Lip Service Beauty is a natural, plant-based cosmetics brand made by hand. In light of circumstances due to COVID-19, founder, Annette Smith identified the need and ongoing demand for hand sanitizer in her communities. Lip Service Beauty soon after pivoted as a business, to create individual roll-on hand sanitizers with soothing ingredients. In this interview with Ownr, Annette shares her story and how her business will continue to adapt and “roll with the punches” to provide quality products and service for consumers.
Tell us about yourself and how your entrepreneurial journey began:
Annette: A few years ago, I endured a grand mal seizure caused by stress and exhaustion. I made a big decision to detoxify my life. I ditched chemical ridden products, food that didn’t nourish me, people who weren’t enhancing my life… you name it. I learned the hard way that INGREDIENTS MATTER, whether that’s what you’re eating, who you hang around with, or what you choose to do for a living.
At Lip Service Beauty, we hand craft all natural plant based cosmetics in small batches. We wholeheartedly believe ingredients matter. We source all of our raw ingredients as locally and ethically as possible.
You recently pivoted your business to adapt to recent circumstances and consumer needs. How did you do it?
Annette: We’ve successfully been able to focus 100% of our energy online (our website, email campaigns, social media). We’ve participated in several “virtual markets” to help give our customers the same feel as live events and markets. We’ve always wanted to dabble with Pinterest and Tik Tok, and have been able to create and begin to start building a following on both platforms. We’ve also been able to offer delivery and contactless pick up options for local customers.
We identified a need for hand sanitizer in our community and were able to partner with a local distillery to blend and package our own roll on hand sanitizer. It is made with 80% alcohol, glycerine, and a touch of jojoba oil to help restore moisture back into the skin. We sell unscented, lavender, and eucalyptus.
Take us back to the beginning. What first inspired you to want to become an entrepreneur?
Annette: I read the book “4 Day Workweek” by Tim Ferris. My two key takeaways from this book were: how can I incorporate more freedom into my life, and how can I work smarter, not harder. I initially read this book on a beach while on vacation and wrote my entire business plan on a scrap piece of paper while completing this book.
What is one key lesson you’ve learned in starting this venture?
Annette: If it’s not a heck yes, it’s a hard no. Anytime I’ve ever questioned myself or had doubts, I inevitably wished I had followed my gut. If i can’t answer with a definite HECK YES, we don’t do it. Simple as that.
What is the most rewarding aspect of running Lip Service Beauty since you first launched?
Annette: A year into running Lip Service Beauty, I left my corporate role as a retail district manager to pursue being an entrepreneur full time. It was a really tough decision to make because I really loved my job. It came to a point where doing both was way too much for one person. I have never looked back because you can’t put a price on the freedom that entrepreneurship brings you. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I love having the choice of getting up early and getting everything done that I need to, so I can enjoy some poolside time with my family at the end of the day.
Do you have any future plans for Lip Service Beauty that you’d like to share?
Annette: We will continue to invest more energy into our online and social media platforms. This will likely be a trend for the next little while with no events or markets happening. Now that we’ve proven to ourselves that we can run entirely online, we will be rethinking our event strategy moving forward. Quality over quantity.
We’ve started to think outside the box on how we can help customers that are continuing to socially distance. We’ve created a birthday bundle (and many other giftable options), that we deliver or ship with a handwritten card.
We’ll continue to innovate and roll with the punches. We’re not letting anything take us down without a fight!
Finally, where can people learn more about Lip Service Beauty?
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