as account keeping can be so simplified.”

Staying true to your business philosophy

Inundated with positive responses from the darlings of the silver screen, and contract talks with a big American retailer, Tijana says that the brand’s success rests in the company’s philosophy to product development.

“Australia is renowned for having quality raw materials,” she says. “And we reap the benefits of that because our product is 100% natural. We’ve eliminated all fillers, like refined sugar, and replaced them with a higher percentage of just-cracked coffee, and sea salt, which is a beautiful detoxifying mineral.”

“At the end of it all, we do what we do because of the philosophy behind the brand, not because of the dollars it turns over. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. It’s a family business and we love what we do. If we weren’t using these products and filling our own bathroom cupboards and showers with them, then we wouldn’t produce them in the first place.”

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