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Contour Cube™’s Sarah Forrai sold 20k worth of product after her TikTok viral video (6M views!)

Today we are learning from Sarah Forrai, the female founder of Contour Cube™ which you might be familiar with on TikTok.

From 3D printed prototype to sell out success the revolutionary facial icing product Contour Cube is now TikTok famous having been viewed by over 25M people, gaining a global customer base and a following of over 150K. The Australian designed Contour Cube™ is a facial icing tool that has been uniquely designed to sculpt your face, de-puff eye bags and address your facial skincare needs from breakouts to fine lines.

We’re talking through her launch where she generated 20k and sold out of her products, how she’s capitalising on her TikTok strategy and what she’s doing when it comes to copycats.

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

Sarah welcome to the female startup club podcast. Hey, so happy to be here.

00:03:26Edit How are you? I am good, but I'm sure I'm not as good as you, you were just telling me some really great news from where you are. Yes, it's finally freedom day here in Australia. So we're finally out of lockdown, it's been 100 and two days, so I'm very excited to get my hair done, get my nails done, get everything done, drink shopping at it all to the list. Oh God, I remember the day here where we came out of lockdown and it was just such a vibe, you know everywhere in Soho was absolutely crazy, but everyone obviously took it too far as well. I remember walking around being like, whoa are we in bali Yeah, no, definitely feeling the good vibes. I'm really excited to get back into the gym and not go on a walk anything but going to walk or a picnic. Oh my God, totally, I know those fields, I know them so well, well I'm excited to have caught you before, you're back into the real world on your last evening in.

00:04:28 I'm very excited to talk about your brand contour cube. We've had you on instagram live before sharing a little bit of your story last year, I think, I think it was or was it this year? I can't remember, it was a while ago, but anyway, I'm excited to hear the updates. I'm excited to dig in again. Where do you want to start? I want to start with? Like actually let's start with your elevator pitch when someone asks you what you do and like what your business is, What do you tell them? I tell them that contour cube is a facial icing tool for healthy glowing skin. And I always say, you know, don't you hate using slippery ice cubes with your hands because it's messy, you know, it's slippery, it makes your hands really cold. So don't you want something that can easily grip the eyes, I can actually fit the contours of your face and that you can easily use for at least up to a week instead of having to like change the ice cube tray and what not. And yeah, you want something that could easily fit into your skincare routine and make facial icing that much easier.

00:05:36 Great sales pitch. Yeah, well that's how it all kind of started I guess. Well let's go into that. Let's go back to the beginning of when you started having these, I mean because you were working on a different brand at the time, Sammy's hand sanitizer, but at some point there's a rumbling of something else. Let's go back to your early early thoughts and ideas. So basically, um all kind of came about because my mom absolutely loves facial icing. She basically swears by facial icing and she sort of asked, like, just told me about it and wanted me to get into it and she's like read up on all its benefits, it's so good for, you know, de puffing your skin. It's so good for treating acne, it just adds like general radiance, like just go do it now. And I was like okay cool, I'm gonna incorporate it into my skincare routine. So I basically grabbed, you know, an ice cube out of an ice tray and started, I see my face in the mornings and basically quickly quickly realized how annoying the whole process is. It's awkward, it's slippery, it's messy.

00:06:39 And I actually suffer from something called a ray notes phenomenon, which means that my fingers and my toes and basically my extremities are really sensitive to the cold. So that was kind of like another reason why I don't want to hold an ice cube because cold things trigger it if I hold a glass of like coke, a coke bottle or anything that would trigger it as well. So I kind of really wanted something that would protect my hands from being cold. Um So I jumped on google and I was like, okay, surely there's a product out there that will help me fix this problem and surely enough, there was nothing out there. So I quickly sort of put pen to paper straight away and I was like, I need to design this. Like I need to make this now. Like how is this not a thing. Uh So I basically started designing um I come from a graphic design background myself. Um So I kind of was drawing different kind of prototypes and my pa Partner Louis actually has a three D printer. So we actually were able to start three D printing um different prototypes in, you know the comfort of our own home.

00:07:48 And within like a couple of hours we already had like a three D. Printed prototype in our hands, which was just crazy. That is so insane. Yeah, it's very cool. And yeah, from there, I was like once we were happy with the shape, like it took a couple of months for us to really kind of um finalize what we were happy with. Um I was like okay, cool, I'm happy with this and happy with the logo, let's sort of finalize the color palette, you know, final touches like the heart shaped hole, that kind of thing. And then we kind of just brought the product life with like a first batch of contour cubes just to test out the market because we were really sure like how is this, is there going to be a demand for this product? Like what people need this, what people want this. And I gave the first one obviously to my mom. Um and she absolutely loved it. She swears by, she uses it every day and I was like cool, she's my guinea pig, she's into it, This is gonna work if it's got mum seal of approval. It's good. Exactly, exactly. And then from there, I was like, okay, cool, I'm gonna launch this on Tiktok and see what happens amazing before we get into the launch and the pre launch kind of selling that first batch just to rewind a bit when you're talking about the three D.

00:09:01 Design and you designed it and you did the logo and all that kind of stuff, is it fair to assume that your costs were pretty low in that sense of there wasn't a lot of capital that you needed to invest to do any of that. And if you were ordering kind of a small batch for the first test run, what was the kind of capital you needed for that? You kind of were able to do it quite lean. It sounds like, yeah, so obviously like I come from a design background so kind of like all the design and you know, web design, logo design, the actual product design and everything. We pretty much had down packed and that's kind of where our strengths really lie. It's just like the production of products and the branding. So that's kind of just to take it back. I actually started off in a design agency. So like my career started off in the design agency and then from there I kind of was surrounded by a lot of designers from all over the world and really picked up on their style and and learned a lot about branding in that space.

00:10:02 And then from there I started working for a production agency so that was literally like bringing products to life, working really closely with creative agencies, so like your Ogilvy's acclaim. NGO groups, Saatchi and Saatchi, they would come to us and come to us with a crazy idea and be like, I want to make this and we were the type of production agency that could make anything. So that was kind of my background to where I am today. I actually worked for a large online retailer. So when I look in hindsight, it's like I learned how to brand the product, I learned how to bring it to life and now I'm kind of learning how to sell it online, the e commerce side, you know, promotions and that kind of thing and yet investing and finding a manufacturer that can do a small batch, say a couple of 100 rather than, you know, needing an Mq of like hundreds of thousands is really great to find. How did you find yours? I definitely just jumped on google, jumped on different kind of supply of platforms and just kind of spoke to quite a few.

00:11:05 Um It's I like to speak to maybe like 5 to 10 supplies. They kind of just suss them out of it. It's like how good the communication, how quickly can they turn around things. Um Yeah, what is the communication like are they fast? So yeah, I had to like speak to quite a few and and kind of starts out that kind of thing. And yeah, if they had minimum order quantities and what their capabilities are. Mm Okay. Got it. And I know that you went through the process of patenting your trademarking. Did you patent as well? Yeah. Well the patents pending at the moment. Right, okay. But we did obviously protect the design aspect of it. So the design is protected and the trademarking, the name is protected. So I first trademarked in Australia um and then I could trademark like globally through the W. I. P. O. Which is quite, very surprisingly easy. You kind of like do it all online? Oh, really? Yeah. So because I trademarked in Australia, I had a priority date.

00:12:10 So that's like I was in first, I was in a priority and I can date back to that priority when I apply for other countries. So I apply to literally all around the world. Um and you know, it takes a while for that to be approved and what not, but this like coming in in batches. So we've got quite a few approved ones around the world already. Okay, right. And did you have to do that before you were kind of launching and showing the, showing the brand essentially or did you need to keep everything like secret. How did it work in those early days in terms of trade marking? I kind of did it as soon as we started to gain a lot of traction, I was like, okay, this product is doing pretty well. I'm trademarking now and you do want to protect yourself early before, before anybody jumps on the bandwagon. And definitely with the design as well, you need to make sure that you do that before you kind of show it to the world. So make sure your design, like registrations and stuff are in place. Got it because and the reason why I ask is, so as you know, I'm developing the monarch wine brand, but I haven't like shared the name at all.

00:13:17 And we just, we just filed our trademark in the UK and once that kind of comes through, we're going to push that to the U. S. But I'm in this position of like, so can I share the name now or is it still kinda because what if it's four months, you know, until I get it back and then I'm like, but I want to start talking about it. What would you recommend? I would definitely protect it now and I would make sure you have your domain handles, your instagram handles our social handles. Yeah, we have all of that. We have that and we've registered the trademark. So now I'm kind of like, can we start talking about it? Yeah, definitely. I reckon if you, yeah, if you've definitely registered the mark, then I would I would start talking about it. Mm. Cool. Okay, so you did all that like early phase stuff. And then you had your small batch of, I guess a test run. Let's talk about the prelaunch phase and like what you were doing to get it ready to launch and bringing in Tiktok and things like that. So it was kind of a, like a not very planned launch to be honest.

00:14:20 So as you said, I had that Sandy business. So what we did was we actually launched the product on Sandy's dot com dot au at the time. We didn't have like a full website dedicated to contact you. Like we do now. And we basically, as soon as we got the batch, the first batch here, we actually got the packaging produced in Australia because it was only like, you know, just our sleeves that go around the product. And once, like, you know, we did the E commerce photography at home, um, with our light box that we have here. So all the E commerce photography, we do ourselves. Um, so we basically just got that already um, on the Sandy's website. And then I literally just launched my first Tiktok video explaining the product. So I was basically standing in the middle of my living room and just said, hey guys, I invented this product. It's called the contour cube. This is how you use it. And it was a really short video. It was like, Like 15 seconds long and I think it hit probably like 20,000 views.

00:15:22 But from just that video, I had already generated sales like me as a total random product? No one's ever seen before? Somehow converted some people to, to buy it like immediately like traffic straight to my website, which was insane. So it was like a signal to you that you were on to something because for Sonny's, you've been going for quite a while with Tiktok and you've been obviously hustling on that business to, was it different as in, were you like, oh okay. Like this is this just hit straight away? Yeah. Well with Sani, we, we had a video that did go viral but the problem, well it hit like 400,000 views and we had a lot of traffic to the website. But I think for san ease we were kind of limited because of the product. So because it was a hand sanitizing spray, we had limitations and restrictions and shipping it overseas. So we had like quite a lot of, yeah, like interesting people in America like on a website wanting to check out, but they couldn't because of the yeah, just the nature of the product, which was such a shame.

00:16:27 So I think that that's really what like hindered our growth with that specific product. So that's, that's the thing with contour cube, you can ship all around the world. You don't have to worry about the ingredient that's in it because it's just like the packaging itself. So um, yeah, that's kind of why it's so interesting. Are you still pursuing Sunny or have you completely pivoted and now you're just focused on contour cube at this stage. I've kind of pivoted and I focused all my energy pretty much on contour Q. Because that's what's really kicking off at the moment. We've separated the websites as well because we're like, we don't want the confusion of people trying to check out a contour cube even though there were like a halo effect in sales of people wanting a contour cube and wanting to check out a Sandy. You can only do that in Australia. Um, so we didn't want the confusion of people trying to check out conduct you but then also trying to check out a sandy but not because they're overseas and that kind of thing. So we split the websites so its contours dot com and yeah, it's all focused on that one website and we definitely want to put our efforts back into sani and we will like get the website back to where it was, have it Sandy focused and whatnot.

00:17:38 But at this point in time it is very much Kentucky focused. Got it, got it, okay, so back to the launch, You sell out of your test batch then what happens, tell like paint the picture of what life is like when this is all going on. So what happened was, so that was the very first video that I posted. But it wasn't until like the third video that I posted that it really went viral. So I had posted a video about how I started my business and it was literally just sort of showcase in the product. I had a little demonstration of how to use it and then quickly showed, you know, this is the three d printer, this is the snapshot of the prototyping process I went through and then kind of was like, this is the final product, this is how I packaged it. And the 1st 100 units are available now. And I posted that before I went to bed and the next morning we completely sold out. The video hit. I think it was like half a million views or something.

00:18:40 And as I was refreshing it, it was like jumping up by the tens of thousands, just tens of thousands. It just kept going up and oh my God. Yeah, it was so surreal. There was there were like 500 comments. There were 80,000 likes, has been shared hundreds of times and it had like a massive effect on our following as well. So as you said, like we were seeing on sani like 5000 followers for like a while, but from that video we quickly jump from like 5000 to 25,000 and it just kept on going up and kept on going up, Wow and now you're like 150,000 and millions and millions of likes, which is just so cool. And your content is really like I really enjoy your content. It's so fun. And it's so tick tock, right? Like that. Yeah, the classic, like tick tock, you can just see why it does so well because it looks great. It sounds great. It's very fun. It's very upbeat. It's just very authentic. So like if it's, I've tried to do content where it's like user generated content and it seems a lot more kind of like direct marketing and that just really doesn't work on the platform.

00:19:45 So like you said, if it's just like being yourself and being real, it's what really works and that, yeah, works on Tiktok. That's so interesting. Okay, so you sell out of the 100 units, you obviously have probably a huge demand. There's probably people trying to check out. There's probably, you know, it's a bit of a nightmare, I can imagine because you're like, damn, what do you do next? So that's the thing, we were gonna be out of a pickle. If we knew that that was gonna happen of a pickle, we would have prepared for scale like a lot sooner. Um So in and amongst that time, basically we had to get on the tooling, like, let's get the tooling properly made because like what we had was like a handmade prototype and that could make like a certain number of units. But we wanted to like really build this suit to make hundreds and hundreds of units. So we quickly got onto the tooling and that does take some time. So it takes like 3-4 weeks. So we're looking at like probably a month till we get our hands on the actual product when you say tooling.

00:20:48 Sorry, what do you mean? Is that like a mold? Yeah, like a proper like metal mold, like for like mass production. Got it, okay, got it, got it, got it. So from there we're kind of like, well we've got all this momentum going. We kind of don't want to lose it. So let's like keep the momentum going because people want to see the products and I also want to get the name out there even though we don't have the product in our hands. So we're busy packing all the orders, you know, to ship out for the ones that we sold out in. And then in the meantime we continue to create Tiktok. So I was showing tick talks about, you know, the recipes how to use it and kept popping off. Like we kept popping off and I was like, this is great. But also is it because we want the product on the website. But um obviously, you know, it was still helping, you know, increase our follow account on instagram because they come to your Tiktok, they go to your instagram, they go to your website and another like big advantage was that they were signing up to our CDN.

00:21:52 So they were signing up to our email mailing list. So we were building up a massive email mailing list while, you know, um, we were getting the product made and then we started to open up our website for pre orders as well. So that was kind of our strategy to kind of Keep that momentum going. And I posted another video um, where I showed my mom because she was the inspiration um for the whole product and that hit like 6-6 million views. That is so crazy. So yeah, so it's kind of like our pre orders quickly kind of sold out as well. And then, yeah, obviously like a lot of pent up demand. So when we finally got our hands on the product, We sent out a medium to let everyone know, like we're back in stock and that's when we made $20,000 in the space of two weeks because like just a lot of pent up demand and just people waiting for the product, $20,000 is crazy because your price point is quite low.

00:22:57 I think at the time it was 20 something Australian dollars, which is like Maybe like $15 us 34 or 34 95. But that's a lot. That's a lot of sales to do Holy moly how cool. And did you sell out again then from that as well? Yeah, we sold out again in the second batch of the product. So that's the thing, it's kind of like, okay, we never want to be in this position again, like, you know, so that's when we started to be like, okay, let's make sure we've got more than one manufacturer, let's make sure that this, you know, we don't want to be in that position. Right? Gosh, it's like, it's bittersweet because of course it's a great position to be in having so much demand that you can't fulfill it, but it's also a terrible position to be in because then you can't keep making revenue. Yeah, exactly. Something we've learned that's key to entrepreneurial growth is a solid crm platform. Hubspot is the number one crm platform for growing and scaling businesses with a hubspot crm platform.

00:24:03 You have a purpose built solution that's tailored to your business and your business alone. We're super curious about all of the new tools and features they've rolled out this year. So here's a few that were really excited about business units allow you to confidently manage contacts, marketing and sales assets and settings across multiple brands, which means clearer insights to empower what's next new admin features like permissions templates and dr integration makes it easier than ever to add remove and edit users as needed and one of the features were most excited to try is sandboxes where all admins have access to a production like account, allowing them to test iterate and experiment with new, go to market strategies before going live, which is a total game changer, learn more about all of hubspot new features and how you can customize your Crm platform at hubspot dot com. Something I wanted to touch on and something I wanted to bring up to talk about was copycats. I was looking on google, I saw a few things that suggested, you have probably got some copycats in the works and I wanted to just talk a little bit about that, how you're dealing with it, what what it actually means to have copycats and especially around things like, you know, if you're going to patent and trademark and protect your brand, like you have, what it actually means financially when you've got copycats because obviously you're a small business, you've just started to be fighting copycats, I can only imagine is, you know, incredibly expensive.

00:25:36 What's the rundown on this? Yeah, so there are a few things like it's quite disheartening, I have to say to see, you know, people try to copy the product and I think I'm obviously very much open to competition and competition is great, but I think that when there's copying with kind of like no innovation whatsoever, like from the color palette to, you know, hash tagging the word contour q like that just feels like not that you can't actually do that, but in saying that like platforms like, you know, social platforms have been very supportive of small businesses like myself, so, you know, there are ways to protect yourself on like instagram and facebook, like you can file um like, you know, you've got a trademarks, you can upload your trademark to the platform, they'll review it and within a couple of hours, you know, they'll let you know that that content has been disabled, like they can't actually do that. Oh wow, that's amazing, I didn't know that. Yeah, it's really, really helpful and to be honest, it is quite tough, like it has had an effect on my mental health, you know, when you try so hard for something, you've made this thing from scratch and then to see something pop up that's very close to the design that you've created um is really, really tough to see.

00:26:56 But in saying that, like you said, like, you know, you have a trademark, you have a patent and that kind of thing, but people are getting really smart at, you know, tiptoeing around your patent, they know what, you know, you can just change something ever so slightly and they're no longer infringing on on your patent, like it's quite tough and like you said, it's only as useful to have that, if you have that, you know, financial backing to really then take somebody to court and have you tried to do that. Are you pursuing that angle or are you just having to literally just deal with it and try and kind of like send the emails and upload the trademarks to the platforms? Yeah. At this stage, I'm kind of just like not trying to put too much of my time into it because it's like really time consuming and you know, I think it's better to kind of just focus on your own thing and make your product you know, the best that it is, get your name out there. Um I think the fact that everyone's calling it a contour cube is because it's never been made before and nobody knows what else to call it.

00:28:01 So I mean I have to think of it in a positive light, you know, these are just, you know people who are flattered, I have to say, I mean it's it's flattering to be copied, but at the same time it is really difficult to see that happen and yeah, I mean it would be great too kind of see a little bit more creativity as well when it comes to, you know, if you're trying to do something different, like make it a little bit different to the original, but I mean it happens all the time, you know, it's it's unfortunately just kind of like human nature. Yeah, God, that is so, so annoying, so frustrating. I'm wondering if you had anyone in your life that had kind of given you advice on how to deal with this and when is the point that you have to take action? Like at what point do you have to be like, this is too far. Like now, now the line has been crossed From day one. Like my dad is a lawyer and he told me straight up, he's like, Sarah, this is a easy thing to copy.

00:29:03 Just expect this to happen. Like this is going to happen. Um, so I kind of get up for it. I just didn't expect it to happen so quickly. Like, this business is just so new. Like we launched in february this year and then to have copycats come around like six months later. Like that's pretty quick. So I think that obviously they're using their trademark like that they can't actually, people can't actually do that. So you can take action then and there. Um, you know, you've got your certificate of registration, they can't be calling it a trademark because you've trademarked, you know, for that specific product and for that name. So you can definitely start doing that pretty much straight away. And I think the real like, you know, no one can actually use my mold and you know, nobody knows like my actual materials that I've used and like the brand name itself, like, you know, that's what is like our biggest advantage. So, um, I think that you've just got to focus on building your brand and making it the best that it is. Yeah. Keeping up with those tick tocks. Yeah.

00:30:06Edit On that note of building the brand, Where are you today in terms of kind of obviously you've got Tiktok, it's hugely successful for you and you said you have an email database now, which I imagine is also a really great kind of revenue driver and channel for you. But what else are you doing to build out that brand when it comes to things like influences paid ads? You know, smS marketing, like all the other kind of retailers, all the other channels, what's the kind of ecosystem that you have at the moment and what's working besides Ticktock? So what's been working for a really long time was like you said, like we're so native to the Tiktok platform and just that organic reach from Tiktok was so beneficial from us from the very beginning that we didn't even need to do any paid ads. But um, obviously that can't last forever and the algorithm is constantly changing sometimes, you know, we don't really know what's what's changed and you know, what videos are gonna pop in that kind of thing. So we've definitely started to invest in Tiktok ads. And there's a really cool thing called spark ads where you can basically monetize the content that you currently got on your Tiktok.

00:31:13 So you basically just easily pushing one of the tick tock, say that's done really well and pushing that out as an ad. So that's been a really cool way to, I increase your engagement, drive traffic to the website as well. Um We've also started to um invest in obvious like facebook as an instagram ads and um also Pinterest ads but at this point in time, you know where I thought, you know an image say for instagram would do better than, you know, a video. It's not actually the case. Like pretty much every social media platform that we've got ads running on. It's really the videos that are performing really well and I'm I'm not sure if that's just kind of where we're all heading or because, you know, video is such a great way to actually showcase the contour cube itself. Like it's so easy to show somebody in a 15 2nd video. Although I do think though when you say, you know, maybe that's the way we're all going. I agree. I feel like even if I look at my own behavior, you know, I'm just so bored of instagram.

00:32:20 Like I just, you know, the pictures like polished straight pictures, like I actually don't use instagram anymore. I post on my own channel ish. Sometimes I check my D. M. S. But like if you looked at my consumption of the channel on a daily basis, I really am not on anymore. I'd say less than 20 minutes a day maybe even if that and I'm much more in detective because it's so much fun. It's so buzzy, like it's great. But I also just feel like flat images now that we're so our brain is so stimulated by video that it's hard to just have flat image, like it's just kind of boring to me agreed. So I really do feel like that's where things are going. And if you just, I always pay attention to the way that I'm behaving with platforms and like what my consumer behavior is, because I'm like, well, if I'm feeling there's other people are feeling this, and I think that's something really important to note when you're kind of like creating your ecosystem of content and where you're going to live on channels and how you're going to show up on these kind of platforms. So I totally agree. I think we're definitely like in the age of video only and you know, maybe even instagram will have to start changing the feed to be more, I don't know, maybe they'll just go straight to feed video.

00:33:32 I guess that's what they're doing with reels. Yeah. So yeah, that's another thing I'm doing kind of like repurposing my tic tac's and kind of re posted it on reels. But then again, you're kind of getting like double the audience, you got the audience or Tiktok you reposted on reality got even an even bigger audience of people on instagram so totally gosh how exciting. Well I'm so happy to have had you on the show to talk about this journey. I have a few more questions just before we jump into the six quick questions, which I wrap up every episode with. What do you think is your kind of best piece of advice for entrepreneurs who are innovating and creating something new in 2021. I would definitely say like start now, I wouldn't actually really strive for perfection. I would just say just go for it and then like you'll get that real time feedback from your customers, then you can fix and improve anything that you need to um and that learning curve will be a lot faster. I definitely definitely protect yourself as well where you can, especially if you're making something brand new, make sure you've got like your trademarks in place, any design registrations in place, just make sure you've got all that set in stone as well because there will be copycats, there will be copycats when there's a good idea out there and what's next for you?

00:34:53 Like what fun things do you want to shout about? What's on the horizon? What's what's cool that you want to kind of shout about? I guess we're just kind of expanding the range so I, I wish I could tell you more, but we are definitely expanding the range. Um we're looking at the whole ecosystem of like ice facials from start to finish. Um like we've launched our contour cloths recently which is basically like a protective layer between your skin and the actual contour cube. So it's like a cork, like cotton bamboo blend that you can use to obviously, you know, have a more gentle experience in your, when you're ice in your face and yeah, I guess we're just kind of growing the business. That's super exciting to see. Like obviously with all the growth that we've seen on Tiktok, we were able to get um stocked in urban outfitters. So that was like a huge milestone for us. Um and then more recently we launched an uncommon goods um in new york, which is really exciting. So congratulations. Thank you so much. Yeah, no, it's been really exciting to see like retailers like that kind of back of small business like us.

00:36:00 So hoping for for more of that, especially like at a local, like on a local scale as well in Australia. So yeah, that's kind of a sure. That's so exciting. God. Okay, six quick questions. We wrap up every episode with these, some of them, we might have covered some of them, we might not have, but I ask them all the same question. Number one is, what's your, why, why are you doing what you're doing? I feel like I've always loved the idea of having a business, like my mom could never get me to read fiction books. I just couldn't do it. But as soon as I had my hands on like a business book, I just couldn't put it down and I think it's because like I was so inspired by the people behind the business because it wasn't like, they were like, you know, like had a Harvard business degree or something. They were kind of just like you or me, they didn't know what they were doing, that kind of learned along the way. And it's not like they were like industry leaders. Um, so that's what kind of really inspires me to want to build something like of my own.

00:37:04 And I love the idea of like building something from nothing and kind of leaving that legacy behind, creating something that's a staple in people's lives and just something that makes people's lives easier and just solving that need is something that, you know, really kind of is something I'm passionate about. Absolutely. So cool Question number two is, what do you think has been the number one marketing moment that's made the business pop definitely a Tiktok video, particularly the wall with me and my mom just showing the inspiration behind the product. And you know, she's, she's pretty convinced that video is not going to go viral unless she's in it. So, um, so yeah, I mean, I would definitely recommend for any small business to jump on Tiktok because you never know what's gonna pop off and what's going to do well and, and it is easy because you can be authentic in front the camera, you don't need like all this equipment to set up. You can just literally film totally yeah, in your own home, in, in your living room and um, you never know who's gonna scroll and who's gonna see your video So totally.

00:38:11 And what I think about Tiktok is like a, every video has the opportunity to go viral, literally no matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter what the situation is. But it also shows me like, I feel people are getting into that vibe or that mode of like, oh, it's not gonna happen for me. Like Tiktok so saturated like, you know, but really when you have something new, when you have something different, if you have a really cool product, especially one that is, you know, bright colorful, like has those kind of like the recipe for success on Tiktok, anything can happen and you've just got to try and start putting yourself out there. And also, I think the other thing about it is like you've done a lot of videos. It's not just one video. You've persisted, persisted, persisted. And now your videos are all crazy. Like they all get views and all that kind of thing. But you were really hustling like from the very beginning there like multiple videos a day. And so it's like if you're actually trying, you can get somewhere 100% yeah, if it's relatable enough, if it's engaging enough and you know, if you're just scrolling through Tiktok and you end up watching a video from start to finish.

00:39:20 I would just say like, what is that video doing to make me watch this? And then you can, you can almost get inspired by other creators and, and see what they're doing and yeah, kind of get motivated by that totally. It's literally again, monitoring your own consumer behavior. Why are you watching that video and how can you make other people watch your videos? What's your hook totally. Question # three is where do you hang out to get smarter? What are you reading or listening to or subscribing to? Well, you know what Tiktok has been such a great place to like find all these like hacks and you know, it's, it's been such a great place just to help educate you and all sorts of things. And what I found myself doing recently is actually jumping on Tiktok lives on some sort of like on certain business owners that I follow, which is quite cool because it's almost like having like a one on one session with somebody that you never thought you'd be able to have a chat too.

00:40:23 That's cool. Yeah. So like, um, so like the owner of the Audi, we jumped on David David for cardio. So I think that's his name. Yeah, and that's cool. Yeah, that was quite cool. Like you, he was just open to questions. You can literally just jump on and like ask a question and you know, if they're lucky enough to pick your question, you know, their answer it, which is, which is really cool. Did he answer your question? What did you ask? I did ask a question about like what do you do? Like when you do see people that are actually jumping on the bandwagon and he just said just continue to innovate, continue to innovate, beat them at their, be the first mover, be this Yeah, be better, pretty much. Uh I love jumping on like Youtube and listening to ted talks, I love listening to ted talks about business and just listening to podcast obviously, like it's so easy to just pop on, like when you're going for a walk and you know, it's great to hear other people's experience the road to entrepreneurship can be kind of lonely, it's obviously like a bit of an emotional roller coaster as well.

00:41:29 Um so just being able to listen to um like other people's stories and their struggles, like it gives me a bit of an insight of like what they've experienced and then you know, could just give me that kind of, you know, click inside that makes me kind of, you know, understand like, okay, no other people going through this as well totally, it's so important to hear the perspective of others, I completely agree. It can be lonely question number four is how do you win the day? What are your am mpm rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and motivated and successful? Well it's been pretty difficult being in lockdown but I definitely need my eight hours sleep. Um and definitely start my day off with an ice facial, my contour cube to kick, start the day. I definitely need to work on um getting that balance a lot better, you know, I'm always I work 9-5, so I'm like constantly working than at nighttime.

00:42:31 I'm kind of like working on Kentucky like every waking moment, so being able to kind of step away from that and like have you know free screen time, like step away from the screen and kind of go for a walk um and sort of get back in the gym again and that kind of thing. So I started playing tennis again which has been really nice to just kind of get my mind off of things. Um But I definitely do love to plan, so I like to like make a list um prioritize that list the night before, so that the next day I'm kind of prepared for like what I need to get done for the day. Um What I've started to do now because I'm so time poor is actually putting on like a bit of a guided meditation while I shower. So it's kind of like less than 10 minutes, put on a guided meditation, you kind of you know Kind of kill two birds with one stone kind of thing. Mhm. Yeah, I love that, that's a great idea. Put a little aromatherapy oils and shower. Yeah, I'm obsessed with lavender oil. Question number five is if you were given $1000 of no strings attached grant money, where would you spend that in the business?

00:43:40 I would definitely put it into marketing for sure. I think I definitely put it into email marketing because that's like the highest return of investment um in like marketing efforts around um and I'm just gonna make sure that email is like gold. Like those the customers that are signed up and subscribed to my E. Ds, they do want to hear from me. So I definitely invest in email marketing. I definitely back video marketing as well. So I probably put some some money into Tiktok ads and yeah, definitely grow the traffic and push the brand out on there and then probably the rest on more social media ads. So like facebook ads instagram ads. I just, yeah, I definitely go all out on the ads. Love that. And last question question # six is how do you deal with failure? What's your mindset and approach when things don't go to plan. I actually feel like I don't really fear failure. I feel like failure kind of stops a lot of people from starting things but I get really motivated by the fact of of just doing it and start in it and then if something you know something weird comes along the way, you know, you can improve on it, you can fix it, you know, it's just kind of like a learning curve rather than a failure.

00:44:57 But I definitely always kind of learn from anything that doesn't go wrong and have like a backup plan almost straight away. So say like the position I'm in at the moment that I wasn't sorry about, you know, not having enough stock or whatnot. And then I was like, cool, okay, I've learned from this. We're getting a backup supplier, This is happening right now, so we're setting this up, you know, so kind of yeah, just learning from it straight away and just implementing a backup plan. Love it. Love it Sarah, This is so cool. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on female startup club and sharing your journey so far with contour cube. Love the name by the way, I think that is so cool. I'm like such an alliteration girl, this is amazing and I'm so excited to see where you take the brand and what happens next. I imagine you're going to be on those shelves of Sephora Ece so fingers crossed, Thanks so much for having me hey, it's doing here. Thanks for listening to this episode of the female startup club podcast.



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