Welcome to Episode 94 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this episode, you'll meet Chelsea Selby Randazza of Witch Baby Soap in Cranford, New Jersey. It was nearly a decade ago when, in her kitchen, baby strapped to her chest, Chelsea first started making and selling soap and bath bombs and realized there was a market for products for what she calls “weird and witchy” people like her. As she began to make more products like the ones she wanted to have for herself, Chelsea realized that a business was being born.
After selling on Etsy for less than a year, Chelsea launched her own website with no business background, joined the Indie Business Network, and the rest is witchy history. Today, along with her husband, who has joined the business, Chelsea has a healthy online business selling direct to consumers, a popular subscription box, and several retail stores.
I cannot wait to introduce you to Chelsea and her Witch Baby Soap brand, so sit back, relax, and enjoy my interview with Chelsea NOW!
Click the arrow to enjoy the Indie Business Podcast
Episode Show Notes
Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that interests you most:
- The Witch Baby Soap startup story. (starting at 2:30)
- The “security” of working for yourself. (starting at 6:42)
- The core messages of the Witch Baby brand. (starting at 8:49)
- Innovating the “coffin bath bomb.” (starting at 11:44)
- How to create a product with a meaning and intention, and for a specific target market. (starting at 13:15)
- Chelsea's journey from Etsy to her own branded website on Shopify. (starting at 16:30)
- Opening her retail stores. (starting at 18:02)
- How Chelsea sells her products, and why she does not sell wholesale. (starting at 20:31)
- How Chelsea sets financial goals for her business. (starting at 22:53)
- Key business challenges and how Chelsea has overcome them. (starting at 27:15)
- Employees at Witch Baby Soap, and how they are spread across the various channels. (starting at 29:03)
- All about the Witch Baby Spell Box, Chelsea's quarterly subscription box. (starting at 30:22)
- How Chelsea keeps the innovation going in her business: “following the bread crumbs that life gives me.” (starting at 32:15)
- Why Chelsea begged her husband to quit his job and work Witch Baby with her. (39:45)
- What opportunities Chelsea sees on the horizon for Makers and creative entrepreneurs. (42:40)
Schedule Your Business Growth Coaching Call
Thanks for listening to the Indie Business Podcast! Let's get started taking you and your maker business to the next level with a 45-minute complimentary personalized Business Growth Group Coaching Call.
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, Chelsea and I mentioned the following resources.
- Online website platform: Shopify
- Online website platform: Etsy
- Witch Baby Soap on Instagram
- Witch Baby Soap website
- Indie Business Network (join today!)
Important entrepreneurial insights from Chelsea
Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Chelsea and I discussed in this episode.
1. Create more than products
There are a million products out there, folks. For example, says Chelsea, there are tons of bath bombs on the market, but when Chelsea designs a bath bomb for the Witch Baby brand, she's designing more than a bath bomb. She's designing a bath bomb for a specific purpose, for a specific person in her specific target community. Her bath bombs have a purpose. When you create a product, Chelsea recommends that you take a similar approach.
Create products with intention and meaning to your specific target customer. That meaning may not be obvious to everyone, but it will be obvious to the people you are targeting and that's all you need because those are the people you want to buy it. As she says, it's an “If you know, you know” kind of thing, and that's what matters to your customer and to your bottom line.
2. Chelsea on planning …
According to Chelsea, focusing too intently on setting hard goals and expectations can stifle creativity and stunt natural growth and learning. Obviously, we all want to make a profit and grow our businesses, but growth year after year and month after month is not the natural way of things says Chelsea. And because she works closely with the cycles of nature in her business and her personal life, she has learned to temper her expectations.
And this is close to a quote that I thought was especially meaningful:
“Nature does not grow all the time. There are periods of dormancy and periods of working within to have a better growth cycle. There are also moments where things will break down, but those are opportunities for building back stronger. I try to just move through the ups and downs of business with very few expectations and take every day as it comes.
I follow the bread crumbs life gives me.
My ultimate goal is not to be the biggest or the most profitable brand. It's to be able to pay our bills, pay our employees and have a comfortable business.
My advice is to have a plan, but don't be rigid. When you have a solid rigid plan you set yourself up for disappointment if you don't end up where you thought you were going to be. I'd rather go with the flow, where life takes me and be happy about that than be worried about getting to a specific goal post.”
Chelsea shared that her business model for product sales revolves around having streamlined to selling soaps only as her core line. She scratches her creative itch by making limited edition products to complement the soaps and boost sales, but soaps remain at the core and are the main focus of the business from a consistent profit center perspective. According to Chelsea, this streamlined approach allows her to be focused on making what sells the most consistently, and adding additional produce income streams on top of that to prevent boredom and remain creative and innovative, yet still profitable.
3. Expect the unexpected
Chelsea says that in a post-COVID-19 world, she makes it a point to stay ahead of potential issues by trying to expect the unexpected and staying ahead of potential issues. She pays more attention now than ever to worldwide news reports. For example, a few years ago, she recalls reports of Mexican cartels holding avocado farms hostage. This ultimately resulted in a rise in avocado oil prices which ultimately affected her costs. Had she not been paying attention to worldwide news that might otherwise not have seemed especially important to her, she would not have been able to anticipate the price rises and would not have been able to implement a backup plan in advance.
Understanding how world events can affect your business is more important than ever now, and Chelsea does her best to stay as informed as possible, even in areas that may not seem relevant at first glance.
Chelsea described herself as an ambivert — that is, she is an extrovert when she needs to be, and she is an introvert the rest of the time. It is very important for creatives to be able to integrate both the introverted and the extroverted parts of their personalities together to come out from the shadows. As Chelsea said, when she does this, she sees immediate results because people do want to see and get to know the creative personality behind the product brand. When done consistently, this always leads to new sales opportunities — and opportunities in general — in your business.
Binge Indie Business Podcast Episodes
Subscribe to Indie Business Podcast
Rate Indie Business Podcast, Tell Your Friends and Comment
If you enjoy the Indie Business Podcast, please rate my show on Apple Podcasts, and be sure to subscribe there to receive automatic episodes as they are released.