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This week we had the pleasure of asking Annette a few questions on her journey starting Lip Service Beauty:
Tell us about your business
I hand make all natural lip products and salves. I wholeheartedly believe ingredients matter and source the highest quality, all natural and local where I can. I love being able to educate others on why all natural and all about natural ingredients. I offer vegan options, customization and everything I make is cruelty free. Later this year, I will be launching more cosmetics: mascara, blush and bronzer. I am always on the hunt for the most eco friendly packaging solutions and know I still have some work to do.
What made you decide to become a business owner?
A couple years ago I had a grand mal seizure caused by extreme stress. It was a real wake up call for me to start a healthier lifestyle. I began to explore using as many all natural products as I could and noticed a gap in the market with all natural cosmetics. I began putting my culinary skills to use making my own and with some encouragement from friends and family – here we are!
When you were making your business official, what did you tackle first?
I have been making my own all natural products for a couple years already so I knew I had that down to a science. My first thing I did was figure out branding and how to run an Etsy shop. It took me a weekend of tinkering, googling and phoning a couple friends until I got it. I ran my business for over 6 months with no website, only an online Etsy shop.
What has been your biggest success or earliest win in running your business thus far?
I quickly learned that face to face connection was so important in trying to get my brand out there. I love being able to connect to my customers, educate them and share my passion for ingredients. My first big event (more than one day) and highest dollar volume was Winona Peach Fest this past summer. I made enough money to pay off any debt I had accumulated so far with my business and was able to pay cash for a mini summer vacation. I’m not even a year in business yet and have already had a few retailers approaching me about carrying my products. I feel incredibly grateful for all the opportunities so far and meeting so many other passionate makers and business owners along the way.
What has been your biggest challenge in running your business thus far?
My labels for my lip balms and stickering. It’s tedious and I haven’t been able to find a cost efficient solution yet that really works. Currently, I have to sticker all of my lip balms twice which takes up a lot of extra time. I’m looking forward to the day when I can hire steady production help.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is truly no such thing as a “typical” day. I think one of the most exciting things about being my own boss is being flexible and adaptable. I have another full time job as a district manager that involves a fair amount of travel. I make good use of every minute of spare time I have: making more product, stickering, answering emails. I’ve mastered the art of multi-tasking and scheduling “me” time so I don’t burn out.
Was there anything you wish you knew before launching your business?
Be bold and be brave. Sometimes you get rejected or someone doesn’t like your work. You have to be able to dust yourself off and keep pushing forward. Sometime money just doesn’t flow in and you have to really push yourself to keep going. Just because you have a bad day doesn’t mean you should give up. Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of grit; you truly get what you give.
Are there any tips you would like to share with other business owners or future business owners?
Be true to who you are. Do whatever makes YOU happy. Don’t compete or compare yourself to others. Never lose sight of your vision or let go of your why. Always look for opportunities and don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. Be kind, get out there and talk to everyone. You never know what could lead to a business opportunity, sale, collaboration or just a really cool person.
Where can people find your business?
Want to share your story too? Drop us an email and let us know you would like to be featured at firstname.lastname@example.org.