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How to double your revenue YOY through surprise and delight moments - aka free stuff - with Fitish Founder Jenna Owens

by Female Startup Club
January 30th 2021
00:55:38
Description

Joining me on the show today is Jenna Owens, Founder of Fitish. 

Fitish is a skincare company committed to embracing balance, using ingredients that do exactly that for the skin and body. Fou... More

doing here, we're in month two of being part of the hubspot podcast network and I wanted to take a second to shout out another incredible women lead podcast. Being boss with Emily Thompson, if you're a creative business owner or thinking about becoming one. Being boss is an exploration of not only what it means, but what it takes to be a creative business owner, freelancer or side hustler. I loved Emily's episode on taking time off as a business owner. It's definitely a really challenging part of running your own business and I recommend giving it a listen, check out being boss wherever you get your podcasts. This is Jenna Owens for female startup club. Hey everyone and welcome back to another episode of the female startup club podcast. I'm your host, Don rasheen and joining me on the show today is Jenna Owens, founder of fetish finish is a skin care company committed to embracing balance using ingredients that do exactly that for the skin and body. Founded In April 2017, Jen has grown their line with beauty and wellness products geared towards active people. She believes that the anti inflammatory benefits of CBD along with botanical extracts, have an unmatchable ability to cleanse and nourish the body.

Finnish aims to create calming rituals of self care within an active lifestyle naturally and effectively. In this episode, we cover Jenna's big life pivot her key learnings and growing and scaling a skin care company and things you can start doing today to increase your average order value and while I've got you here, you should check out our show notes where you'll find an exclusive deal to shop the Finnish website. This is Jenna for female startup club. It's safe to say that most of us have been doing more online shopping lately, right? And if you're in e commerce brand that means you might be seeing more first time customers. But once they've made that first purchase, how do you keep them coming back? How do you keep them connected to you and your brand? That's what clay vo is for. Clay vo is the ultimate marketing platform for e commerce brands. Clay vo gives you the tools to build your contact list, send memorable emails, automate key messages and so much more.

That's why it's trusted by more than 40,000 brands including female founded businesses like pearl mix hint and Campari Beauty. Get in on the action to delight customers grow brand affinity And make some serious money. Clay Vo customers made 10.2 billion dollars through the platform last year. So whether you're launching a new online business or taking your brand to the next level, clay vo can help you get growing faster and I can confirm the platform is super easy to use and has all the hard stuff done for you like templates, automated sequences and general email related resources to learn how to win at email marketing. Plus it's free to get started. Just visit clay vo dot com slash F. S. C. To create your free account today. That's K. L. A V I Y O dot com slash F S. C. Female startup presence. Yeah. Mhm kenya. Hi and welcome to the female startup club podcast.

Hi, thanks so much for having me. I'm so excited Me too. For those who might not know who you are just yet. Could you please start by introducing yourself and what your business is? Yes, of course. So my name is Jenna Owens and I currently reside in Dallas texas and I own a business that I started called fish and it is a CBD skincare and wellness business. So cool. Might I add, love it, love the branding, love the look, I want to start by going back to your life before you started fish. You were a successful host on radio for, I think I read 12 years, which is totally bonkers more than a decade. Oh my God, No, you're not. Um, what made you want to mix things up and change directions? I think that my trajectory is similar to a lot of women, even if they didn't have a job on a radio morning show, right? But that you reach a point in your life that you just realize, I don't feel fulfilled and that's what it was for me.

So yes, I had this drum the, to the outsider or two people that were fans of the morning show with a lot of popularity in Dallas and in kind of the south in the United States and I loved a lot of elements of the job, okay. However, you know, I got up at 3 30 every single morning, I felt very run down all the time. I wasn't feeling as creatively stimulated as I was kind of at the inception of that whole job and I felt that with my platform that there was maybe something more out there for me, I always wanted to start a business, right? I think that was just something, I think a lot of entrepreneurs kind of know that about themselves at some juncture, they go, I want to start something right, I want to do something more, and I had built this platform very organically as well, so, you know, had a pretty substantial social media following and a lot of just people that I think felt like I was their best friend, right? Because I talked about my life very personally every single day for 12 years and I wanted to, you know, in a sense, capitalized on that and just do something that made me feel more fulfilled in my life with that platform.

And so that's when I really started thinking, I mean, it took me years to be quite honest to come up with what that business was, because it's scary, right, that you're gonna put your name on something, you're gonna probably borrow money, what if I hate the name, what if I hate this idea in a couple of years. So I kind of realized at some juncture fears like the only thing standing in the way from a lot of us kind of following our dreams and starting a business or taking that risk. Mm That's so true. I definitely agree with that. I've been there All right. I've been there often actually. Was there a light bulb moment that led you to you know, going into the fitness space at that time? I had a few So the name finish was actually born from something I just started saying on the radio. I know you probably hear that word a lot now but at the time, many years ago I was saying it as a way to be very um I guess I could say since you don't know me very well. It's very reflective of who I am as a person. You know, you have to be yourself on the radio, right? You can't pretend to be a character, it's not acting with personalities. Um and so I would be quite honest with women because I felt at the time we were inundated and still are with women who want to be perfect on social media, right?

It is you know, this is me. I'm you know, I do everything perfectly all the time. I work out for two hours a day. I use 100 products before I go to bed every night on and on and on and that is so not me and I don't think that is a lot of women, right? And I find it much more attractive and likable and comforting when I hear women who are just quite honest about who they are and that you know my life is falling apart and I'm you know heartbroken at the time. I was in my late twenties. I mean my life was a ship show half the time. And so I was honest about it, right? And so finish was you know, women would ask me how I worked out, you know what I did to stay in shape and here I am getting up at 3 30 I'm like just drinking water and washing my face off before I go to bed at night. I'm not using 100 expensive items in my nighttime routine and I'm not working out for two hours every day. I do maybe 20 minutes and like eat a little healthy. And so I just finished finished all the time. And so when I went to start the business, I thought well maybe I can offer women some like 20 minute workout programs, right? Because that wasn't really around at the time. They were all 60 minutes. And so I did those, but really quickly realize that I don't want to work out all the time.

I mean I carve it out here and there is most of us do, but I do not want to have a foundation of business that is fitness exercise, right? But that was a way for me personally to charge, you know, not very much money. They were, it was 1999 to access all these programs. So it was more affordable than other things on the market. It also only cost me about $9000 to film all the videos and so I knew that I would probably recoup the costs, but it was also a really good indicator of, do I even have customers? Like if I want to come out with a product, do I even have customers, you know, on the business side of things? It was kind of a test for me to say, okay, what's something affordable that I could do that's not buying a lot of inventory, borrowing a ton of money that I can start offering something to see if people are gonna buy what I sell. Right, because I think that's a real concern we all have when we start a business like this is great, but are people going to buy it? And they did and I made a little bit of money and then I took that money and started what now? You know, is finished in terms of the CBD skincare? Oh my gosh, so exciting!

So how did you actually get started with the skin care? You know, what were the steps in those early days for you to be like, okay, I've made a little bit of money, I can reinvest that back into phase two, the new evolution of what the brand is going to be, what were those key steps? Yeah, so it's interesting with the light bulb moments because I think there's a few of them of course that you're going to have along the way. And so when I did those workouts, I knew that that wasn't my long term plan, right? Um we have gyms around Dallas, you know, good pop ups that we don't see anywhere. And so I remember specifically I was working out one day and all the women are wearing these expensive workout outfits. You know, women these days, we spend money on workout outfits. Like they're going out outfits which is great now that we've been in quarantine and we get to wear them all the time. But you know this super high end kind of at leisure and then, So you're at these places that are, you know, $30 a class and women are really fashionable and in Dallas at least they were wearing concealer and Mascara to exercise and then I'd be in the bathroom after the class. It was very specific moment for me.

I have been sitting on this idea of what kind of product is it that I wanted. I knew I wanted to create a beauty product because I was very passionate about that space, but I didn't know exactly what it was and it's so crowded that I thought, well I need to find some sort of like niche here for myself if I'm going to enter that space. But I was in the bathroom after a class and I'm looking at all these women, they're freshening up in the bathroom and their stuff in a shower. But women, at least where I live, they're not showering after they work out at the gym, right, they're going home later to do that, but they're freshening up so they could go grab a margarita across the street or go on a date and you know, putting on perfume and using dry shampoo and doing this whole thing. And I thought well why aren't there more products in these bathrooms for women like that, like myself that go to work in the morning and then fit a workout in and then go to a business meeting, that sort of thing. So that was the light bulb moment for me when it came to product development and I thought there's really not anything or much in this space that has good branding. And so that was it for me. And then I took the name fetish and applied it there and it was a good fit.

But of course products are expensive. I had happened to have a couple of contacts living in Dallas. There's some fabulous skincare labs, which just, I think I'd say that that was fate or luck whatever you want to call it, you know? But I started researching and the CBD element which we can get into is quite a bit harder, you know, kind of beating doors down at lab saying, you know, no, they don't work with CBD, they don't want to do that. So I had wanted to create a product for my own Rose atia I've been taking CBD is a good anti inflammatory like for flying anxiety and joint pain and things like that. But there wasn't anything topical on the market at the time and I started messing around with kind of a post workout moisturizing spray, which is that tone down spray and has peppermint of course and some coffee. And I just wanted something that was hydrating for the skin. So if you did have a little concealer on right, but you were red, you could spray it over and that was the thought behind it and it just happened to tone down my redness and that was the first product that I made, wow, that sounds heavenly. Sounds so great. Yeah, totally.

I'm interested to know when you had that light bulb moment in the bathroom that day, what was the timeline for you having that moment right through to developing and like putting those products on the website and being like here, this is for sale mm seven months. It was a while, you know, and I think that's been something in this particular space and maybe a lot of product businesses from my understanding now that I've been doing this for about 2.5, 3 years so far, that seems to be the biggest obstacle is just the sourcing of the kind of the components and the labs and the promises and guarantees about when an order will be fulfilled and they're late and they don't have all the raw materials. So you know, that's a whole other side of scaling. That's been quite a challenge. But in the beginning, you know, when I decided on the product, I was fortunate to find a lot that didn't have huge minimums. Okay, so I took a little bit of money That I had made from the videos. I believe my first order costs me about $20,000 and I actually chose, I can show you since we're speaking on camera, but if you go to the website, you'll see that my first two products, one was a makeup setting spray that didn't have CBD and one was the cooling spray.

I've been referencing Cortona. I ordered the same bottle for both of them in order to like make my money go farther and so they have different boxes but to keep it kind of cheap, I ordered the same bottle with different art. Of course they're different products. There's a lot of confusion in the beginning as you can understand because they have the same bottle, but that was a way to do it to meet the minimum requirement of 5000 bottles. Right? But I split it 2500 of each. I only filled 1000 of each at first. So I could then like recoup some of the money once they sold and then get the rest of the bottles filled, if that makes sense and see what the customers thought about it. So I started out pretty, pretty small and uh, it was just really excited when people actually started buying it. Yeah, you really proved that concept and you had your loyal customer base ready to buy and that appetite for what you were putting out there. You mentioned a little bit ago that the CBD side of things was a bit more challenging. What were the kinds of challenges that you faced at that time? It's the lack of regulation in this space, which still exists today and anyone that's in the CBD business notes very well, but it's very exciting when you're a believer in it.

But at the same time it is the Wild Wild West. I mean with no regulation, that's a problem for the industry with CBD because you're going to have a lot of naysayers and for me living in Dallas, this is a very conservative market as far as things like that though, you know, cannabis is not legal here. And probably, I would assume one of the last states in America that's going to legalize it. I'm a big proponent of all things in that space, but regulation is important. So it kind of weeds out the crap, you know, the stuff that's being sold to people that doesn't have anything in it or has THC in it is totally mislabeled. And so that was hard, but also a good thing for me, I think to be in a space like this, that's not as liberal minded, because it put the onus on me to educate the customer about CBD that a lot of other brands probably don't do right, because it's just gonna be trendy and cool. But for us, it's no look at all of the benefits of using a really good form of, you know, a hip drive, broad spectrum CBD and getting people to try it. But the labs weren't familiar with it because when you want to make a product like this, I'm not a scientist by any means by nature, it was terrible at chemistry.

So when you want to take an idea, you take kind of, some of the ingredients you want, you take a list of ingredients, you don't want, you take other products, maybe that you like, you know, sense or no fragrance or whatever whatever you desire. You can go to these beauty labs and say, this is what I had in mind, this is my branding, this is my logo and they will make a formula for you that you get to test over a period of time. But a lot of the labs just had no familiarity working with the CBD oil because of course oil doesn't mix well with water and so now you know, here we are a couple years later and a lot more labs are open to this of course um, and have better understanding of how to work with those elements. But yeah, that was hard in the beginning, there weren't a lot of options to choose from totally and I also learned recently, which I didn't know and it makes total sense now that I think about it was that even on the back end there are a lot of companies who won't work with CBD brands in terms of like payment providers and fulfillment houses. So were you aware of them before you started the business or did you just kind of have to stumble along with these things?

No stumble along hit a brick wall that had no door on it to get through, not even a cracked open window right? And um, and turn around and find another option, the payment processing was one of the biggest hurdles we had to overcome. We had been sold out of a product. So this was about six months after I launched, I sold out of the, you know a couple of 1000 I had and so waiting on those to get build, I remember I, I actually have gone out of town to a girlfriend's bachelorette party in Mexico for the weekend. We were restocking that weekend, it was memorial weekend and I was so excited because we had been out for months you know which was a nightmare and it wasn't a pr stunt, I wanted to make money right? And I remember that that friday when we launched and we had all these orders about to come in um our credit card processor put together that we were CBD or something like that and like shut down payments. Oh God! And so I had had a couple of people in my fulfillment center, really, really instrumental helping me pivot constantly.

I mean you're paying higher interest rates. So we had backup plan payment providers that of course instead of taking three or 4% off every order, they're taking like nine or their routing it through like a bank account in Ireland and then your customer is going to see an international charge and wonder like what the blank is going on. It was really difficult. We would be out of sales for a day or two here and there. Why? We were shifting processors were sold on Shopify which I am just, I couldn't say enough good things about that platform and they have been so supportive of us as a business however they use square as their payment processor and they were like, we don't mind CBD but our payment processor does. So they allowed us to find another payment processor to use. But yeah, anyway, I mean I could go on and on, it was kind of hell. It felt like hell for a while. But at some point you say, you know what, these are the risk that you're going to take being in business like CBD, you know, you hopefully will reap the rewards of being a first mover in an industry like that if you can hold out and figure it out, but it took a lot of persistence, a lot of pivoting all the time in the space. I mean we're changing our ingredient decks all the time, even though there's no regulation and there's no requirements, you just want to constantly being on the right side of what you think is going to be the regulation, if that makes sense.

Mm Yeah, that's so interesting and I think that's something that is really important for entrepreneurs who are interested in potentially moving into that space to be aware of, you know, before they jump in. I want to kind of back step a little bit too when you launch the brand and what you were doing in the lead up to generate hype and you'll go to market strategy when you were launching the skincare side of things. Rather, I wish, I could say I had a formal go to market strategy, you know, like a product launch strategy. That's funny. So I'm a creative at heart into the business side of things. It's been, it's been fascinating for me. I would say I have learned more in the last couple of years of my life that I learned in my college education or high school education combined. It's fascinating. I wish that they taught us entrepreneurial classes when we were in high school or college and here's a product and you're going to spend the whole semester learning how to monetize your business and it would be so informative, you know, much more than just like our calculus or something like that. But anyway, I didn't know, so I surrounded myself with some, I had a couple of, you know, older gentlemen mentors that I had intentionally had as part of my life to bounce ideas off of and I would talk to them quite a bit about that.

But when it came to social media and me wanting to use that they of course had no idea, it was some business advice, They were like this social media thing is so strange, they could not understand how a lot of people are monetizing that and my whole goal was to make it as direct to consumer as possible. I really wasn't caught up in getting it into a retailer, I got distracted with that for a little bit, but it was more, this is a crazy world that we live in a great way that we're able to use the social media platform and reach customers that way. So truthfully, my plan was always, I started pulling back on endorsements, I was doing personally on the radio show, right, I would never put my name on something for many years leading up to this, you know, to sell every teeth whitener, skinny t whatever kind of this trash was that's getting sold through influencers or through endorsements, I said no to like everything because I wanted people to know that anything I put my name on was important. So that was a personal branding decision I did for myself, that people are not gonna believe me if I sell everything that came my way with my platform.

So that was that was very intentional on my part, much to the dismay of the people that ran the radio show and did sales and then, and then I started taking people behind the scenes and I wasn't sure if that was the right pr move. I obviously didn't have a Pr team at the time, but I thought, you know, and now more than ever, and I'm glad I did it this way, I took my customer, my hopeful potential customer, I should say behind the scenes of what I was doing, so I would take them into the lab on my social media, I would show them I wouldn't give everything away, right, like not what exactly I was making, I wanted to kind of wait on that, but I would show them like the bottles coming down the line or that I was in the lab and wearing my role like net hat to cover my hair in a laboratory and say, you know, I'm working on something, I'm picking out sense or whatever it was and so they seem to get kind of excited, right? Like what is going to, working on, what is she making? This is cool, this is a beauty lab, what's going on rallying, rallying the troops? Sure I was, and that's what I was doing because I didn't have a whole lot of other stuff to show them to market.

You know, I made some merch, like some sweat shirts and some hats with the logo because I wanted to create a sense of brand awareness. I think that's what's hard when you have a product and not a clothing line or something, right? The brand name is a little more difficult there because you want that awareness, but you're not always going to get that awareness unless people see someone, you know, it was very cool to have a moment where I'd have someone reach out to me with a photo of a stranger, we said tradition, the wild, like someone's on an airplane wearing the hat or you know, wearing the sweatshirt and so that was intentional. I think a lot more than people realize that I wasn't trying to get into the apparel business, but even now we still kind of roll out with the limited edition pieces of merchandise here and there because you want people to have that kind of brand loyalty still fashionable but affordable and just the way that they're wearing and showing their love for the brand with the cool logo. And so I couldn't recommend that enough to all brands no matter what kind of product you're selling, especially if it's not clothing to make items that your customer would like to carry around with them from coffee mugs and water bottles and things like that.

Because you're getting that brand recognition. Mm That's so interesting. Totally agree. Love some Good, much love a track suit. So you launch, it's primarily through your social media channels. That's how you've generated the hype. What was the launch like? Was it, you know, more than you expected less than you expected. Are you able to share any kind of, you know, numbers or the impact that you were seeing after launch? Yeah, it was great. I mean, I remember I had Shopify has this great feature that you can have like a scratching noise. So when you make a sale it goes to ching. So of course I had to turn that off. But I told myself I was going to leave that on for a while. So I remember when I went live, I had it on my phone so I could just like here the teaching. I think I sold like 30 bottles the first day or something. I was really excited about that. But then people kept buying it and I was like, why are they buying it? I mean, I showed them makeup skincare routine, Things like that. You know, I definitely made an effort to show more natural skin photos over that. But let me tell you this, I didn't have any employees at the time other than a fulfillment center with a couple of guys who I still use this fulfillment center, I love them and they helped me quite a bit with the back end step as well, but I didn't have anyone working for me.

So here I'm just posting it and then, you know, sharing and I had the website, of course, that was pretty well done. And so just doing some blog posts there. But uh, yeah, so I ended up selling out of those once I kept selling them and I only had 1000 of each, I think that took maybe just a couple of weeks and that was pretty exciting for me. I couldn't believe it, you know, and then I was hopeful that people would like it, right? Because then there's always that element of my God, what if they hate it or whatever, I need them to buy again, work for them. Yeah, So, so of course, you know that the great thing about that was that then I had a little more cash, right? I mean the products are still pretty affordable, but I had a little more cash and so I could turn around right away and I said a full time job on the radio, which I kept for a while, you know, that would be another piece of advice I would have for women, You know, if you can kind of manage. I mean I juggled the two jobs for too long, 2.5 years. I was drowning and dying. However, I was able to put all my money back into the business because I had a salary over here, I didn't take any money from the company. I put it all back into products and I'm telling you a month after the first customers received that and I had placed another order which I had to wait about 12 weeks for.

So that was a hard period of time to get that filled. However, people started writing me saying, oh my gosh, this product is amazing. I'm, you know, not only not red but stuff that I hadn't dealt with and with my small group of friends and family that I had testing the products before I launched them, but from, you know, eczema and psoriasis and things or you know, cystic acne things that I fortunately wasn't dealing with at the time, I had no idea. It wasn't my intention that my product was going to help heal some of that. Of course, I can't legally say that it does either. Right? You know, right now, you're not allowed to say that, but to know that that's what was happening with the customers and then they're telling friends and and that sort of thing. It was very, very cool. And I went, oh that was the moment for me, that I went, oh my gosh, like this is really legit and I might have something greater than I thought on my hands Used something special. It sounds like I read that you grew significantly from 2019 to 2020 and when you think back about that last two year period, what do you attribute that growth and success too?

And what's really working for you in marketing now in acquiring new customers? Um before and after photos have been really pivotal. Unfortunately, you know, you can't buy ads with before and after photos, the weight loss industry kind of ruined that so you can't buy ads online, we haven't spent a whole lot of money on marketing this year, 2021, we're planning on, you know, doing more of an ad budget on podcast, things like that, but I would say it was the word of mouth for sure, it was the word of mouth. We also did a lot of things that weren't as traditional, so you know, I'm not, I guess I should say even now, you know, we do content that we offer free workout video content and recipes and we have a lot of other people guest appear on the instagram to do workouts and so those kinds of collaborations have really facilitated growth for us in a more organic way. So that was great to see. So that that's part of it, I would say just that organic growth word of mouth and offering content that isn't just shoving product down people's throats, you know what I mean, That our poster sometimes they're just informative or blog posts about different ingredients and not buy this in every single instagram post.

It's more personality driven and kind of user generated content that's worked really well for us. Additionally, I would say growing the skew line, we noticed, I don't know how detailed you want me to get, but it's been fascinating that, you know, I went with those two skews and then for me, it was important to look at the space and do my market research and realized that a lot of these other CBD brands and more and more pop up every day, whether it's the branding is not good and the ones that do have good branding, they don't have nearly as many excuses we do. And so I realized that, you know, when we doubled our skew count from when we went from, I would say like six to I think we finished last year at 13 and this year we're adding another 13 and 2020. So we realized that our average cart order went up from it used to be about $54 I think in early 2019. And by the third quarter of 2019, our average order went up to about $74. So it increased by $20.

And now I know there's a tipping point there, right? Like you're not going to have an average order of you know more than $100 probably all the time, especially when your products are really moderately priced. But the fascinating thing is I can only attribute that to adding more skews because then you give more people. I mean, hey, you know, you may personally not have any interest in the eye cream, right? But you may have, you know, a pet that you're obsessed with and we offer some CBD pet products, right? And so you only come to us to buy those, but then maybe you need to get a gift so you're going to throw something else in there for a friend. And so things like that have worked really well for us as well as gift sets and you know also kind of these, we pivoted during Covid and you know when that happened we happened to have a lot of these fun promo items. I have always told my team it's very important to me that we keep fun items that we could throw in customers orders. Right? So we started focusing on that direct to consumer experience even more. And so I have anything from things we haven't released yet, but they're so people can be excited, you know from very cool kind of the combs to you know, hair ties and scrunchy is to ice roller globes that we're about to offer.

And um you know face shavers and tweezers and grooming tools, right? And so that proved to be huge for us because we started offering these cool clear bags called a self Tarantino's set right? When we all got locked down And we threw a bunch of stuff in there and it was, I think we Christ that set at $95. I hated that, right? Because you know everything that we sell is under 100 I mean, unless it's a set of, you know everything right now, but it's under $100. That was very important to me. I knew my customer, I knew my customer well from being on the radio. I knew who they were, I knew where they lived, I knew this woman was, you know, not going to sit here and spend a ton of money on products. So I didn't want to price them out And I was worried right about that price point. So I think we, we made 500 of them or something like that. 500 or 600 of them. Just because that's like all we had in terms of the promotional items we sold out of them in 20 hours. And that was interesting for me, you know, to sell something that was $95 so quickly. It was exciting. It was exciting, but we learned a lot from that, right? I mean we learned how important it is to include freebies for big orders, how much customers love little things from stickers to good shippers just to open up a box and feel that they don't know, it's just, it was very interesting for us and it taught us a lot and something that we've continued doing.

Yeah. Gosh, I even think about my own behavior as a consumer. If I open something and there is an additional surprise and delight moment, I'm automatically like, oh, I feel good. And so it just makes so much sense to do that kind of stuff because you know, as a shopper that you love it yourself and so I can see how that kind of thing really works for you and is successful. It's funny isn't it that I always joke with my team, but I think maybe it's women, maybe it's people in general and you know, people love freebies and it's just fascinating consumer behavior. It really is that, you know, we've started doing a lot of things that have worked really well. I'm giving away all of our secrets. But we did trick or treat promo that I really wasn't sure how this would work, but we have to have all these gift cards, right that were laying around from when we used to do in person events. So they would have $10 on them or different crisis, but we would sometimes give them out at events. But of course, you know, we haven't been doing any kind of activations like that. So I thought, oh my gosh, we have thousands and thousands of these, you know, finish funds cards sitting around, how are we going to use these?

And one of the girls on my team was like instead of doing, I love Halloween by the way, but how about we do a trick or treat promotion that every order place in a certain period of time gets something like they went trick or treating, so they get Free, we decided to do a free full sized mystery product so they didn't get to choose or the $10 finish funds and I was like, I don't know if this is going to generate a lot of orders and oh my gosh, it was one of our best weeks of the year which was before holiday right in the beauty space, you always are trying to think, you know, january is normally not a great time and how can you generate more without doing a sale, you know what I mean? You don't want to train your customer to only purchase items. That's the danger in having sales like you can't have sales all the time, but how do you do these fun promotions and it just knocked it out of the part for us. I mean that's going to become something that we do every year, is this trick or treat with a mystery product, It's a great way to get rid of some inventory, especially in a category that you have a lot of before the end of the year, from a business perspective, you know, and I thought, gosh, I mean how much is this costing us?

But this is stuff we already had, it was inventory, you know, so it was really amazing, it's amazing that how much customers love a free surprise, love that, love that you can add that to the calendar for this year, You mentioned different categories and you included the pet category recently, can you talk a little bit about that and potentially what the future looks like with all the new additions that you're going to be adding if you're able to share? Sure I can, I'm very open, I think being transparent about stuff without giving too much away of course is great and you know and I wish I was 24 months out on product development, I have learned recently from interviewing some people to work here that have worked at other beauty brands that I feel are probably way bigger than ours, but they're so far out in product development and so good thing for us is that, you know, we can pivot with the trends a little more quickly when we're only about like 10 months out and product development, so that's a good thing, you know, not being two years out, but it's interesting, you know and being direct to consumer, you have a lot of mobility there I think because the strange it is as it is, I think with big brands, they go well that doesn't fit our space, but CBD so fascinating because it's not just beauty, right?

It's not just topical Outer beauty, its inner as well. And it could be great for men or kids and there's so many elements there. And of course the pet space, you know, I, our pet space hasn't taken off quite the way that I had maybe hoped that it would granted, I haven't pushed it as much. It wasn't also a goal to get into some big pet chains or something like that. So, you know, I didn't have to order a ton of inventory now. The people that have ordered people love their pets. I was motivated mainly because I know CBD is wonderful for pets. And some of the studies that you read about pets and their tumors and their joints and I think anyone that has a pet, they would sell their own arm to keep their pet alive. You know, we care so deeply about our pets and the market shows that people are spending a ton of money on their pets way more than they ever used to from. I mean, I think my dog better food, I think that I eat half the time, you know, I buy them that farmer's dog food that's like that fresh food that comes, I have to call and they're obsessed with it and it's working great for them. And so anyway, you know, we spent a lot of money on them, but it's been interesting to offer more products and we do have some customers that don't buy anything but the pet from us and it says a lot, you know, that they don't care about their own skin, but they care about their pet.

And I just thought it's CBD is effective. Why wouldn't we create some products for that niche? And I figured it will take off or maybe it won't and maybe as we grow, we'll just continue that part of the line, but it's holding okay, you know, and if you have something that can make a little bit of money like merchandise, right, you're not gonna cut it from your business. It just may not be the big money maker for you, but going forward, you know, we are sticking with skin care. You know, there's obviously, I think that is the bread and butter of the business. There's so many other products out there that I want from a toner, I can say that we're working on that, a toner I think is really critical to kind of, but skin care regimen, especially if we can start creating sets of products for customers on subscription that, you know, we have a fabulous face wash and two different kinds of moisturizer, but if I could start offering more to complete your regimen, that's a goal for me. So if you think about other products, we have like in the hair space that are, have become really good sellers for us other products there, That would be more personal care items that people could use regularly and selling a set.

That's where the business is headed for me. I believe that's something that customers like the convenience of and being able to just reorder, you know, amazon's ruined all of us, you know, just having stuff on crime, having stuff that we can just hit a button and reorder stuff and subscribe and save that sort of thing. So that's where my head's at there as well as some more, um, you know, I can't really say like prescription level, but I believe that's the part of the business for me that is going to be really important on the back end of things is coming up with products because I'm such a firm believer in CBD so, you know, kind of the pain cream element, we're working on a tool which does not have CBD of course, but it's a tool that I can't say too much about, but a really innovative tool that I think, you know, if you can come up with some other things to go along with your products that also aren't CBD, it gives us something great to market that you use in conjunction with the products and so that's something we're excited about as well. Very exciting. I will keep my eyes peeled for it? I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, What advice do you have for women who have a big idea and want to start their own business.

I don't know if this is, you know, nerdy sounding, but I read a lot, I read a lot, you know, I mean, I go through phases of course, but at the time I read a lot, I mean books from business want to want to, you know, maybe there's other founders, it's like you, someone told me, you know, you don't have to know your mentor, right? You don't have to know them personally and get to go to lunch with them all the time. I think it's important that you surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. That's something I've always tried to do in my life. I also tell women, I think were inundated with a lot of people on social media. When you follow accounts, you're like, I'm never gonna be that or I'm never going to achieve that level of success so it can really get too discouraged, you know? So I went through a period of time where I just, I do this pretty regularly. I follow anything that doesn't make me feel good. Um, I also really edited down my own social circle to those only that I felt stimulated by, you know, I, I've never been one to surround myself with Yes people, people that are just like, great Jenna, great. You look great. Everything's great. Everything you do is great.

No, no. I just think that's the worst thing you can do for yourself is just surround yourself cheerleaders. Now. You want people that support your dreams, right? You don't want to surround yourself with people, they're going to be jealous. That's going to happen a lot. You know, you're going to lose a lot of friends as you get more successful. There's something about women, women are hard on. Other women don't always cheer them on. But I just think that for me it was a combination of educating myself, surrounding myself with people that may be socially. I didn't hang out with before, Right? But this isn't what that's about, right? You want to, you know, take business lunches or you know, just connect with more like minded women in your space or people that can help you just have more intelligent discussions about your ideas and maybe help shape that. So those are a couple of piece of advice that I would recommend. That's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. We are up to the six quick questions and some of them we might have covered a little bit, but we're going to do it again. Anyway. Question number one is what's your why? Why do you do what you do to hell to hell not me. My wife has changed my business started as a side, hustle a creative outlet, right?

I never could have envisioned that. It would turn into what it's turned into it. And I think that's the beauty of that. But I started when I got some of those before and after as we touched on earlier, a couple of them are really meaningful for me and really emotional from you know, radiation burns, that sort of thing that the spray had healed and things that I just never ever could have envisioned. I mean, I really thought is this really happening? You know, is this really happening? And it completely changed everything I thought I was doing just for my own kind of selfish creative side hustle into this is healing people and how do I get this to more people to believe in it. And so that became the purpose and the wife, wow, that's really powerful. That's definitely a mover. For sure. It isn't a question. Number two is what do you think has been the number one marketing moment that made your business pop the before and after photos slow build, right? But I think the before and after photos, um you can't you don't fake those even though a best girlfriend of mine was like, did you photoshopped this, It's amazing.

I was like, I would never do that with my business. Oh my gosh, she couldn't even I mean, my own closest friends couldn't believe some of the results that we were getting because they were that unbelievable. But that's really done well for us. You know, the before and after photos. I know I keep referencing them, but that customer testimonial is just unrivaled no matter what you do. You know, we can do photo shoots with models were pretty skin and you know, we've made a real effort and we've always been very inclusive, you know, all of these things that are very crucial for brands these days. But I have to say that nothing does it. Like someone, a regular person with serious issues that have hurt their confidence because of the skin care condition that have a great story, really powerful. We actually did a campaign where we brought some of them in and did video testimonial and got them all done up and I actually didn't stay in the room for them, I didn't want to put pressure on them. So I had a camera crew filming them and asked some of the questions and oh my gosh, even the men that were filming were crying, it was the main thing because I think, I guess you just don't realize how powerful skin issues and overcoming them and the confidence that has been associated with that's really transformative.

And so yeah, I would say that's been the best marketing and it's just the kind of the result totally significant impact. And I also think when you're saying that I'm like, you know, that kind of content, especially on social media, it's terrible if you see that and you know that your friend has an issue or someone in your family and you're like, hey look at this, this is a great idea or it's you that has the issue and you're like sharing it with someone else to be like, oh my God, this looks amazing. Maybe I should try it. It's really a shareable thing. Yeah, we've noticed we post before and after. It's on friday intentionally. This is kind of a business tip, I would say no matter what business you're in, but when you friday is good, I mean at least here because most people tend to get paid on thursday night or friday, you know, we've noticed that trend and so you know, usually people are obviously gonna pay all their bills like that's what's gonna come first. You know, you're gonna pay whether it's rent or phone bill and things like that, you're going to make those payments and then then you catch them when they still have some residual income, they're excited about spending. And so, you know, you hope that you get that.

So we've noticed that doing the before and after photos when they're sharing with people, that, that generates a lot more motivation to purchase right around the weekend. Oh gosh, interesting tip. Thank you so much for that. Great insight question number three is where do you hang out to get smarter earlier, You mentioned you're a big reader. Are there any specific books that you have been reading lately, any podcasts, you absolutely recommend newsletters that you're subscribed to. I said the golf course and I know that that sounds really funny, um because I'm not that great of a golfer, but I found in my experience that that is a place where a lot of, you know, and as much as I'm a feminist, like, let's be honest, like the golf course is usually a man's place. However, it's a lot of men I had a man in my life that I really respect, right, that I've always kind of followed his business advice. Just a personal friend that's older than me and he was like, some of my best deals have been made on the golf course because men are really relaxed and then they're just kind of, you know, shooting the blank around with one another and they'll just broker these deals.

And so I always said like I want to learn to play golf and friends used to tease me and the wide, you just want to marry a rich man. I was like, no, I want to be a rich man to marry a rich man, I want to learn how to be a rich man. And if you actually take some lessons and you learn how to play a little bit of golf, you're gonna be privy to these conversations that at first you're kind of over your head, but then you kind of start understanding how it works. So that is one tip and I know that's not attainable for everyone, but it is fascinating, you know, if you can kind of get yourself out to play golf with some people, it's a really nice, relaxed kind of conversation where you can ask a lot of questions about business and they're away from their phones, people are just stuck out there to get away for a few hours. So it is a really great tip and I've learned a lot on the golf course, but when it comes to things that are a little more tangible and I love that podcast, how I built this, that was great and there's so many different, you know, of course, I kind of gravitated to all the, there was a beauty ones and startup ones, right? I find those really fascinating, but I love hearing about failures, right? I think most people like hearing about failure, you learn so much more from failure than success and I know that's a really tried expression, but I love listening to that podcast and hear founders talk about where they were.

I also, just in the last year read both the right of a lifetime, the former Ceo of Disney and how he started that book is absolutely amazing. I love that book. I think Bill Gates on his list was recommending that bob iger book and then um, as well as the shoe dog, the Nike founder Phil Knight story that looks awesome. I listened to the audiobook, but I love books like that because it's so fascinating to, we know, Nike to be what Nike is now and you think I'll never be something like Nike and I'm sure, you know, I won't, but it's still fascinating to hear how many failures and almost completely bankruptcies they had as a company and I think that that gives you motivation, you know, because you realize, wow, I mean it wasn't just a hit from the start, they grinded it out for like more than a decade and changed the name before it even got any traction. And that can be really encouraging to hear the real kind of backstory about how businesses were created. And I think as well, the other thing is like, we all start at the same place, we all start with an idea and it's about taking the steps and just showing up every day and doing one thing after the other to build the business and then in 10 years time you look back and you're like, yeah, because I did all those little steps I got there, it's so true.

It is literally one ft, head down, one ft in front of the other triumph. Find ways to block out the noise, don't get on social media, don't look at other people that are doing what you do. You know, I think that's dangerous to like if you have a jewelry business, like you don't need to be following all the other jewelry businesses that are a few steps ahead of you necessarily, you know, you need to, you need to just kind of stay in your own world and follow other non competitive kind of creative outlet that inspire you because that can get dangerous. You know, when you're constantly comparing your business to someone else's, it's like, no, just trust your gut, keep your head down and just keep going. Absolutely, Question number four is, how do you win the day and that's around your AM PM rituals that keep you feeling happy and motivated and productive and successful. I gotta say, I wish I had a better answer for this one. This one's hard for me because I am so I am just a not a linear person. I'm a creative person. So I have a real struggle with consistency. I say I want to get up and you know, stretch and exercise every day and I don't, but you know, I've started to enjoy my mornings a little more that I don't have to get up at four AM and roll out of bed if you can carve out moments in your day to just relax a little bit and so you know, I will make coffee and I will read through my news, you know, that that actually relaxes me in the morning cause I've never been able to do that.

So instead of just checking emails right out of the gate and texting and looking at our sales or something, I don't do that, you know, I'll make coffee and I walk my dog and I read the news, see what's going on in the world and just kind of carve out a moment like that. That's something that I do have started taking spanish lessons and I'm taking them almost every other day. I'm engaged to someone from Mexico city and he speaks Finnish all day on the phone and drives me crazy that I don't know what he's saying. So, but that's not something that I've procrastinated because I think that a lot of times we tell ourselves no, I don't have the time. There's really a lot of truth and the atomic time for the things that we want to do, even if it's just five minutes of applying yourself for five minutes of stretching or you know, whatever it is. So you know, I make the time to call my mom and those are moments in the day where I really just try to disconnect from the stressors and you know, it's distraction, right? Like let's be honest, some of these rituals are distraction from everything else that's so hectic. So, and I've learned that that's okay. You know, I'm going to be a better person and a better version of myself, even when I come back here in my office and spend an hour three or four times a week doing a virtual spanish lesson, but I think that when you spend time on hobbies, I guess you could say they are when it is reading or hobbies it is growing yourself as a person, right?

You are going to be a better manager of people, you are going to be a better version of yourself so you might function better in the workday when you spend the time to do those things totally and just be more fulfilled and content with your own accomplishments for sure. Question number five is if you only had $1000 left in your business bank account, where would you spend it? A free gift with purchase promotion that is just, I can't express to you enough how well that's worked for us as a business but that's something that we're actually starting to put in a little freebies with almost every single order because it's just worked that incredibly well to grow and drive sales for us. So yeah, I would spend it on a cool promotion like that. Amazing. And last question question number six is how do you deal with failure drink some wine? Uh no transparency, transparency has become really important. We actually just had this conversation amongst us yesterday and granted, I only have two full time female employees right now, I outsource everything else, which is another great tip, but we've had a few issues right, I mean we had a product that came out not to our liking after we had approved it.

We'd already started selling it. It just was like a little grainy and our little game that we have, and it was just, you know, you think it's the end of the world, but we decided to be honest about it, We pulled it from the market, a few 1000 people that already ordered it. We turned around and sent them once it got redone a free one, Right? And so those are the things that we say we're transparent about. I mean, we had a conversation about reviews, you know, a lot of brands will only post really positive reviews, and so I went through, I was like, you know what, I'm going to make a decision that we post all the reviews, I mean, unless they're really defamatory and crummy and meat or bullying, right, you know, we don't need that, but if there is value in educational moments there, I think that people care very heavily now about who's behind the brand, what's going into this and are you honest? You know, you don't want to be dishonest about things, there's good pr spends here and there, but at the same time, it's like, let's just be honest about the struggle about creating a business, I think people care more and become more loyal, you kind of create this sense of respect when you're just honest about a problem or something that happened, and so yeah, that's just kind of the approach I've decided to take with failure, you know, on the personal side of things, Yeah, you know, I have to find ways to kind of vent my significant other or you know, just have good people to bounce things off of.

But yeah, it's just for me it's how quickly can you bounce back? You know, if you've thrown on and on about every failure, um you're not gonna get anywhere, you just have to wake up the next day and and get over it. I watched the Tiger Woods documentary last night, which is funny and it just made me think, I didn't realize that this is how important it is even when you're not a professional athlete, but you're running a business and they said, you know the mark of a really good golfer, someone that's able to like have a really bad night holes or have a really bad shot in the psychology of immediately kind of putting that behind them and being able to get on the next hole, like it's a whole new thing can really mess up the mind of course, right? When you have a failure like that or a product that you get worried about the business. So yeah, the quicker you can bounce back from the failure and be honest with customer about it, I think that that will lead to more success. Mm love that. That's a great line to draw a comparison to on the athlete side of things. I just wanted to ask you quickly, before we wrap up, you mentioned that you outsource a lot of things to whoever and you have two people on your team, can you tell me who are the two people on your team in terms of what roles they are and what are the kinds of things you outsource?

It's marketing, I mean this is, this is what we are, I think you realize scaling has been really difficult for me, I think maybe it's hard right, when you go from doing everything yourself to delegating and actually taking the time to train people. So they're younger girls, one's in her mid twenties, late twenties and both our marketing really, you know, one does more of our newsletter and kind of ingredient specialist, right? And so she's working on more of the copy and the writing part of things, the product pages on the website and a lot of you know interacting with customers or any issues so she can write and educate. And then the other one is much more, you know, manages the social media and any kind of retail partnerships, we have that sort of thing. So you know, we were a lot of hats here obviously at the startup and interviewing to hire someone else to help us kind of with grand strategy and that sort of thing. I believe in young people, I want to young people get a bad rap for not being um you know motivated or being very, you know kind of taking everything for granted, but it's been fun to have young people cause I was young and really motivated. Um that being said, I I found, I don't know this was interesting and even know this existed at the time, but I started drowning in the day to day of inventory management and like pos and you know the policing orders and all of that, that when that started getting out of hand for me, I found myself not creating any more and what my skill is is kind of, you know, doing the tutorial videos in the creative content and being interactive with the customer and also um you know, planning for the future of the bigger picture.

And so when you start drowning in the day to day someone that I listened to another founder who is really successful, like you got to hire people to do the things that you don't want to do and that you're not good at, you know, and for me that was definitely like the accounting and the management of inventory. I really needed a Ceo and so I found recommended by my mentor, a consulting firm and so what I get with that consulting firm is so they manage that, they work with my fulfillment team, you know that I pay fulfillment to with my warehouse of product, but they help me project with the orders and do all of that, but by paying what would really be like a good salary of, you know, to a cl, oh I'm getting really four people working full time because I'm getting that consulting firm, the person that's kind of the pseudo Ceo, I'm also getting, you know, the accountant, someone doing inventory management, I'm getting a lot of those operational rolls out of that consulting firm and I've heard that that's a really good approach to take when you don't have the money to salary a Ceo at that kind of higher level. If you can find a consulting firm, they come in and they help you scale, you know, they'll help you kind of grow and structure some of those rules and then, you know, when it comes time to hire some, bring on a full time, you know, whether it's accountant or you know, a Ceo, then you kind of know that role, it's more defined.

Mm That's so interesting. What a great tip. Thank you, Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show today and share so much candidly and what it's really like running a business and building fish. I hope it was informative and I apologized and I know I talk so much that's what I get from being on the radio for 13 years. I love to chat. I love someone that loves to chat. Great for me. Good, good, Okay, good. Love that for us. Hey, it's just me here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female startup club podcast, if you want to hear more head to my instagram at Dune Rasheen to see my filmed interviews with incredible female founders like Erica from fluffy Beauty Greta, from drop bottle and Sammy leo from breeze bum. And if you like what we're doing here, visit our website and sign up to female startup club dot com to get all of the good stuff delivered straight to your inbox and lastly subscribe to the female startup Club podcast. Yeah.

How to double your revenue YOY through surprise and delight moments - aka free stuff - with Fitish Founder Jenna Owens
How to double your revenue YOY through surprise and delight moments - aka free stuff - with Fitish Founder Jenna Owens
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