Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in beauty and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tamara Johnson, Founder of Enso Apothecary, located in Fort Worth, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Enso Apothecary is centered on optimizing your holistic self-care routine. We offer handmade vegan skincare and a safe, inclusive space to practice yoga and meditation. We are most proud of offering holistic empowerment practices to communities of color who feel seen and represented due to our branding and welcomed when they attend Enso events.
Tell us about yourself
I am the owner and founder of Ensō Apothecary LLC, currently based in Fort Worth, Texas. Noticing the improvements yoga and eating a plant-based diet made to my emotional and physical health, I started paying attention to what I was putting on my skin. I was horrified to learn that the main ingredient in most mass-produced soaps is sodium tallowate, which is fat rendered from beef or mutton. I knew that animal-derived fats, along with additives and preservatives, can be toxic and sometimes carcinogenic.
I immediately searched for natural alternatives but could not find an affordable vegan soap that did not contain artificial colorants or fragrance oils. The available options would leave the skin dry and irritated, and the fragrance oils would trigger headaches. So I decided to make my own soap. Now I have formulated a beautiful line of skincare products, essential oils, and yoga apparel. The ingredients of our skincare products are ethically sourced and sustainable so as to not compromise our consumers or the environment.
The raw ingredients are imported fair-trade from Ghana, supporting marginalized farmers with a living wage. And the vegan skincare is handmade in small batches with love. Each product is formulated with no more than six simple organic ingredients. It is also vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. My products have been featured on BuzzFeed as well as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Who What Wear by way of Thirteen Lune, an e-commerce site dedicated to Black and Brown-founded brands.
Offering an elevated self-care experience that supports mental health, body positivity, and community keeps me motivated every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Surviving a global pandemic. Like many other businesses, we pivoted to focus on e-commerce to sell our organic product line. Also, Enso is tech-enabled, offering live stream and on-demand access to a video library of yoga classes via our website and app that is available on both iOS and Android.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Entrepreneurship is hard. Honestly, the word “hard” is an understatement. I created a concept that I felt had not existed before there is no blueprint for me to follow, which makes it almost impossible for me to raise the amount of capital I need to scale.
Throw in a global pandemic, and you have a recipe for constant threats to going out of business. The pivots and creativity needed to keep my business going can be daunting. However, I am grateful to see my vision evolve each year beautifully.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Trust yourself.
- Stay authentic.
- Find like-minded entrepreneurs to support you on your journey.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Ready for a Dose of Zen? Shop our Apothecary or take FREE yoga classes via our on-demand library on our website.
Where can people find you and your business?
Photo credits: Cactus and Petal Photography
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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