Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Manuela Simo, Founder of Touch Radiance, located in Brossard, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Touch Radiance is a woman-owned company that brings you the best vegan and organic skincare products. Our products are formulated with sensitive skin in mind and tailored to women of color. Gentle yet effective, our products are suitable for all skin types. Skincare doesn't have to be complicated!
Tell us about yourself
My name is Manuela, and I have suffered from severe eczema since birth. Having grown up with this skin condition in a society where we still do not know how to treat it, I realized very early on that the way other people see you can affect your mental health. We judge others based on their appearance and uphold unrealistic standards based on fear, not facts. I was tired of always using strong medications and steroid creams, being misunderstood by those around me, and, most importantly, having to use boring-looking skin care products. After all, skincare should be an exciting time between you and your skin! That's why I decided to start Touch Radiance, a skincare line that offers products for sensitive skin and a community for you to connect and exchange with. After all, we can all be sensitive sometimes, right?
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Over the past two years, we have been published in three online magazines, gained customers across North America, hosted three self-care events for our audience, and even mentored young girls between 10 to 15 in order to help them reach their best selves!
But above all of these achievements, Touch Radiance had the chance to give back to our community by offering free workshops on entrepreneurship and leadership to more than 50 women of color between the ages of 12 to 25. We formed partnerships with many associations in Canada, such as the John Molson Women in Leadership, CEED Concordia, the Black Perspectives office of Concordia, the Brown Girls Association of McGill, Simon Fraser University, Hoodstock Montreal, and Melanation.
Knowing that the work that we do within our company actually helps other women that might feel underrepresented by the beauty industry is the best accomplishment we could ever hope for.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being a women entrepreneur means that people will not always take you seriously, and that's just the sad reality. I remember when I was starting to craft my ideas and script down my vision, I often felt like some individuals around me were looking down on me, like I didn't know what I was doing and that they would do a better job if it were their business. Since I've never taken any marketing classes or any business course, I was often told that the way I was budgeting my expenses, looking for inventory, and even preparing a marketing plan was not the "best way" and that they would love to offer me some help, even when I didn't ask for it. Luckily for me, I knew how to speak up and wasn't scared to voice my opinion loud and clear.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, stop doubting yourself. It might seem super scary to start such a big project but know that as long as you know what you want to see and/or do, you are the only one that can stop this from happening. I won't lie and say that every day is easy and that you will want to wake up and work on your business every day because it's simply not the reality of being an entrepreneur. Second, never, EVER give up on yourself. There will be hard days when you will want to give up, but you have to continue and learn from this experience because it's only when you push through your comfort zone that you will be able to produce amazing results. Finally, do not forget to price your services/products well by budgeting everything you do! Did you buy your packaging? Paid a third party? Spent hours creating content? Budget all of these steps before really starting your 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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