Uni dropout’s hair fix makes $1m a year

Mia’s business blew up on TikTok, helping her to rake in thousands overnight while she was sleeping. She wants to see it around the world.

When Mia Plecic’s business took off on TikTok during Australia’s lockdown due to the pandemic, she had to get rid of the couch in her Melbourne apartment to fit all the stock in her apartment.

In December 2019, she launched the Slick Hair Company, selling a hair wand called the Slick Stick, which is designed to contain flyaway hairs.

It has been a runaway success with the business making $1 million in the first year.

“I started using TikTok during COVID and didn’t realise how powerful it was as a tool for growth and for organic growth and being able to reach different regions around world,” she told news.com.au.

“I never fathomed I could sell a products in Iceland or Saudi Arabia and countries we wouldn’t generally target. I had some mornings where a video would have had five million views and $30,000 in sales while I was just sleeping. I was just running the business out of my one bedroom apartment in Melbourne and all the stock was there.”

She now has 2.6 million TikTok likes and 74,000 followers and said the platform is a great way for business owners to share their journey from behind the scenes to day to day running.

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The product comes in a bottle with a mascara type wand to apply to unruly hair strands with a single stick costing $24.99, while a pack of three sells for $49.99 and is the most popular buy, according to Ms Plecic.

“It’s a product that doesn’t leave hair oily or crunchy. I used to use a toothbrush with hair spray but I would have crunchy, oily hair afterwards and would have to wash it out. The beauty of this product is you can brush it out at end of the day and it doesn’t leave any residue. It helps with a bun or ponytail or you can flick back the hairs if you’re wearing your hair down with a part in middle and it gives an effortless, slick look,” she said.

“I think it has been popular as a product in that it’s so easily marketed as you can share that instant result on social media and you can see it working before your eyes. I think that’s a huge benefit with a product like mine. You can get the before and after images and videos — a lot of other products you can’t get that instant wow or magic factor.”

But the 29-year-old admits she has also shelled out $100,000 on “Australia’s biggest influencers” to create huge brand awareness and generate sales.

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This isn’t Ms Plecic’s first business venture. She was 22 when she started her first company after dropping out of university because she hated it and wanted to be her own boss.

“I was on Centrelink and had no money and was struggling to pay rent,” she revealed.

“I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post about the idea of a teeth whitening kit. I decided to try and bring something similar to market. Pearly Whites Australia was a multimillion company for the first six months.”

However, the relationship with her business partner didn’t work out and she ended up selling her shares and moving on. Next up was companies selling cold press juice and organic sanitary products.

“I’m a definitely not an innovator. I don’t reinvent the wheel,” she admitted.

“What I’m really great at is seeing a new product that could potentially be a big trend in the market and I’m great at marketing new innovations and products generally out of China.”

When it comes to Slick Hair Company, the hair wands are landing in a 400 pharmacy stores in the next four to six weeks, while she has also been formulating a new product for over a year which is set to launch in July. Ms Plecic has also introduced some hair accessories like scrunchies.

But it’s not the end of her business journey, with Ms Plecic keen to open more.

“I’m never going to be satisfied with one business or five businesses but this one is definitely the biggest so far. At the start, a lot of businesses I have had have been trend-based and once that trend has ended it’s on to the next thing or next shining light, where I’m constantly chasing a new idea,” she said.

However, she thinks her current company has staying power and long term she wants the Slick Stick to be the hair staple in millions of people’s bathrooms.

“I want this product to be global. Its landed in the US and we have a fulfilment centre in LA, so we can fulfil orders directly on that side of that world and it cuts the lead time and postage costs,” she said.

“I just see us continuing growing and becoming a worldwide known hair care brand.”

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