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Posts Tagged ‘small business ownership’

I am thrilled to open the doors to The Creative Entrepreneur series today. Let’s celebrate entrepreneurship together, and let’s Share, Encourage and Grow!

Her abundance is a mix of creativity, flair, and southern charm.  With that being said, I introduce to you Ginger Moore, founder and CEO of Neos Creations Skin Care.

Before we get down to the nitty gritty of  the interview with Ginger, here’s the scoop on Neos Creations Skin Care – the business officially opened in April of 2009 – with a 5th birthday coming up in 2013.

The Neos Creations online store is is located at www.neoscreations.net, where you will find head to toe skin care (lotions, creams, scrubs, body sprays, body-massage oils, bath soaks, soaps, complete line of facial care, lip care). Ginger likes to pamper! Who doesn’t need a pampering day in their life?

Now, for the interview:

What encouraged you to start your business? 

My story is not unusual, however it is a bit detailed. I had always wanted to start or own a business of some sort. It was a deep desire of my heart and ingrained in me from my dad who was a business owner and my husband and his family, who were business owners. Nothing seemed to click with me until an idea for a gift business was born from a church fundraising event that I had coordinated and organized. The idea just wouldn’t go away and everywhere I turned, I was being exposed to information about the cottage industry and women owned  businesses.  Best of all, the business would fit right into my personal need to be creativity, share the love and bring joy to others.

After much research, praying and encouragement from my husband and a few close friends, I set the wheels in motion and started a ready to give gift company, that included offering my own private label brand of handcrafted bath & body care products. These skin care product lines had started out of my own personal necessity and worked so well, I just had to share them with the world. It soon became evident that the skin care was where I was supposed to be focusing. You can read more about that here (http://www.neoscreations.net/the_neos_story_79.html) .

In 2010, it came to my attention that a company in CA was infringing on my common law trademarked cosmetics brand name and had applied to a registered trademark of it. Rather than spend thousands of dollars and several years fighting them in court, I decided it was a perfect opportunity to re-structure my business and drop the ready to give gift part of it. In doing so, I renamed the company to reflect the new focus and re-invented the skin care branding. Vwallah!  Neos Creations Skin Care™ emerged, which continues to evolve and grow every single day.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of  your business?

Definitely my customers are the #1 reward, without question. I love serving and making others feel loved, appreciated, pampered and beautiful.  Next in line would be all the wonderful people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned along the way. I’ve met people from all walks of life and occupations, from customers to fellow business owners. And I’ve been forced to learn things that before seemed out of my arena, such as technology.

As a small business owner, no doubt you encounter stress, what is your number one stress relief tactic?

I try to have fun every single day. Laughter is a wonderful stress reliever. I also take regular time away from business to refresh and renew. A nice soaking bath, a lazy day of movie watching with my family, reading….these all help me de-stress.

What has been your greatest business achievement so far?

I don’t know if there is one.  Every business achievement seems great in my own thinking.  Even the smaller things that may seem insignificant to someone else are huge in my eyes. After all, it’s the small things that make up the big things, right?

Is there any one thing you find difficult about operating a small business? If yes, how do you work around that difficulty?

OH YES! Technology.  I’m what I affectionately call, “tech challenged”.  I know just enough to get me in trouble if I’m not careful. *smile* That’s very difficult when a large majority of your necessary business actions are computer and technology related. When you are in this type of situation, you find a way in through another doorway. For instance, I cannot write computer code, but had to build an ecommerce website myself because I couldn’t afford to pay the web designer/builder prices. So I found a way to do it with point and click styled site builders and a webhost that has excellent support.  I knew nothing about graphics and designing layouts, but had to be able to design product labels and promotional material. So I found software that was user friendly for me.  I do not speak techie nor do I understand it in many cases. If I run into anything that is “out of my realm of knowledge”, I ask questions and find someone who can guide me through it in plain English that I can understand.

What one piece of advice would you give to a person wanting to start a small business? Give one main point, and then a few additional tips (if you have any).

One piece of advice, huh?  Well, I don’t feel I’m qualified to give advice but I guess what I can say is, “If you really want it, then do it.” Do your research. Do your homework. Do your prep work. Learn what you should learn and do the hard work that no one ever recognizes to get your product or service to market and be successful with it. And then do it some more. These 4 things are never ending in small business. There is a big learning curve in business but there are basics that you have to learn and apply. You may have a great product or service but unless you do all of the above, putting in the time and attention on the hard stuff, then it’s just a great product or service that few are aware of.  Passion or product alone is not going to get you there and it will not happen overnight.

What is the most important tip that you have as a “key to success”?

Be honest with your customers and yourself, having a high standard of ethics and personal as well as professional integrity.

Today’s consumer is savvy and they appreciate truth in business. They may buy into a gimmick or lie at first, but they will get wise to it. If you are not conducting yourself and your business ethically and with integrity, it will come back to bite you.

On both a short and long term basis, what do you foresee for your small business (or for upcoming business owners)?

I honestly can’t say. With the current economy, things can be pretty uncertain all across the world of business.  But…. I dream pretty big.  Realistically, my hope and greatest desire is that NEOS will continue to grow, expand and become a profitable, self sustaining entity that supports my family in a greater way than it does today.  As a family business, my husband and young son are very involved with the business. Both are an intricate part of the inner workings. That will continue.  I would love to add positions and create jobs for others in the future. Of course, I would love for everyone to love and enjoy my products as much as I love them and enjoy making them. For Neos to be a household name would thrill me to no end. See!  I told you I dream big.  *smile*

Do you have any additional tips or words of wisdom to offer?

Don’t be resistant to change.  As times and needs change, you have to be willing and able to change with them.  When a curve is thrown at you, you don’t want to only duck, you want to be able to bob, weave and change the course if necessary. A business is no place to be set in your ways too much. Detours or entire changes in direction can be a good thing.  In fact, they can be a great thing.

Don’t ever think there is nothing left for you to learn on any given subject. Every day is an opportunity to learn something and grow. Embrace that. Let others sow into your garden. You will reap a harvest from it.

Thank you, Ginger!

I loved Ginger’s comment, “After all, it’s the small things that make up the big things, right?” It is the small things that do, indeed, make the world-go-round!

Please visit (Neos Creations Skin care) at www.neoscreations.net.

Just look at these, Neos, “Kiss My Grits!” (yep, I recognize those fun words after visiting the south!):

You can sign up for the Neos newsletters while you’re there so you can get the scoop on all things NEOS and get additional subscriber only offers.

Follow the Neos beauty and business blog here. What did I say about a pampering day? The Neos blog subtitle is, “A Decadent “Ahhh” Moment.”

Ginger loves talking to you directly and getting to know you.  Get connected with her on social at:

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/#!/NeosCreationsSkinCare

Twitter – https://twitter.com/NeosCreations

If you own a small business – especially if you offer handmade products – and if you would like to be featured in The Creative Entrepreneur series, I would love to chat with you!

Small business rocks! And handmade double rocks!

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Owning a small business isn’t all about rosy smelling flowers in the garden.  Operating a business definitely has expected up and down moments.

Last night I experienced what I’ll call long moments of “up” times as I wheeled the cart around the soap studio gathering lotions, soaps and supplies for customer shipments.

I thought about the gentleman that called a few days ago.  He is 80 years old and said that he is taking care of his terminally ill 78-year-old girlfriend.  The couple had attended a craft show 10 years ago.  She wanted Rosemary goat milk soap.  He refused to purchase the soap for her.  He said to me, “Wouldn’t that have been a small thing to have made her happy?” With a tear in my eye, I replied, “We’ll take care of this now.”  He said, “You know, that stuff stinks! But she wanted it and she should have had it when she wanted it.  It makes her happy.”  I agree.  Let’s put a smile of her face today.  God bless that man.

One of our customers loves a particular essential oil blend that we work into our products.  After purchasing our soap for nearly a year she told me, “The scent reminds me of the cologne that my deceased brother used to wear.”  Apparently her brother loved to mix and match his scents.  The first time she purchased the soap from us she said she was taken back, she was filled with memories.  She recently said that she wanted so badly to make Christmas gifts for her family (potpourri and other items) with our blend.  In her next order I included a 1 ounce bottle of the essential oil blend, with the promise that she send pictures of the Christmas gifts.  She asked, “Even if they look like they were made by a 1st grader?”  Yep, I will hold her to it!

See, life gets tough, business gets tough.  It all gets tough.  But there are moments, and I treasure them, that simply are not irreplaceable.  The customers that cannot decide which soaps to order, the customers that consistently send emails to me, “Throw in what you like.  I love it all.”  Those are the times I absolutely cherish, and realize that, my personal dream, what I have put into this business (hours and a lot of hard work), and what I get back (I cannot do this alone – it is you that makes it happen), is what REALLY COUNTS!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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