Melissa Troupe of Mocha Whip [Maker Stories: Episode 73: Podcast]

Welcome to Episode 73 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story introduces you to Melissa Troupe of MochaWhip in West Palm Beach, Florida. Melissa makes whipped vegan body butter with ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter, and aloe juice. Mocha Whip products can be found online and at dozens of Whole Foods Market locations throughout Florida.

As you'll enjoy learning in this episode, Melissa launched Mocha Whip in December 2017, and the first products were sold in March 2018. It's a local family business in every sense of the word, as the State of Florida is where the products are made and where the brand's physical retail footprint is. It's focused, intentional, and, as you'll see, successful. Enjoy my interview with Melissa NOW!

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Episode Show Notes

Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:

  1. How Melissa's hobby went from passion project to taking over the entire first floor of the family home. (starting at 1:50)
  2. How Melissa knew it was time to move her business out of her home, and how she did it. (starting at 5:10)
  3. How Melissa's family helps her run the business, with each person having specific strengths, contributions, and responsibilities. (starting at 12:20)
  4. How a failed hair extensions business led to the launch of Mocha Whip, and what the Mocha Whip brand stands for. (starting at 11:25)
  5. Why vegan is important. (starting at 18:38)
  6. About those “cuties” and “swirlies.” (starting at 19:15)
  7. Melissa gets nerdy, talking her approach to social media marketing, and offering some sage advice. (starting at 21:55)
  8. How Melissa sells her products: online, wholesale. (starting at 31:00)
  9. Best selling fragrance. (starting at 31:47)
  10. Why it's important to Melissa that Mocha Whip products be handmade in-house by her and her team. (starting at 32:37)
  11. What Melissa sees for the future of the handmade industry. (starting at 33:45)
  12. Melissa's words of advice for new entrepreneurs. (starting at 37:23)

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode

In this episode, Melissa and I mentioned the following resources.

  1. Mocha Whip's Website
  2. Mocha Whip on Facebook
  3. Mocha Whip on Instagram
  4. Online wholesale platform: Faire
  5. Retail stores: Earth Fare and Whole Foods

A few of the entrepreneurial points Melissa and I discussed in this episode

  1. The importance of writing things down.
    Melissa shared that journaling her ideas and the steps she wants to take to move her business forward before she actually takes them is a game changer. Once things get crazy, she says, it's really hard to think, so being able to go back and read thoughts you recorded when you were thinking straight is invaluable. It's like giving yourself a good pep talk, and it's how Melissa says she gets to appear to have it all together, even when she really doesn't.
  2. Managing the family side of the family business.
    Being in business with so many family members is peaceful for Melissa because each family member has their own lane. Melissa emphasized how important it is to recognize the strengths of each individual and ensure that the business is set up in ways that allow them to maximize them. It's also important to stay in your lane and to not be in each other's space.
  3. Why Instagram is Melissa's favorite online marketing tool.
    Melissa says that, for business, currently, Instagram is her preferred online marketing tool versus Facebook because it has the highest engagement. Additionally, unless you are purchasing ads, Facebook's transition to favor more personal and non-business sharing, has made it more difficult for marketers to share brand messages on the platform. For that reason, Melissa prefers Instagram these days, but she also recognizes that all of that could change next week considering how quickly things can shift and change with social media.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.