Meet The Entrepreneur: Franchine Young – Wonder Balm

Belfast Entrepreneur Franchine Young is a former disability officer who embarked on her entrepreneurial journey following a personal quest to find a product that was right for her personal circumstances.

Franchine, 53, researched, developed and produced her Wonder Balm – a beautiful organic face and skin balm.

Find out more about Franchine and her brand:

Tell us a bit about your business?

I am currently working on a number of products for the brand to compliment the balm.  The

brand stands for minimalist, pure, honest ingredients using a simplified, but effective approach to caring for your skin – the largest organ in our body.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

Going through hormonal changes in my 40’s and 50’s I was unhappy with the lack of choices available for women. I yearned for solid, wholesome pure products that were effective. I was unhappy with what was available to me as a female consumer in Northern Ireland, so I developed my own ‘super balm’.

Who/What inspired you to start your business?

I was inspired by stories of women around the world speaking up about toxic products or the ‘anti age’ movement that large cosmetic companies were using to drive us in fear towards products, that in my opinion, I wouldn’t have put on my dog.

Who is your target market?

All women. My first range of products is suited to women wanting to have a simplistic skincare routine that is effective but not harmful. My ideal customer will be disappointed with their current products, mindful of the detrimental effects of toxins in products, care about whether or not their products have been tested on animals and ultimately want skin that looks and feels healthy.

What gap in the market does your business fill?

There is a growing movement towards beauty without harm – we have moved into an era where ‘less is actually more’ when it comes to good products. I am passionate about organic, and have been for many years – when we buy products that have not been laden with chemicals we are sending a direct message to the huge cosmetic companies, that this is no longer acceptable to women.

Have you received any significant funding for your business?


Who are your main competitors and what do you think sets your company apart from them?

Neils yard perhaps – but I feel my brand is more vibrant and attractive to a demographic that traditionally would not have sought organic products.

What is your vision for the company over the next few years?

To take the brand global.

What are the main achievements of the company so far?

Organic certification, cruelty free certification (currently in progress), and in general taking an idea – whilst battling severe menopausal symptoms that put me out of work for six months, having no knowledge of the industry and developing a product and brand that is enough to sit alongside world recognised brands. 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far?

Measure twice cut once. Often I ran with an idea, funded it and realised after that it was not right for the business.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a business?

Be prepared to live and breathe it from day one.   

Secondly – digital marketing is key. Perhaps I was naive at the outset but I had wrongly assumed that once I had my ducks in a row, so to speak, the product and brand would sell itself. 

Covid forced me to accept that as shops closed in lockdown around the world and stockist opportunities dwindled, consumer trends rose exponentially regarding online shopping.

How can people get in touch with you?


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