Indie Business Network members are some of the most creative people in the world. They come from near and far, even in the smallest towns in America, they are creating a whole new way to integrate life and business. Today, I'm excited to tell you about one of them: Jennifer Hardaway of KleanSpa in Burbank, California.
You may recall that Jennifer presented at Unique LA this past weekend. You may also know that she has joined me on the past several sailings of the #IndieCruise MasterMind, and is slated to be with us in 2015 as well. What you don't know (because I haven't had a chance to tell you) is that I commissioned Jennifer to customize my own signature perfume earlier this year. More about that later, For now, I present to you Jennifer Hardaway!
Q1 TELL US ABOUT KLEANSPA
I started KleanSpa along side a purse/jewelry business that was already in full swing. I had been thinking about launching a beauty products business for over six months, and in December of 2004, a brand name suddenly occurred to me: Klean. There's a much longer story regarding the name, but I'll save that for another time. I decided to begin the business not knowing a thing about what it entailed or how to do any of it. I had a desire, a love of fragrance and perfume, and a name to get me started. Oh, and the Internet (and Indie BUSINESS Network)!
I began taking my products on the road along with my other crafty items. I was basically testing the market, without knowing that's what I was doing. When I received my first order for body scrub (my first product), I was elated. Then, more people started buying … and loving. In a short amount of time, I realized that this was what I wanted to do. I was making people happy and that made me happy. Then and now, the biggest thrill for me is when I get online orders! For a while, I got one a month and shouted out to my boyfriend so we could celebrate together. Then, I'd get another order, so I kept shouting. (I do it to this day, and really, I should get out more :-))
Q2 WHAT ARE YOUR BEST SELLING PRODUCTS?
Our bestselling products are our shea lotion, body polishes, and perfume oils. Here is some Lime Crush for you. Yum.
Q3 WHAT BUSINESS SUCCESS TIP CAN YOU SHARE THAT YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOU STARTED KLEANSPA?
Trademark Stuff is important! Get a trademark attorney.
I wish someone had told me many things. Ugh. How about not naming my business Klean. Trademark Stuff is important! An A-Z on getting something trademarked would have been key. I suggest getting a trademark attorney or possibly going through legal zoom. Check all angles of your potential name. Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with every possible spelling you can think of. Purchase your domain name .com, .net, and all variations in any potential way someone might spell it. etc. Also, make sure your artwork (logo, graphics, etc.) doesn't reflect anther brand. Be unique.
Get a trademark attorney.
Jennifer Hardaway, KleanSpa
Q4 WHAT SORTS OF THINGS INSPIRE YOU MOST AND WHY?
Music, colors, packaging, and perfume and essential oils inspire me most. I get really excited about creating the best packaging I can for my brand. Working with fragrant oils is like music or cooking. I have never followed formulas when I am make my perfumes. It's like an artists palette. Endless possibilities.
Q5 WHAT IS YOUR STUDIO LIKE? WHERE DOES THE “MAKING” MAGIC HAPPEN?
Our workspace is located in the back part of a 300 square foot space, and the KleanSpa brand inhabits a full retail wall in the shop. It's small but it sure packs a punch and we do a lot of business out of that small space. We are very organized and, thanks to my friend, Stephanie, we have optimized our space for good workflow. I always say it's small but mighty!
Q6 WHAT SORTS OF THINGS DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
I love seeing movies. I recently saw Grand Budapest Hotel, and loved it! I like travelling. I like to cook. I am also now addicted to something that used to annoy me: Candy Crush. I know. So lame. BUT, it's great way to zone out when a lot is going on. And aLOT is going on for me right now.
Q7 WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO PRESS FORWARD IN YOUR BUSINESS WHEN THE MOST CHALLENGING TIMES COME YOUR WAY?
What inspires me to press forward is that I have some connection with something bigger than me. The universe is huge, and most things pass. Sometimes I just have to reason things out with someone else or completely remove myself (and my brain) from my business.
Q8 HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOU WORK “ON” YOUR BUSINESS AT LEAST AS MUCH AS YOU WORK “IN” YOUR BUSINESS?
I work “on” my business often. I have a Mastermind meeting once a month. I have two employees who fill orders most of the time so I can build the business. I go on the #IndieCruise or to a soap convention. I have taken a perfumery class, and plan to take more to learn as much as I can about what I love.
Q9 WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE INDIE BUSINESS NETWORK?
I LOVE IBN! (that's a lot of capital letters). I have been a member since 2006, I think. It has given me a network specifically geared to what I do. There are so many women here whom I call my friends. And that is special. Especially since we don't live near each other. I am proud to be a member! xoxo
Best and success,
What inspires you about Jennifer's story? I love how she weaves her love for different kinds of art into her business. We can all do that. How do you do it?
LEARN MORE ABOUT KLEANSPA