I started From Molly With Love in August 2016 (yes, just a few months ago) in the kitchen of my 500-square foot apartment in San Diego, California.
In 2013, I started to wonder about the products I was using around my home and putting on my body. I discovered there was a better, healthier way.
There are thousands of chemicals in the products we use every day, many of which are being absorbed directly into the body. It’s impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical, but you can reduce the number of toxins your body is exposed to.
So, back then, I started making my own home and beauty products from carrier oils, raw natural butters, essential oils, clays, and botanicals. Eventually, so many of my friends started asking me to make these items for them, too, that I decided to turn my hobby into a business.
It seemed like everything changed in my life this summer. I got married and I got sober after years of alcohol abuse (that’s a story for another time). And I decided that life was too short not to do what you love, so I started this business.
Without knowing what I was doing, I set out to create this company. I started on Etsy because I knew that’s where I would find a pool of hungry customers. 60% of businesses on Etsy make only $100 in their first year. I didn’t know this going in, but my naiveté ended up benefitting me. Within one month, I was making four figures. For most businesses, this isn’t much. But for a home-grown Etsy business in its first month, that’s outstanding.
Month over month, we have continued to grow – and now I have my “proof of concept.”
After a few months, the supplies and orders were beginning to take over my entire apartment.
I rarely left the couch. I sometimes forgot to take a shower or change out of my pajamas. And my husband encouraged me daily to get out of the house, get some fresh air, and be among the people.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”bR0OW” via=”no” ]How all-natural skincare co. From Molly With Love grew 1200% in first 4 mons. http://ctt.ec/bR0OW+ [/ctt]
Our New Digs
About a month ago, in November of 2016, it became clear that we needed an office space. So I signed up with Co-mmunity in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. It’s a co-working space with a cool, hip vibe in a cool, hip neighborhood. I have my own desk and some space to store supplies and inventory. I even actually have a desk (bye couch!), but I can hang out in a bean bag chair if I want.
It freed up some much-needed space in our apartment (my husband is pretty happy about that). Now I shower daily, wear human clothing, actually get fresh air, and talk to people. Yay!
Photo Credit: Co-mmunity.com
We’ve got a few other exciting things in the works outside of our new office space.
We’re Getting a Face Lift
I’m a one woman show. And because this business is just starting, it’s not my only job. I currently work between 14–18 hours a day. That’s not a bad thing, because I love every moment…but I don’t want to burn out — and I realize there is only so much I can do myself.
A good example of this is my branding, website, packaging and labels. What we have right now is cute. But I don’t want this brand to be cute. It’s an extensive and laborious process to build a proper website and to create & print professional product labels for each product (I have over 50 and counting!).
I can’t sell in retail stores without these things, though. And in order to grow, we have to get into brick and mortar.
So I hired Loki Loki to give us a facelift and cool packaging. Now each product will have instructions and ingredients. And it will look AWESOME.
Often, I buy products from competing brands who are further along than we are. These brands are seemingly EVERYWHERE – Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters, etc. And I realize that our products are just as good, if not better than theirs. But the packaging and brand doesn’t match what’s inside the bottle.
So over the next 16 weeks, Cody and her team at Loki Loki are going to help us do just that. I knew right away that I wanted to work with Cody. She has a ROCK N ROLL tattoo for Christ’s sake! And she’s not offended when I use the word “Fuck” over and over. I can already tell that we are kindred spirits, and I can’t wait to see what magic we create together.
Photo Credit: Cody McBurnett, lokitimestwo.com
We’re No Longer Just Me
Yep, that’s right. With the addition of Cody and the team at Loki Loki, this business is starting to become more than just me. And it needs to in order to grow.
I have also hired a Virtual Assistant, PR support, and I’m bringing on my first part-time production assistant.
On one hand, all of these changes are fucking terrifying. I’d be lying if I pretended they weren’t. While we’ve had our best sales month ever, we’ve also spent FAR more than ever. But on the other hand, I’m so excited that I’m jumping out of my skin. The old cliché is true – you need to spend money to make money. We’re careful about our investments and we know that they will help us grow.
2017 = Explosive Growth
If you’ve hopped on board as a customer or supporter by this point, THANK YOU. We couldn’t do ANYTHING without you. I love you so hard. But also, buckle up. Because we’re in for a wild ride.
I have big plans for this business in 2017. We’ve got a couple of other things up our sleeve that we’re not ready to spill the beans about just yet. 😉
But the bottom line is that we want to get all-natural, organic, chemical-free, HEALING skin care products in the hands of as many people as possible. This is the big WHY behind this business.
This is much more than just building a fun business with pretty products. We want to make peoples’ lives better. We want to help you reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and heal yourself from the OUTSIDE IN.
We’re so excited for the opportunity to do that.
And you can be sure that even though we’re growing, and we’re not in my teeny tiny apartment anymore, I still know exactly what’s in each product and every ingredient has meaning and purpose. I source from other small businesses and strive to leave the smallest carbon footprint possible. All products are made in either small batches or made to order, while I’m singing and dancing badly. I will continue to inject every ounce of LOVE in my body into these products.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. Now, back to work!
P.S. If you want to hop onto this crazy train and get 10% off while you’re at it, you can do that here.
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