What is the name of your business?
TBE: How long has your business been open?
We launched on March 1, 2018!
TBE: What is the mission statement of your business?
To inspire people to take better care of their skin!
TBE: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Honestly, I was racially profiled at a similar retailer about 2 years ago. I was spending hundreds of dollars a year on skin care, particularly at this one store. Rather than boycotting, I decided to research and learn how to make products myself. The more I learned how to make skincare products, the more therapeutic it became to me. I shared some of my products with a few friends and family and they encouraged me to turn it into a business.
TBE: How many employees?
I am the only employee, but my mom and my brother have been by my side the entire time. They have helped me with shipping tons of orders. My mom researches products for me and my brother tests some of the products. My best friends proofread my website and social media to make sure there are no grammatical errors and to make sure that correct info is displayed. Everyone is paid in products LOL… (for now)
TBE: What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
I offer handmade skincare products. I make sugar/salt scrubs, bubble bath bars, massage oils and so much more. Anything that promotes healthy skin or hair is what I offer. Stay tuned because there s so much more on the way.
TBE: What’s your company’s goals?
I set a ton of goals when I was in the middle of planning for my business. The most important to me right now are; first, gain a larger following on social media and increase my sales by marketing to that audience. Social media is huge and I want to learn how to maximize off of it. Within the next year I would like to continue to research and develop new products to offer my customers (3 new products a month) and eventually move into a physical location such as a mall kiosk in a couple different locations, and in three to five years open a brick and mortar store/ shop.
TBE: What is unique about your business?
I make all of my products. A lot of people in this field purchase from wholesalers and slap their label on the product. I make every single product, I design all of my labels and create all of my online content. I want to have control over my brand and experience the bumps and bruises along the way. I want to know what it is to experience trial and error. I want my business to be built on experience and a firm foundation.
TBE: What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
I am responsible for every single thing. From my website to IG and Facebook accounts to make sure my labeling has the correct information. I research all recipes and am responsible for testing everything to ensure its effectiveness. I make sure orders are out within 48 hours (this is a promise that I have made to my customers). These are just my responsibilities for online sales! When I am at events, flea markets or farmers markets I have so much that I have to ensure, I don’t think I have the space to type all of that! Just know that my company is my baby, and I am trying to raise my “baby” to be successful.
TBE: What made you choose this type of business?
I wanted to start a business doing something that I love to do! Once I learned how to make some of the products and saw that they worked, I followed my intuition and the advice of my friends/ family. Based on my experience with the retailer that I mentioned before, I didn’t choose this business, it kind of chose me.
TBE: Does your company help the community where it is located?
I have been invited to a few STEM events to teach about how my business includes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in its operation. I am hoping to get into some arts and crafts events at local elementary schools here in California.
TBE: Have you ever turned down a client/customer? If so, why?
Yes, I have had to turn down business. I had an individual email me for a party and wanted to know who my suppliers were. When I didn’t give the information to them, they became belligerent and I told them that I wouldn’t be able to fulfill their order and I referred them to someone else.
TBE: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
TBE: What are some strategies you use for working with an unhappy customer?
I haven’t had unhappy customers yet, but having been a customer service professional for almost 20 years, I’d try to get to the root of the issue. I never focus on the issue, but rather the solution. If I cannot help a customer out while still maintaining my company values, unfortunately I will have to forfeit the sale.
TBE: Where would you like to be in 3 years?
Working towards my brick and mortar store/ shop. I stepped away from my job making $85k a year to pursue my dreams. In three years, I would like to be at least doubling that income.
TBE: What would your previous employers say about you?
I bore easily and I am very smart. It was those two characteristics about me that caused all of my issues working for other people. They would also tell you that I am one of the best employees they’ve ever had.
TBE: When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a hair dresser. My mom and paternal grandmother did hair, and I have tons of cousins that do hair… I thought this would be my destiny. I am so glad I was wrong about that.
TBE: What was your first business idea and what did you do with it?
I was a graphic designer. I built websites, designed media and all kinds of stuff. I didn’t actually turn it into a business because it no longer inspired me. Now I just use it as a personal tool of mine.
TBE: What do you wish you knew before you started your first business?
I wish I knew that family is not the first place you should look to for support. I just knew all of my aunts, uncles and cousins would be my first customers… I can’t even get them to follow my social media pages let alone buy anything. I had to learn to appreciate the people who do truly support me and who do want to see me succeed. Another thing, I wish I would have known how fickle social media can be. It takes a lot of work, consistency and lots of time. I didn’t realize that. I post silly stuff on my personal pages all day, but let me post something about my business though! But I know now.
TBE: What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had?
My worst boss taught me that I needed to start my own business.
TBE: What has being a business owner taught you?
I have learned the art of waiting. Devon Franklin wrote a book called, “The Wait.” A lot of people thought the book was exclusively instructions on celibacy until after marriage. The book teaches how to wait. Owning a business teaches me that anything great will require time and patience. Some victories are slowly won, but when you wait, and do it right, it makes all of the hard work worth it. I have also learned that it’s business, never personal. I see a lot of small business owners take offense to things that they should let roll off their back. Developing healthy habits and breaking cycles have all been things that have helped me tremendously.
TBE: Is there anything that you would like to add?
I am an ordinary woman looking to do extraordinary things. Being a business owner is hard work. It takes dedication and perseverance. There are no shortcuts to being successful. If this is something you are passionate about, respect your craft, do the research, read the books, learn the trends and most importantly, do the work!
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