Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shawna Watterson & Hannah Rose, Co-Founders of Nakey, located in Burlington, VT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our tagline is "have fun naked." We make innovative products and content about sex and self that aim to achieve just that. Our customers are people like us who are interested in expanding this lens and want new products and conversations that reflect their needs and interests, not just the traditional products we've all been thoughtlessly using for years. The world is changing fast, and we want to create products for this new world as our understanding of sex, sexuality, and self evolve.
Tell us about yourself
We have always been interested in sex. Nakey is just a natural extension of that interest. It all started in Cuba. We were hot and jokingly said we needed a cooling pad for down there. So we invented Muff Masque and started our company. Soon we realized running a company can't just be about fun. It's a grind. But we stay motivated because we know there are people out there like us who need these products, and the whole thing has a natural momentum now that keeps us going. It's super energizing when we hear from customers who say they love the company, and it helps us to keep going and keep innovating new stuff.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It's funny, but in a way, getting into our first retailer, Free People, was a big moment for us. It was kind of a dream, then it happened almost right away, and for a moment, it felt like we had arrived. That was a while ago already, and we have obviously had a lot of other big wins, like getting into many other major retailers and a coveted accelerator (and some losses, of course), but there was something special about that first little taste of success.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Oh man. It really is hard. Everyone says it's hard, and you don't really believe them, and then you do it yourself and realize they were right. Basically, every day is about learning something new, failed attempts at becoming an "expert" in this or that, and always feeling like a beginner and sort of failing your way to success. It's pretty nuts, and there are definitely low moments. But having each other is huge. I don't think either of us could do it alone. There is sort of an emotional see-saw effect of one person being down and the other bringing them up and back and forth.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Really believe in what you're building. If you're thinking of starting a business as a get-rich-quick scheme - it's not like that. Get feedback from anyone you can; you never have to take advice, but if there are common themes, utilize them in your plan. Start small. You can't build exactly what you want upfront. Things will mature and shift; as long as you know your end goal and allow these changes to happen, you and your company will be better for it! Oh, and always ask for help. You don't know everything, and you can't do everything, relax.
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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