Too often in our society, people picture men in their heads when they hear words like, “boss”, “entrepreneur”, or “CEO”. Being a small business owner has put me in touch with so many successful female business owners and entrepreneurs that when I hear these words, I often picture a woman or I just don’t assume anything at all. Women are obviously just as capable as men when it comes to the business world and it is high time that women business owners and entrepreneurs are more visible in the media in our society. This is where the idea for Women in Business was born. Women in Business is a bi-monthly feature that highlights female entrepreneurs and business owners. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to learn more about small businesses in various fields, but it is a great shopping guide for supporting small businesses.
An Interview with Jennifer
Tell us a little bit about your business. What exactly do you do and how long have you been doing it?
Naked Bar Soap Co. is a bath and body company located in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, Florida. We create artisan soaps made with nourishing ingredients such as olive oil, coconut oil, and sustainable palm oil combined with dollops of creamy Shea, rich Cocoa, and exotic Kokum butter scented only with essential oils and no synthetic fragrances. In addition to our soaps we also make our bestselling item, Pit Cream. Pit Cream is a natural deodorant made with coconut oil, baking soda, cornstarch, Shea butter, cocoa butter, and tea tree essential oil.
I am cofounder of this company. My role includes running marketing, social media, administration, and everything else you do not see when you step into our store.
What are three things that help you run your business efficiently on a daily basis?
Three things that help me run this business efficiently will be coffee, my planner, and the support of my business partner and cofounder, Natasha Gaylon. In order to be effective I need to plan what my days and weeks are going to look like. Plans don’t always go according to how I want but at least I have a blueprint of what I am going to do. Having the support of Natasha also helps because we are two women in this business together. Having faith in each other gives me the support to move this business forward. There is a lot of doubt and learning curves I have encountered so always having a business partner that has your back is essential. Although we don’t always agree, it is great to know I can go to her about anything.
What was the best piece of advice you were given?
Learn how to be flexible. Having a planner, using your smartphone, mapping out your weeks it is all good and handy and great but life happens and sometimes things go way to the left. Making room flexibility allows me to go with the flow when there is no other choice.
Do you use any apps or programs that help with marketing/social media? Which are your favorites?
My favorite app is Instagram. I love the immediate response and the connection you make with people. Using hashtags have helped grow the business and helped people find us. When I meet people at the store, many have responded saying they found us on Instagram via other followers.
What do you do when you need some inspiration?
I wish I could give you this great, inspiring, WOW of an answer. But the truth is I eat which forces me to exercise which forces me to go the gym and take spin classes at 5 in the morning which set my endorphins off, clears my head, and all of sudden I am full of ideas.
How do you define success as a business owner?
Every month we pay the rent and find ourselves in the black is quite successful! I celebrate and define success in all things when it comes to business. Being interviewed by you, every time someone follows us on social media, whenever a person refers us to new customers, when a retailer wants to carry our products, the list is endless. All of those successes will eventually lead us to be a Fortune 500 company.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start a small business?
It is okay to be scared but don’t be trapped by fear. Fear is paralyzing and will leave you stuck. I am scared every single day in this business and your emotions are on overdrive. One second you are on top of things and the next nanosecond you are literally grasping for air but I am never going to let fear trap me into not moving forward. People say you can’t be scared, you need money, and good luck to start a business but I call bull$hit on that. I say it is okay be scared, you don’t need to be rich, and who needs luck when you have skills.