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Iris Smit who made Forbes 30 under 30 list tells of ‘dark’ secret struggle behind $15 million business Quick Flick and Beauty Fridge business

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From an outsider’s perspective, Iris Smit seemed to have the world at her feet.

She was a 22-year-old student when she scraped together $10,000 from her savings to start her own beauty product in 2017 called The Quick Flick – a “game changing” eyeliner that stamps the perfect wing-tip look.

A second brand followed, with the launch of Beauty Fridge – a chic, benchtop mini fridge designed to preserve skincare products.

For more Health & Wellbeing related news and videos check out Health & Wellbeing >>

Fast forward five years, the now 27-year-old, from Perth, has made her debut on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list after building an astonishing $15 million dollar business.

But her extraordinary rise to the top didn’t come easy as the self-made entrepreneur reflected on her secret battle with mental health after struggling with the darkest moments of her life.

“I was extremely good at wearing a mask and pretending my life was perfect. I pretended I was strong when I was struggling. I pretended I was happy when I wanted to die because I saw no way out,” Iris tells 7Life in an exclusive interview.

Iris Smit has been recognised on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list. Credit: Laura Robinson

“My life sounded good on paper, I had what many would consider the ‘perfect life’ or I seemed ‘very lucky’. I had my dream car and apartment, my business was booming, I was more than financially comfortable than the average 22-year-old.

‘I pretended I was happy when I wanted to die’

“What’s interesting is that many of us in society seek these material assets to obtain happiness, and yet when I obtained them I was more miserable than ever because they gave me zero fulfilment.”

After watching her parents split at a young age, Iris says she felt an “intense self depreciation” and “self-loathing”.

“As a child, I started to think my parents splitting was a reflection of something that was wrong with me,” she says.

Just one day before she turned 18, she moved out of home due to personal reasons.

“That was the hardest part, packing up my entire life into the boot of the car to move in with a friend when most 17 year olds are planning their 18th birthday,” she says.

“There were moments I feared I would become homeless… For me, everyday became about survival.”

She was a 22-year-old student when she scraped together $10,000 from her savings to start her own beauty product called The Quick Flick.
She was a 22-year-old student when she scraped together $10,000 from her savings to start her own beauty product called The Quick Flick. Credit: Iris Smit
Her journey to success didn’t come easy.
Her journey to success didn’t come easy. Credit: Iris Smit

In early 2017, Iris was juggling her interior architecture degree at university while “spending every free moment” working on her business from the lounge room of her tiny apartment.

“I invested $10,000, which was pretty much everything in my bank account at the time, into getting my business off the ground,” she says.

‘Working from 6am until 1am’

“My business and the long hours I worked became an unhealthy addiction to escape my dark life. I completely burnt myself out both physically and mentally.

“I was working ridiculously long hours, working from 6am until 1am in the morning. I tried to do everything myself at the start, which I now know is not how you grow a business.”

Just three months after launching her products, British-Australian businessman Andrew Banks offered to invest $300,000 – and a deal for 25 per cent of her company.

By the time she had to sign the contract, five months had passed, Iris decided to reject the offer after she realised her brand had grown into a multi-million dollar business.

But in the midst of her hugely successful brand, she says she was struggling immensely behind closed doors.

In the midst of her hugely successful brand, she says she was struggling immensely behind closed doors.
In the midst of her hugely successful brand, she says she was struggling immensely behind closed doors. Credit: Iris Smit
How her business grew from her tiny apartment in 2017 to a giant warehouse in 2022.
How her business grew from her tiny apartment in 2017 to a giant warehouse in 2022. Credit: Iris Smit

“I became completely exhausted over the idea of living,” she tells 7Life.

“It was the very start of January 2019 when I wanted to go to bed and never wake up. My lowest point was when I found myself imagining all the ways I could end it, wishing there was a reset button on my life that I could press.

“It makes me emotional thinking about how dark my life became during that time. It’s indescribable to feel as if there is no way out because you believe you are ‘unfixable’. You feel like you cannot breathe and slowly suffocate.”

Hitting rock bottom

Before coming up with the beauty idea, Iris would spend 20 minutes a day struggling to draw her signature wing-tip look on her face.

She thought turning her challenge into a unique stamp eyeliner was the inspiration behind The Quick Flick – but looking back, she realised starting her business was “very much about ownership”.

“I was giving robotic responses over the idea behind my brand. But it was actually a way for me to claim ownership over something that couldn’t be taken away from me like so many other things in my life,” she says.

Iris created a second brand called Beauty Fridge - a chic, benchtop mini fridge designed to preserve skincare products.
Iris created a second brand called Beauty Fridge – a chic, benchtop mini fridge designed to preserve skincare products. Credit: Iris Smit
Iris is the founder of The Quick Flick - a “game changing” eyeliner that stamps the perfect wing-tip look.
Iris is the founder of The Quick Flick – a “game changing” eyeliner that stamps the perfect wing-tip look. Credit: Iris Smit

As she quietly battled mental health, Iris says she couldn’t pluck up the courage to seek help at first.

“I associated getting help with admitting I was crazy,” Iris says.

“But hitting rock bottom was the greatest catalyst towards getting help.”

Turning point

Her turning point came after a chance encounter with a psychic led her to seeking help from a health professional.

“She told me I needed to get help to ‘remove the brick wall within me’,” Iris recalls.

“I had just recently gotten out of a five-year relationship… Having that fresh start in my life definitely motivated me to finally seek the help I wanted and to recreate the life I wanted to live.”

Finding the courage to address her mental health struggle was a revelation.

“Once I got help the shame around what had happened slowly started to peel off and I saw the benefits in sharing what I had been through. A story that had once crippled me, became one that allowed me to feel empowered and inspire others,” she says.

Iris says she now feels “thankful” after she found the strength to heal herself.

Fast forward five years, the now 27-year-old, from Perth, has made her debut on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list after building an astonishing $15 million dollar business.
Fast forward five years, the now 27-year-old, from Perth, has made her debut on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list after building an astonishing $15 million dollar business. Credit: Laura Robinson
On May 26, Iris was named in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia - Retail & Ecommerce list of 2022.
On May 26, Iris was named in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia – Retail & Ecommerce list of 2022. Credit: Iris Jade

On May 26, Iris was among the entrepreneurs to be named in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia – Retail & Ecommerce list of 2022.

“I feel extremely honoured, especially as a young female entrepreneur who has bootstrapped my business from day one,” she says.

“It’s quite emotional for me to think back to where I was five years ago, depressed, suicidal and wishing for a reset button on my life, to now being recognised in Forbes.

“I’m really proud to be representing others who have struggled with their mental health. There is a way out of these struggles that we don’t speak about enough and more importantly you can turn your life around and make a better one for yourself.

“Survivors need to know that it is possible to overcome trauma and to understand they are not broken.”

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.


From an outsider’s perspective, Iris Smit seemed to have the world at her feet.

She was a 22-year-old student when she scraped together $10,000 from her savings to start her own beauty product in 2017 called The Quick Flick – a “game changing” eyeliner that stamps the perfect wing-tip look.

A second brand followed, with the launch of Beauty Fridge – a chic, benchtop mini fridge designed to preserve skincare products.

For more Health & Wellbeing related news and videos check out Health & Wellbeing >>

Fast forward five years, the now 27-year-old, from Perth, has made her debut on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list after building an astonishing $15 million dollar business.

But her extraordinary rise to the top didn’t come easy as the self-made entrepreneur reflected on her secret battle with mental health after struggling with the darkest moments of her life.

“I was extremely good at wearing a mask and pretending my life was perfect. I pretended I was strong when I was struggling. I pretended I was happy when I wanted to die because I saw no way out,” Iris tells 7Life in an exclusive interview.

Iris Smit has been recognised on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list.
Iris Smit has been recognised on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list. Credit: Laura Robinson

“My life sounded good on paper, I had what many would consider the ‘perfect life’ or I seemed ‘very lucky’. I had my dream car and apartment, my business was booming, I was more than financially comfortable than the average 22-year-old.

‘I pretended I was happy when I wanted to die’

“What’s interesting is that many of us in society seek these material assets to obtain happiness, and yet when I obtained them I was more miserable than ever because they gave me zero fulfilment.”

After watching her parents split at a young age, Iris says she felt an “intense self depreciation” and “self-loathing”.

“As a child, I started to think my parents splitting was a reflection of something that was wrong with me,” she says.

Just one day before she turned 18, she moved out of home due to personal reasons.

“That was the hardest part, packing up my entire life into the boot of the car to move in with a friend when most 17 year olds are planning their 18th birthday,” she says.

“There were moments I feared I would become homeless… For me, everyday became about survival.”

She was a 22-year-old student when she scraped together $10,000 from her savings to start her own beauty product called The Quick Flick.
She was a 22-year-old student when she scraped together $10,000 from her savings to start her own beauty product called The Quick Flick. Credit: Iris Smit
Her journey to success didn’t come easy.
Her journey to success didn’t come easy. Credit: Iris Smit

In early 2017, Iris was juggling her interior architecture degree at university while “spending every free moment” working on her business from the lounge room of her tiny apartment.

“I invested $10,000, which was pretty much everything in my bank account at the time, into getting my business off the ground,” she says.

‘Working from 6am until 1am’

“My business and the long hours I worked became an unhealthy addiction to escape my dark life. I completely burnt myself out both physically and mentally.

“I was working ridiculously long hours, working from 6am until 1am in the morning. I tried to do everything myself at the start, which I now know is not how you grow a business.”

Just three months after launching her products, British-Australian businessman Andrew Banks offered to invest $300,000 – and a deal for 25 per cent of her company.

By the time she had to sign the contract, five months had passed, Iris decided to reject the offer after she realised her brand had grown into a multi-million dollar business.

But in the midst of her hugely successful brand, she says she was struggling immensely behind closed doors.

In the midst of her hugely successful brand, she says she was struggling immensely behind closed doors.
In the midst of her hugely successful brand, she says she was struggling immensely behind closed doors. Credit: Iris Smit
How her business grew from her tiny apartment in 2017 to a giant warehouse in 2022.
How her business grew from her tiny apartment in 2017 to a giant warehouse in 2022. Credit: Iris Smit

“I became completely exhausted over the idea of living,” she tells 7Life.

“It was the very start of January 2019 when I wanted to go to bed and never wake up. My lowest point was when I found myself imagining all the ways I could end it, wishing there was a reset button on my life that I could press.

“It makes me emotional thinking about how dark my life became during that time. It’s indescribable to feel as if there is no way out because you believe you are ‘unfixable’. You feel like you cannot breathe and slowly suffocate.”

Hitting rock bottom

Before coming up with the beauty idea, Iris would spend 20 minutes a day struggling to draw her signature wing-tip look on her face.

She thought turning her challenge into a unique stamp eyeliner was the inspiration behind The Quick Flick – but looking back, she realised starting her business was “very much about ownership”.

“I was giving robotic responses over the idea behind my brand. But it was actually a way for me to claim ownership over something that couldn’t be taken away from me like so many other things in my life,” she says.

Iris created a second brand called Beauty Fridge - a chic, benchtop mini fridge designed to preserve skincare products.
Iris created a second brand called Beauty Fridge – a chic, benchtop mini fridge designed to preserve skincare products. Credit: Iris Smit
Iris is the founder of The Quick Flick - a “game changing” eyeliner that stamps the perfect wing-tip look.
Iris is the founder of The Quick Flick – a “game changing” eyeliner that stamps the perfect wing-tip look. Credit: Iris Smit

As she quietly battled mental health, Iris says she couldn’t pluck up the courage to seek help at first.

“I associated getting help with admitting I was crazy,” Iris says.

“But hitting rock bottom was the greatest catalyst towards getting help.”

Turning point

Her turning point came after a chance encounter with a psychic led her to seeking help from a health professional.

“She told me I needed to get help to ‘remove the brick wall within me’,” Iris recalls.

“I had just recently gotten out of a five-year relationship… Having that fresh start in my life definitely motivated me to finally seek the help I wanted and to recreate the life I wanted to live.”

Finding the courage to address her mental health struggle was a revelation.

“Once I got help the shame around what had happened slowly started to peel off and I saw the benefits in sharing what I had been through. A story that had once crippled me, became one that allowed me to feel empowered and inspire others,” she says.

Iris says she now feels “thankful” after she found the strength to heal herself.

Fast forward five years, the now 27-year-old, from Perth, has made her debut on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list after building an astonishing $15 million dollar business.
Fast forward five years, the now 27-year-old, from Perth, has made her debut on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list after building an astonishing $15 million dollar business. Credit: Laura Robinson
On May 26, Iris was named in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia - Retail & Ecommerce list of 2022.
On May 26, Iris was named in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia – Retail & Ecommerce list of 2022. Credit: Iris Jade

On May 26, Iris was among the entrepreneurs to be named in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia – Retail & Ecommerce list of 2022.

“I feel extremely honoured, especially as a young female entrepreneur who has bootstrapped my business from day one,” she says.

“It’s quite emotional for me to think back to where I was five years ago, depressed, suicidal and wishing for a reset button on my life, to now being recognised in Forbes.

“I’m really proud to be representing others who have struggled with their mental health. There is a way out of these struggles that we don’t speak about enough and more importantly you can turn your life around and make a better one for yourself.

“Survivors need to know that it is possible to overcome trauma and to understand they are not broken.”

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

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