Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alyson Florendo, CEO of Sage Stone Botanicals, located in Eugene, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We make organic and natural body care products for anyone wanting to put safe, high quality, and effective lotions, creams, lip balm, soap, or bug repellent on their skin.
Tell us about yourself
I have a degree in horticulture and have worked with plants for years. I have always had dry skin; nothing on the market ever worked. I made some lotion for fun and ended up with a recipe that is moisturizing and full of high-quality ingredients. My friends and family loved it, so I decided to start a business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think the biggest accomplishment is that I am still here. My business has gone through ups and downs, and there were times I didn't know if I could continue. I knew I had a good product, but figuring out how to market and stay relevant in a field that is flooded with products has been a great challenge. I don't try to be huge. I just want to stay in business and provide amazing products to my loyal and new customers.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The same as above! Trying to stay relevant. In a world run by social media, I've had to navigate marketing myself in a way I don't really understand. I get a lot of help, which I highly recommend. I also really believe in this company. I have thought about stopping, but the customers keep me going. I know I am making so many people happy with what I have created. As long as I can stay in business, I will.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Believe in your product or service. Selling is hard. If you don't believe it, no one will.
- Come up with a business plan, even if you don't need to borrow money. I had to take out a loan, and working through that process gave me a better understanding of what running a business really involves. It's helped me countless times in this endeavor.
- Have fun with it. We work so hard, especially in those first few years. As a business owner, you don't get a day off. You are constantly working. But find the joy. You did this for a reason! If you can't find the joy, it's probably not the right business.
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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