Last week I sat down with Molly Beane, the founder of From Molly with Love, to discuss her immense business growth. Molly and I have been virtually connected for about six months via the amazing and talented Kimberly Wilson. Kimberly had purchased a couple of items from Molly’s Etsy site and recommended them on her blog. Being a loyal follower of Kimberly’s blog and advice, I immediately went and made a purchase from Molly. We then connected on social media and the rest is history, so to speak.
Molly is a woman on a mission to dismantle the beauty industrial complex and be a champion for radical self-care. Molly believes we are poisoning ourselves to fit into this one beauty standard. She is one of those people that gives you hope for not only our world at large but also the topsy turvy endeavor that is entrepreneurship. She’s went from making $200 in revenue in August of 2016 to $20,000 in revenue in March of 2017. Keep reading to learn her tips, tricks and advice.
The Foundation for Success
Molly spent 10 years in the PR & Marketing Corporate world. Like so many corporate employees turned entrepreneurs, she was miserable and really unhappy. She spent a short stint in rehab in June of 2016, battling her demons and left feeling like she had a new lease on life! After she left rehab, she started doing online tarot card readings, freelance writing, etc. For about two months, she was just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick. The key takeaway here is that she took notice of what was working and wasn’t afraid to keep trying new things in her business.
The Starting Point
What would end up being her profitable niche was not the first thing she started to sell. As it turns out, she had been making skincare products for herself and her friends as a hobby for years. For some reason, she didn’t think she could sell them. Her friends started encouraging her to sell what she was making so she decided to give that a try.
She made a logo on Canva and put up a shop on Etsy. She started with the skincare items she had been making and using herself. From the very beginning she took pride in and gave importance to beautiful and thoughtful packaging. Soon, she sold her first item. People loved what she was offering, she was getting sales and her sales grew.
At that point, she decided to invest money into her business. She hired someone on Etsy to do a logo and then hired a branding firm to create proper packaging. She also took out a business loan. This was something that was scary but she knew had to happen in order for her to grow.
The Turning Point
By November 2016 she had definitely outgrown her tiny beachfront apartment in San Diego. So she joined a co-working space, hired an assistant and a designer. At this point, she also took a part-time job. The part-time job allowed her to not worry about the money so much and to take more risks.
She knew that selling to wholesale companies and in volume was where the big profit potential was. So, she started taking classes on Creative Live and did a lot of her own research regarding how to pitch to retailers. Molly says the key to selling wholesale is the packaging, presentation and branding. Her new branding and packaging was expensive but so worth it. She learned early on that presentation matters to everyone, but especially when you are pitching to larger retailers.
Since January 1st, Molly and her assistant have been doing gorilla pitching to retailers. Right now, a lot of her income comes from stores, boutiques and subscription boxes. Who is she approaching next? Whole Foods. She recently underwent the process of getting barcodes on her products specifically with pitching to Whole Foods in mind.
Secrets to her Success
- Business Acumen: Given her background in PR and Marketing, Molly has a good business acumen. For example, she has gotten rid of products in her line that she loves because they didn’t make business sense.
- Planning and Research: Molly’s business plan and her target market research have been key to her success and growth. She recommends knowing your target market, how to talk to them and what they care about.
- Mindset: You hear this a lot in the entrepreneurial space but Molly says mindset was really important for her. She did a lot of things before she was ready and that proved to be a really good thing. She advises other entrepreneurs to not be afraid to ask for help, that it’s ok to outsource and to constantly be improving.
Advice for Other Entrepreneurs, Especially the Creatives
I asked Molly is she could go back in time, what advice she would give herself in August of 2016. These are all great points, regardless of your niche in this crazy world of entrepreneurship:
- Trust the process: She thinks that things unfold as they are supposed to. It’s important to just keep moving forward.
- Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good: Molly said this a lot in our interview and I just love it. I see a lot of entrepreneurs not take action because it’s not perfect. It might not be the perfect time with the perfect people, products or clients. I think Molly’s advice is to do it anyway. It might not be perfect but it’s good enough for right now. You have to believe in what you are doing. Simply do what you can and reiterate as you go along. It’s ok to not hit a home run right away.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks: Molly took financial risks that were scary. However, she invested her money and believed in her product. That has certainly paid off for her.
- Stay positive: Again, going back to mindset. You have to keep your eyes on the prize. She believes she willed a lot of this into existence because of her sheer determination.
Molly is getting ready to unveil her new website with full e-commerce capabilities. She is also going to start utilizing Facebook ads to drive traffic (and sales!) to her new site. I think this should really help her continue to scale her revenue.
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Resources Recommended by Molly
AskWonder.com for business and market research.
Marmaleade to help with SEO and sales.
Creative Live for classes, online learning, tutorials and more!
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