Education is the Key Ingredient. Encourage everyone to never stop learning.
Natural product space
Came from the head down and then getting up, I do try to evaluate just things on a regular basis. it’s the Brendan Burchard planner. So every day at the end of the day, it asks like a series of questions and I go through those. And then on a weekly basis, I try to look back at my notes for the week and what was I saying each day that I needed help with, or that, that didn’t go well that day. What were those things and how can I fix those.
It’s easy to lose sight of that and to get caught up in so many other things that are outside of that sweet spot. Being pulled in so many different directions, but I think anything consumer-facing is I love to be involved in so anything from like the content that we put out. I was really relying on my team to do that for a while and I just missed it. I think it’s fun to interact with our community. And I also think it’s helpful for me sometimes to look at things and reflect and, learn more about them. I love hopping on stories and chatting with our audience about new product launches or all kinds of random stuff.
Labeling like Breaking Bad
Creating and managing my own product what I do in the beginning it just in the very early stages like I was doing all the manufacturing myself in my kitchen, I was shipping products out of like the room that was going to be my daughter’s nursery. I was like labeling products in the living room. I remember watching breaking bad, like going on a breaking bad binge because I had never seen it before. And I was just like labeling products, watching, breaking bad. So it was nuts. It was like all I was the one-woman show for a long time. And so I had so much ownership of every step of the process. I couldn’t imagine anyone else ever making my products. So I remember when my husband ask if probably hire someone to make the product. Like I thought no way, there’s, I’m never letting anyone else touch the products. Other than me, like no one could do as good of a job like me to make. Which of course like wasn’t true. And I was probably also not doing the best job because I was, running myself into the ground. But once I did hand that part of the process off, there was a lot of freedom for me in realizing okay, this doesn’t all have to fall on my shoulders. There’s there are people out there that can do just as good of a job, if not a much better job than me in a lot of areas of my business. And so I still had that intense protection over, our manufacturing and everything. But I also had the knowledge, the realization that at that time that other people can do this isn’t rocket science.
There’s like this endowment to how we were doing things. But there’s also this other side where you realize you’re like, wow, we can have the same standards, the same attention to detail, the same level of love and care, but on a bigger scale. And the truth is that all of its, trainable. And so our rule is like two people have to be present at all times, validating everything that’s happening. so we have multiple people working on every step. And then once they feel like it’s good, then I’ll look it over
Basically document like what’s important. Making sure you’re checking all the textures. You’re checking all the sense, all the signs that we have in our business. There’s this constant iterative period. Like every moment of every day at a new customer, at a new employee at a new product need to buy your time back because that’s the limited resource.
What goes into my body matters
The first step was really taking a look at what I was eating and changing that up, switching out my diet from processed foods to real foods. So I was wrong about, what foods I thought were healthy for my entire life. And then that kind of led me to skincare. And then once I changed my diet, my skin improved a lot. And then when I started switching out my toxic products for. Just really simple natural ingredients in the beginning, I switched out like my moisturizer for just pure herbal oil that made a huge difference. And it was all like puzzle pieces coming together in my mind. And then I was looking into deodorant and I was blown away by just conventional deodorant and how many toxins it has and just aluminum and how that blocks our pores and how we actually don’t want that to happen. Cause sweating is such an important way that our body detoxes, I was shocked by everything I was finding on deodorant. This was back in 2012. So there weren’t a whole lot of natural options and the ones that were out there, I feel like they were pretty expensive and I already had a lot of these ingredients because I was experimenting on my own. So I just figured I would try to make it a natural stick form deodorant. They were pretty rough in the beginning, but I was getting, determined to create something that worked really well and, create a good experience, a good user experience with it. One of the reasons why we are direct to consumer company, we don’t do any retail is because we want to keep our product as fresh as possible. Quality has always been the most important thing for us.
Black Friday disaster (A Horror Story)
Two or three years ago, we launched our new deodorant tubes. The ones that you’ll see on our website now before that we were using like these clear they just, we had to label them ourselves. They weren’t as cool looking. So we had, we were super pumped. We were launching these new deodorant tubes. We were launching our charcoal deodorant, which wasn’t a product. Before then, and we had this whole like black Friday campaign planned out of like watching our charcoal deodorant on black Friday and like all these fun, little jingles of like charcoal and, playing on like the Cole kind of aspect with Christmas and stockings and all that stuff. We had like ads scheduled. Our affiliates were all plugged in and ready to push these promos. And it was our first, so these tubes were our first international packaging order. So we had ordered them from overseas. We had never done that before. And then the tubes were going to arrive and we would, of course, make the product and fill the tubes in the house.
We were confident that we would, nothing, there are going to be no hiccups. Like our supplier assured us that everything would happen according to schedule. So we felt really good going into the planning and, leading up to it. The few weeks leading up to it, we were feeling really excited and great. And the tubes like hadn’t arrived. And we were like, Inching closer and closer to Black Friday weekend, the tubes we still didn’t have them in our possession, but our supplier was really like encouraging us. Like they, that we would have them come to find out like black Friday rolls around. We still don’t have the tubes. We’re still like trusting. They’re going to arrive any day. And then somehow we find out like they’re still in the middle of the ocean somewhere, like still on a boat in the middle of the ocean. We had no idea. We thought we would be getting them any day. So very naive to think that everything would go according to plan in that process.
So we launched the promo on the deodorant tubes. We launched the, our brand new chocolate deodorant. It went crazy. We sold a lot of them, which was great, but we couldn’t fill any of the orders. And we had no idea when the tubes would actually arrive. So we’re just like twiddling our thumbs at first, because we literally couldn’t fill any of the orders. And then thankfully, like cyber Monday, we had a different promo. So once that hit, we could start at least filling all the cyber Monday orders. And, that took us several days to get through. And the whole time we’re just like, gosh, I hope those tubes arrive.
And they finally, arrived, but we had no idea what customs was like. And that I think they arrived like a week after black Friday. And then there was like another week that they were in customs and being held up. And we were just ready to drive to LA and get like search through these box cards or whatever. However, they store them and find them and retrieve them and bring them back. But. We, we obviously you can’t do that. So we just had to wait and wait. And finally, the tubes arrived like two weeks after the fact customers were emailing us. We were just like, being sent as nice of responses as possible, but it was hard because we didn’t really have an estimated date of when we could orders that we would be able to somewhat soon. So once, as all these tubes arrived on a huge semi, we had no idea like that you needed to like how to get the boxes off of the semi. We didn’t have a loading dock or anything, or a forklift or anything. So like our whole team, I think I had maybe 10 people on the team at the time we just dropped what we were doing. And we all like went out to the truck. And we had a few people that were standing in the truck and then several people that were like at the standing, like on the floor. And we would like hand boxes. The people that were in the truck when handing boxes to the people that were on the floor and it took us like two hours, but we got the truck unloaded. And we all got a really good workout. We were all really sore the next day, but we got everything unloaded and then we had to scramble to make the deodorant and fill the tubes, which took even longer, but we did end up getting all the orders out in time for Christmas delivery. The lesson in that for anybody is a stinky fish. Never get better with time. Just keep them informed. Don’t just pretend that nothing’s happening because that would not go well. So now in preparation for black Friday, we start deciding on what we’re going to do several months out.
Education is the Key Ingredient
One of the secrets is the level of education that you go to help people understand it. It’s has been really fun bringing our herbalist on because now every time that we launch a product, she creates a briefing about every ingredient in the product, like what it is, what it does, how it’s sourced where it comes from, its origins, any like cultural implications. Every aspect of that product from start to finish. Always really exciting because the team is learning about these new products for the first time. And they’re also learning about everything that goes into it. So I think. Like they walk away feeling really inspired and excited. And then that translates to like the customer messaging that we create and the blog posts that we create and the newsletters like the launch newsletters and Instagram stories and everything else that’s being created. Everybody that touches the outside world that is responsible for the message has a shared vision. That they can basically talk about it just like everybody can and really translate that experience over.
One of biggest challenge is hiring the right people and not falling into the trap of okay, we need this position and panicking and filling it with the wrong person, because that just causes way more problems in the end. like being patient and being so clear about who you’re looking for and what type of qualities they should have and what type of experience they should have and not settling. And I’ve fallen into the trap before of just moving too quickly versus just knowing I’m going to be more involved with this for a little while longer. Because that’s a better option than handing this off to somebody who isn’t the best person for the job. I really want people that care about health and wellness. I think that is so important because that’s what we do. That’s like at the heart of everything we do is wanting people to be well and not wanting them to have to sacrifice their health. And so I really want people that can get behind that mission.
Encourage everyone to like never stop learning. One thing I’ve realized is like the more, the more you realize how much you don’t know and. There have been so many times where I’ve just been frustrated or feel like I’m hitting a wall. And, I always come back to okay, how can I give myself the time and carve out the time either in the morning or like at the lunch hour or whatever, to just flip on a podcast or read a book or read the Bible or whatnot, anything that’s going to. Maybe create a light bulb moment for me or create, make something clear that wasn’t clear before. I think it’s easy to just get stuck in our heads a lot of the times and just go on this, rabbit hole and just feel stuck. But for me learning from people that, that have done this before and just looking outside of myself a lot of times that’s something will like click in me and that’s how I’m able to get through whatever I’m struggling with at the moment.