Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your vision as Founder?

I started with the company at the age of 15 in 1984 as the company receptionist and although I loved it from the get go, at that time, in no way did I ever dream that I would own the company 23 years later. Davroe had quite a small range of about 4, mostly protein-based products, but I knew then that I loved the fact that we were creating unique effective products for professional salons and their customers.

Q. What inspired you to start your company and create your unique brand?

I had my own vision for the Davroe brand and the new products I wanted to create. Although I took over an existing company it really was like starting my own company. We basically started from the beginning; we changed our formulations and took the brand down the wellness path. At the time, (2007) there was a small ground swell about wellness, people were going to the gym, they were watching what they were eating and concerned about what they were putting on their face and body, so I thought how can we make our Davroe products healthier? I decided that we would remove sulphates, parabens and petrochemicals, and although we had never tested on animals, we were ensuring all of our products would be animal cruelty-free as well making Davroe 100% Vegan.


Q. What makes your brand unique and what is your most unique product and why?

Davroe was the first salon brand in Australia to remove sulphates, parabens and petrochemicals as well as being cruelty free and vegan (2007). It took some time for other brands to catch up and even then, some were sulphate-free but still contained petrochemicals, or didn’t contain petrochemicals but still contained parabens — certainly we didn’t see many of our competitors with vegan products until recently, over the past 3 years.

I have a number of favourite products in our range but as far as unique goes, we have a product called Rebuilder which is an amazing protein reconstructor and an anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner which can beat any anti dandruff shampoo hands down. This is one of the products that we get the most feedback on, thanking us for producing something so mild and natural in a market full of products which contain coal tar and zinc. Our Luxe Leave- in Masque and Curl Cream definer styling products are probably Australia’s most popular and most saught-after products. We like to call these our cult favourites, they have a following all of their own!

Q. When you first began, how well did you know what you were doing regarding your planning and commercial strategy?

To be honest, all I knew was that I needed to do something different with the brand, what the company had done in the past was similar to existing competition and really not meeting the needs of the customer. Products were limited and not specific to various hair types. At the time I thought changing the formulations would be a game changer, the actual fact was that the salon owner and operator at the time didn’t really have faith in a sulphate, paraben and
petrochemical free salon range, let alone vegan. However, I was passionate about what we were doing and the direction we had taken, and sure enough salons started to see that what we had produced was an amazing product that lathered and was mild. Which in turn, protected colour and quite simply did what it said it was going to do.

Q.  How do you develop talent and help people on your team grow to the next level – or how do you choose the people on your team who are as passionate about the brand as you are?

We are always on the lookout for passionate people and passionate people always presented themselves to us. We like to foster a great culture in the workplace and try to nurture our staff and encourage them to take more on and grow with the brand and company. We will always look to promote from within before looking outside, this way we give everyone an opportunity to put their hand up if they think they are up for the challenge.

Q. Without giving away too many of your secrets, (smile) — what do you anticipate your growth to be next year and what is your direction for the future of the brand?

In Australia alone, Davroe has experienced amazing growth in the past 5 years as highlighted below. With international sales we anticipate growth to be over 30% for the year 2018. Taking the brand globally and world domination (smile) is the direction for the brand.
2013 — 25% growth on 2012
2014 — 22% growth on 2013
2015 — 28% growth on 2014
2016 — 26% growth on 2015
2017 — 25% growth on 2016

Q. Finally, what gets you out of bed in the morning — what is your daily motivation?

Quite simply I love what I do, I’m excited to see the brand growing every day, and I am excited to see where we can take it. We aren’t saving lives but in so many ways we have helped people with scalp issues, providing our consumers amazing alternative products without all the nasty chemicals, no animal by-products that really work and produce amazing results. Plus, being able to ethically source our ingredient’s and packaging and support community sporting clubs, including a few of my favorite charities. Making a difference in any way we can, big or small, is what life is all about.

The Founder, Mary Centofanti

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