How This Founder Innovated In A Competitive Market: “Made fresh to order” is something you tend to hear in the food and hospitality industry, but not so much in the beauty space. But that’s exactly what one entrepreneur has brought to market. What intrigued me about this line–that was launched during the pandemic–was it’s made fresh to order concept. Julie Goodman, founder of Potent Serum, decided she wanted a skincare line with only the active ingredients that mattered, without the fillers that keep creams and serums on the shelves for months.

So what does an entrepreneur do? Create what she couldn’t find.

Goodman recently launched Potent Serum, with a very interesting business model that solved a big problem. Your product isn’t made until you order it, so it’s not filled with synthetic fillers and they send a fresh shipment to you each month so you have the most effective ingredients at all times. I was able to catch up with Goodman to learn more about her fresh take on a crowded market.

women evolve. We’ve had enough of unrealistic beauty standards that keep women distracted from reaching their full potential. It’s time to take back our autonomy and move the dial forward.

Our brand facilitates this change by:

Simplifying beauty routines. We say no to unnecessary 12-step routines that rob us of our precious time. Time is our most valuable asset and allows us to make our desires a reality. The less time we spend performing an elaborate skincare routine is more time that we can go out and create meaningful change in the world.

Ingredient transparency. Educating women on skin science is essential. Gone are the days of buying a product full of filler and only one active ingredient, ineffective and degraded products. We’re committed to formulating with the highest quality active ingredients that balance and support our skin. Every single ingredient has a purpose and a benefit.

The less is more mindset. We ascribe to the philosophy of “do less, but better.” Skincare doesn’t need to be complicated. There is a richness that comes from engaging in simple self-care. Our concentrated, data-driven formulas give your skin everything it needs to feel healthy, radiant and nourished. Maximum results with minimal effort.

Skincare empowerment. No one’s skin is pore-less. The myth of flawless skin has perpetuated a beauty standard that is damaging to our progress as women. We’re putting a stop to skin insecurities. It’s time to treat our skin to flexible formulas that promote aging gracefully. We find the word anti-aging insulting. We’re taking care of our unique skin with intention.

Potent Serum is the opposite of a complicated skincare brand. We believe in real, streamlined products that allow you to simply feel confident.

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Burns: As a Clinical Researcher and mother, how did you find the time to launch a skincare brand and how did the pandemic play a role in the timing of the launch?

Goodman: Like many people, I had to set up systems that fostered productivity. According to C. Nothcote Parkinson, “Work expands to fill the period of time available for its completion.” With this in mind, I frequently made lists and gave myself deadlines. I find I am more productive with deadlines, so I assign them to each task but give myself a little wiggle room. This also gave me the space to delegate more effectively.

As a parent, quality time is incredibly important to me. My partner and I aim for spending 15-20 minutes of one-on-one time with each child daily. It wasn’t always possible with all of us being confined in one space, but it’s the goal we set for ourselves.

Many of us emerged from the pandemic changed in some way. I had time to reflect and reevaluate many areas in my life. I was finally able to face some realities that I was turning away from for years, such as the lack of attention to my skin health. Everything and everyone came before my own needs. I recognized that by caring for myself first, I would become a better mother, wife, friend, and businesswoman.

While looking for skincare products on the market, I found myself surrounded by items that had one to two active ingredients in an entire bottle. As a busy woman, I didn’t have time to waste with products full of filler ingredients, nor did I want to sacrifice my skin health with harmful synthetics. I started to think: what if I could condense proven, concentrated ingredients into one or two dynamic skincare items? A product that worked hard at delivering results without a multi-layered approach.

Burns: What challenges have you had to deal with launching during the pandemic?

Goodman: Launching the brand during the pandemic proved to be quite challenging. Shipping times were the most difficult; at one point our packaging was stuck at the port and unable to be found for 4 months. I had no idea what the outcome of launching the brand would be but told myself to keep going despite the hiccups. My belief in the product and its value kept and still keeps me going.

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Burns: Potent Serum is a 2-step skincare system providing exactly that – potent, hard-working actives to your skin – without the fillers that are usually included in other skin care products. Why did you decide to go this route when developing the line?

Goodman: One of the main reasons was that many active ingredients lose their efficacy over time. Numerous topical Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) products are ineffective because the product degrades so quickly. The beauty industry is currently seeking ways to stabilize this ingredient; a patent for a stabilized Ascorbic Acid exists only for use by one brand. There is evidence to show that Ascorbic Acid is stable for about five weeks and degrades quickly after that with exposure to water, light, and oxygen. An excellent way to mitigate this problem is to make and use freshly prepared ascorbic acid serums.

I made the decision to make the serums fresh when ordered because I wanted to deliver maximum results with the active ingredients. Our customers subscribed monthly, and the monthly creation ensures that you receive not only a potent product, but a highly efficacious product without many preservatives, stabilizing agents, or fillers. The subscription model really played a big role in our decision to make our serums monthly. In addition to receiving a concentrated product, we also provide the convenience of delivery to your door. You simply set it and forget it.

Burns: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to an entrepreneur who is looking to disrupt their industry, too?

Goodman: Be the face of your brand. I was initially hesitant about this and wanted to remain behind the scenes. I quickly discovered that people need a face to trust. They need to know that you’re a real person.

Disrupting an industry means changing the status quo. This can be very difficult to do as people are typically resistant to change. You have to gain the trust of people by building a genuine emotional connection and educating them by meeting them where they are. People buy from people and relationships build trust and loyalty. You need a face that people can relate to and think: this person feels my pain and understands me. This face should exude passion and energy. You want people to know that you can be trusted and you care about them and their issues. People may love your branding and aesthetic but to convert to loyal customers, you need a face.

Many entrepreneurs, myself included, struggle with being the center of attention. We want the attention to be on our product. This can be a difficult hurdle to overcome because it’s your name on the brand, the website, and on social media. The fear of failing publicly is also one to conquer. By being so easily accessible and sharing your message, you will receive criticisms and harsh feedback. But remember to detach yourself and not take things personally while looking at the big picture. You will grow from the experience and it becomes easier.

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