Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and beauty but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Megan Johns, founder & owner of The Green Kiss, a Canadian green beauty company located in Victoria, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The Green Kiss is a Canadian Green Beauty Company committed to lovingly inspire Canadians to take care of their skin, bodies, and families with products that are healthy and effective both for themselves and the environment. We are an online store that serves Canada and the USA, with a brick-and-mortar store in Victoria, BC.

The business is based on love, creating goodness in the world, and making a massive positive impact and change. Our love for our community members, for humanity, and our eco-systems is what drives everything we do. With some of the strictest buying guidelines in Canada in terms of what is allowed (and not allowed) in the products that we curate, we pride ourselves in having one of the "cleanest" assortments of effective green beauty in all of Canada.

Our core mission is to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals (a.k.a. the chemical body burden) that people unknowingly apply to their skin and for our community to fall in love with taking care of themselves. Our customers are people who lead full lives, who are on their own personal care journeys, and who typically do not have the time to research everything themselves. We provide a curated selection of products and a community here that they can trust.

Tell us about yourself

Before I started The Green Kiss, my background was in eco-friendly clothing and fairly traded products. I fell in love with the notion that people can make a difference in the world by voting with their dollars and that business could be done globally in a much better way. I fell in love with what is called 'Values-Based Business' practices, and the "3 P's" (People, Planet, Profit).

I am also a professional singer (now half of the Canadian country duo The County Line). Back in 2007, I was in some corporate cover bands in Victoria. I would slather on stage makeup and never think what was in it. When I learned about what was in that makeup, my life changed. It quickly became my mission in life to help reduce the amount of synthetic chemicals (the ones linked to health concerns) that people unknowingly apply to their skin, and in turn, their bodies.

I started The Green Kiss in 2011 at age 25. I had no money. I had to flub on my loan application that I had some funds of my own by borrowing money from my mum, taking a picture of my bank account statement, and then paying it back the next day. I received a $15,000 loan through Futurpreneur Canada, and to this day, that has been the only outside loan or investment that the business has ever had.

Bit by bit, we have grown our sales every single year, turning our profits back into the business to slowly grow the business without accumulating debt. This December, we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary. Reducing someone's chemical body burden is still what drives me to do what I do.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is that I started this with nothing, and I was able to turn a $15,000 loan into a business that has consistently grown each year, that is debt-free, and that is about to celebrate 10 years in business.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Gosh, there is a lot! Time management, knowing how and when to 'turn off', stress management, and knowing when to push for growth and when you should probably just rest. It is hard. And I want to be really honest in this interview and say that the sacrifices and resilience needed to turn a $15,000 loan into a business with a growing team (about to celebrate its tenth year in business) has definitely taken its toll on me as the owner/operator.

Burnout is a word that I used to throw around lightly. But over the last six months, I have realized it is more than just a feeling. It is actually a state, that needs attention to fix. So in the new year, I will finally be taking some time off (longer than a few weeks) for the first time in ten years.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be slow to hire and quick to fire. This is hard, and I have learned it the hard way. But the sooner you can have that practice, the better.
  2. Get your branding dialed in before you launch. It's hard to find the time to work on it after the fact if you are doing it on a tight budget.
  3. Listen to YOUR gut, do not second guess yourself, sink into your own inner knowing and make decisions solely based on that, not on other people's opinions. This is also hard because stress ruins your natural ability to go back to this. I need to take this advice myself, to be honest. It was easy initially for me, but as I grew and new team members came on board, it was easy to listen to other people's opinions. But no one else knows better than you for what your business needs and the direction that it should go in.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would just like to thank you for doing stories like these. I think there is a big need for a space for small business owners to find resources for TANGIBLE systems, real-life stories that include the hard stuff, and advice from other entrepreneurs. So thank you!

Where can people find you and your business?

Instagram: @thegreenkiss
Facebook: @thegreenkiss

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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