Alpha-H has become one of the most globally recognised brands thanks to its cult product: Liquid Gold.
Michelle Doherty is the woman responsible for this global status. Having purchased the brand in its infancy, she added a wealth of products to its line, and it's now become a global player in the industry.
We managed to secure an exclusive interview with Michelle to discuss her inspiration for the brand, as well as her aspirations for its future.
A Q&A with Michelle Doherty, Director of Alpha-H
- Q How did you begin your career in the beauty industry?
- A My advanced qualifications in beauty therapy and my experience working as a pharmacy dispensary technician followed by working in sales for a number of international cosmetic brands were the foundations on which I built my career. I started in pharmacy at the age of 15 and worked with various skincare and cosmetic ranges, but it was a brief introduction to just two Alpha-H products that helped me identify that here was a brand with more potential than anything I’d previously seen on the market. I quickly discovered there was a gap in the market for solution-driven skincare and I realised I wanted to pursue this as a career.
- Q What inspired you to create your brand?
- A I was introduced to Alpha-H when it was in its infancy. I’d suffered from chronic cystic acne for over 14 years and never found anything approaching a solution, but after just 4 days of using the Balancing Cleanser and Balancing Moisturiser, my skin improved dramatically and this inspired me to purchase the company, expand the line further and create products, which provide a solution rather than a Band-Aid for specific skin concerns. Today there are over 60 products in the Alpha-H range including cult bestseller Liquid Gold with its unique low pH Glycolic formulation that compels stimulation in the lower skin belt for rapid transformation; the technologically advanced Liquid Laser range to help counter biological ageing; and the award-winning Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+ Moisturiser for preventative ageing. These products have won countless awards and are endorsed by leading beauty editors, professional makeup artists and key beauty influencers.
- Q How do you begin your day with a positive attitude?
- A I enjoy a morning walk whilst listening to an educational or inspirational podcast. At the moment I’m listening to “Mamamia” (Australia’s largest independent women’s website) and the Beauty Podcast by Emma G. I make time to sit with my husband Dean over coffee and trawl thorough our emails and activities that are happening within the business. I love that I get to work with Dean and our three daughters on a daily basis.
- Q What has been the defining moment in your career?
- A Winning the Gold Coast Women in Business of the Year Award in 2014 was definitely a career highlight for me. I also feel incredibly proud that after 27 years of hard work building the brand, Alpha-H is recognised by key doors globally including huge cosmetic giants like lookfantastic!
- Q What beauty product is your source of power?
- A Liquid Gold. I know that it’s going to give me guaranteed results of improved texture, clarity, radiance and hydration after each application, regardless of how tired I am or what time zone I am in. The fact that I can cast aside my toner, exfoliator, serum and moisturiser simplifies my evening routine and that empowers me. Who doesn’t want increased moisture, improved texture and decreased wrinkle depth in 20 minutes?
- Q What advice do you have for women starting out their careers?
- A Visualise where you want to be and create a strategy to get there. Surround yourself with successful people and be a sponge when talking to them, absorb everything they have to say and take their advice on-board – learn from their mistakes as well as their successes. Never stop learning; I have recently enrolled in an advanced cosmetic science formulation course, which will allow me to stay on top the latest technology so we can continue to be at the forefront of innovation. Above all have passion for what you do.
- Q What future ventures are in the pipeline?
- A I envision expanding the brand further globally so that our products are accessible to everyone and anyone wanting to obtain clinical results from the comfort of their own home. We are also planning a custom built manufacturing facility to cope with increasing demand so that’s very exciting and a marker of how far we have come as a brand. Because of demand, we can no longer deny the call to tackle the giant US market sector, whilst also expanding further in the Middle East. Our latest project – Vitamin Profiling – will continue to go from strength to strength with the relevancy of lifestyle and its impact on skin ageing. Topical vitamins have never been more pertinent with lifestyle factors and environmental aggressors compounding the biological ageing process; prompting us to create our Vitamin Profiling Collection. We will continue to look at the role topical vitamins play in treating the skin.
- Q What, for you, is the best thing about being a woman?
- A Being able to experience all the rites of passage that are a part of a woman’s life – becoming a mother, grandmother and seeing my daughters grow into dynamic women and role models. Also being able to use my influence to inspire other women.
- Q Who is your female role model?
- A I tend to draw inspiration from a variety of passionate, powerful, empathetic and inspirational women rather than just one person. I think it’s important to gain strength from the people you look up to, and it’s healthy to aspire to be a better person on every level.
- Q What advice would you give your 20 year old self?
- A On a personal level I would have to say follow your heart, be passionate, learn from hardships and overcome challenges by turning them into positives. Don’t allow other people to discourage you, hold on to the words and experiences that have shaped you and keep them close, so when things seem overwhelming they become your weapon for propelling yourself forward. The old adage “if I knew then what I know now” definitely applies when it comes to the use of sun protection for preventative ageing – it’s the most powerful anti-ageing tool.
You can read all of our Powerful Women features on the blog for career and beauty inspiration.