Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hana Holecko, Co-Founder and CEO of Veriant, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Veriant is a company of problem-solving brands created through sustainability, innovation, and transparency. Our first personal care and wellness brand, Mella, uses plant-derived melatonin to help boost your body's natural repair cycle and help you get better sleep without daytime drowsiness. But the benefits don't stop there. Melatonin works naturally with your body to provide the most potent repair and restoration, as well as powerful antioxidant protection to defend against and reverse the effects of blue light, pollution, and oxidants. Mella products also reverse signs of premature aging. It's basically a melatonin miracle. We know that people want practical solutions that fit naturally into their lives that help them do better, be better, and have better experiences. We created Mella for folks seeking to improve their sleep and skin without an extensive routine or time commitment -- many of our customers are busy college students, parents, and frequent flyers.
Tell us about yourself
I've been so lucky to spend my career developing all sorts of personal care, beauty, and lifestyle products for every imaginable customer. In creating Veriant, I achieve many dreams, but the biggest is never having a limit to what I can innovate. Where there is a need, I'm ready to create an ethical solution that helps our customers do more with less. I'm inspired by everyday problems and ever-emerging science and technology that enables change. When I'm not problem-solving, I can be found playing with my son, watching Love Is Blind with my husband, and gawking at Victorian and Tudor homes on long Bay Area walks.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In our first year of business, we achieved B Corp certification. It had been a dream of mine to work for a B Corp, so you can imagine how ecstatic I am to actually own one.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It can truly be a rollercoaster of success and failure! It's really challenging to be just a team of two (me and my co-founder, Gil), and I juggle being a CEO with being a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) to my toddler.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Talk to other founders/CEOs about what the first few years looked like so you really know what to expect when it comes to time commitment, perseverance, grit, and gumption!
- Know your strengths and weaknesses, and be prepared to supplement yourself with expertise from others who are willing to not only do the work but teach you the necessary skills, too. Even if you never do those certain tasks, you need to understand how it gets done successfully.
- Have the big picture, but keep your focus narrow. In my passionate excitement starting out, I made a full 5-year roadmap for Veriant brands planned out -- I'm talking three brands' pipelines, brand guides, the whole nine yards! -- but it was a misstep to invest in anything beyond our first products and to spread my attention too broadly. Learn from my mistakes.
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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