Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Levon Handsome, Founder of Joe-Le Soap, located in Cornelius, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Joe-Le Soap provides natural products to meet the needs of customers with moderate to serious skin sensitivities, including Eczema and several other skin disorders. From initial design to final quality assurance processes, we pride ourselves on engaging in animal cruelty-free practices, testing on no animals, and manufacturing within the USA. At Joe-Le Soap, our goal is to provide soaps, body butters, hair treatments, and lip conditioners that do not contain harsh chemicals or common irritants brought on by synthetic fragrances and artificial ingredients. Our soaps are fragrance-free, naturally PH balanced due to our meticulous formulas, and contain raw, organic ingredients.
Tell us about yourself
I am a Charlotte-based soapmaker; the Joe-Le Soap brand was started in 2018 by a native of Charlotte. Our direct exposure to diseases such as Skin Cancer, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Eczema, and Alopecia inevitably sparked a passion for a product line that would help others with skin conditions that required a fine-tooth comb-over ingredient lists. Motivated by my individual skin complications and inspired by Joseph's (My Husband) condition and his curiosity for soap making. The goal was to provide an all-natural skincare line that was as safe to use for everyone else as it was for them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been expanding into the retail space in downtown Charlotte. We are on consignment at the Harvey B. Gantt Center, a historical landmark of Charlotte, with thousands of visitors per week in foot traffic.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is wearing so many hats in the beginning. Until you're able to scale and hire a staff, you have to do everything yourself at first. So patience is a virtue.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Come up with an idea, study who else is doing it, and then think long and hard about a business plan or lean canvas.
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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