Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Neil Mehta, Founder of Royal Intimacy, located in Dayton, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Royal Intimacy is a modern sexual wellness & body care brand focused on delivering high-quality, vegan, and inclusive products with full ingredient transparency combined with sexual education to boost your confidence in the bedroom. Our customers typically range between the ages of 25-48, Male 50% Female 40% & 10% Other.
Tell us about yourself
While receiving my Master's in Public Health in 2013, I had an unfortunate health concern with a condom my girlfriend and I were using, which got me thinking, "Why don't we know what condoms are made of?". After starting a healthcare consulting business and a biotech incubator, I kept thinking about this unfortunate experience. While researching, I found that the sexual wellness industry hadn't changed in decades. Old school brands weren't transparent with their ingredients, catered to just one gender or demographic, and only focused on product gimmicks, not the overall sexual experience. I envisioned a major shift in product development to create a brand that delivered high-quality intimacy products that were more transparent, healthier, and inclusive. As an entrepreneur in a category that doesn't have much support, there are a lot of ups and downs where motivation comes and goes. I have found consistency by breaking up my week to work on different parts of the business instead of hyper-focusing on one facet, which can cause me to lose motivation and feel stagnant.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of the biggest accomplishments so far is navigating a 260+ store retail launch while dealing with the effects of COVID, inflation, and supply chain issues. At one point, we were at risk of shutting down the business, but we were able to weather the storm and put ourselves in a position to have a positive Q4 and Q1 2023.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is that there's nowhere to hide. If anything negative happens, you feel alone; when positive things happen, you always feel that there's more to do. When it's Friday at 5 o'clock, work always comes home with you. It's 24/7, 365 days a year, and it can affect your entire life and mental health in many ways.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Understand your cost breakdown to see if it is a viable business. The costs that many forget about are what could be detrimental to your business, i.e., logistics, shipping, fulfillment, marketing, etc. All these costs can add up, but they aren't widely talked about when watching these self-proclaimed "side hustle" or "passive income" gurus on the internet. Do your own research.
- You don't have to appeal to everyone. If you're creating a product or brand, speak to a specific niche, then expand your demographics as you grow. To test if your niche is viable, use social media to generate interest around your brand before even launching a product. This is the cheapest way to see if your idea resonates with others.
- Just start! You can do all the research and compile all the information in the world, but nothing beats real-life experiences and learning on the job.
Where can people find you and your business?