Lorraine Dallmeier is the award-winning CEO of Formula Botanica, the online organic cosmetic formulation and business school. A Biologist and Chartered Environmentalist by training, Lorraine is on a mission to teach the world to formulate. She grew her business from a maternity leave side hustle to a 7-figure global eLearning empire with a team of 40. She was voted the most influential person in the global natural beauty sector for 2020 and was awarded Digital Achiever of the Year by Google and Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) in 2018.
Who are you today and what is different than 10 years ago?
I am a mother, CEO and advocate for sustainability. 10 years ago, I only had one child and was still in a day job. I had just reached the point that I'd had enough of working for others and being put in a corner for being too young, too inexperienced, too outspoken and too intimidating (too female?), which is why I decided to become an entrepreneur and generate my own opportunities. My business is now officially 10 years’ old and I will never have to work for someone else ever again.
What was the best personal and/or professional advice you were given?
The best advice I ever received was from my parents, who made it clear to me that I could be or do anything I wanted in life. They always made it very clear that I had their complete backing to make my own choices and that they believed in me, but that everything would also be completely fine if those choices didn't work out. This built up my confidence hugely to the point that I felt I could make a success of my own business. That self belief has driven me to build a successful global brand.
From a creative standpoint, what or who has been your biggest influence?
I am a prolific digital content creator and got started as a teenager, when I first connected to the internet in 1995. My biggest influence probably stemmed from those early days online when I could experiment, create and build websites to my heart's content. Those skills have benefited me throughout my whole life and I still draw on them every single day.
Where or what is your happy place?
My happy place is cuddling my children – there is simply nothing better. My boys are currently 8 and 11 and I feel that being their mother is my greatest achievement in life. Snuggling up with them brings me joy and peace.
How important is a connection with nature for you?
I have a Master of Science in environmental management because nature is so incredibly important to me and I want to be able to protect our precious ecosystems through my work. We have 2 hectares of meadow attached to our home, which we're currently rewilding and planting up with trees. I nurture my connection with nature through our home and our land. I feel incredibly privileged to live here.
How do you start your day?
I am not a morning person! For that reason, I get up, say goodbye to my kids as they go to school, get washed/dressed and make my way to my computer to start work. I've never had a morning routine and probably never will. To be honest, I'd prefer to start my morning much later but motherhood prevents that!
How do you take care of your body, mind and soul?
I always have to have music playing in my life and, when I'm not listening to music, I'm playing music. I have played piano for 32 years and guitar for 27 years. We have a music room in our home and my children are also learning to play various instruments, which means there is always loud music coming from somewhere!
How do you take care of your skin?
My skincare routine is very minimal and I am a firm believer in letting your skin do its own thing. I use a light lotion during the colder months, might occasionally use a mask if I'm experiencing a breakout and I live for a good lip balm.
Do you have any daily, weekly or monthly rituals?
Every single weekday I collect my youngest son from school. It's a conscious decision on my part to make sure that I stop what I'm doing in my busy workday and make time for my boys, even if it's only half an hour before I go back to work. I also have a weekly guitar lesson and always make time for that, because it's important to me and helps me de-stress.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate. Over the years (and after eating a lot of it) I've become a chocolate snob, so I now stick to artisan brands that have a sufficiently high cocoa percentage.
What advice would you give yourself at the age of 16?
You don’t have to choose one thing to do or be in life. You will be able to reinvent yourself and your career many times. Stop listening to people tell you that you’re going to put yourself on one career path which you’ll never deviate from. You have the ability and power to choose who you are and what you do.
Is there any book you love and would recommend people to read?
I joined my village book club a couple of years ago and have the pleasure of reading and discussing new books every month with my friends. I love reading new books, as it exposes me to new ideas and situations. Two books that I read last year which I loved are Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, both of which were the stories of strong women who have a wonderful connection to nature.
Can you share one piece of wisdom with our community, something that you have gained in your life and will encourage women reading this to grow, find their inner strength and confidence?
To me, being a female entrepreneur and CEO means that I can achieve gender equality through my own business. I was never going to be given these opportunities in the workplace – I had to go and create them myself. By being in charge of my own business and my own destiny, I can speak up for what’s right and speak out against what’s wrong. I can change thousands of people’s lives. And I can do so while standing up for the values that I hold.
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