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Building a clean beauty empire for 20+ yrs with LATHER founder, Emilie Hoyt

by Female Startup Club
September 24th 2020

Joining me on the show today is Emilie Hoyt, a seasoned entrepreneur of 20+ years who founded her clean beauty empire LATHER in 1999. 

What started as a company to solve Emilie’s terrible mig... 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 Emily Hoyt for female startup club Yeah, Hey everyone and welcome back to another episode of female startup club, I'm your host, do machine. And joining me on the show today is Emily Hoyt, a Seasoned entrepreneur of 20 plus years who founded her clean beauty empire leather in 1999. What started as a company to solve Emily's terrible migraine troubles, slowly but surely grew into a full blown skincare company that's taken her down the entrepreneurial path to success.

We're covering how she bootstrapped her business and found creative solutions to problems she faced with financing along the way, why she never took on VC money and the learnings along the way she wished she knew and you know the drill while I've got you here, please do rate subscribe and review the podcast to help other ears find us. This is Emily for female startup club. Yeah, two, sure, uh huh it's safe to say that most of us have been doing more online shopping lately. Right. And if you're an 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.

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The ads. NBA by female startup club is of course to master the technical skills needed to run profitable facebook and instagram ads. We teamed up with leading performance marketing agency amplifier to create the best tool on the Internet for female founders to learn the exact strategies they're using right now to scale their clients to seven figures and above. In the last 15 years, their team has spent more than $100 million on performance marketing and they know a serious thing or two about e commerce. The course is designed to give you the tools needed to build a profitable and consistent revenue stream for your business. Whether you're just starting out or wanting to scale to the next level, you'll learn everything from winning ad creatives to identifying your target KPs, implementing retargeting funnels and deploying scaling strategies to increase your revenue to upwards of seven figures per year. We currently have an introductory offer on the website for $149.30 dollars from every sale is proudly donated to the Malala Fund, a charity that's working towards a world where every girl can learn and lead female startup club precincts Emily, thank you so much for taking the time to be on female startup club today.

Oh well, thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited. I'm super excited. I wish I had a resource like this when I was starting out. So I'm thrilled to be here. Me too. I'm thrilled to be here. I'm eager to go back to your life way back before you started leather and to learn about that time in your life before you launch the business and what led you to starting the business? Right Well, when I was growing up, really starting at a young age like five I think was my first one. I had very severe migraine headaches and I was, my life was quite interrupted by these. They would happen a couple times a month and I would get very sick and miss school have to stay in bed all day. And the sad thing was, we lived, my house was right next door to my school and my parents thought it was great when they bought the house because we just, ever since we started, we just literally walked out the door down the sidewalk and to the school.

But during the days that I had migraines, I would hear all the kids playing right up against our fence and every, all the activity going on. And a lot of my early memories are just hearing what I was missing out on. And then later that night hearing the family at dinner and hearing my brother and sister playing and there was a real sense of loneliness and sadness which later as I, as I got older, I began to get very frustrated and angry on my, I was missing out on so many memories and so many fun things that I would later hear about the next week at school. And it became harder also to keep up with my school because the content got more challenging and I had more days, like three days in bed, then it became more difficult to catch up. So I became really motivated to find a solution and take more control and find a way to gain these days back and in doing so, um going to this amazing doctor neurologist who had me keeping journals and no dating what I ate, whether if I felt stressed um, to try to find patterns and maybe isolate certain triggers that I could have more control of.

And what I discovered was that I was very affected by Perfumes and this was like the 1980s. And so if I was in the car with a friend and her mom, I would often develop those kind of first feelings of the indicating that I might be getting a really bad migraine. I started to isolate the times when that happened And then that led me deeper and I decided to take all perfumes and any kind of beauty product that had the word perfume or fragrance in and out of my house and my environment for a test and I discovered that that I did much better. So then that led me to be like really energized and excited that I kind of had this one thing I could, I could have power over and I began to really look at ingredients everywhere.

I went for different beauty products to try to see, oh can I use this or not? I um You know, was 13, Maybe 12, 13 very into my hair, my makeup and so I was getting into that time of life, I'm very excited, I want to wear the perfume, I wanted to be part of that rite of passage with the blue eye shadow and everything and money looked at the ingredients of what I could use and the different shops that I was going to with my mom or my sister, you know, I discovered that whether it was a super expensive fancy product or something that I found with my sister at thrifty drug store after we got our ice cream, it was the same ingredient list and I was really shocked. I was like, wait a minute, I had just seen this, it was the same, the same for ingredients ending with the word fragrance or parfum, which is the in keyword, but that was a real eye opener to me and I felt like, do people notice, you know, why would they, why are they spending it with being this young girl realizing that you know this, this industry is, is manipulative and that the only real difference was their packaging and they're advertising the supermodels or whatever and the different kind of claims they would make, but it was exactly the same and it also is like, oh well, not only is this lies, there's no variety, nobody is using anything else.

And it became, I could, I could find certain things that didn't have fragrance and we're consented but they were anything special or unique or fun. And it just, it started me on a journey and that is what I think set me up to to start rather. That's so crazy to have these realizations at such a young age and to really identify that there's a big problem for you in your life that potentially other people are also suffering from and not being able to find a solution. It's a really interesting time of your life to, to start there, right? And it wasn't only the frustration, I couldn't find a solution, I also felt like do all women know this should, they know that they're spending you know, a lot of money on something that's the same. I just felt this, I felt like I wanted to tell everybody and I was sure that they would be shocked.

I even remember thinking, do the company's notice, did they know that everybody is using the same exact list and pretty much formula all across for everything. So yeah, it evolved, I think as I got older and you know, during that time going to college, there were some really amazing, beautiful new beauty companies out there that were using essential oils, began to learn about essential oils. I mean this was, you know, body shop evade a few, they were mostly using things that we find everywhere now like lavender, rosemary, mint, but for me it was really inspirational and I began to research into essential oils more and began to research into, you know, what other cultures use and have used for hundreds, thousands of years.

And why did we turn away from that for for something else? Um after college I worked in public relations, focused on non profit. So I worked with state of California on teen pregnancy prevention and I worked at the L. A. Gay and lesbian center for HIV AIDS awareness and I really worked every day at trying to frame arguments to change behaviors and to and to spread awareness about different issues that might affect your life and it was fulfilling. But I kept, I kept going back to skin care hair care beauty products and what I was seeing at the time where my friends in the group I hung around with in our twenties, we were going to the gym, we were trying to be eat healthy, we were living, you know in santa Monica and going on runs and going to spinning class and we're very aware of what we put in our bodies.

But strangely I saw a lot of friends still continue to put stuff on their skin that was really unhealthy and I was just shocked and I was shocked at, you know, we're making a lot of connections between our behavior and how we feel and what's good for us. You know, this was kind of the era where all of a sudden nobody would smoke and if you were smoking with second hand smoke and you're hurting yourself, but you're hurting people around you, I'm very conscious of all these things yet not, it wasn't penetrating into the beauty sector at all and I realized that the skills I had learned working on behalf of different causes could be applied to something that I'm so passionate about and trying to communicate how important what you put on your skin is to your health and how you should be demanding great ingredients and looking at ingredient lists just as you would do food and that, that's sort of the evolution of why I started lather and how how amazing I'm so interested to learn sort of who, what female leaders or role models were you looking to at that time because obviously the internet now you can go on, you can find absolutely information and inspiration from everyone.

You can listen to podcasts, you can be on the school of Youtube, you can be everywhere. But back then I imagine it's very different scenario. It's a very different landscape and I'm wondering if you had people who you were really like admiring and learning from Yeah, of course I think that I come from a long line, really determined, strong minded women. And so my mother, my older sister, my aunt, my grandparents, they were all if if you wanted something done you did it. And I think that the environment I was raised in really, I didn't feel that I had any limits or there weren't any expectations of me to be a certain way. Um, but I also didn't think anybody else was going to fix my problems. It was up to me and then other women.

I think I don't, I'm trying to think if there was any in particular people I looked up to in my industry. I'm not, I'm not sure and I'm not sure if there were a lot of different women entrepreneurs, but I did, I did love being around women leaders of all types. And I think that what even if it was professors or teachers I had growing up that I really admired or just people that I had been introduced to renew and all across the board. I think what inspired me was seeing other people have an attitude and determination that they were going to make a difference and sticking to their goal and not giving up and and being persistent was the best model that I could have. So sure. And I think feeding off other people's energy and getting that drive from what other people are putting out into the world can certainly spur you on.

I want to really talk about the beginning of when, you know, that day where you were like, okay, I'm starting a business, this is it what happened and how did you get started? So in the beginning I was doing small gift baskets on the side, um, putting together, you know, maybe best salts and a soap and a candle. And this was before I was making anything necessarily on my own. But I found a lavender bath salts somewhere and a candle that was made with natural ingredients in a soap. And I tried to put it together for birthdays, Mother's Day, things like that. I've been very, very small. I'm talking about a couple of orders. And then I began to really think about making my own products and how to come up with a small collection. Uh, and have a catalog, the catalog, black and white catalog that I printed at Kinko's and how to really just target my family and friends.

But my idea was, well, if they're sending gifts, maybe I can grow this. Yeah, I mean, and, and, and it was true to a small extent, but it was very small, very much a craft business on the side. I was working full time. And, you know, I was dating my boyfriend who's my husband now who works in the business with me now. But at the time I was dating him and I was, you know, talking about how I could expand this or do a little more, what else could I do and, and, and maybe I could do a body wash. I hadn't done a lot of liquids. So I was trying to kind of figure that out and, and he said to me, you know, you are so passionate about this, why don't you take more of your skills and use them to educating people about the why? You know, and then listening to them create the right products.

And that really inspired me. And I knew I did have the skills from work on how to communicate how to put together graphs and charts and easy to digest information. And I began to think about it. I went to a night class at U C L A U C like extension class on writing a business plan, which was completely foreign to me. And I went through each section um for myself and really worked at it and learned kind of the basics of maybe launching my own business. And, And it was 1998 and by 1999 I had made the decision, I'm gonna take this chance. I'm going to quit my job. I'm going to work at this full time, talked to my parents, which was, you know, my dad was excited and thought like, great, try it for a year. And my mom was like, why are you giving up a good job?

And I just decided that I would take a year and I would put everything I can into it and see where, where it would end up. And it was exciting. And I had no idea what I would be getting into. And and all of the challenges. When I, when I look back, I just, you know, you know, you don't know what, you don't know. And uh and and I did that and that's how I started. I began to learn more about making more products. I became friends with a chemist. I did some extra runs. I I began to really work on the branding and my goal was to wholesale and I could wholesale these and, and this would be great. And when I found was my ingredients that we're using and the the run size I was doing small runs. I couldn't afford anything else. And the packaging, I mean, my labels were all made.

Again, I believe this point still at Kinko's and I think it was no expensive. And the back then, 1999, the barrier of entry For an independent beauty brand, launched by a 23 year old. It was impossible. It really was. I would go around to the stores and you had to compete. And back then the packaging was amazing. I mean, there were benefit cosmetics. I remember, and fresh with a brand new company and their packaging was beautiful and I couldn't afford to have this beautiful packaging and the ingredients I were using would make it so that the price I would the customer would pay would be too much and it would really only be offering these products to a very wealthy consumer and that wasn't my goal. So I had decided after kind of feeling defeated, well if I had my own store in an area that had a lot of traffic, I could have a captive audience, I wouldn't need to spend as much on packaging, I could spin the bulk of the ingredients on the products, it wouldn't be competing on the shelf against anyone and I would be controlling the educational environment.

And so I began looking for a storefront, but that was very difficult because nobody wanted to lease to me. But I finally found one in Pasadena and it was beautiful and we moved in. But then I realized I didn't have enough products to fill a whole store, which seems so obvious, but you know, and then I had to make more products quickly um which is not always a good idea, but so I just learned by doing that, but I really grew, I think that one decision to open my own store and have a controlled branded environment change the trajectory of my business because once I did that I was able to develop these deep customer relationships and most importantly watch customers interact with my products and learn from that and that's really how we set our path to be a wouldn't really call it this back then, But a d to see direct to consumer brand where you really have a deep understanding of who your customer is and how they're using your product and if it's if it's succeeding or not you you can learn that pretty quickly in that environment.

So that was the launch. Yeah. Yeah. You had the you had the direct feedback loop all set up and ready to go. Yes. And we had sinks in this. I mean I would watch the customers using the products in real time and looking at their facial expressions and watching them, you know touch their hands as they walked afterwards around the store and what they were saying to their friend and it was invaluable and I don't even know if I realized what a gift that was but it really was. Yes in hindsight you can see it. What kind of money back then did it cost to start the business? Was it a lot of money to and and how many products were you having to order? You know? No. Well it's funny so it didn't cost a whole lot. I had rent of course and I had one employee to start maybe I got too late.

I was working all the time by myself Um rent was now I just laugh at, I mean it was such compared to now I think it was $2,000 or something a month. And for the first year I got that money from my parents. I borrowed it from them. And um and that for sure was scary. Yeah. You're in debt to your parents. Yeah. And he we didn't make, we didn't make any money and it was we didn't start. I opened the shop in october and we really didn't start. Um I never really felt like, okay, we're gonna make it till that next holiday And that next holiday. So it was a good 14 months before I felt like, okay, I'm seeing people come back. We're able to keep this moment for the product friends. I got pretty lucky. I became friends with a few different chemists and manufacturers and convince them to do overruns or test runs.

I bought overstocked packaging and then labels. We did go to a label maker. But the bottom line is the very low minimum I could do is what we did to the point where I left because we didn't always have enough product. Um but again, I couldn't afford to have so much inventory and that's such a risk to. So I think I was lucky in that I was able to bring in small amounts of my own branded product and test it. And we had some terrible failures, but we learned right away and it didn't sink us and really just grew the business customer by customer. How are you marketing and finding your customers at that time. Well I just was opening the door shouting to the street, please come in just opening the door. We were in an area that had a lot of it was a shopping street was a like a lifestyle street that had, you know, movie theaters and restaurant and there was a lot going on.

And I was lucky because my shop at that time had a back door in the front door and I would open both in the parking lot was right behind me. So people would use it to have a shortcut and then they would come in and I would try to try not to let them back on a sell hard sell. Yes and people going out to dinner, I would say, well wash your hands if you're going to dinner and get them at the sink and getting them to try the product. Oh, I love that. That's so cool, that's how, that's how I found our customers and marketed our products and and I did come from pr so I did know to send products and a little press release to the magazines and we got a little bit of coverage there. Um So yeah, amazing when you were talking about the um when you were manufacturing the product, all I could hear was like, yes, negotiation and yes compromise. Windowing your way in and then being like, okay, well fine, I can't afford the great packaging, I'm just going to have to run with what I can get.

Absolutely and you know, I think those initial, some of those initial relationships I still have today, and I still work with these people, although, you know, ordering, Gosh, you know, even 100,000 units now with the same people that were there in the beginning and that's really special. And I think it's about establishing relationships with your suppliers and your vendors because it didn't have financing a great amount of financing at all for my company. And what I learned is your your vendors and your suppliers can can help finance your company, whether they give you big terms, long, big terms, but longer terms or they give you um you know, it's about a partnership. Uh yeah, they want you to succeed so that you can both succeed and you can keep placing orders. Yes, that's amazing. Yes.

So convincing them to take a chance and convincing them that I would stick with them as they grew. You know, in the end, it wasn't that much for them, wow. And after that sort of period in the business, in those early days, what do you think was the turning point? And when did you start to realize, oh, wow, like this is going to be something and I'm I'm going to be able to stick it out and really grow this? I don't know if there was one particular, I know that I began to see customers regularly and began to see them coming back and that stuck with me, that I have. I mean the business of replenish able everyday product. I'm part of their life and if I win them they return. And so I need to find more of them and I'm going to be okay.

And I think that was a real comfort to me. But also this huge puzzle Because again, this was before we did have a website, but it was, I think the website just listed our 800 number. It was like call this to order. And I didn't really know how to get more of them. And then we got this, well once somebody came in our store who was opening a hotel in West Hollywood and said can I buy these products from my hotel and in those days if in my answer was yes, I mean I just said yes before I knew and she was talking about small little bottles and I said yes and then I had to find the small little bottles every time she placed in order we had to pump and drive it over, put a label on and drive them over. But then we started getting customers from that. And then a year later I got a phone call from a woman who was working for a company that was opening a very large hotel in atlantic city.

And I never been to atlantic city did not sing about it. And she had said our president was visiting Pasadena to visit the architect for this new hotel and brought his wife back a basket from your shop and she fell in love with it and he wants to have your products in our hotel and it's going to be 2000 rooms. And do you do products for hotel? Well I said, yes, I do, because I do this, you know, 15 room hotel, you must not only would, of course I do and I had no idea how I would do that. Um, but I went out to Atlantic City um they hadn't even started the hotel when I first went to Atlantic City. I was like, I don't know what this place is, but they said, we're going to build this four star hotel and it's beautiful. And they showed me renderings and they kept saying, so you, you know how to do this and distribute to and I said yes. And then we figured out they opened, it was gorgeous. It's the borgata, it's, it really is a very special, like a luxury hotel there. And I Just worked and worked and worked to figure out that supply chain.

But yeah, they needed product every day. They were running on 100% occupancy from the beginning, had to be supplied every single day and we were making a good profit and we were getting so many calls, we printed our 100 number on that product, Our 800 number was going crazy. So we kept having to add lines and so then we were shipping product out everywhere and that's when I knew, wow, you know the travel industry and hospitality usually has pretty bad products and people are staying, going on trips for important reasons, a vacation, a job interview, a wedding and if they are like me and they have a product with synthetic fragrance or even just a product that bothers them that's really impacting their memory of that place and their entire trip and then maybe their success of whether if that trip was successful or not and if I get my product sample to them in a way that also makes me profitable, this could be really amazing.

And so I started to explore that area more because it felt like it was being ignored and I kind of thought like why aren't more companies doing this? There were a few companies doing hospitality but they were just um they were just um not great, it's just kind of considered like a throwaway product, so I felt like there was a real opportunity there and uh it helped our business more than anything out, this gain customers in a time where it was a little difficult to just go out and getting customers and also spread our message about paying attention to ingredients. Um what a difference it can make. I had so many businessmen calling in those days saying I tried to shampoo and you know it was because I had this meant in mid time shang, but we still have it, it's very tingly and it was very active for them and they loved it and they had not paid attention before them. So it began to see it's really just finding a way to spread your message and you get product really good product into people's hands and they'll return to, yeah, get them on the, get them on that first product and then they're a customer for light.

I read that you didn't take on any finance in building the brand. You didn't take on venture capital. And so was that an active decision or was it just because the business was so cash flow positive that you were able to do that. I wish that it was a real active decision. I don't know that I it was focused on it until I started to get calls later and then just getting calls all the time. But you know, but that was much later. That was more when there was more activity in this space in the beginning. I don't think there was and it was just considered sort of, you had your bigger players and then you had your kind of hobbyists or craft businesses. Right? So it wasn't, I didn't consider it really an option and it was just never my path. I always wanted to grow the business because I had profit coming in.

Not, you know, we, I never even took a bank loan until recently and with the Corona the P. P. P. It was the first time I've ever had any type of loan. So again financing the business and cash flow issues which were constant really came from us, working with our vendors, working with the vendors and working with you know developing the relationships with our customers and getting that repeat and just you know trying to get the best terms possible was was really creative solutions. It was very difficult. But at the same time I think it can be helpful because if you do not have cash to buy something you don't by a lot of times people have a lot of cash and and and so they go and they they spend so freely when you have nothing you can't you're you're you're forced to be so lean that if you're able to be successful, it's just a mentality that you keep throughout your business.

So absolutely. I think in a way it was helpful. We didn't grow as fast But we grew customer by customer. I mean I've been doing this 20 years. It's not it's not getting a bunch of finance and blowing it up everywhere. He was a customer by customer and that's what matters. Yes for sure. Do you think another thing that I'm wondering about is obviously brands these days who take on venture capital. The goal is to exit the goal is to sell, get the money back to the investors, that kind of thing you've been in business for 20 years. Has that been something that you have just thought, you know what, I'm gonna do this forever or have you thought, yeah, maybe one day I will sell it and I will, you know, move out of this beauty product. You know, it's such a good question. Truth is for many years, that wasn't even in my mind, it was paying rent. What kind of new product kind of new ingredient I found out about that I want to see if I can afford to use um, what it was trying, it was being a nice way to frame it, I guess, is to be very present.

I was very present. Um, and didn't, honestly, it doesn't really plan long term, which I would never advise to anybody, but I didn't, it's only been recently and I think through growing and learning and also just maturing, having Children and watching them grow. That only, I would say the past five for more years where I've been more focused on long term planning and what do I really want and after dad is spending so much time at this, how can I continue the life of what I've started in and make sure it still stands for what I've started. And does that mean selling to somebody who can do it better than me or does that mean passing it down through my family or does that mean folding it into something else?

You know, those types of hard questions. It's only recently that I've really been contemplating in the first half of the business at least or more. I don't know if I thought I just wasn't ever gonna grow old and I don't know what I thought, but it wasn't, I never even thought about it. So caution now those questions are, I think especially through this pandemic, what's really important did I make a difference? Can I make a difference? And how can I continue doing those sorts of deep questions that I do spend a lot of time thinking about and I'm not sure if there's perfect answers, but it it's weighing on my mind for sure there might be some serendipity that plays comes into play there sometimes you can't plan for these kinds of things either. Exactly. What do you think? Looking back at some of the key learnings that you've had along the way that you can share with other young entrepreneurs, the most important thing I've learned and I've had to repeat it to myself these last six months over and over his.

It is never as good or bad as it seems, you may feel like you're on top of the world, you are killing it. It's not going to last. I'm sorry, it's not and and the same way that you can feel like you are at the very end of your rope? As long as you're able to hang on. You think that's not going to last either, nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems to you in the moment. You just need to hang on and take the breath because I think as long as you were still in business, things change. It's important to remember that. Um and I think we get very affected by what's happening to us in the moment. We either believe we're invincible or we believe we're ruined or what and it's never as good or bad as it seems. I love that. That's really cool. Um I want to talk about where the business is today, what it looks like, what's happening, um what initiatives you have going on, that kind of thing.

Yeah, Well business, so many of us know today is very different than anything we anticipated and so that's also been a lesson um you can plan and you can be prepared but you also need to remain very flexible and very, you know, able to pivot and not be tied to your plans this year has been unexpected and very difficult for all businesses I think and definitely our business, it has been hard, however, I think we have been focused 100% on our customer. What does our customer want, what are they looking for? What, what can we give them and how can we remain part of their everyday. So we made hand sanitizer, you know, everybody's making hand sanitizer but our hand sanitizer, we launched March 30th and we March 30th, we sold our first hand so that we had our first hand 17 0 sale and we fulfilled it.

We did it so quickly. We did it with food grade alcohol. So we knew alcohol was going to be an issue. And it has been um we were there with soaps, we made, we we focused on making sure our our website was optimized and ready because many of our customers immediately switched online. Of course like everybody did, we made sure our operations were ready to handle the influx. Uh and we made sure you know, our suppliers were okay and that we could ensure supply because it drastically shifted and that's you know, we some of our business has stabilized of course, since the early days it's a pandemic. But we are very focused on making sure that we're offering products that could be really useful and really healthy and an approachable price point to all our customers.

We have organic lavender sanitizing wipes and we have our hand sanitizer. We've have our launching different liquid soaps. Um I think these products right now it's very important for people to pay attention to what's in them. It's very important for people to understand that fragrance in the air is inhaled and can stick in your lungs and it can create a lot of irritation. And so you want to make sure what you're using to remain healthy and safe isn't doing any more harm. Um, and we want to be there educating our customers and giving them the products and peace of mind for them to be able to get through this time. Yeah, that's really nice. And I think all of your products sounds so divine of the ingredients and and how clean they are. So I'm sure that everyone's hands are feeling really nice having these beautiful things going on into their scheme, right? We also partner with a lot of hotels and beautiful properties all over the world and they're suffering and we need to support them, we need to support their staff.

We need to, we need to be part of the solution that helps people feel confident when they travel and helps them feel cared for and create healthy environments. So this is a time where everybody needs to work together, you know, it's um and what I found is that people are more willing and more open to different ways of working in different types of partnerships than ever and I think it's a great thing, it's one great thing that's happened. So yeah, and I think as well, being like forefront and relevant to everyone as you know, the future unfolds and being kind of there when things do go back to normal and being the first products that people see in like this and that kind of thing is is also going to be really nice. We are up to the six quick questions that I asked to every woman that I speak to. Okay, Question # one Is What's Your, Why? I want people to have an understanding of what's in the products they put on their skin, in their hair, their body every day and they want them to question What is fragrance?

There's a word fragrance on ingredient list. What is that that can contain up to 4000 different ingredients. It's given a pass in the U. S. They don't have to list them. Why, why why is that? Why do they get a pass? And I want people to ask those questions and that's that's why I'm in this business, Wow, that's so interesting. 4000 ingredients. That is crazy. I've never thought about that. Um Question number two is, what do you think has been the number one marketing moment that's made your business pop. Oh my gosh! Well uh in 2014 we were one of Oprah's favorite things. That was a huge win for us, but also just a personal win because I grew up with Over and that was pretty, I mean the best, Yeah that's a highlight. So that for me was a huge marketing moment um during this past few months we've had tremendous success with our foot care products, which I don't think we were expecting, but I think people wanted to do those treatments at home.

So we did a lot of digital marketing and we saw a huge response and a big success and that was that was really exciting because we weren't expecting it. Yeah. How random. I love that. I can see why. I mean it makes total sense when you think about it, but it's unexpected. Yeah, of course it's those things that make complete sense. But you aren't expecting it. So that was a lot of fun. That's really cool. Question # three is where do you hang out to get smarter? I guess it depends what I want to get smarter about. I'm a big researcher. I don't hesitate to call anybody or reach out to anyone to ask advice or questions. And honestly, nine times out of 10 I get a positive response to make myself smarter or to get through a tough decision. I play the piano and I like to spend time doing something that that requires a lot of focus and a lot of different parts of my mind so that I can shut off completely from work and go into that other part of myself in that other world and then return and I feel like I'm much smarter.

And then my kids kids always seem to have a simple, easy, obvious answer for the shoes I struggle with. And sometimes the simplest most common sense answer is the answer. So I love that. That's really nice. That's the first shout out I've heard for for kids of weather hanging out to your smart, we're together nowadays. So Yeah, question # four is how do you win the day and that's around your am and pm rituals. Well I think to during these times when we are in one house every day over and over, I turn to aromatherapy. I like to start the day. Um, with bombs. We have that have really uplifting sense and doing it regularly every single day helps me mark time and so I have bombs for the morning and then I have a pillow spray and some bombs for the evening.

And again, I think doing it consistently helps me frame the day. It's like how you have coffee in the morning and maybe tea at night. It's the same um, marker. So I think that that helps me a lot. I'm really big on love and oil at night time going to bed. Yeah, yeah, It's a wine gun for sure. Question # five is if you only had $1,000 left in your business bank account, where would you spend it? I've been in that. Um, I don't know that I have the, the best answer for this. But again, I don't know that I would, I think the first thing I would do is reach out to every partner I had. I think that too often. We think about transactions, we don't think about partnerships and paying it forward so that you never know when you are going to be in the position and I would, If I ate today had $1,000 left.

I think my first step would be to focus on the deepest partnerships I have, whether it's through vendors and suppliers to see what help you can get there and also the best customers I have and and reaching out and connecting with them. Um, but I don't know what I would spend. It's a really interesting answer. I love that. And the question # six is how do you deal with failure? And that's around your mindset and approach or just a personal experience? Well, I think failures heart, I think it's hard on our egos and I think we're human beings. Um, but what I have found is to do everything I can to normalize failure and eliminate the shame park and what really helped me is being open and talking about the failures I've had especially to my kids because there's many aspects of your life and you, you're not going to fail at all of them.

So I may have failed at work. I may have failed communicating to an employee. I may have failed a customer. There's so many different levels. You still have that and normalizing it and talking about it and exposing my kids to it is, is not feeling as a mom. And so modeling that failure is a part of every day is really important. I don't want my kids to grow up thinking I've had, you know, their, their mom had this huge success and never failed and have that pressure because they're going to fail someday. And so they're watching how I handle it. And then I think the hardest failures for me are when I have to look at myself and repair something and having the courage to go back maybe to that employee and say, you know what, let's repair this or too that decision um, that you made. And we're really stubborn about and realize, okay, that wasn't right at all.

Um having the courage to repair whatever you can because I think sometimes the feeling can be to ignore it and move on. But oftentimes there's, there's parts of failure you may be able to salvage and it's worth it as hard as it is. So yeah, that's how I try to deal with it. Mm hmm. That's incredible. Incredible, incredible. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the podcast today and share so much of your story. Well, thank you for such thoughtful questions and deep questions and I think this is so important. I think what you're doing is so important. Again, I didn't feel that I had a resource like this and I'm just really, really honored that you asked me to be on it because I think I think your questions are incredible. Thank you. Thank you so much. 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 bomb.

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. Mhm. Yeah.

Building a clean beauty empire for 20+ yrs with LATHER founder, Emilie Hoyt
Building a clean beauty empire for 20+ yrs with LATHER founder, Emilie Hoyt
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