Browse Tag

skincare

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How Herb’N Eden Became a Multi Million Dollar Skincare Business During a Pandemic

Herb’N Eden is a popular line of all-natural, plant-based skincare products founded by husband and wife team, Quinton and Terran Lewis.

Herb’N Eden

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Where and how Herb’N Eden began.
  • What factors contributed to going from $260K in sales in 2019 to $2.7 million in 2020.
  • How they were able to successfully manage this rapid growth.
  • How their different personalities help them succeed as business partners.
  • What advice they have for other entrepreneurs.

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Tony O. Lawson


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Scotch Porter CEO Discusses Keys to Creating A Multi Million Dollar Personal Grooming Brand

New Jersey based Scotch Porter is one of the most popular and successful brands in the world of men’s grooming.  Founder and CEO, Calvin Quallis started the company in 2015 and named the line after his favorite drink (scotch) and his favorite musician (Gregory Porter).

Within the first 12 months of operation, Scotch Porter generated more than a million dollars in sales and has been growing rapidly ever since with distribution in major retailers such as Target and Walmart.

We caught up with Calvin to find out more about the company and his keys to success.

Scotch Porter
Scotch Porter founder, Calvin Quallis

What inspired you to start your business?

I’ve always been passionate about solving problems. My passion for helping men to feel their best was born out of observation and my firsthand experience as a barbershop owner and a kid in my mom’s beauty/barbershop.

There I watched my mom and the other stylists transform the customers that walked into the shop. The customers would walk out as a different person. The barbers and stylists had this unique ability to help people feel better about themselves. That experience really stuck with me.

Also, when I owned my own barbershop, a lot of men would complain about grooming issues like dry, brittle and thin hair. So, I went home and began experimenting from the kitchen of my home, with natural ingredients, to alleviate their concerns and Scotch Porter was born.

Scotch Porter

What particular growth strategies have you implemented (or still implement) that have been most effective?

We operate in many of the traditional digital marketing channels that everyone plays in: PPC, Paid Social, Email, Influencer, Affiliate, etc. We have found email or retention marketing to be the most profitable and lucrative channel for us.

We see about an 83x return on every dollar that we invest in our email marketing efforts. Also, the channel is a great way to build customer loyalty and launch new products.


Where do you see the business in the next 5 years?

Our mission is to promote internal and external wellness while arming men with the tools needed to live their best, most fulfilled lives. In recent years, men have become much more interested in wellness and personal care.

We feed that interest by educating and providing experiences that showcase how health, wellness, and taking care of oneself shifts how one feels and performs in their personal and professional lives.

Scotch Porter is in a unique position to continue to educate and arm our customers with information and products that are aligned with internal and external wellness. Just like beauty isn’t just lipstick and makeup, grooming isn’t just a haircut and shave. You can expect a diverse product assortment from us in the near future.

What advice do you have for the entrepreneur who would like to see his/her products on the shelves of major retailers?

I have three key pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

1) Do your research. 

If you are thinking of entering a market where there are no competitors, you better have a lot of money, as it will take boat loads of it to open up a new market. Thinking that you can create a new market with very little capital and resources is an uphill battle that most new entrepreneurs will lose. Competition is a sign that you are entering a healthy market and that customers are buying your offering.

2) Identify and/or cultivate a USP (Unique Selling Point) or Niche Market.

Being able to clearly communicate to a customer why they should buy from you instead of the competition is the only way to survive in a marketplace where there are hundreds, sometimes tens of thousands of companies that are technically offering the same product or service.

Even better is identifying a niche market. Find a market that is big enough and has enough potential customers but is being underserved or ignored. Study that customer and identify the best ways to serve them. You can grow a very substantial business, by identifying and properly serving a niche market.

3) Investigate the real costs of doing business with a major retailer and ask yourself if you’re truly ready. 

First, having a tight grip on the business’ finances and having the appropriate product margin to sell to a mass retailer is crucial to the sustainability of your business. Does your current product margins support giving 50% or more of your retail costs to a retailer, plus another 10-15% to support marketing/sales efforts?

Second, getting on a retailer’s shelf is no easy feat, but it’s much easier than moving product off that retailer’s shelf. You must have customer loyalty and/or the marketing/sales capability to sell through. Landing on a retailer’s shelf, but not being able to move product off the shelf can be devastating to a small business, as you can accumulate massive fees from the retailer, have your products removed from shelves, and mar your reputation with the retailer.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Sunscreen Brand Receives $1 Million Investment

Black Girl Sunscreen (BGS) is a Black owned sunscreen brand based in Van Nuys, CA. The company produces a fragrance-free, melanin reinforcing SPF 30 sunscreen moisturizer using natural ingredients. This month, BGS secured a $1 million dollar investment from a private female funding source.

black owned sunscreen
Shontay Lundy, owner of Black Girl Sunscreen

Despite Black owned businesses typically having the most challenging time raising capital, BGS achieved this milestone with one single anchor product.

Currently, BGS is the only indie Black owned sunscreen brand carried full time in Target’s sun care section. This came after a successful sales and marketing campaign, which focused on the importance of all complexions needing sunscreen. Now over 200 Target stores across the country sell the BGS SPF 30 and BGS Kids SPF 50.

black owned sunscreen

After months of vetting potential partners, owner Shontay partnered with an investor who embodies many of her traits, namely integrity, and business savvy. Black Girl Sunscreen is valued at $5 million, after recently receiving their newest investment.

In the throes of COVID-19, the five-person BGS staff implemented an “all hands-on deck” mentality to ensure the company thrived. Lundy, refused to let the pandemic slow down her progress, stating that, “I told the team we need to change the narrative and be very nimble to survive this.”

The team immediately enhanced their social media strategy, started working longer hours, and increased their marketing efforts. Since the onset of COVD-19, the brand has seen a tremendous uptick in e-commerce orders and will be launching a new product later this year.

Traditionally, businesses with women of color CEOs at the helm, receive less than 1 percent of all VC funding every year. Black women startups and entrepreneurs are leading the pack when it comes to being marginalized, only receiving 0.2% of all funding.

Despite the large funding gap, women of color, especially black women aren’t slowing up anytime with funding new businesses and diving into entrepreneurship, as minority women account for 89% of new businesses opened every day. We sat down with Lundy to speak about her new private investment in Black Girl Sunscreen and where she sees Black Girl Sunscreen going next.

Source: Dominique Fluker for FORBES

 


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Black Owned Cleaning Products You Should Know

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many of us are now, more than ever, determined to sanitize our surroundings and our bodies.

We’ve compiled a short list of Black-owned businesses offering cleaning products that can help keep your household, workspace, or another place clean.

Black Owned Cleaning Products

Good Vibes is a powerful, plant-based, multi-surface cleaning product that changes the whole vibe!

Reel is an eco-friendly company that produces 100% sustainable bamboo toilet paper.

True Products is a startup manufacturing and Distribution Company that specializes in household cleaning supplies. 

Honeydipped Essentials is an all-natural cleaning product line, offering organic remedies for your home.

The Hoot is an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner that’s safe for the whole family.

Black Owned Cleaning Products

Derx Wipes is a family owned business that offers natural, quality cleaning supplies.

PUR Home is a natural, non-toxic Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent and Household Cleaners product line.

 

-Tony O. Lawson

Related: Black owned Skincare businesses


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Black Owned Skincare Brands You Should Know

A few years ago, Dove released a skincare ad that quickly received backlash for being racist and offensive. They have since pulled the ad but not in time to stop calls for a boycott of their products. More recently, the CEO of LUSH has also stepped in it.

Since SHOPPE BLACK is all about highlighting Black businesses, we created a list of Black owned skincare brands that would love to have your business.

Black Owned Skincare Brands

ITADI

black owned skincare

Naked Bar Soap Co

black owned skincare

Pooka Pure & Simple

Temple Zen

black owned skincare

Jade & Fox Co.

black owned skincare

Cream & Coco Skincare

black owned skincare

Skinfolk

Kyra’s Shea Medleys

Butter Me Up Goods

Ayele & Co.

black owned skincare

Best Life Organics

Nyah Beauty

M by LW

Josephine’s Creme

Sixela Skincare

Sogona Sacko

ReLiv Organics

Shea Radiance

Urembo Asili

Angie Watts

black owned skincare

Emollient

black owned skincare

 

dermHa

black owned skincare

Jacq’s Organics

Chanvere Naturals

DreamStar Cosmetics

IYOBA

Brosily Bath and Body

Oyin Handmade

black owned skincare

 

 

Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.


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This 9yr Old Kidpreneur Has Built a Bath Bomb Business

Lani Boo Bath is a business that uses natural ingredients to make Bath Bomb ‘s. What’s different about this particular business is that the entrepreneur that created it is only 9 years old!

You know we had to find out more about Jelani Jones of Fredericksburg, Virginia. We chatted with her and her mother, Crystal to learn more.

Jelani and some of her products (Photo Credit: Terri Baskin)

SB: Why did you decide to make bath bombs?

Jelani: One day I went to a class at Ms. Christi’s (who is now my mentor) shop. I enjoyed making bath bombs so much that I actually started a business making them. Her class was something that I looked forward to doing for a while .

SB: How did you know Jelani had what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Crystal (Mom): Jelani is not afraid to put herself out there. She is very confident and savvy with her money. Since she was a toddler, she’s always asserted herself and has always had her own way of doing things.

Her asserting herself was frustrating for me because it felt like defiance.

My friend telling me that she was displaying characteristics of a leader helped me to be more flexible in the way I parented her…. and less frustrated I still tell myself “give her options”.

 

SB: What is the most fun part of making your products?

 Jelani: I love being able to feel the texture of the bath bomb mix. And I like to mix all the ingredients together . It’s so satisfying ! And the soaps,I like putting all the oils and butter into the crockpot and feeling the moisture!

SB: How do balance school and your business?

 Jelani: Now I’m on summer break . But when I’m not on summer break I pick days to tend to my business and make bath bombs . I  also do all my homework in study hall .

SB: In what ways are you nurturing Jelani’s interest in entrepreneurship? 

Crystal (Mom): My husband and I try to keep Lani around good people.

We also support her and let her know that she can do whatever she wants if she puts the time and effort into it (as we tell all our kids).

She has good friends that she loves who are also entrepreneurs.

Jelani and the fam (Photo Credit: Terri Baskin)

Lani is in a program called ShEO founded by DeShawn Robinson-Chew. Its a coaching program for girls her age up to 18.

They learn about business plans, developing goals for their business, profit/loss, and they have monthly masterminds and individual coaching sessions.

Photo Credit: Terri Baskin

I also keep her connected with her mentor Christi Carter of Emerald Bee Bath. Christi is amazing and helps her w the crafting, wholesale product and business side of things.

Our own friends have gone above and beyond in supporting Lani also….. We stress the fact that it takes a village.

Lastly, Lani sees that my husband and I are passionate about our own businesses. I think children feed off of passion. She’s sat w her dad in court and she has helped me at my office as well.

We model it a love for what we do and flexibility that comes with entrepreneurship.

 
SB: How do you like to relax when you aren’t working on business or schoolwork?
 
Jelani: I’m so glad you asked that! Sometimes I have self care Sundays where I enjoy some of my bath bombs  and put  green tea in my bath. I know what you’re thinking what’s next  sugar and honey?!

I also love to hang out with my best friends Kyndal and Destinee who also have businesses named D’s Tees and Kindles Kandles. Or I’ll play outside with my next door neighbor. I also like going shopping for new cute clothes.

Lots of times I’ll go to sleep for a long time because after I get all my orders ready I get tired. Sometimes I watch television.

My favorite shows are Sister Sister, Moesha, Everybody Hates Chris, all shows Disney channel, and A Different World. I enjoy all of those things.

SB: Are there any  other  products you would like to learn how to make?
 
Jelani: I would love to make moisturizing body butters that will be healthier on peoples skin than store bought lotion . I’d also like to make exfoliating sugar scrubs that get the dead skin off of your body still without chemicals being put on your body.

For more details about Lani Boo Bath, visit  www.etsy.com/shop/LaniBooBath 

 

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson aka @thebusyafrican

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Do Your Skin a Favor. Dump your Washcloth!

I often get compliments on my skin. One reason might be because I drink copious amounts of water. The other is most likely because as a child growing up in Nigeria, I used what we call a “sponge”.  An inexpensive, yet effective skin care instrument. I still use it to this day. (No, not the same one)

That being said, you can imagine how excited I was to learn that Caroline Ansah had given my childhood sponge a makeover and created Luv Scrub. I had to find out more about how and why she created her business.

SB: What inspired the creation of LUV SCRUB ? 

CA: LUV SCRUB actually started in July 2012. I was at a Brooklyn roof top party with new friends and they complimented me on my skin. They gave me the idea to it bring to the market.

I did it and it was great experience.  I learned a lot. In between, I took a much needed break.  I always knew I was going to do it again and I’m so happy I did. Very excited to share this amazing bath tool with everyone.

SB: Your background is in Branding and Retail Merchandising. In what ways did you utilize this knowledge before launching and how will you use it now that you’ve launched ?

CA: Since graduating from college in 1999 I’ve always been in this field.  A huge part of my job was protecting brands for huge fashion companies in the US and Canada. 

My focus was the “look and feel” and always giving the customer the best shopping experience.  I always loved the challenge of taking an underwhelming piece and making it look amazing, enticing the customer to purchase.  

I also managed the openings of hundreds of stores.  This is where I set the tone and trained and developed key members to make sure the brand was always presented at its best.  

It’s funny when I look back at my journey, I think I was always being prepared for LUV SCRUB.  Everything I do now is what I did in my past:  presentation, consistency in my messaging and marketing as well as Customer Service.  It’s so crazy that I used to visit stores for other brands. Now I visit stores to see how my product is presented on the shelves.

SB: What has been the most challenging and most fulfilling part of your entrepreneurial journey so far?

CA: You know you have a great product, especially since you have been using it your entire life. People only know what they know, and I am challenging that. But once they use it, all I hear is – “I love my LUV SCRUB”.  It’s so worth it.

SB: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

CA: Patience is everything.  

SB: If could wake up tomorrow with any business skill, what would it be?

CA: Hands down Accounting and Bookkeeping.  They are my least favorite things to do lol

SB: Nigerian jollof or Ghana jollof?

CA: Ghana Jollof of course.  My Mom makes the best. 

Find out more about LUV SCRUB by visiting their website here!

@thebusyafrican