Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Danielle Lapointe, Founder of Green Room, located in Victoria, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Green Room is an eco-friendly lifestyle brand. I lean away from describing it as a "beauty brand," even though we mostly do personal care stuff and accessories. It's more like a minimalist and adventure-forward essential and personal style brand.
Tell us about yourself
The idea to start Green Room was born during a surf trip in Baja, Mexico. Excessive consumption and wastefulness give me the ick, so I've always been somewhat of a minimalist and tend to look at things from an "environmental perspective." During this time in Mexico, I had a lot of time to think (we drove down, so lots of hours on the road and no access to the internet), and I was keeping a notebook and just jotting down ideas of things that I was interested in or things that I thought I was knowledgeable about. Right before this trip, my stepsister had given me a book about the "toxicity" of the beauty industry, and for the entire two months we were gone, we didn't have a proper shower or even do laundry the entire time. We showered and washed everything (tbh dishes were mostly just scrubbed clean and got their salt water rinse) in the ocean, and I was hoarding all of our plastic recycling to bring back into the States and recycle it there. So yeah, I guess all of these things just kind of came together, and I decided I wanted to build something that I didn't really see in the market at the time.
As trivial as it may seem on an individual level, replacing just one thing in your daily routine with something that is plastic-free amounts to so much over a lifetime. And then, if you multiply that across entire populations, the reduction in plastic waste is truly significant.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm super, super proud of our shampoo and conditioner bars. In terms of the formulas, I swear we've never gotten a bad review, and I think they have literally transformed the health and feeling of my hair (this blonde is far from natural, haha).
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Finding a proper work-life balance is a pretty ongoing challenge. It's almost impossible to shut your brain off, and the feeling that you should be working because you're to-do list is never done since there's always something to be growing, implementing, developing, or just trying to make better. Growing an idea into a sustainable business, in terms of a consistent source of revenue, requires a huge time and energy investment, and until you get there, you're just … not there. So the work needs to get done.
Navigating finances and deciding where and how to spend your money for maximum returns is also so tricky, especially in the economic landscape over the last few years during COVID. Everything changes so fast now, and because you're constantly pivoting to keep up, there isn't a ton of consistency and predictability.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your why - without it, the hard times might be too hard to push through.
- Be authentic; it's the biggest reason people will support you.
- Understand your finances.
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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