So I’m a little late on this reflection but I think that’s going to be the theme of 2021 haha… It was a big year for me between developing and launching 3 skincare products, learning how to start and run a business, and earning my Masters degree (oh and casually getting married) during a pandemic.
I thought I’d share - partially for my personal consideration, but also because there may be future business owners out there! This is what starting a skincare business looked like in 2020.
I sent out samples of the formulas to friends and family, with a survey for feedback! I also started designing my packaging. Basically, I requested samples (usually free) from suppliers, and then made designs (in Word), cut them out and taped them on. Super primitive but got the job done at no cost!
After getting feedback from friends and family, I finalized my three formulas and sent them for required testing! The most important test is one that shows the product is preserved properly. Check!
My Masters program went online in March, and one of my favorite classes was Growth Marketing. We learned a lot about digital marketing, including a simulation of social media marketing!
After some hesitations about launching during a pandemic, I decided to go for it. I realized there would never be a ‘good’ time to start something from scratch. Might as well do it ASAP! With that attitude, I purchased the packaging and ingredients I would need to make my first big batch. With my own very meager savings haha.
In May, I drove from Oakland to SoCal to celebrate my graduation with family. I also enlisted my hometown besties to model for a photoshoot! This allowed me to start designing the website with images I love.
I filed my business paperwork with the state and city! After George Floyd’s murder, I reflected on my mission and the need for a more intersectional approach to sustainability. I’m committed to that and am always open to suggestions on how to make my company more accessible and socially conscious.
I batched all of my formulas, filled packaging, and labelled everything! After putting the finishing touches on the website, I launched to family and friends.
August 3rd was the day I launched my products to the world! The support from new friends was incredible.
I continued to send out orders and figure out the whole marketing thing. I’ll be honest - there was a definite lull in sales and I think this is to be expected the month after you launch! Don’t be discouraged, it just means your fans were quick to purchase off the bat :)
I really got into a stride with social media and hit 2K followers! I also reached out to Plantish Future, a zero waste brand I found on Etsy, to provide the reusable cotton pads and mesh bag for the Refillable Trio. I launched the Trio as an easy gift set for the holidays!
Had my first ever sale - for newsletter subscribers only! It lasted all of November in hopes of reducing Black Friday impulse buying. Hint hint, make sure you're signed up for the newsletter (signup on home page).
I closed out the year with over 150 orders in 2020! I definitely dropped off the face of the earth at the end there to spend some much needed time outdoors and with family and friends.
So there you have it! If you’ve stuck with me this far (on this blog post or on my business journey) - thank you! Excited to share more upcoming plans with you.