Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Chambers, Owner of apoth.o.gy, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
apoth.o.gy the combination of the words, apothecary and mythology, we seek to heal the mythology of personal care. 100% black-owned skincare brand established in 2020 to increase awareness and spread positivity via curated products for our mind, body, and soul. Our target customers are ages 14+, men and women, single, and families in urban sprawl. United, we care for our skin to be our inherently perfect selves.
Tell us about yourself
During the pandemic, when I was outside in the world, witnessing and being a part of the social activism going on, I realized there had to be more that I could do than just shout at buildings. I thought of something I’ve done since I was a child, which was pampering my skin, and believed that though I was not a celebrity, I could make a difference with something I enjoy. Being a proud black man in the LGBTQ+ community, starting my own self-funded skincare brand with mental illness during a pandemic both aided and dismayed me at the same time has saved my experience in words that at this present moment, I don’t even have enough energy to express.
What I can say is I see the mountaintop, and I see everyone’s started at the base of the mountain that doesn’t look like me, and they’re climbing, and I’m looking up because I realize I’m in a valley and that my climb will be two times as hard. This is knowledge I’ve had since I was a child, so it’s nothing new to me. Being a part of an underrepresented community has honestly made me fight even harder for why I feel my brand is necessary for the market. That’s why there is so much symbolism in my packaging. I wanted it to be a little piece of art I could give to every man, woman, and child to remind them that resilience still wins the day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I feel my greatest strength and accomplishment as a new small business owner is my undying ability to represent my belief in the power of the audacity of hope. There are other things like the branding and the growth of my packaging, as well as the fact that I taught myself everything that has to do with it, and I’m still learning every day. Again, just one of those cool things that I believed in myself enough to create something. Launching on Juneteenth was an awesome moment that I was able to do with my family. And show my little nieces what can be done and how we can begin to break those generational curses.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I’d say one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is balance. I intentionally began with the idea that I was building a global brand, and that comes with growing pains when you don’t have global pockets, of course, I am joking, kind of. Particularly in the skincare business, and the way that I have built mine from the ground up, it definitely has required more of my time and capital, of course, I don’t feel like I am in any way, the exception to this realization. Beyond that, in the beginning, it was very close and tumultuous to break in without coming with massive backing. But I did it, with the gracious help of others along the way.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do a full-scale budget analysis on what you can afford and how long you can afford it. Invest in research and make sure you’re having fun doing it. That’s a good indicator. Also, maybe wait till after the pandemic. Lol.
- Build a network as best you can of individuals that can help you push your brand. It’s extremely difficult when you are sacrificing your head for your tail chasing help.
- Do your best to retain as much ownership of your own brand and or business as possible. It comes with a sacrifice in the beginning, for sure, but from my research, it sounds like it is worth it when you make it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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