It's March and time for Meet The Maker
Hi! My name is Kelli and while I don't exactly like writing about myself, perhaps I can be of some inspiration to you if becoming a business owner is something you've considered.
Q -When you first started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
When I first started (age 50), my goal was simply to create a great product that would elevate my manicuring business/service and set me apart from the competition...a product that would make my client's skin look and feel amazing.
After studying various toxic chemicals found in the skincare products around me; it became clear just how important creating clean skincare really was. I learned many of you have sensitive skin (I do too!) and your needs weren't being properly addressed. The products you were using often made it worse.
OurSugared Butter Whip Body Polishwas the first product I formulated myself with the purest ingredients, in my Kitchenaid mixer. After many failed attempts and through trial-and-error, we found success!
I never really had any intention of going beyond this product when I started. But, the more I studied skincare the more I realized there was a real need for clean beauty products. This was 18 years ago and before it became a "thing."
Q-What inspired you to take the leap as an entrepreneur?
My clients, absolutely. They spurred me on, were my testers, and gave me great feedback.
Thank goodness my clients had enough faith in me (and my creativity) to allow me to use my products on them and to help me get my business off the ground.
Q- Why the emphasis on women over 50?
I've made it my mission to educate women on why clean beauty products are safer, better for our skin, and more sustainable.
Q-How would you describe what you create?
I create clean, perfect-aging skincare focused on the needs of women over 50.
Q-If you could hire someone to do just one thing that you sort of loathe doing, what would it be?
I'm a complete novice when it comes to web design and in particular..coding. So, I hired someone to do it! Veronica Jeans is our web designer and Shopify Expert (the platform our store is on). She's written a best selling book, Shopify made easy, for anyone thinking of starting an online business. I call on her whenever changes need to be made to our store.
Q-Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?
In the second year of business I hired a PR firm to help market our products. They promised to get my products in the hands of magazine beauty editors. After sending hundreds of dollars of product and paying, well, lets just say a lot more than that...we got bupkis (I love yiddish words). I'm certain none of my products got into the hands of the beauty editors. Lesson learned is to better VET anyone working for me.
Q-Where will you go from here?
Today, we ship to every state in the US. My goal is continue growing our retail business by focusing on building relationships with customers and educating women on how to have a vibrant life (and skin!) post 50.
I made the decision many years ago not to sell wholesale to other businesses. I had my products in a few stores and boutiques for the first five years of business. I quickly learned, no one understands and sells products better than the creator.
My customers know the importance of having someone who can answer any questions or concerns about skincare issues they might have.
This is why I'm contacted regularly and it truly makes my day when I'm able communicate on such personal levels with my customers.
Q-How would you encourage other Makers?
If entrepreneurship is something that excites YOU and you have a product/service you feel there's a need for (it's key), learn exactly who your customer is, inside and out...and go, serve that customer with your product/service.
Never apologize for being a powerful, creative, vibrant woman...at any age.