Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dinah Ener, Owner and Co-Founder of bathintentions, located in Cornwall, ON, Canada.

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

We have the best customers. We've worked a lot locally and regionally. Our customers are women, men, and women who buy for men. chuckles primarily, I think our customers are women who feel that they might be stressed, tired, and need a little bit more time for themselves and need a way to make time for themselves, and that's where we come into play. I love meeting our customers at events, talking online, and sharing on social media. They are the true VIPs - our customers are loyal, encouraging, and supportive of how we grow, what we do, and how we do it.

We listen to customer feedback… especially to ask if things are working or when we should put out new products. There are only so many bath and body products I can use, so we actually have customers who will test products for us, offer their opinion, and then we'll tweak, change, or decide not to put forward a product. So their input is valuable, and we design and handcraft the best products possible. We developed our shower steamers with our customers in mind, a lot of customers who aren't necessarily bath people, and we are all living busy lives, so the shower steamers really enable them to elevate that "I have to wash" into a self-care ritual. So you pop in a shower steamer, it smells nice and clears the sinuses, but then you also have the option of setting your intentions and using that shower as a mini self-care meditation moment.

Tell us about yourself

Actually, bathintentions was founded by my daughter and myself. Alaya was about 13… at the time and in treatment for different cancers. She loved makeup, designer clothes, and shopping. Alaya wanted to make her own money, and with a compromised immune system, there were not a lot of "regular" teen jobs available. During her treatment, our income was limited, and I took a leave of absence. I had been making soap as a hobby for years, so I suggested, "well, I'll make you some bath bombs, and you sell them." so in 5 weeks, she sold 250 of them...bathintentions was born. It was a bold response to a very difficult situation.

Alaya was very much a people person, and we were devastated when she passed away in 2018. We felt that we wanted to honor her by pursuing the business, and there was a lot of therapeutic value for me. So bathintentions are rooted in love, resiliency, and the power of community. We make beautiful things that smell great and bring people joy.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We've just leased commercial space! We will have room to design and handcraft our products. bathintentions will also have the space to share what we do and how we do it.

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

We cannot control everything that happens to us. I've learned to accept the uncertainty of life; there's beauty in that, and it's also a little scary, but we can control how we view it and how we talk to ourselves. We can choose to live fearlessly.

For example, constantly adapting to a changing industry, market, and trends. Being a business owner requires the ability to choose a path, take a risk, make a decision and commit, but it also requires the ability to pivot and change course if you need.

Our products, the whole process really, started out as an aspect of self-care, and to a certain degree, the business came from a financial need, and financial needs are also a part of self-care, but to be able to, during Alaya's treatment and during different challenges we've had, I've noticed as a woman that more often than not, I'm busy watching over and trying to meet the needs of everybody else and my kind of get pushed aside, it's not important, I'll sacrifice my time, as long as everybody else is happy.

Our products enable people to plan that "self" time for themselves easily. The intention of you're worthy, you're important, make the time. And so the more we take care of ourselves, the better we are at helping others. Our products make it easier for you to make time for yourself.

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

  1. As I mentioned before, embrace change, in your business, in your industry, and in social media…there is flow in rolling with the punches.
  2. Be bold; life is short; I often ask myself if I will regret not doing this, and if the answer is yes, I plan and go for it.
  3. Financial knowledge and literacy are self-care and self-empowerment. Don't avoid the numbers; learn everything you need to gain insight into your planning for yourself and your business.

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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