Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kayla Fioravanti, Owner of Ology Essentials, located in Columbia, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Ology Essentials is a research-driven brand of high-quality hemp and luxury all-natural skincare products. We offer a wide variety of products, including CBD oils, lotions, serums, muscle gels, bath products, and much more. But we don’t only create products for our brand; we also manufacture for other brands by offering both white label and private label services. We offer low minimum order quantities so that aspiring beauty and wellness entrepreneurs can enter the industry without breaking the bank. And for a little cherry on top of our small yet mighty business, Ology Essentials is woman-owned and woman-operated!
Tell us about yourself
In 1998, Kayla co-founded Essential Wholesale, which was listed as an INC Magazine 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America three years in a row. Essential Wholesale began in her kitchen with a $50 investment in 1998 and sold for millions in 2011. In 2017 when her non-compete ended, she planned on re-entering the industry solely as a formulator and educator, but then her son insisted that she try hemp CBD. So when Keegan was recommended CBD oil, she was a little hesitant – thinking she had already seen every natural remedy under the sun – but when CBD changed her life, she knew it was going to be a revolutionary product. She called up Keegan and his wife, Haleigh, and they started Ology Essentials together.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Ology Essentials is proud to have supported female entrepreneurs who came out of the pandemic with a desire to control their own time and income. We created layers of opportunities, including a small commitment as an affiliate, a midsized commitment with wholesale and white label products, and the full brand experience with their dream product line. We support the majority of female-founded businesses, offering low minimums allowing these women to enter into the beauty and wellness industry without breaking the bank. Some might consider these women competitors, but we firmly believe that supporting women has a positive ripple effect throughout their community.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding the balance between work life and personal life is a constant battle. Being your own boss is highly glorified, and what most people fail to realize is that even you are working 24/7. There is hardly any downtime, so you have to make it a priority to take time for yourself. Thank goodness we are in the beauty and wellness industry!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start–start small–but start. There never is a perfect time in the economy, in your life, or in any given industry. The time to start is now–even if that means baby steps, bootstrapping, or getting started before all your ducks and in a row. The secret is that those ducks will never be perfect in a row, and you can build an empire even when you start from nothing.
- Let go of some control. Do what you do best and hire out the rest, even if that means just posting jobs on Fiverr. The easiest example of strangling your business is not being willing to delegate some of your workloads. If you need to have your hands on every little aspect of your business, you will burn out. I’ve watched it over and over and over again. Be the expert at your business by leaning on other experts in their fields. Unless you purposefully want to keep your business small, you must learn the art of letting go. Collaborations, virtual assistants, employees, private label partners, and masterminds will ensure that not only your business thrives but that you personally grow as well.
- Be willing to change, pivot, and shift in business as needed. Business is a long haul, and you don’t always recognize how small changes will impact the future of your business until you get there. A 1° deviation on your path keeps you walking in the same direction but changes your outcome. In fact, if you were literally walking and you changed your direction by 1°, then each mile, you would have deviated 92 feet from the original path. Over the years, a 1° shift can seriously accumulate and change your life and business. A calculated decision to turn up the intensity of your business could also make a huge difference. After all, 211° F is just hot water, but 212° F is boiling water. One degree of a calculated deviation from the path you are on can be the difference that your business needs to take you to the next level. But keep in mind that one degree in the wrong direction can take you places you don’t want to go.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Boldly create a community in your business. Without community, we have no businesses–we just make products for our own personal use without community. Community is king. It is the foundation of business–becoming trusted, validated, and building a solid ecosystem of community gives you stability and sustenance for economically tumultuous years. Your community can literally become your closest and most trusted friends. Your community might include competitors, customers, and other organizations. Community goes both ways. You give, you take, you share, and you support each other. At Ology Essentials, our community helps propel us forward. We have based our business success on the success of our customers.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.