According to a 2020 report from the American Psychiatric Association*, 46.6 million Americans (nearly 1 in 5 adults!) live with a mental health condition, depression in particular, and suicide rates are rising. Welcome to Episode 92 of the Indie Business Podcast, where we shine a spotlight on one woman's mental health challenges, and how the intersection of aromatherapy and entrepreneurship help her overcome them.
In this episode, I interview Lauren VanScoy of Essence One in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lauren turned to aromatherapy after feeling anxious and depressed after the birth of her children. After being diagnosed by a health professional with major depression manifesting as anxiety, Lauren was prescribed traditional medication with a twist. Her doctor suggested she explore complementary alternatives, including essential oils.
Lauren took this idea and ran with it, eventually becoming a certified aromatherapist and making blends to improve her mental health. When her friends started asking her to make blends for them, the old entrepreneurial itch started to get scratched, and Essence One was born. I cannot wait for you to hear more from Lauren and her Essence One story, so sit back, relax, and enjoy my interview with Lauren 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:
- Lauren's mental health story. (starting at 2:50)
- How Lauren's mental health challenges led to her business. (starting at 8:05)
- A unique take on Lauren's early business purpose and product launches. (starting at 9:30)
- Lauren talks best-selling products and sales venues. (starting at 13:30)
- How wholesale accounts have been helpful to Essence One. (starting at 17:00)
- Lauren shares her trade show stories and insider tips. (starting at 18:30)
- The biggest challenge Lauren faces on her entrepreneurial journey. (starting at 24:00)
- How Lauren's big time-allocation decision affected Essence One. (starting at 29:00)
- Lauren's words of advice for those thinking about making the move from a part-time business to a full-time passion. (starting at 45:00)
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, Lauren and I mentioned the following resources.
- Essence One website
- Essence One on Instagram
- Aromatherapy certification: Aromahead Institue
- Trade show: AmericasMart
- IBN member benefits: Facebook community and Indie Pods
Important entrepreneurial insights from Lauren
Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Lauren and I discussed in this episode.
1. Transitioning from solopreneur
Lauren shared that one of her biggest challenges has been going from doing everything herself to hiring help. After she quit her job two and a half years after starting the business, she quickly hired her first part-time contractor. She now has employees, whom she hired in the middle of the pandemic. Lauren says it's kind of scary to let things go, but doing so freed her to actually lead the business and devote more time to administrative duties that are so important to effectively leading a business.
2. The value of handmade
Even though Lauren uses outside companies to make some of her products for collaborative projects like subscription boxes with huge product requirements, she is dedicated to keeping production in-house. She likes the level of control and she also loves employing people in her community. Lauren acknowledges that making products by hand increases costs, but she also shared that people will pay more for the value of a well made handmade product.
3. Quitting your job to become a full-time entrepreneur
As someone who quit her job to turn her passion into a business, Lauren encourages you to go for it. However, she cautions to make sure you are as financially stable as possible before doing so. No amount of passion can make up for a missed mortgage payment, and Lauren said that financial stability enabled her to focus on her business without additional worry. When she finally quit her job and focused on her business full-time, growth happened. Use your passion as fuel, and maintain a “why not try?” attitude Lauren says.
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* Source: American Psychiatric Association 2020 Foundation Impact Report