Double your revenue YOY through surprise and delight moments - aka free stuff - Jenna Owens' Fitish
Joining me on the show today is Jenna Owens, Founder of Fitish.
Fitish is a skincare company committed to embracing balance, using ingredients that do exactly that for the skin and body. Founded in April 2017, Jenna has grown their line with beauty and wellness products geared towards active people.
They believe that the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, along with botanical extracts, have an unmatchable ability to cleanse and nourish the body. Fitish aims to create calming rituals of self-care within an active lifestyle naturally and effectively.
In this episode we cover Jenna’s big life pivot, her key learnings in growing and scaling a skincare company, and things you can start doing today to increase your average order value.
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
Speaker2: Yes, of course. So my name is Jenna Owens and I currently reside in Dallas, Texas, and I own a business that I started called Fitish and it is a CBB skin care and wellness business.
Speaker1: So cool, might I add. Love it. Love the branding, love the look. I want to start by going back to your life. Before you started finish, you were a successful host on Radio four. I think I read Twelve Years, which is totally bonkers. I'm more than a decade. Oh my God. No you're not. What made you want to mix things up and change directions?
Speaker2: I think that my trajectory is similar to a lot of women, even if they didn't have a job on a radio morning show. Right. But that you reach a point in your life that you just realize I don't feel fulfilled. And that's what it was for me. So, yes, I had this job that to the outsider or to people that were fans of the morning show, we had a lot of popularity in Dallas. And I'm kind of the South and the United States. And I loved a lot of elements of the job. OK, however, I got up at three, 30 every single morning and I felt very rundown all the time. I wasn't feeling as creatively stimulated as I was kind of at the inception of the whole job. And I thought that with my platform that there was maybe something more out there for me. I always wanted to start a business. Right. I think that was just something that I think a lot of entrepreneurs kind of know that about themselves. At some juncture they go, I want to start something right. I want to do something more. And I had built this platform very organically as well. So I had a pretty substantial social media following and a lot of people that I think felt like I was their best friend. Right. Because I talked about my life very personally every single day for twelve years. And I wanted to, in a sense, capitalize on that and just do something that made me feel more fulfilled in my life with that platform. And so that's when I really started thinking. I mean, it took me years, to be quite honest, to come up with what that business was. It's scary, right? But you're going to put your name on something. You're going to probably borrow money. What if I hate the name? What if I hate this idea in a couple of years? So I kind of realized at some juncture fears like the only thing standing in the way from a lot of us kind of following our dreams and starting a business or taking that risk.
Speaker1: And that's so true. I definitely agree with that. I've been there or I have been there often, actually. Was there a light bulb moment that led you to going into the fitness space at that time?
Speaker2: I had a few. So the name finish was actually born from something I just started saying on the radio. I know you probably hear that word a lot now, but at the time, many years ago, I was saying it as a way to be very I guess I could say, since you don't know me very well, it's very reflective of who I am as a person. You have to be yourself on the radio, right? You can't pretend to be a character. It's not acting with personalities. And so I would be quite honest with women because I felt at the time we were inundated and still are with women who want to be perfect on social media. Right? It is. This is me. I'm. I do everything perfectly all the time, I work out for two hours a day, I use one hundred products before I go to bed every night on and on and on. And that is so not me. And I don't think that is a lot of women. Right. And I find it much more attractive and likeable and comforting when I hear women who are just quite honest about who they are and that my life's falling apart. And I'm heartbroken. At the time I was in my late twenties, I mean, my life was a shit show half the time. And so I was honest about it. Right. And so finish was women would ask me how I worked out what I did to stay in shape. And here I am getting up at three thirty. I'm like just drinking water and wash my face off before I go to bed at night. I'm not using one hundred expensive items in my nighttime routine and I'm not working out for two hours every day. I do maybe twenty minutes and like eat a little healthy and so I just finish, finish all the time.
Speaker2: And so when I went to start the business I thought, well maybe I can offer women like twenty minute workout programs. Right. Because that wasn't really around at the time. They were all 60 Minutes. And so I did those, but really quickly realized that I don't want to work out all the time. I mean, I carve it out here and there, as most of us do, but I do not want to have a foundation, a business that is fitness exercise. Right. But that was a way for me personally to charge not very much money. They were it was nineteen ninety nine to access all these programs. So it was more affordable than other things on the market. It also only cost me about nine thousand dollars to film all the videos. And so I knew that I would probably recoup the costs. But it was also a really good indicator of do I even have customers? Like if I want to come out with a product, do I even have customers know the business side of things? It was kind of a test for me to say, OK, what's something affordable that I can do that's not buying a lot of inventory, borrowing a ton of money that I can start offering something to see if people are going to buy what I sell. Right. Because I think that's a real concern we all have when we start a business like this is great, but are people going to buy it? And they did. And I made a little bit of money and then I took that money and started what now, you know, is finish in terms of the skin care.
Speaker1: Oh, my gosh. So exciting. So how did you actually get started with this? Ginko, what were the steps in those early days for you to be like, OK, I've made a little bit of money. I can reinvest that back into phase two, the new evolution of what the brand is going to be. What were those key steps?
Speaker2: Yeah, so it's interesting with the light bulb moment, too, because I think there's a few of them, of course, that you're going to have along the way. And so when I did those workouts, I knew that that was my long term plan. Right. We have gyms around Dallas. Good pop up that you'll see anywhere. And so I remember specifically I was working out one day and all the women are wearing these expensive workout outfits, women these days we spend money on workout outfits like they're going out outfits, which is great now that we've been in quarantine and we get to wear them all the time. But the super high end kind of athleisure. And then so you're at these places that are thirty dollars a class and the women are really fashionable. And in Dallas at least, they they're wearing concealer and mascara to exercise. And then I'd be in the bathroom after the class. It was very specific moment for me. I had been sitting on this idea of what kind of product is it that I want. I knew I wanted to create a beauty product because I was very passionate about that space, but I didn't know exactly what it was. And it's so crowded that I thought, well, I need to find some sort of like leaf here for myself if I'm going to enter that space. But I was in the bathroom after class and I'm looking at all these women. They're freshening up in the bathroom and stuff in a shower. But women, at least where I live, they're not showering after they workout at the gym. Right. They're going home later to do that. But they're freshening up so they can go grab a margarita across the street or go on a date and put on perfume and using dry shampoo and doing this whole thing.
Speaker2: And I thought, well, why aren't there more products that these bathrooms for women like that, like myself, that go to work in the morning and then get a workout in and then go to a business meeting, that sort of thing? So that was the light bulb moment for me when it came to product development. And I thought there's really not anything or much in this space that has good branding. And so that was it for me. And then I took the name finish and applied it there and it was a good fit. But of course products are expensive. I had happened to have a couple of contacts living in Dallas. There's some fabulous skincare labs, which just I think I'd say that that was fater luck, whatever you want to call it, you know. But I started researching and the CBD element, which we can get into is quite a bit harder, kind of beating doors down at labs saying, no, they don't work with CBD, they don't want to do that. So I wanted to create a product for my own rosacea I've been taking. CBT is a good antiinflammatory, like for flying anxiety and joint pain and things like that. But there wasn't anything topical on the market at the time. And I started messing around with kind of a post workout moisturizing spray, which is that toned down spray and as peppermint, of course, and some coffee. And I just wanted something that was hydrating for the skin. So if you did have a little concealer on right. But you were red, you could spray it over. And that was the thought behind it. And it just happened to tone down my redness. And that was the. As part of that, I made
Speaker1: Wow, that sounds heavenly, sounds so great. Yes, totally. I'm interested to know when you had that light bulb moment in the bathroom that day, what was the timeline for you having that moment right through to developing and putting those products on the website and being like, hey, this is for sale?
Speaker2: And. Seven months, it was a while, and I think that's been something in this particular space and maybe a lot of product businesses, from my understanding now that I've been doing this for about two and a half, three years so far, that seems to be the biggest obstacle, is just the source of the kind of the components and the labs and the promises and guarantees about when an order will be fulfilled and they're laid and they don't have all the raw materials. So that's a whole nother side of scaling. That's been quite a challenge. But in the beginning, when I decided on the product, I was fortunate to find a lot. Love didn't have huge minimums, so I took a little bit of money that I had made from the videos. I believe my first order cost me about twenty thousand dollars and I actually chose I can show you since we're speaking on camera, but if you go to the website, you'll see that my first two products, one was a makeup setting spray that didn't have CBD and one was the cooling spray I've been referencing called Tona. I ordered the same bottle for both of them in order to make my money go further. And so they have different boxes. But to keep it kind of cheap, I ordered the same bottle with different art. Of course, there different products. There was a lot of confusion in the beginning and as you can understand, because they have the same bottle. But that was a way to do it, to meet the minimum requirement of five thousand bottles. Right. But I split it. Twenty five hundred of each. I only filled a thousand of each at first so I could then, like, recoup some of the money once they sold and then get the rest of the bottles filled, if that makes sense and see what the customers thought about it. So I started out pretty, pretty small and was just really excited when people actually started buying it.
Speaker1: Yeah, you really proved that concept and you had your loyal customer base ready to buy and that appetite for what you were putting out there. You mentioned a little bit ago that the CBD side of things was a bit more challenging. What were the kinds of challenges that you faced at that time?
Speaker2: It's the lack of regulation in the space which still exists today, and anyone that's in the CBD business knows very well that it's very exciting when you're a believer in it. But at the same time, it is the wild, wild West. I mean, with no regulation, that's a problem for the industry with CBD because you're going to have a lot of naysayers. And for me, living in Dallas, this is a very conservative market as far as things like that. Cannabis is not legal here and probably, I would assume, one of the last states in America that's going to legalize it. I'm a big proponent of all things in that space, but regulation is important. So it kind of weeds out the crap, you know, the stuff that's being sold to people that doesn't have anything in it or has seen it is totally mislabeled. So that was hard, but also a good thing for me, I think, to be in a space like this that's not as liberal minded because it put the onus on me to educate the customer about CBD that a lot of other brands probably don't do right, because it's just going to be trendy and cool. But for us, it's no look at all of the benefits of using a really good form of health derived broad spectrum CBD and getting people to try it.
Speaker2: But you had the labs weren't familiar with it, because when you want to make a product like this, I'm not a scientist by any means. By nature. I was terrible at chemistry. So when you want to take an idea, you take kind of some of the ingredients you want. You take a list of ingredients you don't want. You take other products, maybe that you like scents or fragrance or whatever, whatever you desire. You can go to these beauty labs and say, this is what I had in mind, my branding, this is my logo. And they will make a formula for you that you get to test over a period of time. But a lot of the labs just had no familiarity working with the CBD oil because, of course, oil doesn't mix with water. And so now here we are a couple years later and a lot more labs are open to this, of course, and have better understanding of how to work with those elements. But, yeah, that was hard in the beginning. There weren't a lot of options to choose from totally.
Speaker1: And I also learned recently, which I didn't know, and it makes total sense now that I think about it, was that even on the back end, there are a lot of companies who won't work with CBD brands in terms of like payment providers and fulfillment houses. So were you aware of them before you started the business or did you just kind of have to stumble along with these things?
Speaker2: You stumble along, it hit a brick wall that had no door on it to get through, not even a cracked open window. Right. And and turn around and find another option. The payment processing was one of the biggest hurdles we had to overcome. We had been sold out of a product. So this was about six months after I launched. I sold out of the couple of thousand I had. And so waiting on those to get filled, I remember I actually had gone out of town to a girlfriend's bachelorette party in Mexico for the weekend. We were restocking that weekend. It was Memorial Weekend. And I was so excited because we had been out for months, which was a nightmare. And it wasn't a I wanted to make money. Right. And I remember that that Friday when we launch and we had all these orders about to come in, our credit card processor put together that we were CBT or something like that and like shut down payment plan. So I had had a couple people at my fulfillments are really, really instrumental, helping me constantly. I mean, you're paying higher interest rates. So we had a backup plan, payment providers that, of course, instead of taking three or four percent off every order, they're taking like nine or they're routing that through like a bank account in Ireland.
Speaker2: And then your customers going to see an international charge and wonder like what the going on. It was really difficult. We would be out of sales for a day or two here and there while we were shipping processors. We're sold on Shopify, which I am just I couldn't say enough good things about that platform. And they have been so supportive of us as a business. However, they use Square as their payment processor and they were like, we don't mind CBD, but our payment processor does. So they allowed us to find another payment processor to use. But yeah, anyway, I mean, I can go on and on. It was kind of hell, it felt like hell for a while. But at some point you say, you know what, these are the risks that you're going to take. Being in a business like you hopefully will reap the rewards of being a first mover in an industry like that if you can hold out and figure it out. But it took a lot of persistence, a lot of pivoting all the time in the space. I mean, we're changing our ingredient decks all the time, even though there's no regulation and there's no requirements. You just want to constantly be on the right side of what you think is going to be the regulation, if that makes sense.
Speaker1: Yeah, that's so interesting. And I think that's something that is really important for entrepreneurs who are interested in potentially moving into that space to be aware of before they jump in. I want to kind of back step a little bit to when you launched the brand and what you were doing in the lead up to generate hype and you'll go to market strategy when you were launching the skincare side of things.
Speaker2: Rather, I wish I could say I had a formal go to market strategy, like a product launch strategy. That's funny. So I'm a creative at heart and so. The business side of things is been it's been fascinating for me, I would say I have learned more in the last couple of years of my life that I learned in my college education or high school education combined. It's fascinating. I wish that they taught us entrepreneurial classes when we were in high school or college, like, here's a product and you're going to spend the whole semester learning how to monetize your business. And it would be so informative much more than just like our calculus or something like that. But anyway, I didn't know. So I surrounded myself with some I had a couple of older gentleman mentors that I intentionally had as part of my life to bounce ideas off of. And I would talk to them quite a bit about that. But when it came to social media and me wanting to use that, they, of course, had no idea it was some business advice that they were like this social media thing is so strange they could not understand how a lot of people are monetizing that. And my whole goal was to make it as direct to consumer as possible. I really wasn't caught up in getting it into a retailer. I got distracted with that for a little bit. But it was more this is a crazy world that we live in and a great way that we're able to use the social media platform and reach customers that way. So truthfully, my plan was always I started pulling back on endorsement's. I was doing personally on the radio show.
Speaker2: Right. I would never put my name on something for many years leading up to this to sell every teeth whiteners, skinny t whatever kind of this trash was getting sold through influencers or through endorsements. I said no to everything because I wanted people to know that anything I put my name on was important. So that was a personal branding decision I did for myself, that people are not going to believe me if I sell everything that came my way with my platform. So that was that was very intentional on my part, much to the dismay of the people that ran the radio show and did sales. And then and then I started taking people behind the scenes and I wasn't sure if that was the right PR move. I obviously didn't have a PR team at the time, but I thought and now more than ever, and I'm glad I did it this way, I took my customer, my hopeful potential customer, I should say, behind the scenes of what I was doing. So I would take them into the lab on my social media. I would show them I wouldn't give everything away. Right. Like not what exactly I was making that I wanted to kind of wait on that. But I would show them, like, the bottles coming down the line or that I was in the lab wearing my hat to cover my hair in a laboratory. You know, I'm working on something I'm picking out since or whatever it was. And so they seem to get kind of excited. What is going to working out? What is she making? This is cool. This is a beauty lab. What's going on?
Speaker1: Rallying, rallying the troops.
Speaker2: So I want to that's what I was doing because I didn't have a whole lot of other stuff to show them to market know. I made some merch, like some sweatshirts and some hats with the logo because I wanted to create a sense of brand awareness. I think that's what's hard when you have a product and not a clothing line or something. Right. The branding, the little more difficult there because you want that awareness, but you're not always going to get that awareness unless people see someone. It was very cool to have a moment where I'd have someone reach out to me with a photo of a stranger. We finish in the wild like someone's on an airplane wearing the hat or wearing the sweatshirt. And so that was intentional. I think a lot more than people realize that I wasn't trying to get into the apparel business, but even now, we still kind of roll out with limited edition pieces of merchandise here and there because you want people to have that kind of brand loyalty, still fashionable but affordable. And just the way that they're wearing it, showing their love for the brand with the cool logo. And so I could recommend that enough to all brands, no matter what kind of product you're selling, especially if it's not clothing, to make items that your customer would like to carry around with them from coffee mugs and water bottles and things like that, because you're getting that brand recognition.
Speaker1: That's so interesting. I totally agree. I love some good much love attracts it. So you launch it's primarily through social media channels. That's how you've generated the hype. What was the launch like? Was it more than you expected, less than you expected? Are you able to share any kind of numbers or the impact that you were seeing after launch?
Speaker2: Yeah, it was great. I mean, I remember I had Shopify has this great feature that you can have like a touching noise. So when you make a sale, it goes to things. So of course, I had to turn that off, but I told myself I was going to leave that on for a while. So I remember when I went live, I had it on my phone so I could just hear the thing. I sold like thirty bottles the first day or something. I was really excited about that. But then people kept buying it and I was like, why are they buying it? I mean, I show them make up skincare routine, things like that. I definitely made an effort to show more natural skin photos over that. But let me tell you this. I didn't have any employees at the time other than a fulfillment center with a couple of guys who I still use this fulfillment center. I love them. And they helped me quite a bit with the back end stuff as well. But I didn't have anyone working for me. So here I'm just posting it and sharing. And I had a website, of course, that was. Well done. And so just doing some blog posts there, but yes, so I ended up selling out of those ones, I kept selling them and I only had a thousand of each. I think that took maybe just a couple of weeks. And that was pretty exciting for me. I couldn't believe it. And then I was hopeful that people would like it. Right, because then there's always that element of what if they hate it or what do you need them to buy again? Yeah, so so, of course, you know, the great thing about that was that then I had a little more cash, right? I mean, the products are still pretty affordable, but I had a little more cash and so I could turn around right away.
Speaker2: And I have a full time job on the radio, which I kept for a while. That would be another piece of advice I would have for women. If you can kind of manage. I mean, I, I juggle the two jobs for too long, two and a half years. I was drowning and dying. However, I was able to put all my money back into the business because I had salary over here. I didn't take any money from the company. I put it all back into products. And I'm telling you, a month after the first customers receive that and I had placed another order, which I had to wait about 12 weeks or so, that was a hard period of time to get that filled. However, people started writing me, saying, oh my gosh, this product is amazing. I'm not only not red, but stuff that I hadn't dealt with and with my small group of friends and family that I had testing the products before I launched them. But from eczema and psoriasis and things or cystic acne, things that I fortunately wasn't dealing with at the time, I had no idea it wasn't my intention that my product was going to help heal some of that. Of course, I can't legally say that it does either. Right now, you're not allowed to say that, but to know that that's what was happening with the customers and then they're telling friends and that sort of thing. It was very, very cool. And I went, oh, that was the moment for me that I went, oh, my gosh, this is really legit. And I might have something greater than I thought on my hands
Speaker1: Onto something special. It sounds like I read that you grew significantly from twenty nineteen to twenty twenty. And when you think back about that last two year period, what do you attribute that growth and success to? And what's really working for you in marketing now, in acquiring new customers
Speaker2: Before and after photos have been really pivotal. Unfortunately you can't buy ads with before and after photos. The weight loss industry kind of ruined that. So you can't buy ads online. We haven't spent a whole lot of money on marketing this year. Twenty, twenty one. We're planning on doing more of an ad budget, on podcast, things like that. But I would say it was the word of mouth for sure. It was the word of mouth. We also did a lot of things that weren't as traditional. So I'm not I guess I should say, even now, we do content that we offer free workout video content and recipes. And we have a lot of other people guest here on the Instagram to do workouts. And so those kinds of collaborations have really facilitated growth for us in a more organic way. So that was great to see. So that's part of it. I would say just that organic growth, word of mouth and offering content that isn't just shoving product down people's throats, you know what I mean? That our poster, sometimes they're just informative or blog post about different ingredients and not buy this in every single Instagram post. It's more personality driven and kind of user generated content that's worked really well for us. Additionally, I would say growing the SKU line, we noticed I don't know how detailed you want me to get, but it's been fascinating that I went with those two scoops.
Speaker2: And then for me, it was important to look at the space and do my market research and realize that a lot of these other CBD brands and more and more pop up every day, whether it's the brand is not good and the ones that do have good branding, they don't have nearly as many excuse as we do. And so I realize that when we doubled our SKU count from when we went from, I would say like six to I think we finished last year at thirteen and this year we're adding another thirteen and twenty twenty. So we realize that our average cart order went up from it used to be about fifty four dollars I think in early twenty nineteen and by the third quarter of twenty nineteen our average order went up to about seventy four dollars so it increased by twenty dollars. And now I know there's a tipping point there. Right. Like you're not going to have an average order of more than one hundred dollars probably all the time, especially when your products are really moderately priced. But the fascinating thing is I can only attribute that to adding more skewes because then you give more people I mean, hey, you may personally not have any interest in the ice cream, right.
Speaker2: But you may have a pet that you're obsessed with and we offer some pet products. Right. And so you only come to us to buy those, but then maybe you need to get a gift. So you're going to throw something else in there for a friend. And so things like that have worked really well for us as well as gift sets. And also kind of these we pivoted during covid. And when that happened, we happen to have a lot of these fun promo items. I have always told my teammates they're important to me that we keep. On items that we could throw in customers orders, right? So we started focusing on that direct to consumer experience even more. And so I have anything from things we haven't released yet, but if so, people can be excited, you know, from very cool kind of the combs to hair ties and scrunches to ice roller globes that we're about to offer. And they Shaver's and tweezers and grooming tools. Right. And so that proved to be huge for us because we started offering these cool, clear bags called a self hÉireann team set right when we all got locked down and we threw a bunch of stuff in there and it was I think we priced that set at ninety five dollars.
Speaker2: I hated that. Right. Because everything that we sell is under one hundred. I mean unless it's a set of everything right now, but it's under a hundred dollars. That was very important to me. I knew my customer, I knew my customer well from being on the radio. I knew who they were. I knew where they lived. I knew this woman was not going to sit here and spend a ton of money on products. So I didn't want to price them out. And I was worried right. About that price point. So I think we we made five hundred of them or something like that, 500 or 600 of them, just because that's all we had in terms of the promotional items we sold out of them in twenty hours. And that was interesting for me to sell something that was ninety five dollars so quickly. It was exciting. It was exciting. But we learned a lot from that. Right. I mean, we learned how important it is to include freebies for big orders, how much customers love little things from stickers to good tippers. Just open up a box and feel that they don't know. It's just it was very interesting for us and it taught us a lot and something that we've continued doing.
Speaker1: Yeah. Gosh, I even think about my own behavior as a consumer. If I open something and there is an additional surprise and delight moment, I'm automatically like, oh, I feel good. And so it just makes so much sense to do that kind of stuff because, you know, as a shopper that you love it yourself. And so I can see how that kind of thing really works for you and is successful.
Speaker2: It's funny, isn't it, that I always joke with my team, but I think maybe it's women, maybe it's people in general and people of freebies, and it's just fascinating consumer behavior. It really is that we've started doing a lot of things that have worked really well. I'm giving away all of our secrets, but we did Trick or Treat promo that I really wasn't sure how this would work. But we happen to have all these gift cards right, that we're laying around from when we used to do in-person events so they would have ten dollars on them or different prices, but we would sometimes give them out at events. But, of course, you know, we haven't been doing any kind of activations like that. So I thought, oh, my gosh, we have thousands and thousands of these Finnish phones cards sitting around. How are we going to use these? One of the girls on my team was like instead of doing I love Halloween, by the way, but how about we do a trick or treat promotion that every order placed in a certain period of time gets something like they went trick or treating, so they get a free. We decided to do a free, full size mystery product so they didn't get to choose or the ten dollar funds.
Speaker2: And I was like, I don't know if this is going to generate a lot of orders. And oh my gosh, that was one of our best weeks of the year, which was before holiday. Right in the beauty space, you always are trying to think January is normally not a great time. And how can you generate more without doing a sale? Because you don't want to train your customer to only purchase items. That's the danger. And having sales like you can up sales all the time. But how do you do these promotions? And it just knocked it out of the park for us. I mean, that's going to become something that we do every year. Is this trick or treat with a mystery product? It's a great way to get rid of some inventory, especially in a category that you have a lot of before the end of the year from a business perspective. And I thought, oh, gosh, I mean, how much is this costing us? But this is stuff we already had. It was inventory. So it was really amazing. It's amazing that how much customers love, surprise,
Speaker1: Love that, love that. You can add that to the calendar for this year. You mentioned different categories and you included the pet category recently. Can you talk a little bit about that and potentially what the future looks like with all the new additions that you're going to be adding if you're able to share?
Speaker2: Sure, I can. I'm very open. I think being transparent about stuff without giving too much away, of course, is great. And and I wish I was twenty four months out on product development. I have learned recently from interviewing some people to work here that have worked at other beauty brands that I feel are probably way bigger than ours, that they're so far out in product development and so good thing for us that we can pivot with the trends a little more quickly when we're only about ten months out and product development. So that's a good thing not being two years out. But that's interesting. You know, when you talk to consumer, you have a lot of mobility there, I think, because as strange as it is, I think with big brands, they go, well, that doesn't fit our space. But so fascinating because it's not just beauty, right? It's not just topical outer beauty. It's inner as well. And it could be great for men or kids. And there's so many elements there. And of course, the space, our pet space, has it taken off quite the way that I had maybe hoped that it would. Granted, I haven't pushed it as much. It wasn't also a goal to get into some big pet chains or something like that. So I didn't have to order a ton of inventory. Now, the people that have ordered it, people love their pets. I was motivated mainly because I know CBT is wonderful for pets and some of the studies that you read about pets and their tumors and their joints. And I think anyone that has a pet, they would tell their own arm to keep their pet alive.
Speaker2: We care so deeply about our pets and the market shows that people are spending a ton of money on their pets way more than they ever used to from I mean, I think my dog better food. I think that I have the time. I buy them that farmer's dog food like that fresh food that comes. I have the Thol and they're obsessed with it and it's working great for them. And so anyway, we spent a lot of money on it, but it's been interesting to offer more products and we do have some customers that don't buy anything but the pet from us. And it says a lot, you know, that they don't care about their own skin, but they care about their pet. And I just thought if is effective, why wouldn't we create some products for that need to? And I figure it'll take off or maybe it won't. And maybe as we grow, we'll discontinue that part of the line. But it's holding OK. And if you have something that can make a little bit of money like merchandise, right. Cut it from your business, it just may not be the big money maker for you. Got it. Going forward, we are sticking with skin care. There's obviously I think that is the bread and butter of the business. There's so many other products out there that I want from a toner. I can say that we're working on that. A toner, I think, is really critical to kind of skin care regimen, especially if we can start creating sets of products for customers on subscription, that we have a fabulous space wash and two different kinds of moisturizer.
Speaker2: But if I could start offering more to complete your regimen, that's a goal for me. So if you think about other products we have, like in the hair space that have become really good sellers for us other products. There, that would be more personal care items that people could use regularly and sell an asset, that's where the business is headed for me. I believe that's something that customers like the convenience of and being able to just reorder Amazon's ruined all of us, just having stuff on priv, having stuff that we can just hit a button and reorder stuff and subscribe and save that sort of thing. So that's where my head's at there as well as some more. You know, I can't really say that prescription level, but I believe that's the part of the business for me that is going to be really important on the back end of things is coming up with products because I'm such a firm believer in CBT. So the pain cream element, we're working on a tool which does not have CBT, of course, but it's a tool that I can't say too much about, but a really innovative tool that I think if you can come up with some other things to go along with your products that also aren't CBD, it gives us something great to market that you use in conjunction with the products. And so that's something we're excited about as well.
Speaker1: Very exciting. I'll keep my eyes peeled for it and cheering you on from the sidelines. What advice do you have for women who have a big idea and want to start their own business?
Speaker2: I don't know if this is nerdy sounding, but I read a lot. I read a lot. I mean, I go through phases, of course, but at the time I read a lot. I mean, books from business one on one to, you know, maybe there's other founders. It's like you someone told me you don't have to know your mentor. Right. You don't have to know them personally and get to go to lunch with them all the time. I think it's important that you surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. That's something I've always tried to do in my life. I also tell women I think we're inundated with a lot of people on social media. When you follow accounts that you're like, I'm never going to be that or I'm never going to achieve that level of success so it can really get to discourage. So I went through a period of time where I just I do this pretty regularly. I follow anything that doesn't make me feel good. I also really edited down my own social circle to those only that I felt stimulated by.
Speaker2: I've never been one to surround myself with people, people that are just like great and great. You look great. Everything's great. Everything you do is great. No, no, just that's the worst thing you can do for yourself is just surround yourself with cheerleaders. Now, you want people that support your dreams, right? You don't want to surround yourself with people that are going to be jealous because that's going to happen a lot. You know, you're going to lose a lot of friends as you get more successful. There's something about women. Women are hard on other women don't always cheer them on. But I just think that for me, it was a combination of educating myself, surrounding myself with people that maybe socially I didn't hang out with before. Right. But this isn't what that's about, right? You want to take business lunches or just connect with more like minded women in your space or people that can help you just have more intelligent discussions about your ideas and maybe help shape that. So those are a couple of pieces of advice that I would recommend.
Speaker1: That's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. We are up to the six quick questions and some of them we might have covered a little bit, but we're going to do it again anyway. OK, number one. All right. Is what's your why why do you do what you do?
Speaker2: Tohil. The heel, not me, my one has changed my business started as a side hustle, a creative outlet, right? I never could have envisioned that it would turn into what it's turned into. I mean, I think that's the beauty of that. But I started when I got some of those before and after. As we touched on earlier, a couple of them were really meaningful for me and really emotional from radiation burns, that sort of thing that the spray had healed and things that I just never, ever could have envisioned. I mean, I really thought, is this really happening? Is this really happening? And it completely changed everything I thought I was doing just for my own kind of selfish, creative side. Hustle into this is killing people and how do I get this to more people to believe in it? And so that became the purpose. And the white.
Speaker1: Wow, that's really powerful, that's definitely a mover for sure.
Speaker2: It is in
Speaker1: Question number two is what do you think's been the number one marketing moment that made your business, pop?
Speaker2: The before and after photos build, right, but I think the before and after photos, you can't you don't fake those, even though this girlfriend of mine was like, did you Photoshop this? It's amazing. I was like, I would never do that with business. Like, she couldn't even I mean, my own closest friends couldn't believe some of the results that we were getting because they were that unbelievable. But that's really done well for us. The before and after photos. I know I keep referencing them, but that customer testimonial is just unrivaled. No matter what you do. We can do photo shoots with models with pretty skin. And, you know, we've made a real effort and we've always been very inclusive of all of these things that are very crucial for brands these days. But I have to say that nothing does it, like someone's a regular person with serious issues that have hurt their confidence because of the skin care condition, that have a great story, really powerful. We actually did a campaign where we brought some of them in and the video testimonial and got them all done up. And I actually didn't stay in the room for them. I didn't want to put pressure on them. So I had a camera crew filmed them and asked some of the questions and oh my gosh, even the men that were filming were crying. And it was amazing because I think I guess you just don't realize how powerful skin issues and overcoming them and the confidence that is then associated with that really transformative. And so, yeah, I would say that's been the best marketing and it's just the kind of the results,
Speaker1: Totally significant impact. And I also think when you're saying that I'm like, you know, that kind of content, especially on social media, it's shareable. If you see that and you know that your friend has an issue or someone in your family and you're like, hey, look at this, this is a great idea or it's you that has the issue and you're like sharing it with someone else to be like, oh, my, oh, this looks amazing. Maybe I should try. It's it's really a shareable thing.
Speaker2: We've noticed we post before afters on Friday intentionally. This is kind of a business tip, I would say, no matter what business you're in. But when you Friday is good, I mean, at least here, because most people tend to get paid on Thursday night or Friday, we've noticed that trend. And so usually people are obviously going to pay all their bills, like that's what's going to come first. You know, you're going to pay whether it's rent or phone bill and things like that. You're going to make those payments and then you catch them when they still have some residual income, they're excited about spending. And so you hope that you get that. So we've noticed that doing the before and after photos, when they're sharing with people, that that generates a lot more motivation to purchase right around the weekend.
Speaker1: Oh, gosh. Interesting. Tim, thank you so much for that great insight. Question number three is where do you hang out to get smarter? Earlier, you mentioned your big greeter. Are there any specific books that you have been reading lately? Any podcasts you absolutely recommend, newsletters that you subscribe to.
Speaker2: I said the golf course, and I know that that sounds really funny because I'm not that great of a golfer. But I found in my experience that that is a place where a lot of and as much as I'm a feminist, like, let's be honest, like the golf course is usually a man's place. However, it's a lot of men. I had a man in my life that I really respect. Right. That I've always kind of followed his business advice, just a personal friend that's older than me. And he was like, my best deals have been made on the golf course because men are really relaxed and then they're just kind of shooting the blank around with one another and they'll just broker these deals. So I always said, I want to learn to play golf. And friends used to tease me and go, why do you just want to marry a rich man? I was like, No, I want to be a rich man, marry a rich man. I want to learn how to be a rich man. And if you actually take some lessons and you learn how to play a little bit of golf, you're going to be privy to these conversations that at first you're kind of over your head, but then you kind of start understanding how it works. So that is one tip. And I know that's not attainable for everyone, but it is fascinating. If you can kind of get yourself out to play golf with some people. It's a really nice, relaxed kind of conversation where you can ask a lot of questions about business and they're away from their phones. People are just stuck out there to get away for a few hours.
Speaker2: So it is a really great tip. And I've learned a lot on the golf course. But when it comes to things that are a little more tangible, I loved that podcast, how I built this. That was great. And there's so many different. Of course, I kind of gravitated to all the there was like beauty ones and startup ones. Right. I find those really fascinating. But I love hearing about failures. Right. I think most people like hearing about failure. You learn so much more from failure than success. And I know that's a really trite expression, but I love listening to the podcast and hear founders talk about where they were. I also just in the last year, read both the ride of a lifetime. The former CEO of Disney and how he started that book is absolutely amazing. I love that book. I think Bill Gates on his list was recommending that Bob Iger book and then as well as the shoe dog, the Nike founder Phil Knight story. That book is awesome. I listened to the audio book, but I love books like that because it's so fascinating to be what Nike is now. And you think I'll never be something like that. I'm sure I old, but it's still fascinating. The. How many failures and almost complete bankruptcies they had as a company, and I think that that gives you motivation because you realize, wow, I mean, it wasn't just a hit from the start. They grinded it out for like more than a decade and changed the name before it even got any traction. And that can be really encouraging to hear the real kind of back story about how businesses were created.
Speaker1: And I think as well, the other thing is like we all start at the same place. We all start with an idea, and it's about taking the steps and just showing up every day and doing one thing off to the other to build the business. And then in 10 years time talk and you're like, yeah, it's because I did all those little steps I
Speaker2: Got that it's so true. It is literally one foot head down, one foot in front of the other. Try and find ways to block out the noise. Don't get on social media. Don't look at other people that are doing what you do. I think that's dangerous, too. Like if you have a jewelry business, like you don't need to be following all the other jewelry businesses that are a few steps ahead of you necessarily. You need to you need to just kind of stay in your own world and follow other competitive kind of creative outlets that inspire you, because that can get dangerous when you're constantly comparing your business to someone else's. It's like, no, just trust your gut, keep your head down and just keep going.
Speaker1: Absolutely. Question number four is how do you win the day? And that's around your AMPM rituals that keep you feeling happy and motivated and productive and successful.
Speaker2: I got to say, I wish I had a better answer for this one, this one's hard for me because I am so I am just not a linear person. I'm a creative person. So I have a real struggle with consistency. I say I want to get up and stretch and exercise every day and I don't. But I've started to enjoy my mornings a little more that I don't have to get up at 4:00 a.m. and roll out of bed if you can carve out moments in your day to just relax a little bit. And so I will make coffee and I will read through my views. That actually relaxes me the most because I've never been able to do that. So instead of just checking emails right out of the gate, texting and looking at our sales or something, I don't do that. I'll make coffee and I walk my dog and I read the news, see what's going on in the world and just kind of carve out a moment like that. That's something that I do. I started taking Spanish lessons and I'm taking them almost every other day. I'm engaged to someone from Mexico City and they speak Spanish all day on the phone. It drives me crazy that I don't know what he's saying.
Speaker2: So but that's something that I procrastinated because I think that a lot of times we tell ourselves, no, I don't have the time. There's really a lot of truth and we all make time for the things that we want to do, even if it's just five minutes of applying yourself for five minutes of stretching or whatever it is. So you don't make the time to call my mom. And those are moments in the day where I really just try to disconnect from the stressors and it's distraction, right? Like, let's be honest, some of these referrals are distraction from everything else that's so hectic. So and I've learned that that's OK. I'm going to be a better person and a better version of myself. Even when I come back here in my office and spend an hour, three or four times a week doing a virtual Spanish lesson. But I think that when you spend time on hobbies, I guess you could say they are when it is reading or hobbies, it is growing yourself as a person. Right. You are going to be a better manager of people. You are going to be a better version of yourself. So you might function better in the work day when you spend the time to do those things
Speaker1: Totally and just be more fulfilled and content with your your own accomplishments for sure. Question number five is if you only had a thousand dollars left in your business bank account, where would you spend it
Speaker2: In a free gift with purchase promotion? That is just like an expression of how well that's worked for us as a business, that that's something that we're actually starting to put in little freebies. Looks like almost every single order because it's just work that incredibly well to grow and drive sales for us. So, yeah, I would spend it on a cool promotion like that.
Speaker1: Amazing. And last question. Question number six is how do you deal with failure?
Speaker2: Drink some wine. No transparency, transparency has become really important that we actually just had this conversation amongst us yesterday. Granted, I only have two full time female employees right now. I outsource everything else, which is another great tip. But we've had a few issues, right? I mean, we had a product that came out not to our liking after we approved it. We had already started selling it. It just was like a little grainy at our little game that we have. And it was just you think it's the end of the world. But we decided to be honest about it. We pulled it from the market, the few thousand people that had already ordered it. We turned around and sent. Then once it got done, a free one. Right. And so those are the things that we say more transparent about them. And we had a conversation about reviews. A lot of brands will only post really positive reviews. And so I went through I was going to make a decision that we post all the reviews. I mean, unless they're really defamatory and crummy and or Bulleen. Right. We don't need that. But if there is value in educational moments there, I think that people care very heavily about who's behind the brand, what's going into this. And are you honest? You don't want to be dishonest about things. There's been PR spin here and there, but at the same time, it's like, let's just be honest about the struggle, about creating a business.
Speaker2: I think people care more and become more loyal. You kind of create this sense of respect when you're just honest about a problem or something that happened. And so that's just kind of the approach I've decided to take with failure on the personal side of things. Yeah, I have to find ways to kind of vent my significant other or just have good people to bounce things off of that. Yeah, it's just for me it's how quickly can you bounce back if you drone on and on about every failure, you're not going to get anywhere. You just have to wake up the next day and and get over it. I watch the Tiger Woods documentary last night, which is funny. And it just made me think I didn't realize that this is how important it is even when you're not a professional athlete, but you're running a business. And they said the mark of a really good golfer is someone that's able to have a really bad nine holes or a really bad shot and the psychology of immediately kind of putting that behind them and being able to get on on the next hole like it's a whole new thing because can really mess up the mind, of course. Right. When you have a failure like that or a product that you get worried about the business. So the quicker you can bounce back from the failure and be honest with customer about it, I think that that will lead to more success.
Speaker1: I love that. That's a great line to draw comparison to on the athlete side of things. I just wanted to ask you quickly before we wrap up, you mentioned that you outsource a lot of things to whoever and you have two people on your team. Can you tell me who are the two people on your team in terms of what roles they are and what are the kinds of things you outsource?
Speaker2: It's marketing, I mean, this is this is what we are, I think you realize scaling has been really difficult for me. I think maybe it's hard, right, when you go from doing everything yourself to delegating and actually taking the time to train people. So they're younger girls, ones that are mid twenties, late twenties. And so they're marketing really. One does more of our newsletter and kind of ingredient specialists. Right. And so she's working on more of the copy in the writing part of things, the product pages on the website and a lot of interacting with customers or any issues where she can write and educate. And then the other one's much more manages the social media and any kind of retail partnerships we have, that sort of thing. So we were a lot of help there, obviously, at the start of an interview. And to hire someone else to help us kind of with grand strategy and that sort of thing. I believe in young people. I went to young people get a bad rap for not being motivated or being very kind of taking anything for granted. But it's been fun to have young people because I was young and really motivated. That being said, I found it. I don't know if this was interesting. I even know this existed at the time. But I started drowning in the day to day of inventory management and pillows and the placing orders and all of that, that when that started getting out of hand for me, I found myself not creating anymore. And what my skill is, is kind of doing the tutorial videos and the creative content and being interactive with the customer and also planning for the future, the bigger picture.
Speaker2: And so when you start drowning in the day to day, someone that I listen to, another founder who was really successful was like, you got to hire people to do the things that you don't want to do that you're not good at. And for me, that was definitely like the accounting and the management of inventory. I really needed a CEO and so I found recommended by my mentor, a consulting firm. And so what I get with that consulting firm is so they manage that. They work with my fullfillment team that I pay Baphomet to with my warehouse of product, but they help me project with the orders and do all of that. But by paying what would really be like a good salary of to a CEO, I'm getting really poor people working full time because I'm getting that consulting firm, the person that's kind of the status quo. I'm also getting the accountant, someone doing inventory management. I'm getting a lot of those operational roles out of that consulting firm. And I've heard that that's a really good approach to take when you don't have the money to salary a CFO at that kind of higher level. If you can find a consulting firm, they come in and they help you scale, they'll help you kind of grow and structure some of those roles. And then when it comes time to hire, some bring on a full time, whether it's accountant or a CFO, then you kind of know that role. It's more defined.
Speaker1: That's so interesting. What a great tip. Thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show today and share so much candidly and what it's really like running a business and building finish.
Speaker2: I hope it was informative and I apologize. I know I talk so much. That's what I get from being on the radio for thirteen years.
Speaker1: I love to chat. I love someone that loves to chat. Great for me.
Speaker2: Oh, good, good, good.