Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emily Seager, Founder of Zoca Lotion, located in Novato, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Zoca Lotion is a sunscreen and skincare company making products with organic, plant-based ingredients and non-nano zinc oxide. We use mindful packaging and strive to minimize our impact on the environment. Our products are safe for all ages, and our packaging is biodegradable or 100% recyclable. We have a wide array of customers, from athletes to kids to daily sunscreen and skincare users. Our goal is to offer environmentally-sound suncare and skincare solutions that promote healthy skin and bodies.
Tell us about yourself
I found my first basal-cell carcinoma on my face when I was 27. I knew I needed to start getting serious about sun protection, and I had a really hard time finding the kind of products I was looking for. I began developing my own formulas, and after a few years of research and development, I felt I was ready to send my products in for testing. I designed Zoca Lotion for people like me who were dissatisfied with what was available. I wanted a product that not only protected me from the sun but was also great for my skin and safe for my body and the environment.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Just being able to keep it going. Sunscreen is a very challenging product to develop because it is regulated by the FDA. It takes a huge investment to get sunscreens on the market, which is very challenging for a small business owner. I am so happy to see that people love Zoca Lotion and want to support it. I am forever grateful to our wholesale accounts from the beginning, who have continually stocked our products and helped make them available to the public.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Self-doubt and burnout. Not having a business partner to help me get out of my head or make decisions can be challenging and lonely, too. Make sure to talk with your friends, family, and customers to help maintain perspective.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Follow your instincts and stick with what feels true to yourself and your business/ don't feel pressure to use certain strategies just because you think you are supposed to.
- If what you are selling is really good and you believe in it, then it will make having a business so much easier. Don't start a business just to start a business if you don't really believe in your product. You have to believe in what you are doing in order to make the hard work worth it.
- Try to avoid feeling like you are competing with other companies that sell similar products to yours. Just stay focused on what you are doing, and you can succeed. If you believe in what you are doing, you won't feel so threatened by other brands. Also, it feels so much better to admire the things you like about others than wishing others to fail. Don't worry about them.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Good luck to anyone out there starting a new business! Prioritize your wellbeing above all.
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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