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: Shari Fowler of Iberian Skincare in Midlothian, Virginia.
Growing up, Shari was a self described perfume junkie. As time passed, for whatever reason, she became unable to use fragranced personal care products. What's a fragrance junkie to do? Start her own line of products of course! I asked Shari to share a bit about her entrepreneurial journey and what she has learned along the way. Here is some of what she told me.
Q1 TELL US ABOUT IBERIAN SKINCARE
After I began experiencing headaches and nausea when I used scented products, I wanted to make my own products. When my daughter was born, I received a ginger scented salt scrub as a gift. I figured it would make me sick but I used it anyway — and I didn't become ill. I read the label and discovered that the ginger aroma was from an essential oil and not from a fragrance oil. I began investigating essential oils, carrier oils, natural butters, and all things skin care and ingredient related. I began making sugar scrubs for friends, who began buying them as gifts. When my kids were old enough to go to school full-time, my husband encouraged me to go for it with a business, so I did. And here we are. My body polishes have evolved from slick, oily concoctions to buttery confections. I have since added butter balms, whipped body butters, facial oils, and salves.
Q2 WHAT ARE YOUR BEST SELLING PRODUCTS?
My best selling products are the “tried and true” lavender polishes and butter balms. Close seconds are our custom scents, “Lively Up Yourself,” a blend of orange and rosewood essential oils, and “New Attitude,” with essential oils of lime, bergamot, and rosemary.
Q3 WHAT BUSINESS SUCCESS TIP CAN YOU SHARE THAT YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOU STARTED IBERIAN SKINCARE?
Have a schedule for everything.
Have a schedule for everything. From accounting to blogging to marketing to production to product development to sales. Accounting is my least favorite part of business ownership, and since I am not yet in a position to hire someone to do it for me, having a dedicated time to keep on top of this arduous task has been very helpful. I tend to be easilyside tracked by other things, so a good calendar, integrated with a notes management system is something I've been working on to help me keep focused and organized.
Have a schedule for everything.
Shari Fowler, Iberian Skincare
Q4 WHAT SORTS OF THINGS DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
I love music and have developed an affinity for the blues in recent years. I grow exotic plants like anthyriums and orchids. I am a pretty decent cook, though I could live without cleaning up the mess. I love to walk with my puppy and kayak with my husband. I enjoy traveling, and hope to do more of it this year.
Q5 WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS STARTING OUT TODAY?
Think about it long and hard. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You'll work much harder on your own business than you would in any traditional full-time job. If you decide to proceed with a business, find support, like I have with the Indie Business Network, and become involved. It's easy to feel untethered on your own, and the Indie Business Network is a fabulous resource for information, support, and a friendly ear on those days when you're feeling down.
Q6 WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS GOING WHEN THE MOST CHALLENGING TIMES COME YOUR WAY?
Believe it or not, chatting with other Maker members of IBN and seeing first-hand that I am not alone. It's wonderful to chat with others and discuss things with those who totally get what you're talking about. For two years I didn't talk with any other Makers and let me tell you, it was a lonely time. IBN has provided immeasurable value on every level.
Q7 WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE INDIE BUSINESS NETWORK?
I really appreciate everyone's sense of humor and their willingness to share their successes as well as their failures. It's hard to place a value on what I've learned since attending my first #IndieCruise as a relative newbie and also, the incredible generosity shown on the private IBN member Facebook page. At times, I feel like I'm adrift at sea, sometimes enjoying the “float,” and other times wondering where I am. I appreciate the opportunity to communicate with others who are navigating their own boats. The sense of community is uplifting.
LEARN MORE ABOUT IBERIAN SKINCARE