Welcome to Episode 96 of the Indie Business Podcast! On this episode, you'll meet Kimberly Cross of Zhi Bath & Body in Charlotte, North Carolina. From the time she was a child, Kim has been in the beauty industry. She started out as a hair dresser in middle school. Later, after retiring from the military (thank you for your service!!), Kim began creating bath and body products containing goat milk in part because her auntie had told her for years that it would help with her skin conditions.
Like many of us do, Kim resisted her Auntie's sage advice for years, but when she finally wised up, she did the research and discovered the many benefits of goat milk and started making products with goat milk on her own skin. Of course, creating a great product was no guarantee of success. Over the years, Kim has done a lot of inner work to develop the chops needed to get the word out about her products — starting with the skill of getting out of her own way. If this is an issue for you, as it is for so many other entrepreneurs, you'll be motivated and inspired by how Kim's business truly began to open up once she decided to really get over herself.
I can't wait for you to hear more about Kim's journey. Sit back, relax and enjoy my interview with her NOW!
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Important entrepreneurial insights from Kim
Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Kim and I discussed in this episode.
1. Get over yourself
For many years, Kim did not use social media because she looked at what everyone else was doing and didn't think she could be that perfect. But she got over herself and pressed forward, and today, she is killing the marketing game on a variety of platforms. Here's the realization that got her there in her own words — based on some advice she got from me over the course of several mentoring sessions:
What I do have is me: my whole for real me and what I do. And once I gave in and trusted [Donna Maria's] advice, I wanted to share. And I do not have to look perfect to get it done. It was easy to strike that balance once I leaned into it. It's like gravy now. It's fun.
2. Don't keep it to yourself
As Kim designs new products to take better care of herself, she iterates them in ways that appeal to her target customers and then offers them as part of her product line. For example, her popular coloring books complement her bath and body products and encourage people to care for themselves by relieving stress, being creative and enjoying a sense of childhood imagination which for adults can be an effective form of therapy. The lesson here is that you can use what you learn in your everyday life to create products that complement your core line. This is an organic way to evolve your brand, increase your income and create multiple income streams.
3. Wear your brand
Kim excitedly shared how wearing her branded t-shirt featuring her tag line, her website address and the products and services she offers is a great lead generator. When you listen to this episode, pay special attention to the conversation about the work-life merger where we discuss the importance of using your life to support your business, and using your business to support your life. This is a fascinating concept that all independent business owners must embrace in order to reduce friction and enjoy what we here at IBN call “the Ultimate Trifecta” of a happy life, a profitable business and a meaningful legacy. This is a great example about how all three of those components complement each other and go so well together.
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, Kim and I mentioned the following resources.
- Learn more about Zhi Bath & Body
- Follow Kim and Zhi on Instagram
- Taste of Charlotte Festival
- Kim in a Minute on YouTube
- Learn about the benefits of the Indie Business Network – for American makers and artisan entrepreneurs
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