Rachael Ferguson: A Proud Ambassador of Women’s Entrepreneurs
Up to 60% of Australians and 70% of Americans experience some form of repetitive foot pain, and the problem is growing around the world. Committed to make a positive impact, Rachael Ferguson, CEO at SynxBody is helping people to maintain active, healthy and pain-free lives. Her team has developed a 100% natural pain relief cream ‘Synxeaze’ which is set to hit the shelves of Australia around the middle of 2021, with expansion plans into the United States of America on track for 2022.
Rachael says, “As our product range continues to grow, so does our commitment to the biomechanics of your feet, ankles, knees and back. When your foundation is stable and functioning well, you’re well on the way to wellness. And that’s what we really want, for everybody.”
“I believe grit, determination, commitment and self-belief whilst maintaining a caring leadership approach and focus, are the key drivers in such a competitive market.”
In an interview conducted between Rachael and Insights Success, she shared her career as a podiatrist in community health and her journey throughout. Below are the highlights of the interview:
Take our readers through your professional journey until being in a leadership position at SynxBody.
I’m Rachael Ferguson, an international award-winning podiatrist and entrepreneur, author and keynote speaker. I created SynxBody with my co-founder in 2011 after we identified a gap in the market for a slim insole that fitted into more shoes. We used our podiatry experience to design, develop and bring to market an insole, including a system for health professionals to modify them.
We trademarked and patented our insole design globally and in 2015, appeared on the hit TV show Shark Tank and landed a deal with shark Andrew Banks who still remains an investor to this day.
In the early years there was a great deal of time away from our families and time spent overseas, with my energy always split between leading two businesses, my podiatry practice and SynxBody, being a mother of two young children and a wife. Trying to make everything balance was proving impossible.
In 2017, my co-founder exited the business, at which time I made the difficult decision to walk away from my podiatrist practice and lead SynxBody as CEO. On reflection, it was a risky decision, but I researched and strategized on what was needed to take SynxBody to the next level.
My world changed when I engaged a business coach, started journaling, meditating, reading, exercising and eating better. Having the discipline to show up at 5am every day and repeat the same routine was the key to unlocking my full potential.
Then in 2018, SynxBody finally started to grow and become wildly successful with opportunities for international growth on the horizon.
Since turning my company around I have won the Gold Stevie® Award for Entrepreneur of the Year in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. I have also won 40 Under 40, First Amongst Equals in Western Australia and Ausmumpreneur of the Year in Bronze.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to entice the target audience?
In 2018, after a huge overhaul in packaging, I added another three brands and ten new products to the SynxBody range, all whilst securing ranging of our patented insole, Synxsole in Australia’s biggest retailer, Chemist Warehouse. This was a turning point in the company with more products added to the range over the next three years.
We are also in the final stages of formulating new pain relief products, a cream and oral capsules under our new brand Synxeaze®. Our goal is to create, formulate and bring to market Australian made organic range of pain relief products.
Where are you focusing your energy now, and where do you hope to make an impact next?
I am currently focusing my energies on our new Synxeaze® pain relief range of topical and oral products which will hit the shelves in Australia by June 2021. I am also continuing to expand my other product ranges by bringing new products to the market by the end of 2021 and expanding our product range in the USA.
What is your idea of impactful leadership? What style of leadership do you personally prefer and have implemented within your team at SynxBody?
Impactful leadership is not being afraid to challenge the status quo and standing up for what is right. I also believe that exceptional leaders pay close attention to detail, stay true to their values and never lose sight of the needs of their team members or customers.
I like to model these beliefs by demonstrating care, compassion and understanding to my team whilst still being strong and considered in my business decisions. I consider my style of leadership to be a mix between democratic and affiliative leadership types, encouraging my team to contribute to our decisions regularly.
What roadblocks or challenges were faced by you in a corporate business? And how did you overcome them?
Synxbody’s biggest challenge, which in turn became integral to the business growth was recognizing the product’s packaging was too dark, as well as identifying there was a need for a variety of products for a broader customer base. So, the packaging was redesigned whilst developing a plan for 3 new brands with 10 new products, that I considered would solve the most common foot complaints.
SynxBody grew from a struggling venture to being stocked in major pharmacies by rebranding and repackaging the product range to stand out on the shelves and pivoting our marketing plan. Through consistent effort and hard work, we are well on our way to expanding our international channels.
Not only did I invest in the business, but more importantly, I invested in myself.
What have you envisioned for your organization’s future, with regards to your role at SynxBody and for your personal ambitions as well?
SynxBody is on a mission to educate the public on the importance of foot health and to change the way people think about preventative care. We aim to achieve this through creating products to help keep people on their feet and pain free because your health really starts from the ground up.
I strive for SynxBody to be a household name around the globe by 2025.
Personally, I am dedicated to inspiring women in business to dream bigger, reach further and break down barriers to reach their full potential.