Do you have a great idea for a product?
Check out the “light bulb” moment Grace Hvasta-Petrarca had when she was having lunch with her friend. Grace started looking for an all natural skincare product for her tween, and guess what happened? Good For You Girls, www.goodforyougirls.com, was born! Here’s what Grace had to say:
Tell us about Good For You Girls and how you started the business.
Good For You Girls is a line of 100% natural and organic skincare formulated especially for girls ages 9-15. We started the business when my then 11 year-old daughter came to me asking if she could use my products.
My products are anti-aging focused, so I told her I would find something for her at our local healthy food store. When I was looking for a specific product for young skin, there was nothing that met my high standards. I was with my friend and now, business partner Kim, when she had a light bulb moment. With her background in advertising and marketing, and my background in natural medicine, we decided to create our own line of natural, safe products specifically for young girls. This demographic was being completely ignored in the natural market… so here we are, about two years later, and going strong with the Good for you Girls product line.
Why do you think you fill a specific niche?
We have actually created a new category in the natural market. This demographic was completely ignored until now. Good For You Girls fills the void between baby and adult skincare. We are very proud of that.
Girls are in need of skin care at a much younger age these days. We wanted to be able to provide them with a safe alternative to what they would find at the local drug store. The chemicals found in traditional skincare and their toxic effects on the body are well documented. I wanted better for my girls, and knew there were other moms like me.
What was the biggest challenge in starting Good For You Girls and how did you overcome it?
The number one challenge has been funding. Since we are a new business, we are not eligible for small business loans. This has definitely forced us to be creative with the minimal budget we have. The majority of our budget goes into product development. We have had to pass on many advertising opportunities simply because we don’t have the budget at this time.
I think this is a challenge for a lot of small businesses just starting out. Also, since we have created a completely new category. As a new company it has been a challenge getting our name out there to the retailers. Before they take on new products they want to be sure you are going to be around for a long time.
What have you done to build buzz for the business without spending a lot of money?
We have done a great job contacting organic publications for editorials. We have also been a hit with many Mommy blogs by providing them with giveaways and coupons for their readers. Small advertisements in trade show magazines have also been helpful.
What have been your most successful marketing efforts so far and why?
Our most successful effort has been working with our distributors. They have the know-how and reach to so many retailers. They understand and support our vision.
What advice do you have for other Moms out there who want to start their own businesses?
Go for it! Of course, it takes hard work and dedication. Kim and I have spent endless hours on the phone and in front of the computer communicating with retailers and distributors, getting the word out about our product and vision. It has been worth every moment, as we are now seeing the fruits of our labor. It takes time, so don’t be discouraged. My best advice, however, is to partner with someone you respect, someone whose work ethic is similar to yours, and most important, someone who you can have fun with. Because at the end of the day, even when you are stressed out, if your vision is not fun anymore, then you have lost the point, and it is difficult to reach your business goals.
How do you find time to run your business, spend time with your family and have some free moments to yourself?
That is a juggling act for sure. I am an early riser so I start my day around 5:30 a.m. I take time for myself in meditation. I am at my desk by 6:00 a.m. getting myself organized for what I have to accomplish during the day.
My kids know that the morning is mine. When not in school, it is their time to do their chores, hang out together playing games or have their own time to read. After lunch, I am totally dedicated to my family. The afternoon on through to our family dinner is all about them. After everyone is in bed, it is my time again to catch up on e-mails and phone calls to the West coast. It works for me because my family is very supportive, especially my husband. Once school comes along, it is much easier to get all the work done between 9:00 to 4:00 in an empty house!
Do you have any tips for future entrepreneurs out there who are nervous about starting a business in today’s economy?
If you are passionate about your idea and are willing to persevere, any time is a good time to start a business. Fear of failure should never be a thought, as any step you take toward bettering yourself or your environment is never failure. It is a learning experience on your journey.
Thanks for your great insights Grace! To reach Grace and find out more about natural skincare products for tweens, how to get rid of acne, and more, visit www.goodforyougirls.com.
And if you need help with your PR or SEO copywriting, feel free to comment below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com. Thanks!