Women with GRITT
August 10, 2021
by Danielle Gay

Beth Levis On Green Juice, Supplement Scepticism And Why By Beth Isn’t Just Another Collagen Brand

“I didn’t want to just create another collagen brand, I wanted to lead the way in creating a conscious brand with the environment and Australia front of mind.”

Welcome to Women with GRITT: a series where we interview the resilient, hardworking women who have kicked in the glass ceiling and inspire us to do the same.

Beth Levis, the founder of luxury Australian collagen brand By Beth, fell into the wellness industry by accident. Levis is a qualified lawyer and a model, whose family owns the Australian brand Dion Lee, and she personally struggled with dehydrated skin throughout her busy life, particularly when travelling. “I have always had problems with skin hydration, but it was a combination of travel to New York for our Dion Lee fashion show and the beginning of lockdown that caused my skin to get particularly dehydrated,” explains Levis. “It was during this period that I turned to collagen as a sceptic but wanted to try it due to its holistic approach as opposed to synthetic topical creams.”

Levis says, despite her supplement scepticism, she felt a “dramatic change” with her skin and wanted to persist but there was a problem. “I was struggling to find a brand that I liked the taste of and that aligned with my core values in life.” Levis, who considers consuming green juice and kale salad as a key part of her beauty routine, has always believed that beauty and health go hand in hand. “I wanted a brand that supported Australia, the environment and was socially responsible. This was my lightbulb moment. I didn’t want to just create another collagen brand, I wanted to lead the way in creating a conscious brand with the environment and Australia front of mind.”

Levis said her brand values ended up being her biggest challenge: keeping everything “100% Australian made and grown” while “maintaining maximum environmental sustainability” was key but it was also incredibly tricky. Her brand uses 100% Australian bovine collagen which is housed in environmentally sustainable vessels made of glass and wood. 

Here, the mother-of-four explains how she landed on a formula and materials she was happy with, the other challenges she experienced setting up the By Beth brand and the lessons she learnt along the way.

 

Where did you grow up? What are some of your fondest childhood memories that you think have shaped you into the woman you are today?

I was born in Darwin but moved to Magnetic Island, North Queensland from the age of two. It was a beautiful and carefree childhood with the island as my playground. It was a truly simple upbringing which I yearn to give to my own children, but seems impossible in a city. I have such fond memories of riding my bike to friends’ houses, hiking to hidden beaches and playing hide and seek on the rocks. Magnetic Island has incredible rock formations on some of their beaches which are perfect for climbing and exploring. I would have spent a large part of my childhood either on a bike or climbing the rocks playing wild, imaginative games.

Where do you think you inherited your creativity, drive and passion from?

There were no computers, iPads or gaming devices in my house. Imagination was key! As a child, if we couldn’t create it, we couldn’t have it. I think this was integral to harvesting a creative mind set and something that I truly worry about for my own children who are growing up in an era of technology dependency. 

My drive was inherent from a young age. I remember announcing to my family at the dinner table, when I was just starting primary school, that I was going to be the best student in the class. I think I even remember my sisters laughing at me, but this didn’t deter me. I really did strive to be the best from the beginning. It was this drive that continued throughout my school years and drove me to being awarded Dux of my school at year 12 graduation, top of all my subjects and lastly being accepted into law school. It’s a lesson I tell my kids all the time.

Passion, that’s easy—my parents.

You’re the co-owner of Cue, Veronika Maine and Dion Lee, how did you break into the fashion industry and what lessons did you learn that you took into creating your own business?

Modelling through law school was my initiation into the fashion industry and finding my husband was my education to the industry. I fell in love with Justin whose father started Cue. So, for Justin it was literally an upbringing. I have absolutely loved learning the ins and outs of the industry through Justin and through my time spent working in the brands. The lessons I learned are far too many to list, but each and every one of them integral to the foundations of starting By Beth.

What is your most memorable career highlight to date?

Launching By Beth! I have worked in successful companies but never started one! This is most definitely a career highlight for me and one which will be hard to top!

What was the first thing you did to get By Beth up and running?

I spoke to a friend of ours who owns a cattle farm in Gunnedah. I wanted to get guidance and assistance with speaking to a national regulatory authority that could help connect me with someone able to help produce bovine collagen made from pasture raised, grass fed cattle. I wanted to have visibility over the supply chain so I could ensure its quality and I wanted it to be Australian! It was easy to find suppliers of international collagen of whose farming practices and quality control are unknown, but I didn’t want to compromise on By Beth brand values. Quality, Australian, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. It had to be grass fed Australian bovine cattle or I was not starting By Beth at all.

What has been the hardest thing about creating By Beth to date?

Keeping everything 100% Australian made and grown and maintaining maximum environmental sustainability. Compromise was non-negotiable but achieving it came with a lot of roadblocks which makes its fruition all the more rewarding.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting out in business?

No, actually I’m really glad I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. If I did, I am sure I would have been too scared to start it. Starting a business means you need to know everything from every corner of the business. It has been a sharp and rapid learning curve but a wild rollercoaster ride that has been incredibly thrilling. I have absolutely loved the challenge! Life is incredibly boring without challenges.

What role does beauty play in your life?

Beauty and wellness are one and the same to me and a part of an overall holistic approach to life. I can’t have one without the other. Beauty to me is a daily health ritual. I focus on the gut and can visibly see the results on my skin, hair and nails. Feeling healthy is what makes me feel beautiful. It’s more the feeling I crave, than the overall look. I do it for me and no one else.

What is a beauty act of self-love that automatically makes you feel like yourself again?

Green juice, kale salad and collagen. As mentioned above, beauty and health go hand in hand. My skin is very sensitive, and I always get dehydrated skin from travel and evenings out. The quickest way to repair this is to repair the gut and re-alkalise the body. Which is why I’m always reaching for the green juice, kale salad and collagen the morning after an event. 

Beth Levis, the founder of luxury Australian collagen brand By Beth, fell into the wellness industry by accident. Levis is a qualified lawyer and a model, whose family owns the Australian brand Dion Lee, and she personally struggled with dehydrated skin throughout her busy life, particularly when travelling. “I have always had problems with skin hydration, but it was a combination of travel to New York for our Dion Lee fashion show and the beginning of lockdown that caused my skin to get particularly dehydrated,” explains Levis. “It was during this period that I turned to collagen as a sceptic but wanted to try it due to its holistic approach as opposed to synthetic topical creams.”

Levis says, despite her supplement scepticism, she felt a “dramatic change” with her skin and wanted to persist but there was a problem. “I was struggling to find a brand that I liked the taste of and that aligned with my core values in life.” Levis, who considers consuming green juice and kale salad as a key part of her beauty routine, has always believed that beauty and health go hand in hand. “I wanted a brand that supported Australia, the environment and was socially responsible. This was my lightbulb moment. I didn’t want to just create another collagen brand, I wanted to lead the way in creating a conscious brand with the environment and Australia front of mind.”

Levis said her brand values ended up being her biggest challenge: keeping everything “100% Australian made and grown” while “maintaining maximum environmental sustainability” was key but it was also incredibly tricky. Her brand uses 100% Australian bovine collagen which is housed in environmentally sustainable vessels made of glass and wood. 

Here, the mother-of-four explains how she landed on a formula and materials she was happy with, the other challenges she experienced setting up the By Beth brand and the lessons she learnt along the way.

 

Where did you grow up? What are some of your fondest childhood memories that you think have shaped you into the woman you are today?

I was born in Darwin but moved to Magnetic Island, North Queensland from the age of two. It was a beautiful and carefree childhood with the island as my playground. It was a truly simple upbringing which I yearn to give to my own children, but seems impossible in a city. I have such fond memories of riding my bike to friends’ houses, hiking to hidden beaches and playing hide and seek on the rocks. Magnetic Island has incredible rock formations on some of their beaches which are perfect for climbing and exploring. I would have spent a large part of my childhood either on a bike or climbing the rocks playing wild, imaginative games.

Where do you think you inherited your creativity, drive and passion from?

There were no computers, iPads or gaming devices in my house. Imagination was key! As a child, if we couldn’t create it, we couldn’t have it. I think this was integral to harvesting a creative mind set and something that I truly worry about for my own children who are growing up in an era of technology dependency. 

My drive was inherent from a young age. I remember announcing to my family at the dinner table, when I was just starting primary school, that I was going to be the best student in the class. I think I even remember my sisters laughing at me, but this didn’t deter me. I really did strive to be the best from the beginning. It was this drive that continued throughout my school years and drove me to being awarded Dux of my school at year 12 graduation, top of all my subjects and lastly being accepted into law school. It’s a lesson I tell my kids all the time.

Passion, that’s easy—my parents.

You’re the co-owner of Cue, Veronika Maine and Dion Lee, how did you break into the fashion industry and what lessons did you learn that you took into creating your own business?

Modelling through law school was my initiation into the fashion industry and finding my husband was my education to the industry. I fell in love with Justin whose father started Cue. So, for Justin it was literally an upbringing. I have absolutely loved learning the ins and outs of the industry through Justin and through my time spent working in the brands. The lessons I learned are far too many to list, but each and every one of them integral to the foundations of starting By Beth.

What is your most memorable career highlight to date?

Launching By Beth! I have worked in successful companies but never started one! This is most definitely a career highlight for me and one which will be hard to top!

What was the first thing you did to get By Beth up and running?

I spoke to a friend of ours who owns a cattle farm in Gunnedah. I wanted to get guidance and assistance with speaking to a national regulatory authority that could help connect me with someone able to help produce bovine collagen made from pasture raised, grass fed cattle. I wanted to have visibility over the supply chain so I could ensure its quality and I wanted it to be Australian! It was easy to find suppliers of international collagen of whose farming practices and quality control are unknown, but I didn’t want to compromise on By Beth brand values. Quality, Australian, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. It had to be grass fed Australian bovine cattle or I was not starting By Beth at all.

What has been the hardest thing about creating By Beth to date?

Keeping everything 100% Australian made and grown and maintaining maximum environmental sustainability. Compromise was non-negotiable but achieving it came with a lot of roadblocks which makes its fruition all the more rewarding.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting out in business?

No, actually I’m really glad I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. If I did, I am sure I would have been too scared to start it. Starting a business means you need to know everything from every corner of the business. It has been a sharp and rapid learning curve but a wild rollercoaster ride that has been incredibly thrilling. I have absolutely loved the challenge! Life is incredibly boring without challenges.

What role does beauty play in your life?

Beauty and wellness are one and the same to me and a part of an overall holistic approach to life. I can’t have one without the other. Beauty to me is a daily health ritual. I focus on the gut and can visibly see the results on my skin, hair and nails. Feeling healthy is what makes me feel beautiful. It’s more the feeling I crave, than the overall look. I do it for me and no one else.

What is a beauty act of self-love that automatically makes you feel like yourself again?

Green juice, kale salad and collagen. As mentioned above, beauty and health go hand in hand. My skin is very sensitive, and I always get dehydrated skin from travel and evenings out. The quickest way to repair this is to repair the gut and re-alkalise the body. Which is why I’m always reaching for the green juice, kale salad and collagen the morning after an event. 

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