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Started her business with $3,000 - now it’s doing $12 million ARR, with Trio Beauty’s Briana Olson

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

This is Briana Olson for Female Startup Club

Hi, and welcome back to the show! It’s Doone here - your host and hype girl. If you’re new here - hi! I’m so happy you found us. Every week we dive into some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs - who happen to be women - to understand their blueprint; the money piece, the marketing piece, and the mistakes we face along the way - to help founders and future founders feel a lot of inspired and a little less lonely.

Today we’re learning from Briana Olson, the founder of Trio Beauty. And boy, oh boy this one is such a goodie!! During the pandemic, Briana had to pivot her business and developed a set of eyebrow stencils for her clients who couldn’t come in to get their regular microblading. The short story is that it totally took off and last year alone she was already doing 12 million in annual rev. But how - I hear you asking…. You’re about to find out as we dive into the long version! We also talk through working capital and how she’s funded the business without raising any money up until this point, and it’s something that you can do too.

We also get into the wellness side of things. The importance of having those moments in the day that break it up, having the chance to sit and reflect in silence. Really planning in that me-time. And just how difficult it is to truly incorporate that time away from our screens and away from technology. At the end of the day, you've got to have boundaries and be strong on those. Otherwise, you'll burn out.

Briana Olson, founder of Trio Beauty

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

Yeah, so my name is Briana Olson, um I founded Trio Beauty back in November of 2020 originally, it was called the brow trio and I'll kind of go into this a little bit later, but basically it started out as a product and then accidentally turned into a beauty company and then we kind of did a name change the brow trio central kit is like really simplified, super easy way to fill in your brows. So the trio in, it means the pomade, the stencil and the dual ended applicator. So that's where the trio comes from. So the whole brand trio beauty is kind of based on really simplified. Um, we like to say method ized products for your beauty routine. I am so obsessed. I don't know how, I've never seen an eyebrow stencil before and this probably proves how kind of lazy I am with beauty research, which is why your existence is so amazing. But I've been watching all the videos and I'm like, this is so cool, can we go back to that lightbulb moment? What kind of led you to being like, oh, this is the thing, we need this thing. How did you start this? Yeah, So kind of all growing up, I wanted to start something and I didn't really know what it was. Like, I'd have like little kind of like insights here and there, maybe there's maybe a kid's clothing brand, like these little things that would come in and I was waiting for something that I was like truly passionate about before. I was like, yes, I'm all in this, is it. So I found it a permanent makeup clinic in Orange County. So if you're not sure what that kind of involves. Um, it was a micro blading studio and also doing lip blush. So when the pandemic hit is when I kind of started to come up with the idea and the plan of what I wanted to create as a consumer product. My whole business in Orange County was shut down in California for months and months and months on end. Like I'd open up for maybe like two days and they'd be like just kidding, closed down again. So it was really hard for me to kind of like I had two small kids at home um I had my husband at home working with me as well. I was like I just need, I need to like create something, this is the time. So basically like it ended up being like an idea that I was like okay for my clients in between their appointments during this time they can use this kit to create the look of micro blading from home. So basically it's, it's a waterproof and smudge proof formula and it does give the look of micro bleeding. And were you at that point like your existing customer database, was that like, you know, thousands of customers? Or was it kind of just like, you know a small list, like how big was it at that point? Not a ton. So I had maybe a list of maybe 1000 to 1500 emails. So it really wasn't that big, but I didn't really expect it to be like a product that I was gonna be like mass you know everyone buy this kit. Um And so there was a funny moment actually like when I was micro blading someone and they had a friend in there and I had my little kids they're up on the shelf and there my friend was like oh like what is this and I explained what it was and then it gave the look of micro bleeding and I was like oh I was gonna make like an appointment for micro bleeding but like I'm just gonna buy this like you know $40. And I was like I am putting myself out of business. So yeah that's so interesting and so at that point like what we see on the website today in terms of the product is that what it was at that point to or was it more of like an M. V. P. Kind of rough idea. It was definitely not. Um So it was it wasn't dual landed, the applicator was not dual landed. The material of the sponge was not what it was. Um It was probably I would say 30% as good as it is now that makes sense. Um to the point where I look back I'm like how were people buying which you know but like my whole thing was like whatever I started I knew that I just needed to like start as dumb as I thought the idea might have been two other people as like JV or whatever as it it may have looked in the beginning, I was like I just need to start something and then iterate because I don't know what this is going to turn into until I at least start and see feedback and kind of iterate on it. Right okay, so it's covid things are shutting down, opening up, shutting down again. You have this 30% their product that you're kind of like testing the waters with to see if your customers will use it at home for the money piece at this point had you invested a lot of money in ordering, you know like a big inventory of this or was it, you know a small batch that you created, how much had you invested at this point? All up? It was probably only 3000 I say only because now it feels like only, but in the beginning like we're like all in right now, you know basically there were 3000 or something of the applicator singing the garage and my husband and I would look at each other like we are never gonna, why did we just over order? But we had to order that money, we're like we're just over ordered like they're just gonna sit in there like what are we doing? And so basically I I kind of went into it kind of blind, I was like oh my customers and then word of mouth and stuff like that and that obviously didn't really happen. So kind of what sparked it all was me launching, this was back, pre IOS update, the good old days. Yeah, when facebook was just, you know, amazing um ads. So I actually launched like our first ad had no idea what I was doing. And then there was like one christmas were like just driving in the car to Arizona from California to see my family. And basically I, we figured out that like every time I kind of like up the budget on facebook, it was like one plus one equals 22 plus two equals four. And it just kept going and going and was like, I think we might have something like the more I add, the more like sales it gets and like people are liking it. Like there's good comments on here. So it was like, it was almost like an accidental thing. We weren't ever like, oh let's create this brow kit and then send it out into the masses. It was like just this accidental thing and then it was like, whoops, it's out there right? And so this is christmas 2020 at this point when the ads are going, Covid's kind of like coming maybe back from the other side or do we have another lockdown in 2020 I can't remember. But okay. Got it, timelines, timelines in check. It's a blur now when I look back. So at this point it's called the brow trio and you mentioned a second ago that there was a bit of a story around changing the name and kind of moving from the brow trio just to trio beauty. What was that transition from, you know, you're kind of just seeing your realizing that the ads are working and then you're kind of coming to the realization that you're onto something. What evolves from there. We felt we wanted to create more products, but when we felt the name, the brow trio was like, okay, we are pigeonholed into this brow category. So we're like, okay, what can we, what else can we put with this brow kit to make it better to make it this and that. So we created um, some extra kind of like brow products around that to kind of support it and give it more texture or like hold the hair in place and so on. That's still being pigeonholed by this brow word. And then, um, we kind of came up with some other ideas in the beauty space for like trio situations. Um, and then realize, hey, we, it's now or never we have to do this like re brand name change now or like we're going to go too far and we have this like awkward name and can only be brows or like awkward name and have these other products, but then they're like, why is it called the brow trio? So yeah, that was a hard decision to make and it was like a hard, we knew it was going to be hard, but it was like a really rough month. Like basically you're not indexed on google, you can email any of your customers. You're like warming the new I. P. It. It sucked but we're on the other side. So thank goodness. Yeah, definitely better to do it early on and just kind of like switch direction versus scale and then have to switch direction and re educate your customer and kind of re go through that process. Yeah. I don't know if you feel the same as me, but today's mainstream news is not engaging, not unbiased and not enjoyable. The donut newsletter is all these things. It's also 100% free and hilariously witty, join 85,000 daily readers and get news that lets you make up your own mind at the donut dot co forward slash hype. That's T H E D O N U T dot C O forward slash hype to sign up for free today. What were you kind of thinking when it came to the working capital at this point? Like are you using grants? Are you using companies like click o or Shopify capital to kind of re invest in the new inventory or you just kind of like using the profits made from your orders and re investing in new products because it sounds like you have a lot going on at this point. Yeah. Yeah. Shopify capital was like so so good like they came in like pretty early and it was like, they're like okay we'll give you like 1500 or something. And at that time it was like yes, like we can make another fresh order of all of these items. Like it was it was so good. Like even up till now they've been so good. So how does just because I haven't actually spoken this through in depth with anyone before how to Shopify capital actually work like and where were you revenue size when you started getting those small kind of incremental boosts of capital? Probably I think 5000 5000 a day or even yeah, around that between three and $5,000 a day in sales was when they started Yeah. The way it works is it's like a working capital. So they say okay we'll give you X amount and then each day we're going to take like 15% of your sales until this entire amount made up and then we'll offer you anyone depending. And that that amount is like based on kind of how much you're making at the time, so the more you grow the bigger the amount they give you and so on. Right? And so then from then 20, till now, have you just used them consistently or has your approach to funding and kind of working capital changed in that time? Yeah. Yeah. So we still use them, um, at times just depending on like, kind of what we need and how much in the terms, um, there's Shopify capital, there's Paypal business loans and then there's Paypal working capital as well. So there's those two and then also clear co so clearly has been really good as well. Yeah. And are you able to kind of like, sorry, just last question on this, are you able to use them together? Like, are you able to be like, yep, Shopify? I've got you, you know, alone over here. I've got click on the go over here at the same time, same month. Or they kind of like, including with each other that they don't do, that they're clued in and they know about each other, but they allow it. So basically because they're occluded and they know they know kind of like what you can handle, kind of like, um, like a credit card, like if you have like five maxed out credit cards and you apply for a new one there, like you already know you're maxed out, we're not doing this. So it's kind of the same situation. Got it. Okay, cool, amazing, wow, so great. Love that for you. It sounds like at this point where in 2021, you're growing primarily through ads and the fact that you're launching new products to your existing customer base. Is there anything else you're doing to grow kind of organically or grassroots or anything outside of paid media. Yeah, we were doing, like, organic, like seating to influencers, but honestly, at that time, ads were working so well that we and we didn't know any other way to do it, like, because there's all kind of happened on accident, it's like, we're now even still now doing everything kind of in reverse as someone would normally come out, was like, okay, we have a business plan now, we need these hires to make it all stable and then we'll do this and then we'll do this. It's like, we're just doing that in reverse, which is messy and scary. Um but you know, it's the learning is happening so totally. And I also believe that, like, sometimes if, you know too much you might not do it, whereas, like, going into building a business with naivety and just like, pure optimism and good vibe is what pushes you forward anyway, because you've got to just deal with the challenges as they come up. So, 2021 that's when IOS changes the second half of the year. Q three, Q four, everything changes with ads. What happens? Yeah. We definitely noticed the shift within the first, like, 2-3 weeks, like, everyone did, and we're like, what now? So that was when we really kind of like, started doing more influencer outreach. Um we actually had, like, a pretty big influence organically post as well, which was amazing. And then we, it was kind of like, this person was like, honestly like a unicorn and we didn't even like go out and find her, she found us which those are the best ones. And so we're always kind of like searching for this, this one, this other one that would like do the same thing as she did and it's like you, It's so hard to find 100%. But yeah, and so we focused on like more organic and then like really kind of tightening up our email strategy and kind of looking after the people that are there instead of like just acquire, acquire, it's like, okay, what do these people need, what do they want? What's their feedback do we need to think about changing anything and so on. And for like when it comes to your influencer strategy just to circle back for a second with this unicorn influencer moment, what was the impact of that post or video or whatever it was. Yeah, so basically, like I was I was laying on my couch at the time and like, my husband had still at that at that time had like, the alerts on his phone, like the Shopify alerts and like everyone says like, you know, you've made it when like, you have to turn off your alerts because there's some annoying or whatever, like, because there's just so many sales or I don't know. But so he, he had his um alerts on and he looked at me and he was like, do we just send out an email or SmS or anything? And I was like, no, he was like, we're having like a really big like, traffic spike right now. So I open the app and I was like, what is happening? And it's like the most exciting thing that you're like panicking at the same time, because you're like, okay, like we have to pack all of this, it's not just gonna pack itself. So at this time my dad was actually helping us pack all the orders, and like, he was like, super excited about it and everything. My God, you're still packing them yourself at this point, wow. And also we were like, with the stencil kit, there's like three components to it, and then like a little um like, instruction booklet and it comes in like a little pouch. So basically all of these things at this time were coming from like, different manufacturers, so we had them all in different areas, so we had to pre pack all of this and then send it out, it wasn't like, oh, grab this and put it in. It was like, everything had to be pre packed, it was like triple the work. But yeah, the impact basically was like, I would say five days worth of sales in one day. So it was it was crazy. And did that moment kind of prompt you to, you know, like are you still packing orders yourself or it prompted you to outsource your three pl at that time, it didn't prompt us to because we're like, okay, this, I wish this would happen every day, but it doesn't. So at that time, like, because the business was so young here in America, we had to be like at least a year old to be able to get a warehouse. Um so we had to wait until that time and we weren't quite a year old and so we were like, it had to be like out of our house, so there were two bedrooms that were like dedicated to that um that we were packing out of and it was like all set up, like tables and music and you know, it was fun, but I don't miss it really. And at this point it sounds like it's really just you, your partner and sometimes your dad working on the business, is there any other key hires at all or any contractors that you're working with in content or outreach or anything like that? Yeah, there was um someone that was running on instagram and Tiktok um at the time and then also like just up work kind of people that would help with like ad spend um and then we had like an email kind of company doing a little bit there as well, right? But yeah, super small theme. Okay, I want to paint the picture for like last year because I know you had a big year of growth last year. You did circa eight figures, you know. Crazy, crazy, crazy. Where were you at the end of 2021? And like what are the pivotal moments that happened in 2022 that get you kind of, that huge surge in growth? Yeah, I think at that point we kind of knew what ads would work and what else was working in the business that we need to kind of double down on. So what kind of content works, what kind of influences work? There was definitely mistakes along the way, like a big one, which I'll explain, oh my God, please tell us when we do the six questions that it's, it was like, I still can't believe it, but yeah, so basically just doubling down on what was working really helped that and like increasing like our skews. So we had, I think it was maybe 3 to 4 product launches last year that kind of like helped support the brow trio stencil kit, which is the hero product, but also like can kind of stand on their own. Um which one of them, we actually won um an allure best of beauty award, which is a pretty big award here in the States for our brow lifting wax. So that one gives like more of like a laminated lifted brow, whereas the stencil kit gives more of like a filled in micro bladed kind of a look. Amazing. Does your strategy like now involve retail expansion and distribution through retail or you still like 100% e. Com, that's the channel, that's where you're focused on. And amazon actually as a strategy to where are you on those channels? Direct to consumer And amazon are our main focus is right now retail. We definitely want to do. Um, and we have been in discussions with several ones, but we're just trying to make like the right right decision at the right time with the right person, if that makes sense? Or you know, right retail. Yeah. Yeah. What I'm curious about is like for anyone listening who's obviously like, damn, well, I can't have the same success with ads because you know, those changes kind of mucked up the system for everyone. Although I feel like facebook is changing a little bit at the moment. But anyway, I feel like when someone's listening, they're like, okay, well what would you do if you are having to start this brand tomorrow? Like where would you focus your attention to get your 1st 1000 customers knowing that adds, don't hit the same way anymore. I would still do that. Um, but I would do more like what works now the best is like anything that's organic or that is seen as organic. So I would do like a ton of like Tiktok gifting like to all of, you know, the main people there now, not even like the bigger Tiktokers, but like people with like a super engaged audience because this unicorn that I was talking about before, she didn't have like, she didn't have over a million followers. But what she did have would have was like super, super engaged. Like they would buy anything that she would even, you know, talk about. So yeah. So I would say ads and then anything that's kind of organic. Right? Right. So basically focusing on kind of like Tiktok repurposing that for native looking ads and gifting at scale. If you had to put like a like, say you have 1000 units in your order of inventory and you had to put a percentage of how much you would give to gifting, what do you kind of, I think is a good amount. I would say if you were a new brand early on Early on, I would start out maybe maybe a 100 and then just, and kind of see where that's at. So I would start out at 100 and then yeah, really keep track of kind of like Which ones are working which ones are not. So you're not like, we just got rid of like 30% of our inventory and absolute crickets. So yeah, I would say maybe do like 10% and then really keep track of exactly what's going on. Um, and then kind of like checking in with the influencer if you can as well of like, Hey, did you like it? Or you know, building that relationship yeah, but try and keep it as like organic as you can. Right? Okay, got it. So kind of like gifting with no obligation to post, but then the follow up and ongoing relationship building kind of vibes, Yeah, got it. Where are you in the business now? Like it's 20, it's still early in the year. We're only a month and a bit in like, how big is your team? What's happening? What do you want to shout about with where you're at? Yeah, so we're about, I would say four people, so we're still super small and we do definitely need to grow, but like, my husband and I have worn like honestly every single hat and, and it's like, we feel like that's been the best way because the times that we've like kind of handed something off too early, you're like, this is not, this is not ready. It's kind of like, you know, sending your kid out into the world and they're like, oh, I don't know how to make my dinner or whatever. It's like, you've got to know like what's what it needs and, and who needs to look after it, so it can be done. I don't know, right? But yeah, the right foundation to build upon. Yeah, yeah, that being said, like you don't want to like overwhelm yourself as well and there have been times where I like hold onto things for too long because of that fear of handing it off and someone doesn't do what you thought or what you want. So yeah there's a there's a balance but yeah so basically we're we're super small team still even now we have a few agencies that run different things like google um facebook instagram email so at least that those big main things that need like full attention are like taken care of while we can kind of like build up these kind of like other hires. And when you're thinking about like retail expansion or you know kind of nationwide expansion into the U. S. Or even global expansion, are you thinking about raising or are you kind of like we can get by with debt through these different kinds of channels like Klitschko and capital etcetera. Yeah. So like when we started like obviously we didn't we didn't even know what that would even mean like to raise or anything like that. But it's only like over the past maybe I would say six months that were like what is our plan for the future and to get there, can we do it? And it's like yes we can but the time that it would take the brain space that it would take like all of that it's like I feel like there's no right or wrong way to do it. It's just kind of like what life experience do you want? Like, you know, do you want to like feel like you, you've sold your soul, but you get to the end and you want 100% or do you want to get to the end? You own 80%. Your head's still on straight, you know? So basically I like where we're at is like, we do want to raise. Um, and we're like in discussions with a few different ones, but like everyone says it's there's no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. And then, so it was funny, I actually watched something on Youtube shorts the other day and it was like, if you knew that you were 24 nose away from your yes. Like how excited would you be to get that first. Yes and your second. Yes and your third. Yes. It's like you just keep thinking of that and you're like, yes. They said no. But it's like that, which sounds so weird, but it's like you want a partner, like whether it's like a VC or whatever to be so excited about your business and your vision and you that it's like, if they say no, they don't see it. So it's like by, you know, it's, it's great That they say no. So that they don't like say yes and then you're like, they don't even care about me or whatever. 100 percent like you said in the beginning, it's a real mindset shift around receiving a no and kind of reframing it as well, the next one could be yes. And that would be an amazing Yes. Yeah, exactly. On the topic of mindset, I feel like this is a good segue just to touch on mental health, the struggles of dealing with the business, you know, of this size. Well, sorry, a business of any size really, like, it's stressful no matter where you are in the journey and something that we like to bring up on the show because we talk often about the highlights and all the good stuff and all the successes that you're having. But obviously there are low lights and there's like, the, the emotional stress that it takes on you building a business. How do you kind of approach your mental health and self care? I need to be way, way better with it. I'll just preface it with that. But basically, like, like we were saying, like, kind of in the beginning is like having those moments throughout the day that kind of like, break it up as like, I'm having, like, a piece of chocolate or I'm having like, a coffee and like, just sitting in silence. Like, I'm not on my phone, my mind's not racing. Like having those, those moments throughout the day for me at least are so crucial. Um and then I also like to have a bath every night and I try not to touch my phone, but like, usually this is not good, don't follow this, but it's just like sitting next to me and I'm like okay like I'll just like answer this real quick and it's like so basically I need to be way, way better about it and I can see kind of like the light at the end of the tunnel like I'm getting closer to to being that and I know on the days where I do look after my like mental health and my like kind of boundaries for my day, I'm so much happier um So much more creative, so much more like freethinking ideas flow in. So it's like yeah, it's super important. Yeah, it's so crazy the phone addiction thing. Like I am just addicted to checking my phone and like sometimes I'll check it and then 10 seconds later check, the I'll just watch my behavior and I do the exact same loop and I'm like, oh this is so annoying and it's so bad. But it's yeah the pool, the pool is real, it's really hard. It's hard to break that habit, especially when it's your business as well. Like my husband always jokes with me that like rebuilt like the entire business on her phone and it's like kind of I kind of did like, so it's like that's why it's hard like everything is a hard facts, yes, everything that I need to to do and say and and connect and all of that is on my phone and so the entire business is on my phone and and kind of having it, like away from me is basically the only way that I can kind of like disconnect otherwise it's just old. Just keep working, which which is great to have that passion, but you've got to have the boundaries otherwise you'll burn out. So totally, you've got to have the boundaries and you've also, you've really got to have that brain space, like what you were saying, you've got to have that brain space to have idle moments where you can just think and let the creative ideas flow in instead of just like jamming your brain with this message and that advertisement and this other thing and this email and all the things that we get bombarded with on our phones. It's so true. Maybe I'll try again today to have a little bit of a break from my phone. Me too. Yeah, it's like that logical brain part of your brain like takes over and it's like, that's like the opposite of like, creativity and it's like, that's when all of my best ideas and everything have come in or like when it's just like silence and I'm just like sitting, but it's like, I know that, but it's like, it's so hard to like implement 100 percent. What is your key piece of advice that you'd love to leave our audience with anyone who's kind of just starting their business or they're actively building their business or they're in beauty, What's your kind of key piece of advice that you want to leave? Leave us with? I would say just to start whatever it is, like make sure there's enough passion behind the idea, whatever it is. Like don't just be like, oh I like blah blah blah and I'll start that. Like there needs to be that passion there for the idea to kind of like feel it. But once you feel like that's there, you've, you gotta start it as dumb as you feel, As not ready as it feels. It's like, just start it and then it'll kind of like evolve, you'll evolve it and you'll evolve yourself and then suddenly it's turned into something that you always wanted. So it's like, it's not gonna launch and be perfect basically. So I would say just start whatever it is, as long as there is the passion there, just start it. Love that. Thank you.

So question number one is, what's your why? Why are you waking up every day and focusing on trio beauty to help women's beauty routines be more simple, more easy and to kind of like give them the look that they want, that they can do by themselves without necessarily having like the skill set to do it. It's not like, oh, you're, you've been given an eyeshadow palette with like 60 shades, have fun. Everything's been like curated even down to like the stencil shapes, like there's 12 stencil shapes in the, in the brown tree of stencil kit um and all of them have been kind of shaped to fit everyone's kind of face. So everything's been like kind of curated so that you don't have to like, choose from a big bundle of makeup items in your drawer, whatever. I feel like it, it speaks to me and the way I approach beauty. Amazing. Love that. Love that for me. Question number two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? Besides the big influencer moment? That's a tricky one because I was gonna say that one. Um I would say favorite marketing moment was kind of when that first ad kind of took off. Yeah, probably that like, just kind of like that kind of like, it's like when you're falling in love or whatever and you're like, could this be something like it, it's like that kind of a feeling or it's like you launch the app and you're like, is this a winning ad? Is it? And then you say that it is and you're like, it's kind of like that feeling just fell in love with an ad. I don't know. Oh my God, I love that. I totally know what you question number three is, what's your go to resource at the moment? Like a podcast or a newsletter or a book? Where are you tuning in? I love all sorts of podcasts. So I, I feel like I don't have the attention span to read even though there are so many books I would love to, maybe I need to do more like audible. Um but I love like different, so many different podcasts of like different kind of genres, but all kind of like in the business realm. So I love yours. Um and then I love Ed Millet and then another one I love is like the skinny confidential, like they have a lot of good like kind of like business people on, um as well as just like beauty things. So those three are like my top three, Amazing check, check them out. What was the middle one you said? I haven't heard of that one before. Ed, my let Ed gonna check him out. Great, love that. Super influential and he kind of like pumps you up. You're like, ready? You know, I love that. He's your guy. Yes. Question number four is how do you win the day when you're having a great day when you're doing all the small moments and the boundaries. How do you win the day? What are your specific AM or PM rituals and habits? Yeah. So the first part of my day is like kid family central. Um and then, so that's so chaotic and then as soon as they leave, I'm like peace. So at that point, like honestly this sounds weird, but my favorite thing is to clean everything before I start work. I clean like everything I make, I make beds like everything is like perfect. I play podcast during that time and then I go and get ready in my sink back up. Get ready in my sink by sitting in. Yes. So anyway, I had this like amazing like cut out vanity thing in our bathroom and there's like a cute chair and everything, like it's perfect for getting ready. Um there's even like a light there. I never sit there. I, I've never sat there, but so I sit with my feet in the sink on, on the countertop, if that makes sense. And the reason why I do this, it sounds weird, but it's my thing. Um I run warm water actually, it's quite hot to the point where my feet get red. Um and it's just like a cozy little situation while I listen to my podcast and put on my makeup. So I love that super weird, but it like it makes me feel so happy. It's like, like you're in the bath, but like not, you know, it's a big bath. It is a foot bath. And it's funny because I had like this ex boyfriend in college and like because I've been doing this since the beginning of time um and he's like, oh I got you this like foot baths for christmas and I was like cool, like in my head I was like the water is not going to be hard enough because it's going to be fun and I need it boiling, I need it boiling hot. So I used it a couple of times in front of him. Like this is so nice, but secretly I was like this water, this is not the sink. Yeah, I reckon that's the best ritual we've had on the show, I've never heard of that before. It's a Weird one. But yeah, like I like kind of like weird rituals like that as well as like I get like Nest Quick and like tons of like the chocolate powder and just a teeny little bit of milk. Um and then just have like a little like kind of chocolatey snack. So my my rituals are kind of weird but love yeah, I need to get more into like the normal ones, like breath work and meditation, but for right now I've got these, we've got those, they're the good ones. They're the good ones. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited about question number five because you already brought it up a little bit. This is the question around your worst money mistake and how much did it cost you? I know this is still like, I mean it's, it's that question that I love to ask because this is where people get a lot of learnings out of, it's like they're able to be like, okay, this happened, this is what I learned, but obviously it's not great for you. Tell us about your most mistake. Yeah. So it is regarding an influencer. So we were like still learning of what works and we were like, the bigger the influencer, the higher the followers, the higher this and that, the more We will see in sales. So basically we found this influencer that was like 1.2 million followers or something like big and like she's posting like beauty videos and things like that. I won't go into a ton of details, I don't want her to be identified. But so we're like, okay, she is the one like, she's gonna create like the most amazing content. We're able to use it in ads for like a solid whatever amount of time it was and it's just going to kill it. And so we're like, okay, this is the date, It's gonna post, everyone get ready. Like fulfillment, get ready. It's gonna blow up like this is the date. Like everyone was like so excited. So my husband was sitting across from me just like we were talking about with the other one And I was like, okay, she, she's gonna post like today and I think it's gonna be in the afternoon. So that's kind of where it was at. And then I was like, just scrolling through instagram and I was like, there's like our kit on this person. I was like, she's already posted. And so I said to my husband, like she's already posted. And he was like, hang on a sec. And he like went into Shopify and like looked at like Whatever the metric where it tells you how many people are on your site or sales all of that. And it was just like unchanged. It was like, she posted like 10 minutes ago. And he was like, yeah, there's, there's nothing like a story. Or was it like a feed post or like a youtube? It was stories. It was real. It was real. And then like stories. So there was like a direct contact, you know, link to be able to be like, okay, here's the page going by it. Like, it was like perfectly set up. That was seriously, I don't even think we could contribute like one sale. It was crazy crickets. It was insane. The amount. Yes. I want to know the amount. It was $30,000. Oh my God, That's so crazy. It was a disgusting amount because I was like doing the math before. I was like, Oh no, for sure. Because I was like doing the math from this, this other unicorn, that post. I was like, Okay, she has X amount more followers. Like doing the math on like how much that would be. And I was like 30,000 were fine. It's fine. It was not fine. It was not. So, what did you do? Nothing. Couldn't do anything. It just, it just sucked. So basically what we did was like, honestly, it was like a learning mindset thing. It was like, okay, like the bigger the number, it doesn't matter. Like it's like about, you know, who is this person? Yes. Look into it more And it honestly, we've never done anything like that since and like terrified me of the whole thing. So that's what I learned to be terrified. But like what was the conversation with the influencer afterwards to be like, hey, this didn't drive any results. Like what the heck? It was all through. Um, like an agent. And so it was very like deal is done. You know? So I feel like, I don't know. I feel like there might be a few out there that are like that and it's honestly like, maybe it's, maybe it's their business or I don't know. And that's how they kind of like do it is like this facade and then I don't know. I don't really know what happened. I have, I have some thoughts, but oh my gosh, that's a, that's a, that's a painful one. I've actually heard so many of these kind of stories around influences that you know, don't perform and like you can't attribute really any true sales or metrics to it. Yeah. And then if you said something that would just probably turn around and be like, well like brand awareness. Yeah. I feel like a lot of, a lot of things that um, people can't attribute back to an actual like sale, they just say brand awareness. So whether that's like a certain pr move or something, they just say you're like, okay, like this did no sales. They're like, well brand awareness. It's like really though, like it's just kind of like scapegoat, I don't know. Yeah, like no follower increase, no sales like yeah. You know, it should be at least driving. Yeah. Something like, well that's a tough one. I hate that for you. Holy sh it. $30,000. Oh my God. Yeah. Because you think about how else you could have spent that in the business and you're like, that could have been a whole new product, a whole new skew but huge lesson. Hmm. Yeah. It also makes me think there's a power in working with people who are open to doing smaller tests with the goal that if it works then scaling up to the kind of like a bigger deal and if people aren't down to do that, then it's probably not the right person anyway. You know, finding people who are actually happy to work together to like find that sweet spot. Do you still work with the unicorn that actually did really perform for you? She went and got her eyebrows actually flown micro bladed. So, but like they faded after a little bit and then she did post again and it still worked really well. Um so yes, we do. But still on the search for more. You're still in the search for more. Yeah, I guess it's that moment of like that saying of like you've got to kind of luck will happen in any business and it's how you kind of like plan for that moment when it just does happen out of the blue and how you can kind of capitalize on that moment. This is like trying to recreate the moment. Yeah. Like making sure you have product in stock to where if it does happen, like you're okay, you don't have to be like, we're sold out or Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. That was a super crazy story. So I don't know if you've got another one in the bank to share, but question number six, last question is what's just a crazy story, Good or bad that you can share from the last couple of years? Building trio. Okay, so um, it was around the launch of, I guess the relaunch rebrand of the brow lifting wax, which was the allure award winner. So basically like we had these due to come like any day so that we could like announce and like basically it was kind of like on a timeline, like we had this, this award announcement, we had the product coming, we had to photograph it. Like all of these different things had to happen in a certain order. Um anyway, the product arrived and the brush on the end of this was not the same. It did not work the same. Like basically it made the product instead of like applying just like a light layer, it was so thick, it was so much product and we were like, this is going to ruin this entire timeline, like, and we can't just sell these, it's not, it's not an Allure award winner at this point. Like it's, it's so, So bad. Like it's unusable. So basically we contacted the manufacturer and somehow they were able to turn around like enough units that we were like able to be okay and like fix this brush on there. And so it was like, but that initial like 24 hours, I was like of course, like, you know, we have this like amazing moment coming up, like the rebrand, like this announcement of the award and it was like, this happens like it's like just a nightmare. So it's just like so classic the entrepreneur story of like you have this amazing thing happening, you're on absolutely top of the world, you're like, yes, like I made it in this moment. This is so great. And then on the flip side you're like, what the hell? How come everything's breaking in this moment? This is not fair. Yeah, and it comes in like groups. Like, like, I don't know how many three things will happen, and then like, three things. Which country? Oh, but there's like a period of time of like maybe a solid week where things just suck. Like things are so hard, and then all of a sudden you catch wind of like three days, you're like, this is amazing. It's like the highest highs and the lowest lows. Like, it's crazy. Your emotional range just goes like, it's crazy. It's really stretched to the limit. I just had one follow up question just because I've never asked anyone this before, how does the Allure Beauty awards work? Like, do you have to apply? Do people apply and nominate you? Is it a paid award? Is it like, do you know in advance that you've wanted? Like, how does it, what's the process for Allure Awards? Yeah, so I think you can apply on your own. Um but we had a pr agency at the time that kind of like applied us for it. So it's not paid or anything. So basically all of these products get sent in to the lower team, They test them out for X. Period of time, and they decide actually like which ones are like the best in each category. Um But yeah, that's kind of how it works. Oh my gosh, I love that. And then you just get a heads up if you're going to win something so that you can prepare for the traffic. Yeah. So we knew probably two months in advance. So we're able to get like really good photography of it and everything because it was featured in the Allure magazine, which was actually the last print version of the magazine ever. Like it's, it's gone now. It's no longer on the shelves, which is crazy. So we had the last actually bought like seven of them, but like the last edition of the Allure magazine ever to exist unless they re launch it. But who knows? Um, has our product in it, which is pretty cool, but sad that print is gone. Yeah, it is sad. It is really sad. What's the impact of those awards? Like does it actually drive a lot of traffic and a lot of kind of immediate sales or is it something that you're able to just kind of uses the credible pr hook for your marketing? More that yes. More that so it's not, it wasn't like, wow, like Day one, they announced it and it was like this flood of traffic that didn't happen to us. I don't believe it happened to anyone else, but basically it's kind of like almost like a badge of honor, I guess. So you have it on your website, it makes everything kind of more credible. You've got like a stamp of approval. Um it looks great to investors and so on. So right. And any final tips for anyone who wants to apply to one of those awards, like how they should approach it or what they should do to kind of like stand out. I think honestly, probably what helps us having like at least a pr contact um someone that kind of knows someone that can kind of like get your foot in the door a little bit. Um whether you have like a full on contract with a pr agency or just like kind of like an as needed pr person just to like give you the heads of a pay, here's where to sign up. It's coming up soon, sign up now so that you don't keep having to be like okay, each year at X date, like set a reminder and like figure it out yourself. You have like an on hand kind of as needed person to kind of give you a heads up totally. Oh my gosh Brianna thank you so much for all the insight. I feel like I've learned so much for you and I'm so grateful that you came on the show and shared your journey so far with Trio Beauty. Yeah, thank you.



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