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6 Quick Questions with Allison McNamara, Founder of MARA Beauty (part 2)

by Female Startup Club
March 8th 2022

Today on the show we’re learning from Allison, the founder behind Mara Beauty. 

A lifelong beauty and wellness enthusiast, Allison has always had a passion for beauty and drummed up the idea ... More

are you on the lookout for a new podcast? To listen to Being boss by Emily Thompson is brought to you by the hubspot podcast network. And something I love about this show is getting the chance to support my community of fellow creators and business owners. Being boss is an exploration of not only what it takes, but what it means to be a boss as a creative business owner, freelancer or side hustler. And I know it's going to resonate with so many of you who are listening in. So if you like female startup club, trust me, you're going to love being boss. Welcome Back. Here are the six quick questions. So question number one is, what's your why? Why are you doing what you're doing? I feel like it's so powerful when you feel good about your skin. At least for me. And so I love being able to give the gift of gorgeous skin to people, Especially people that have had struggles with acne or breakouts or aging or texture or plumpness their whole lives to see the transformations that people are seeing in their skin is truly like the best gift. And it's the y mm hmm mm hmm mm hmm.

Yeah, skin confidence is like a real it's a real thing. I'm going through like this treatment at the moment to kind of like, I don't know what the terminology is here because I'm so bad at this stuff. But it's kind of like to help my pigmentation damage from sun damage. And I was with the clinic yesterday and we did like a before and after photos just from when I came into like the few weeks of like this skin stuff that I'm using at the moment and I can already see a difference and I was like wow, like that makes me feel so good to see that progress even though it's small and she was like yeah you're gonna have so much more progress as well. And it made me feel so confident just in that moment, that tiny little moment I was like wow, I feel really good about that. Oh it's yeah, it's the best and your skin looks amazing. So you have to tell me more about this treatment. Oh I will, we can do this. Offline question number two is what's been your number one? Like top favorite marketing moments so far? Oh I have to, is that okay? Yes, absolutely. So the first one I have to say is not like a skin care focused marketing moment but it was just such a big accomplishment and we were really one of the first brands to do it are mara by air juan skin detox tonic collab.

So we did a collaboration with their wand which is like a super trendy grocery store in Los Angeles and we did a tonic bar takeover. So for two weeks last august they used our supplement to make this really delicious drink that was free for members and a small price for non members and it was really just a fun marketing activation that with a brand that I love so much and respect so much. So it was really cool for us, that is so cool. I love that. Really one of the first, the first beauty brands to do that because we, we have supplements and skincare and number two, I'd have to say, I really loved our volcanic sea clay detox mask launch. It was like the height of the pandemic and vaccines have just started rolling out and I just loved our cozy, cute box that we did. We did this beautiful like sweatshirt that people loved and we did a custom base coat, nail polish color that matched the color of the product and then we did these mara hair claws that we still sell because they're so popular.

I love how like when you're describing these marketing moments, like you're creating these different kinds of moments, it's not just like, oh, here's the products like buy the product, it's like, hey, come and experience us in this new way in this cool trendy spot or like, hey, let's also add layers to this experience when you receive it in the mail. I think that's so clever and something that everyone listening should definitely think about. It's hard. Sometimes products lend themselves so easily to something like that, like the mask was like a home run, we had so much fun putting that kit together. But then other products are a little more challenging so you kinda have to just lean into the ones that you can make really fun and then if you can't make it fun, don't reach, you know? Yeah, yeah. Don't make it a stretch, make it feel easy for people to get it and understand it. Yeah, I love that question. Number three is, what's your go to Business resource when it comes to a book, a podcast or a newsletter? Hmm, this is a good one. I listened to so many things. I love just any sort of self help improvement books.

So I'm always listening to something on audio books. I love um what's that? Oh my gosh, of course, I can't think of his name at the moment. I always talked about his book to um Ben God, I have long, covid brain. I'm with you, don't worry, I'll tell you, I'll tell you about that one later. But I also love listening to the Goop podcast. I really love that podcast. I think it's really interesting topics that are not just business related, but a lot of like mental health and just physical health related. So I listened to Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop a lot and a big fan of her just in general. I love Goop Kitchen and her website. Um I listen to the daily every day, which is just like a general, you know, news podcast. But I think being informed with what's going on in the world is important for running a business and that's basically it, I do a lot of audio books. I'm always listening to something. I love his voice and like the way that he says like, I'm like, I'm not gonna try and say, because I feel like I'm gonna butcher it, but I love his voice. Like how he says like, like I don't know how he says it, but like in that way I love it.

It's so good question number four and I feel like you're gonna have some really good answers for this one. How do you win the day? What are your kind of like am or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and motivated and productive? I wish I could say I was like that girl and had like a full morning routine, but mine's like much more simplified. So I'll wake up usually between 77 30. I'm not a super early riser and some days I do Pilates first thing in the morning. The other days, I kind of just go straight into my routine. I love my gratitude journal. So it's pretty short takes me like a few minutes. I always do that. You know, do my skincare. I've been doing some stretches lately because I feel like I've got a lot of Tightness as I'm getting older. So I do about like 5, 10 minutes of stretching, you know, walk my dog, make my coffee and then I jump into work pretty fast. So I wish I had a little bit more time. But you know, there's a lot to do. And then at night I just really do my skincare and watch real housewives because balance balance, balance is key. Love that for you.

Question # five is what's been the worst money that you've ever spent in the business? Like a money mistake. Yeah. So when I first bought those dead stock bottles, I mentioned earlier, the person who sold them to me told me that I had to get them engraved in order to get the writing on it by someone who did wine bottles because they had already been sealed and I didn't know anything about what I was doing. So I listened to him, I paid all this money to have them freighted up to san Francisco and they get there and the guy was like, yeah, we can do this, but they're not going to be shiny gold, it'll be like a flat gold, which is not what I wanted. So I had to ship them all the way back down here. I got these labels printed and um, the labels weren't correct. So I went through like three revisions of the front of the bottle for the universal face oil without actually wasting any of the bottles. Just, I wasted a lot of time and a lot of money. So, and the reason for this is because I didn't order the components from manufacturer and they came, they didn't come custom for me, they were sitting here.

So that's definitely one of the challenges and it probably would have, it probably would have even doubt honestly cost wise if I would have just ordered them originally from, you know, Korea where they come from. But of course the quantities would have been different so totally, how much was it that you kind of like lost in that saga? Ish, I think around $10,000 of some sort there was a lot of this. I mean it's still a lot. Yeah, I mean just, yeah, it was sucked. I was like, oh my God, what am I doing? But I hate that for you. Question # six, last question. It's kind of a blend on from this. Um, I might have to mix these up in the future. But anyway, for now we'll go with it. What's been a major fail in the business that you can share and how did you deal with it? I wouldn't say it's a major fail because honestly, I think every kind of downturn points you up again, right? Because that's how things cycle goes. But one crazy story that was wild was when we were getting ready to launch our retinol oil, which was our second product that we launched.

We uh okay, the bottles left from Korea and the largest storm, like in our generation has hit the coast of Korea and they couldn't find the boat, which is really scary for the people on it. They couldn't find the boat for two weeks and they're like, yeah well we think it may have like sunk, we're not sure. And a lot of manufacturers are DDP but we didn't have GDP which means delivered at place, they're responsible until it gets here. But we didn't have DDP pricing. So basically like they were kind of saying like well they're gone so you have to buy them again but luckily for the people on board and for our bottles, they arrive safely just like a month and a half late, jesus, whoa. Yeah it was really traumatizing. Yeah. Gosh that is wild stuff, Wild stuff question or not. What happens like, do you have to have insurance? Like what happens if they actually, you know, went missing like properly Yeah.

At the time I don't know if I I definitely had business insurance. Like I had liability insurance and all of the things that you need to operate a proper business. I had that at the time but I don't know how it works with things that you've ordered that you haven't received. I mean knock on what it hasn't happened since then and we never got to that phase. But um yeah I should look into that. I'm sure insurance would kick in in some capacity but I'm not sure how much they would probably argue over who was liable for it mm mm mm mm mm mm Gosh that's a crazy story. I'm actually gonna change that question to be like, what's a crazy story in the business that's going to be moving forward to? Everyone listening. Love that for me. Allison, thank you so much for taking the time to join me and share your story with mara. I've loved hearing all the things. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. This has been so fun. Hey, it's doom here. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Female Startup Club podcast. If you're a fan of the show, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com where you can subscribe to our newsletter and learn more about our D.

I. Y. Course. The ads, N. B. A. I also truly appreciate each and every review that comes our way. It might seem like such a small thing, but reviews help other heirs find us. So please do jump on and subscribe rate and review the show. And finally, if you know someone who would benefit from hearing these inspiring stories, please do share it with them and empower the women in your network. See you soon. Mhm. Mhm.

6 Quick Questions with Allison McNamara, Founder of MARA Beauty (part 2)
6 Quick Questions with Allison McNamara, Founder of MARA Beauty (part 2)
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