Nova Ward, CEO, Fitcover Group

Nova Jane Ward: Innovating Makeup that Empowers You

The cosmetics and the fitness industry both have one similarity – the feeling of looking good.

A person’s appearance and skin health affects so much more than just how others perceive them. It also impacts mood, confidence, and mental wellbeing. A new study found that exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as body dissatisfaction among both men and women.

Both these industries are immensely competitive. This cutthroat nature has led to the rise of several micro-niches, making space for transformative innovation.

Nova Jane Ward, the Founder and Principal CEO of Fitcover—a revolutionary makeup brand—set a prominent example of this innovation when she discovered a lack of dedicated makeup products for gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts.

In the following interview, Nova Jane takes us through Fitcover’s journey, its range of innovative products, and her vision for scaling the company in 2021.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Give us a brief overview of your journey as the Founder and Principal CEO of Fitcover and tell us what inspired you to venture into the Health, Wellness, and Fitness space.

I always had a love for sport and fitness my entire life, however, I struggled with bad skin and felt self-conscious about training barefaced at the gym. My bad acne controlled my confidence so much that I didn’t want to leave the house without covering my face, and knew that if I was going through this, other girls out there were too.

During this time, I could not find a product specifically for training and sweating that could cover my acne in the gym whilst not clogging up my pores and aggravating my acne even more. I saw this gap in the makeup and fitness industry and so in 2017 (when I was pregnant), I needed to talk to someone and bring this product out myself. Starting to have a family was the perfect time to stop wasting time and take life seriously and so I took the plunge and created Fitcover.

Now in nearly four years in the market, Fitcover has already achieved remarkable business growth driven by its very niche marketing strategy and loyal following among fitness lovers and professionals, not just in Australia, but globally.

Tell us more about Fitcover, its vision, and the key aspects of its stronghold in the skincare niche.

Fitcover is revolutionising the fitness and makeup industry with the first-ever Australian-made 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free mineral makeup specifically designed to withstand the most intense sweat-a-thon, perfect for gym-goers, fitness enthusiasts, and just everyday active people.

Fitcover is made through a careful selection of natural ingredients such as Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E, and Olive Squalene created in a unique formula designed to accompany any woman’s active lifestyle. Our best-selling active mineral foundation is specially formulated to be sweat-resistant, waterproof, hypoallergenic, and free of pore-clogging ingredients.

The formula is also potent with anti-aging benefits and has an all-natural SPF 15+ to keep the skin hydrated and protected. Our Vision is to live, look and feel a healthy active lifestyle, and this is integrated into everything we do.

From a leadership perspective, what is your opinion on the impact of the pandemic on the global Health, Wellness & Fitness sector? 

The pandemic has no doubt affected and put a strain on all industries including ours. However, if anything else, it’s that these industries have become leading ones now that people understand the importance of prioritising our health, wellness, and fitness during lockdowns to keep us sane. We are lucky that fitness will always play an important role in people’s lives so Fitcover must stay true to what it does best which is revolutionising the fitness and makeup industry.

What is your opinion on the necessity for skincare companies to align their offerings with newer technological developments, especially when it comes to catering to the ever-evolving customer preferences?

We live in a world that’s oversaturated with brands and product offerings, and so to stay alive I believe that all businesses need to be innovative to find the gaps missing in the market that they could potentially fill. I certainly saw a gap in the market for a product like Fitcover and we are continuing to assess our ingredients and product performance to stay ahead of competitors.

What efforts did you and your team at Fitcover took during the pandemic to sustain operations and ensure the safety of your employees at the same time?

We are lucky that in 2021, e-commerce businesses are the way of today and the future. People are time-poor and don’t have time to shop for their everyday foundation so a click of a button will satisfy them more. For us to sustain operations and ensure the safety of our employees during the pandemic. It really was all about communicating with customers and reminding them how important it is to feel confident with your skin and continue a fitness routine even in a pandemic lockdown. We also ran multiple ad campaigns on social media to keep our brand top of mind.

If given a chance, what is the one thing that you would change about the Health, Wellness & Fitness ecosystem in Australia?

If given a chance, I would change the images portrayed (especially on social media) that health, wellness, and fitness look like a particular body shape. We want to empower people that health, wellness, fitness, and beauty is not an image, it’s a feeling of being confident and energetic in your own skin.

As an established leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the skincare space?

I would say to others that if your mindset is not in the right place, you will not succeed. I invest in professional coaching and mindset training to ensure I am always backing myself up with the business decisions I have made in the past and will make in the future. Venturing into the skincare space is difficult when there are already so many product offerings, so what will you bring that’s different from others?

In your opinion, what could be the future of the Health, Wellness & Fitness sector post the pandemic? And how are you strategizing your organization’s operations for the future?

One thing that has seen the spotlight during the pandemic is the need to look after ourselves and the planet. People are becoming more and more conscious of the environmental impacts they have on an individual level as well as supporting businesses that are eco-friendly. Fitcover is so excited to have entered the eco-friendly space recently launching our Active Mineral Powder Foundation Bio Refill Pouch. We want to continue thinking of innovative ways of decreasing our footprint on the planet and making a positive difference to play our part.