Welcome to Episode 77 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Laura Luther of Olive My Skin, in Oxford, Connecticut. Laura first owned the Southbury Soap & Candle bath and body business business nearly 20 years ago. After closing down following a challenging divorce, Laura launched Olive My Skin in 2012, and since then, has added several complementary brands, including Olive My Home and Olive My Lips.
Laura recently signed a lease to open a new retail store in the Georgetown section of Redding, Connecticut, so you'll soon be able to visit and buy her products in person. Road trip anyone?! I definitely cannot wait to do that. Enjoy my interview with Laura 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 interests you most:
- How Laura went from “making stuff” to selling $300 in soap, lotion, and lip balm at the Christmas bazaar at the local firehouse (starting at 1:23)
- The birth of the “Olive My” brand and how the name came to be. (starting at 4:40)
- How Laura rotates her candle fragrance offerings throughout the year. (starting at 6:10)
- Selling candles in a pandemic, and how Laura pivoted from almost all wholesale to almost all retail in the midst of COVID-19. (9:12)
- How product photography works for Laura's brand (starting at 16:51)
- Who helps Laura in her business. (starting at 18:26)
- Laura on tooting your own horn. (starting at 26:40)
- Some of the technology Laura uses to run her business. (starting at 27:39)
- The importance of educating your customers. (starting at 28:53)
- The infamous zip code candles. (starting at 30:44)
- Laura's registered trademarks. (starting at 34:45)
- Laura is going to open a store. (starting at 36:41)
- Having the same business for a long time, does not mean doing the same thing for a long time. (starting at 37:50)
- Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. (starting at 38:50)
- Laura's words of advice to new Makers. (starting at 40:26)
- Laura's praise for the Indie Business experience. (Thank you, Laura!) (starting at 42:43)
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, Melissa and I mentioned the following resources.
- Olive My Skin's Website
- Olive My Skin on Facebook
- Olive My Skin on Instagram
- Wholesale resource: Faire
- Website platforms: Shopify and Squarespace
- Email marketing platform: Klaviyo
- Live video: Facebook Live
- Membership: Indie Business Network
Important entrepreneurial insight from Laura
1. Do what you love
Laura reminded us that you should do what you love to do, regardless of what others think. As she mentioned in our conversation, she has been told by many people that she should not be the primary person making most of the products in her line. But Laura says that, while she has help making some things, she finds the making process therapeutic and fun, so she will continue to do it until it is no longer fun and therapeutic and fun. The lesson here is to lead your business in ways that bring you joy, regardless of what other people say.
2. Educate your customers
Laura says that she enjoys the process of educating her customers so they know the ins and outs of why her products are a good choice for them. In particular, she says, making sure people know how to use her products safely and and telling them about the safe ingredients contained in her products add a great deal of value to her brand. Educated consumers buy more products, so Laura makes sure to keep her target audience informed about the things that are important to them.
3. Product photography is everything
Well, maybe not everything. Laura says that she knows people buy her products in larger numbers, especially the candles, in large part because of an emotional connection they feel to a scent or mood they want to create. Her product photographer is skilled at capturing images that reflect people's emotions. As a result, Laura sells more candles. As you heard her say, you cannot underestimate the power of a beautiful branded lifestyle photo.
Enter to win an Olive My Skin Sprinkled Alchemist Cupcake Candle
Want to in a Sprinkled Alchemist Cupcake Candle? Of course you do! See how to enter to win below the image!
How to Enter to Win!
Do these 3 easy and fast things by 11:59pm on February 11, 2021, to be entered to win!
- Follow @indiebusiness on Instagram
- Follow @olivemyskin on Instagram
- Tag a friend on this Instagram post announcing this podcast episode
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