Updated: May 11
This week we talked to two ex-CMA members Mary Bocarro and Janelle Sullivan. Graduating in 2019, they have gone on to create their own cosmetic company, The Mango Project which aims to reduce the amount of mango waste, while also producing sustainable, organic skin care.
The two met while studying at Curtin University; Mary studied a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing and Advertising, while Janelle studied Mass Communications, focusing on Marketing and Corporate Screen Production. While at university, both were involved in CMA, with Mary also on the Enactus committee as well as one of the co-founders of Curtin Women in Business.
When asked what she would suggest people do to get the most out of their university experience Janelle said, “The people I have met through university are such valuable connections and have a wisdom of knowledge … not only did I engage in activities that put my theoretical studies to practical use but I made lifelong friends.”
With Mary participating in the Stanford International Honours Program and Janelle the Jumpstart Graduate Program, neither found adjusting to life after university very hard. However, they wanted a career in something they were passionate about and after meeting for a coffee catch-up, The Mango Project was born.
Janelle’s family owns a mango plantation in Carnarvon, so she is well aware of the amount of mango wastage. She saw the 10,000 tonnes of mangoes that were getting wasted on average each year due to uncontrollable circumstances, and also knows the health benefits, with mangoes containing a large amount of vitamin A and C, with similar health properties to that of cocoa and shea butter.
Armed with research from companies in India who were creating similar products as well as marketing degrees, they set out to start their own cosmetic business. Mary said, “it [her marketing degree] has been very beneficial, as we have been able to clearly define the branding, messaging and other aspects of the business.” Though, their degrees didn’t prepare them for the uncertain environmental conditions and many obstacles they would face, including time management and working to suit their personal lifestyles.
At the heart of The Mango Project is their goal of wasteful to tasteful. Mary and Janelle both believe that looking after your skin and health is important. However, so is looking after the environment, which is why they ensure all of their products are environmentally friendly and ethically sourced. They see this company as a win-win situation, by looking after the environment through reducing waste and also providing skincare with benefits.
Making a difference to the world around them is what sets The Mango Project apart from other skincare companies, with them giving a proportion of profits back to farmers, while also creating a community that sees the positive impacts of looking after the environment.
When asked where Mary and Janelle saw the business in 5-10 years, they hope that The Mango Project will be a household name, even amongst international consumers. Nevertheless, they don’t want to lose their mission of sharing what Australia has to offer and their community mindedness.
For those looking to start their own business, they suggest just going out there and trying; there is no such thing as failure, only a learning experience. However, they say you should know your limits and don’t be afraid to outsource! For Mary, going to Silicon Valley really opened her eyes to what is possible, while TED talks and documentaries such as “General Magic,” also provided inspiration. For Janelle, she loved the book “Dare to Lead” by Brene Browne, especially of the concept of, “rumbling with vulnerability and how this perceived state of uncomfortableness, where you can’t control the outcome, is actually when big changes can be made.”
We wish Mary and Janelle all the best with their business and look forward to following the growth of The Mango Project. If you want to get in touch with the team at The Mango Project, you can find them on Facebook, Instagram or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.