Building a Customizable Sugar Scrubs Brand – Roberta Perry of ScrubzBody Skin Care Products
INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 50:54)
PODCAST AUDIO[sc name=”sponsors”]
People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode
Book: Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
What You’ll Learn
Interview with Roberta Perry of ScrubzBody Skin Care Products
|01:04||The business idea|
|14:18||Getting the first customer|
|26:08||Online marketing and customer acquisition|
|35:36||Private label and wholesale|
|40:13||Mistakes made, lessons learned|
|44:35||Rapid fire round|
In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.
Roberta Perry of ScrubzBody Skin Care Products
- Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: Professional Troublemaker)
- An innovative product or idea and the current eCommerce, retail, or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: MamaSuds Bath Bombs)
- A business or productivity tip that you would recommend (Response: Dropbox)
- A startup or business and eCommerce retailer tech that you think is currently doing great things (Response: KA! Empathogenics)
- A peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Ash Ambirge)
- Best business advice you ever received (Response: Treat customers like they’re your only customer)
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey there, entrepreneurs. My name is Sushant, and welcome to Trep Talks. This is the show where I interview successful e-commerce entrepreneurs, business executives, and thought leaders, and ask them questions about their business story, and also dive deep into some of the and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses.
And today I’m really excited to welcome Roberta Very to the show. Roberta is the founder and president of Scrubs Body Skincare product. Scott’s Body is a skincare brand that utilizes a hundred percent active ingredients in its products, and Scott’s body sells pampering and sells love. It just happens to come in Jonathan Bottles.
And we’re gonna learn more about that in a second. Uh, and today I’m gonna ask a few questions about her journey and some of the impacted that she has used to start and grow her business. So thank you so much for joining me today at Trip, Robert. I
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: really appreciate it. My pleasure. Happy to be here.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, yeah.
Let’s start off with the, with your story, with your entrepreneurial story. How did you, when did you start this business? How did you come, come up with the idea and what really motivated you to create a skincare skincare
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: brand? So, um, you know, it goes back before that, in that, um, my background from college, et cetera was graphic design.
So I kind of had that little background. Um, and then one of those clients, I started some other business that failed, but I kind of learned how to do a little website and a little marketing. And so I was picking up other skills at that point, you know, but everything I could sort of do from. And then when my kids were young, I was selling telecom cuz you know, I fell into that through a friend of mine.
And so I got, you know, some sales skills. So all these three things without realizing it was the foundation for when I was sitting in a business meeting and I scouted. Just scratched my elbow and all of a sudden my fingers had blood on them and I’m like, had scratched. It was so dry that I’m like bleeding on my papers and I was so embarrassed.
So I left that meeting and I went into a skincare store and I was introduced to something greater than a lotion was a scrub. Um, you know, without thinking it was a salt scrub. So I brought it home and I’m washing and I’m like, Ooh, that feels pretty good. And then it got into my cut and my eyes started tearing because obviously when you get salt in, So I then was on a quest for products that I felt, you know, that I liked on the other parts of me that didn’t have cut, but I was like, I knew I needed to stay away from them.
And at one point I probably had 20 jars around me and I was like, I might as well just create my own. So, Started doing that and my late sister, Michelle had had some retail background, so she said, you know, why don’t we jar it up and we can sell it at crafts fields and things like that. And so all of a sudden the skills that I had had prior was like, oh, well wait a minute.
I remembered that I could set up a website and wait a minute, I can design my brochures. And I’m not afraid to talk to people and pick up the phone. And so everything that I had had, you know, and just in my, you know, working by myself, freelance Journey while I was raising my three kids, found their way very perfectly into this sort of entrepreneurial, entrepreneurial, excuse me, journey, um, when I started Scrubs Body.
So, you know, getting us out there was very much a hands on, you know, Scraping by, you know, winging a prayer at a dime kind of thing. But it was also, oh, I recognize you. Like I was in Las Vegas in the casino at nine in the morning cuz it was too hot out and it was the owner of a chain of hair salons on Long Island where I lived.
And you know, he was looking at me and I was like, oh, I saw your picture in, you know, the one in the town near me. And by the way, I’ve got this product that I just said and you know, so it was this really kind of cool synergistic. So that brought me there. And then I was. Demonstrating for them, and I created certain sense for them.
And then, um, we did something for, um, a fundraiser and I got into the local newspaper that I created, a signature sent that was gonna donate to, um, Komen nyc, you know, breast cancer. And so then the sister of the person who wrote the article, Happens to be the buyer of a local chain of stores, wouldn’t you?
And so it, so it was just this really, you know, so it was a lot of hard work, a lot of sweat, a lot of 15 hour days. But it was so much love, you know, love and luck and, and, you know, pieces fitting together, mentoring, you know, my big believer in, um, mentors and people giving great advice who’ve been around.
Um, so that’s it. It was still 16 and a half years later. I. What I thought of business, you know, so that, that was really my journey was, was like, hmm, how can I take it from there?
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, you know, a lot of people say, you know, entrepreneurs are born or, you know, entrepreneurs are made. To me it seems like the way you’re describing is almost like, you know, you’re kind of your own made entrepreneur.
But then I think, you know, if you were doing freelance, Even before that, and you had a bit of an entrepreneurial, uh, bug in you to begin with, uh, all you had to do was kinda of like, you know, realize that you’re, you’re, you know, you’re an entrepreneur. Um, so can you share a little bit about your products, you know, what is unique, uh, about your skin care products and, you know, because skincare, there’s like so many products out there.
How do you, how do you, like, what is the benefit outta uh, people using your product
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: to get outta. So what started with, um, the scrub, you know, which I have said many times, and I’ll say it forever. Um, if I’m stranded on a desert island and I can only bring one of my products, it will always be the scrub. Um, because what I realize, you know, back, you know, 17 years ago and to this minute when I get in the shower and I still get excited about using it, is that by polishing your skin, you are continually regenerating the skin cells.
Without going into the science of it, et cetera, it’s, it’s as simple as that. It’s like unzipping the dead stuff, stepping out fresh. So there’s many of those on the market. There’s chemical peels and res and brushes and buzzy things and you know, all sorts of stuff, but, You know, in all the years I was researching, um, and using products even probably to, to creating this, um, was that sugar?
It’s the, it’s stable. It won’t burn, it won’t irritate if you get it in a cut. Um, it’s, it’s a, a humectant which draws water to it. When you melt it, it releases traces of glycolic acid, like in the retina. So I was. So it’s not just a cool chemical exfoliate in, its good. So put that together with natural bot oils that are similar to skin and all of a sudden in an easy package, like I would say Mother Nature made my recipe, but I was happy enough to put it in a jar.
Um, You are allowing yourself to, instead of, you know, bubbling up and you know, great soap is still great soap and you can use this once a week, twice a week, you know, is what I recommend. You can use it every day, but once or twice a week is perfect. On those days when you’re regenerating your skin cells, all the other days when you’re using other products, they’re being put on better.
So there’s, I would, there’s no magic here. There’s no rocket science. Exfoliation is the single greatest thing you can do to your skin prior, you know, excuse me. In addition to drinking the right amount of water and eating healthy good food, getting them, you know, right amount of sleep, you know, all those things I can’t do for anybody.
I tell them, I’m like, I could give you the products, but I can’t do the other stuff. You know, stress, relaxation, you know, meditation, all those things. Calm you and make everything else work better. You know, keeping collage in up, all those other things are absolutely important. But when it comes down to just good basic skin care, every product is going to work better on skin that’s been polished.
And so that’s sort of the number one on my line. Um, and when people do it, and it goes back to the tagline you and I discussed is, you know, a quick shower. All right, I’m gonna rush, I’m going. I have to. But when it’s scrub day, you’re like, oh, I’m taking an extra minute. I’m worth it. So it’s allowing yourself to pamper your skin, to enjoy that moment in the shower where you can exhale and just love on yourself a little bit more, pamper yourself a little bit more, and then.
Be, you know, cleansed, polished and moisturized in one step so that it all started with that. And then we kind of branched off into, okay, well there’s some people that might just want a foot scrub and you know, a hand scrub. So we whipped it with shea butter, and then someone like me who goes right back to the computer, Sometimes it was almost too creamy.
So we created something with our soap maker, um, Angela of likeness soaps. Um, we added soap to a scrub and we created scribbles. And then a customer came and said, I love your oil spray, but I want more of lotion. So we took her advice and you know, like, alright, we do need a lotion and a. So most of my products were born from necessity from clients solving their problems.
Um, most of them are all sort of based around the same principle, and so in some ways you could get everything the, I should say, the benefit almost of every one of our products. In two or three products, but some people really do, they want a whole gift set or they want just something very specific. So we cater to that need.
But personally, me, I, I’m the, you know, the face oils that take off my makeup, the scrubs to wash my whole body and the, you know, bye bye bags at night as my underwear face cream. You know, I personally. You know, two or three products. But I, you know, I love that people like everything else, you know, so, so it’s, it’s, it’s really comes down to just, like I said, self love and, and allowing yourself to use a better product, allowing yourself to take an extra five minutes.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: are these products more geared towards women? It’s, it’s, uh, or I mean, I guess men are beginning to use some of these kind of products also. I mean, recently I was like, I think I was on TikTok and I saw this ad from with Brad Pit in that. I don’t know if you came across that, but I
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: think he seen, he has his own line of
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: speak and, and he was like going through like this ad where he was saying, you know, in the morning I wake up, I do this and that.
It just, it a little bit weird to me. How do you, like, how do you, like, are your, um, is your target market really or do you also see men using
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: this kinda. You know, that’s such a great question. Um, because when we first started, you know, like I said, I’m like truly the accidental entrepreneur. Um, it was, well, hey, great, everybody has skin.
Cool. Let’s market to everybody. And, you know, I’m sure you know us doing this many years that fell flat on its face, um, because you have to hone to who you’re talking to. Niche, niche. So what we realized is that when I kind of created my avatar of who is my ideal customer, um, absolutely it is women. It is, um, between 45 and 65, you know, college.
You know what I mean? So I kind of have that person I named her, I named her Lisa, actually based on the woman that that, uh, asked me to make the lotion for her. However, um, my late sister came up with the idea of Make your own scrubs parties, you know, we do them in our shop and we nail out boxes, you know, filled with all the stuff for people to do well.
Hello. That’s hitting a target of, you know, eight. To whatever age, and then we created shaves and shaves oils for beards. So then we hit the male target. Hmm. So what’s really nice is that I only kind of speak to this amount in my marketing techniques and sort of my language, but they’re married or they have boyfriends or you know, partners and they have kids.
So the spectrum has widen, um, by lamette. So my joke, when a guy comes in, And grabs, whether it’s our shaves or even just another, like my husband doesn’t like the sense of like after shave, he likes the cherry mond or the coconut. So he’s gonna take the standard scrub and not the men’s shaves. Cuz the shaves one is more of an after shave kind of a smell.
So, but they’ll come up and they’ll. So slamming on the counter and I ring them up and they’re out of here in 30 seconds to a minute and a half mo, you know? And so they’re their worst. They are my worst first customer. Um, because they don’t wanna hear it, not leave me alone. It’s my, you know, But as soon as they recognize the fact that, oh, I don’t have razor burn anymore, or Oh my goodness, you know, I was really dry and my hands don’t feel, you know, you know, like I just left the the shop anymore because like the hand scrub is unbelievable and getting greasing grime and callous away, but trying to convince them of that.
So a lot of them, they’ll go home, they’ll use their partners a little, they’ll come in, they’ll kind of ask me a question here. It’s really cute. So, um, marketing to men is very subliminal, um, in just that it works. And so then they’ll use it after they’ve tried it. So, so a hundred percent it’s for guys, but it’s not who I’m speaking to at all.
They just get the luck of it after the, like, I’ll joke with them, I’m like, you know, especially if a couple comes in, I’m like, you wash my back, I’ll wash yours. You know, don’t forget, you know, like, like I come up with some really silly things, but it kind of makes them recognize the fact that, hello, I guess I have skin too and I can use it, you know, cute.
So I, I get such a cake
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: outta it. I mean, it seems like you’ve got some great, like one-liners. I mean, to me it seems like you’re like a natural salesperson.
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Thank you. Only for this. I couldn’t sell you an expensive shirt when the one I buy is from, you know, Marshalls or TJ Max. You know, you know what I mean?
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: It’s, I mean, you, you believe in your product then, you know? I get that. That makes it easy. That’s what, um, can you take me to, you know, when you started the business and to me it seems like your business. Um, came about organically and your products came about kinda organically. Can you share, like was there any kind of investment at the beginning and how did you get your first customers and how did you realize that yes, I can create a business out of this product that
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: I’ve created?
So, um, the beginning, beginning, I really will credit it too. I made it for myself and the thought of selling it was, you know, not even, so I give that to my late sister, um, because she, she loved going to craft fairs, so the thought of selling it then for her was just the greatest thing in the world. So that’s how we got our first customers was, you know, Signing up for whatever table would have us a holiday fair, a school function, you know, really truly anything.
And we just packed the car and, you know, if it was seven o’clock at night or 12 o’clock in the afternoon, we showed up. You know, so that, that’s really, I would say that’s the number one thing to entrepreneurship showing up. You know, you’re gonna, you’re gonna fall flatter your face. Some ideas are gonna completely, you know, be horrific.
You’re gonna spend stupid money depending. I keep showing up, so we just kept showing up. And, um, also key, you know, which I still to this minute do in my. Is emails you have to have, and I don’t call it emails, I call it insiders. And that’s, I treat every emails with love and respect. You know, people ask me, oh my God, you wouldn’t sell my name?
I’m like, oh my, this is gold to me. You know, I recently, I, I did a fair, an expo recently. I haven’t done one of those in a long time. And I collected a bunch of emails, like 29 I think it was. It was, it was amazing. And I said, as much as I loved obviously making money that day and meeting new people that for.
Was the number one aspect of the whole entire day was that I had this opportunity to now speak to them in the future, you know? And that kind of.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. So, so that’s, that’s, that’s really awesome. Um, so, um, is your manufacturing, like, have you grown, you shared a little bit about how you, you know, were you creating your products in house and are you still, like, what does your manufacturing look like?
Have you outsourced some of your manufacturing? Do you have like in in-house people who are doing some of your product manufacturing? How, how are. Creating new product.
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: So everything here I can actually, this I can turn my computer a little, if you could see that door right there. Yeah. Leads to our manufacturing room.
So, um, absolutely everything that we sell with our brand name on it except the shampoo and conditioner. Um, we manufacture. Yeah. Um, that, you know, I, I didn’t sort of wanna go down that path, so I found one that I had been using myself for years that I was purchasing under another label. And, you know, it turned out I actually knew who the formulator was.
Um, but anyway, so that I, I will private label, but everything else we make in house my soap maker, I’ll give her my fra. She’ll make our soap for us, you know, um, so that, that’s a leg of soap, you know. Um, and then I have my friend Sandy, and so she earns the purple sage and she makes this incredible, it’s a course between a bath, bem, and a, and a bubble bath.
I give her some of my scent. She’ll create, you know, so like products that I don’t wanna create myself. I have maker friends that make, so I still get to, um, market and sell products that I am wild for because I use them myself. I respect them. They’re made with amazing ingredients, but I don’t have to actually make them myself, you know, things like that.
So. That’s cool. Oh, . . Sorry about that. .
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: It’s ok. It’s, uh, I’m assuming that to thats friend or, uh,
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: That’s one of my best friend’s moms. That’s really funny. She must be in town today. So sorry, everyone .
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So do you, do you consider, I mean it seems like, you know, when you collect email addresses, like of people who you’re interacting with, maybe in, in person, um, is your business now more of like an online business where.
Uh, most of your focus is like building the list online, or is your focus still on building that community building, you know, meeting people face to face and collecting email addresses and then, and then, you know, of course you’re communicating with them later, but do you consider, are you still more very focused on, you know, building a community kind of a business or building an online
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: business?
Um, Both. Okay. ? No, it’s, it’s realizing that I didn’t finish the question before. So what started with that, with the emails and what my mentors really pushed is that, you know, social media is building your house on someone else’s foundation. Yeah. Um, and so of course I’ll, I’ll use that somewhat. Um, but on the flip side, it’s the conversation that I get to have with my audience, um, directly is, is unbelievable.
You know, here, I dunno if I should turn this, but, um, is, is unbelievable that I can long form conversations. I can, they can email me back, I can answer them, I can, you know, um, really create. A community online that is equal to the community that I have built, you know, in the, um, you know, here in the store.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay, cool. Um, and are you selling right now? Is it really just your online storefront that you sell through? Have you used like online marketplaces like, you know, XC or eBay or Amazon?
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: No.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, can you, can you share a little bit
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: about your Yeah. Um, I know look, plenty of people have and that they have great success and so I’ll never talk down about it.
Maybe because I started, um, my online close to 17 years ago, some of those didn’t even exist and I was piecing it together with what I had learned from the previous business. Um, and so that I took, I kind of just always wanted my own real estate, you know, I kept saying that. So, because I already had an online presence with my own.
I kind of never wanted to go there. Someone had approached me with the Amazon thing. You know, part of me says, should I have, should I have, you know, there’s really two school toor that some people love it and want it. It wasn’t what I was looking for. I didn’t wanna dilute my, you know, in fact, one person tried at at at at one point.
This is many, many years ago, and I was really proud of the fact that he. You know, because it was more of like he was willing to try and had just like purchased 12 draws and figured he would see. He said that every time he kept putting stuff in, he kept getting it back to my website. So at that point, my SEO was sort of better that he was willing to spend the money and generate.
And so I was like, I might as well just keep it on there. But for some people, you know, like I’ll have a, a cousin who owns a business, um, and he just couldn’t believe, you know, he’s willing to give up whatever it is, 15%. Um, The amount it’s generating is, is ridiculous. Um, but he sells like, um, uh, marine supply.
I’m selling tampering, I’m selling, you know, so I kind of don’t want it to, mine sort of stands out because I don’t want it to be lumped into the other amazing brands out there, but that’s how I kind of stand above the frame a little bit more. Mm-hmm. ,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: that kinda thing. Yeah. Yeah. So it seems like, I mean, for.
A brand like this or a product category like this, uh, where, um, you have, um,
um, where, where you, I mean, you’re competing with so many other, uh, similar kind of product, you know, trying to achieve, you know, similar, similar results for, for the, um, it, it doesn’t really come down to, you know, branding and marketing and really, Um, communi communicating your value proposition or your, uh, vision to the customer directly and, and having them connect with that, um, so that they, they’re buying from you rather than buying from, you know, or different, uh, product, which could be similar.
Um, and to me it seems like you do that better in a, in a, in person one to one scenario and, and building that
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: relationship. The, the conversation that I try, you know, um, if you read the copy on my website, I try really hard to bring in that same feeling. And understanding and, and recognizing that people have problems and, um, I could potentially solve that problem for them.
So that kind of love and wrap around, I try really hard to convey, but there’s nothing like having people you love , come into the store, wanna hug, you, wanna kiss, you see, you know what I mean? Like that, you know, I, people leave here and I’m like, welcome to the. And so that translates to, again, they can’t come in, they’re ordering online.
They just came in and bought a few gifts. They’re sharing it with other people. Those people then can buy online. So that’s why my answer prior was yes, because my ultimate goal is to build an incredibly, you know, wonderful and huge, um, online community. But I want each of them to still feel you. Pretty much just as special as if they had walked into the store.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So this store is kinda a storefront where anybody can walk in. Look at your products, like their, your products or is it more like an office? Somebody has to create an appointment?
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: No, no, no, no. It’s, it’s, that’s again, you know, door open, you know, it’s, it’s a full shop in the center of a main street of, of a pretty, really vibrant town on Long Island called Farmingdale.
Um, what we got lucky in that there’s lots of restaurants and bars and, you know, cool places to go, but we are one of only like 10 shopping stores. But we’re next to the gift store. So it’s kind of where, like the little shopping area. And then they’ll go out and, you know, so they’ll come here, then they’ll go out for dinner, they’ll have a party here, then they’ll go out for dinner.
They’ll go out for dinner or go out for lunch, come here, shop afterwards. So it’s, it’s, um, there was a main street fair on Saturday. You know, they close off the whole main street and it’s shopped, you know, vendor. So I love the vibrancy of that kind of one-on-one. Um, but what’s lucky is the way that we split it, so like the door here, um, is all our storage.
So I’ve got, you know, extra jars and all of it, you know, so that’s that. And then manufacturing is behind us. So we had this sort of like wide space of full storefront and then this whole back space of all production. And we were lucky enough to sort of get it into one space. And because we’re. An active ingredient.
You know, I don’t use water, which means that’s why you had mentioned before a hundred percent active ingredients is, um, I don’t need preservatives because I am a non-water product. So it’s just the butters and the oils and the sugar and, you know, um, so I want to make them in smaller batches. So I would rather produce product five and six days a.
Um, than just have, you know, this big, massive, you know, kind of thing. So, we’ll, we’re always, always rolling over smaller batches. Yeah. So, so the amount of space that we back have back there has luckily, you know, been enough. It’s been great.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, in terms of your online marketing and customer acquisition, of course, you know, the, the advantage of online is that you can access, you know, markets that are not local and you can, you know, If one is able to communicate the value proposition and the brand properly, I mean, you can attract so many more customers through this, uh, channel.
How, how are you using online? Um, and, uh, to, to bring in more, more customers for your
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: business. So, um, Again, I u I did so many little things in the beginning that I, I, going back to my accidental entrepreneurship, uh, I didn’t really know how to market. Shy of, you know, short of, excuse me, that, that one on one and that, that, so I kind of went with my strengths.
So social, I had absolutely have a social presence. You know, my Instagram, my Facebook, I kind of picked, you know, the two that I could work the most. You know, I was too old. And, and you know, at that point just, I was like not getting into the, and I know people are making a lot of money, all those other stuff.
So what I did instead is realize, What gives you the most credibility? Um, besides putting ads in things and that’s being picked up in, in, um, magazines and getting, you know, PR and stuff. So I wanna say I, I started it earlier, but I really started getting good at it around 2010. Um, help a reporter out. Um, And it’s a way for you to connect with, um, other writers or journalists that are looking for, um, you know, writer, excuse me, that one, like an answer to their own question.
And so I’ve been picked up at this point now over 150 times. And so I even wrote a book on how to, you know, get free publicity. So getting PR. Has been tremendous. Another thing that was huge for us, which was really super fun was, and it started from a hero thing, um, was we were on Bravo tv. Um, the guy from Million Dollar Listing Ryan Sirhan, they gave him his own chauffeur, um, one season called Salt like Sirhan.
So we were an episode on Salt Lake Sarhan. And so, I mean, That opened us up to an audience. It was like, unbelievable. I wish they gave me a second season, cuz they would’ve had repeats then. But, so, so we have, we’ve picked up pockets. And so, and what I also chose to do again, har, um, is every, I dunno, four times a week, they put out, um, a gift bag inquiry.
Mm-hmm. . So I’ll look and see if anyone’s, you know, if it’s the right fit. So, just recently I donated 60 jars to a women’s event right here on Long Island. Age demographic is perfect. You know, if you know my cost was a few hundred dollars for sure, but if I had placed an ad in a paper that’s a possible one off that they can’t touch, they can’t smell, they can’t see.
This is 60 women holding my jar. So charitable events, you know, that was a big jar. Charitable events we have, I dunno if I have one here, I don’t, um, a two ounce size, I’ll donate a hundred of those. So I found ways of, of, um, getting spreading the name, you know, without. . You know, again, we tried some ads and things like that, and unless you’ve got a really obscene amount of money to throw at that kind of thing, skincare is a tough one to have advertisement for.
Again, I didn’t have the money for tv. I didn’t, you know, um, or that constant push, push, push. Um, I didn’t, you know, I could have hired, you know, I, I did for a little while, but it was, it just didn’t feel as authentic, um, you know, like a team to sort of help. I was like, let me do the things that you know, and that’s, again, probably one of the pieces of advice I would give is to treat customers the best you can.
Then they’ll bring customers back. Do it the way that feels comfortable, because then, then doing, it’s easy. Like you said, you see my passion. I’m in love with my own . You know, it’s easy to, when I, I get to see people smiling and come in here and I just need their day or you know, oh my God, I got it as a gift.
You can’t put a price on that, but then it’s the bill showing up. It’s the making sure that you know, some people who forget, you get your email once a week, staying top of mind, you know, so there’s all these little pockets that you can, um, layer and combine onto loving on people in the first place.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah.
And, and you mentioned Har. I mean, Harrow is a great resource, uh, help a reporter out. I was recently, um, trying to get on there and uh, uh, I think what they have done now is they’ve put some criteria, like you have to meet, uh, you have to be in like top 300,000 online sites or something like that. So, so they definitely made it a little bit difficult.
But you’re saying that you’re still working with them?
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Well, I just get, you know, I’m sorry if I’m offending anybody cuz some people pay for it and I think the paid version gets you, um, the, in the query is much quicker. You know, cuz there are some that are very tied deadlines and you can stockpile your answers in a, um, you know, there’s a form within the hero site.
Mm-hmm. . So there was definitely some, for a while I was a paid member. Definitely benefits, but it mentally I got so good at, you know, Saving, um, the information anyway. Like, I have a folder that’s just for har. I’ve got my bio that’s, you know, ripe and ready, you know, that I’m always looking at making sure it’s tweaked properly.
Um, other queries that I’ve done in the past could, but they could have been from three years ago, um, might very suit something and so that I’ll, that I’ll pick it up and tweak it to make it, you know, Mmm. New and fresh. , but then we submitted so I didn’t have to rewrite a whole thing. So I got really good at answering them.
Even if they’re, you know, the deadline is two hours from when I’m looking at the email. I got really good at answering them. And I would say that you kind of find a formula that works for you because like I’ll get busy and do something. It’ll be holiday season and I’m not answering any of them cuz it’s just too busy.
Mm-hmm. . And then the minute I go back to. , all of a sudden I’m getting picked up again. You know, it might only be one out of 10. That’s okay. There’s a lot of people doing this, but you, you know, so what I have found, um, is the best way to, to gain that system, you know, that for lack of a better way to do it, really just answer it properly, is to be authentic, is to answer the question.
Don’t be like, oh, I’ll just give them a little taste of it because I don’t wanna give too much information. No, they don’t click delete. They don’t want that. You know, the reporter wants you to speak directly to solve the, it’s the same thing I’m doing here. Problem. You know, customer comes in, they have dried skin.
I wanna solve their problems. So if a reporter has a question that they need answered, I wanna solve their problem. So press will look, you know, and, and thank them, you know. One of the greatest things that I, I was a Fox News reporter in Dallas when I had this other business, had said to me, he’s like, it’s amazing how many people came to him looking for publicity.
But the minute he gave it to them, they like forgot that he existed. They forgot to thank him for, for doing Right. You know, and stuff like that. And so it’s, it’s thanking them, building relationships, you know, with any customer but with anything. And, and then they’ll write about your business when they need something to, I recently got an email from someone who.
It’s been three years since the last time she wrote about us. She’s like, what do you got going on for the holidays? Thanks. You know, cause it’s you, you know, at that point it’s an almost guarantee that even if it’s a one line in the newspaper that they’re writing or the column they’re writing for it, they’re gonna include you because they like you cuz you showed up for them before.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. And, and you’re able to connect all these, um, uh, all these different opportunities to actual. Uh, people visiting your site or coming to your storefront and and buying, you’re
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: able to, yes. Ok. And, and what’s cool also with newsletter, you know, the excuse me email, um, is I can quantify, I use Clavio, um, you know, there’s a bunch of them out there, but I find that the, the analytics in there, I can directly see when an email went out and who clicked and, and who spent money based on that email.
And so how it’s, you know, how it’s, uh, resonating with them as.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. What does your team look like right now?
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: What does my, what look like, I’m sorry. Team, team. My team is actually, um, the woman that you saw, well, not, not the one that kissed me, Okay. Is when I lost my, um, late sister Michelle. My best friend from growing up had always filled in for us.
Um, during, when we were doing, uh, trade shows or things like that, she would sort of, you know, help us run things. So she kind of stepped in and did it. So she’s now, um, basically vice president in charge of production. So she handles all that. And then we just have a woman who comes in like 10 hours a week to fill in the blanks, you know, if, if I need to step in and, you know, do a private label order, you know, she was on vacation and, you know, I got three orders that.
I’m in the one, I’m in the back. So right now we are like two full-time and, and a small part-time. Okay. And I don’t necessarily wanna be that much bigger, you know? Okay.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. And then that’s a personal
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: choice, a absolute personal choice? Yes.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Okay. Um, I do see on your website, like you have a section, which is private label and wholesale.
Is that a big part of your business? Like do, um, you. Instead of selling one to one to customers, like, uh, you’re, you’re able to get your products to more people. Of course with private labeling, it would not be your
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: brand anymore. That’s, but that’s okay. And I, I actually like it better, you know, the wholesale that we do, um, I’m lucky enough to be in about six stores that I love.
The owners of the shops, they sell through beautifully. They love the product themselves. They use it. That’s the kind of shop I wanna be in a smaller shop. Cause at one point we were in Whole Foods and we were in a much larger, you know, I thought that’s, I wanted to be that business. That’s why when I, when you ask me that question, is it by choice?
It’s very much by choice. Cause I was on this, this trajectory of just being this big wholesaler and online and when we got our first place and customers like, oh, could I just pick up at the store please. Or at the place, you know, at that point it wasn’t really a store. I don’t wanna pay shipping and said, okay.
And I just realized how much I loved my customers and I really loved one on one. I recognized that I am more of a shop keep that happens to have an online business and we manufacture it versus this big brand business. So we, we pulled ourselves out of those locations, um, because it was, you know, I would stand there and I would demonstrate, and when I had that relationship it was fine.
But anyway, so the shops that we’re. They’re small and boutiquey and, and they just understand the brand they sell through. It’s great. But because we’re a handmade brand, you know, it’s, we’ve got like a 14 month shelf life. You know, sometimes it’ll go longer. But basically that’s roughly it. If you’ve got, if I’m in a ton of stores and I sort of can’t keep an eye on, is everything good?
How are you doing? Um, and they’re not selling through a customer’s gonna pick up something that might be expiring in six months, you know? So, um, I’m very particular. for the wholesale aspect. Private label on the flip side exploded during covid because there was a lot of people home during, um, that where they weren’t working.
And so they were like, would you sell it to me by the gallon two gallons so I could jar it myself? And we were like, oh, that’s genius. Yes. And so I mentioned earlier about how mentors were so important to me. Um, private label allows me to give back in a way I never dreamed. So I was mentored by, you know, this indie business network in particular, Dunmar is incredible.
And all the people in that group, just, everyone just shares. It’s so wonderful, you know, this competition, but not in, not in the worst way, in the best way. So there’s a lot of camaraderie and collaboration, et cetera. So because I was mentored that way, I was like, Ooh, who can I help? And so private label, they’re like, oh, I don’t know what I’m doing.
I wanna start a business. . So I got to offer them the things that worked for me, things that didn’t. Here you’re gonna still make some of your own mistakes, however, you might not have to make this mistake, that mistake and this mistake. Mm-hmm. . Um, but the best part is that, and I say this respectfully, is that if they succeed, then they are coming back and they’re ordering more product.
So we’re both making money, but if they don’t succeed, they’re not, um, taking my. and I’m making it anything less. Okay. So it private label has just, it’s given me this incredible, you know, it’s really tripled. We get to make money, I get to mentor and it doesn’t get to, um, change the reputation of my brand if they’re not selling it properly or they’re not, you know, doing, you know, what they need to, to market it properly.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, that’s really interesting if, yeah. I mean, that’s really interesting cause if, if an entrepreneur is a great marketer and they’re trying to break into an industry, I guess private labeling is a great way, you know, because, you know, you can take a great products, um, in label products. Package them in your own, you know, packaging and, uh, and if you’re, if they’re a great brand maker and marketer, you know, they can start.
I mean, they, they don’t even have to work with one brand. They can work with multiple brand and have like a curated, you know, products. And really, I mean, it could be great as a way to the market. If it works, then, you know, they can start perhaps manufacturing their own things. But, uh, but yeah, I mean, it seems like, uh, an interesting way to, to break into a new market.
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Um, yeah, no, we, we love it. I really, really love it.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, in every entrepreneur’s journey, there’s always, you know, mistakes made, lessons learned, uh, failures, um, you know, since the time that you have been running your business, what, what have been some of your lessons learn or entrepreneurial lessons learn that, uh, other entrepreneurs can benefit from?
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Um, God. I mean, again, I made plenty. We, if you don’t make mistakes, I think you’re not doing it right. You know, I can’t stress that enough because every time you peel yourself off the floor, you know, after crying and screaming and you know, oh my God, um, you recognize, okay, well I’m not gonna do it that way anymore, , so I’m gonna do it this way.
And so, um, it’s that, it’s really, it’s not being afraid to fail. It’s, I’m having a support system, you know, for. I had my sister right away, but we, some of our, um, you know, she was more marketing retail and I was marketing this way, but I almost wish I had someone real, a real business person cuz that was not my strongest point to guide me.
And so I definitely spent money in the beginning that I didn’t, um, need to spend. Um, a really good example is that, um, when I trademarked, you know, I was, I was always trademarked cuz I had interstate. Um, that’s the tm, but to get the registered trademark, you actually have to register with the us um, PTO and my late sister’s, um, fiance at the time was a lawyer and he’s like, I could do it for you.
And, you know, we were so grateful and it saved us money, but that wasn’t his wheelhouse. And so there had been some issues with it and it was rejected and, you know, he never followed up to finish through. So cut to, you know, four or five years after that when I was like, okay, I, now I have the money and I gotta do it right.
And I hired the proper attorney, thank you, Andrea Evans. Um, she still there with some problems, but she circumnavigated and figured out the best way, and all of a sudden I had my registered trademark. You know, and so finding a. Spending the right money doing it right. You know, what we did do right in the very beginning is, um, you know, obviously setting up as a business incorporating, you know, you never wanna have personal liability if you can get away with that.
Um, things that I did that are really cheap to do, but still protective is I must own 20, um, domain names that are similar to scrubs. You know what I mean? Not just the nets and the.org, but it’s just some, the scrubs with the s and that you, so that no one else that comes up with something similar can grab that as a domain name.
If you type that in, even if you make a mistake, it directs you right back to mine. Um, you know, keeping, you know, keeping an eye out. I’m always looking and doing searching. Is anyone, you know, taking my trademark? What are they doing? Reaching out? You know, so, so that protection is, is really important. Um, uh, I said showing up, you know, not being afraid to do the work.
You know, I, I know that that statement comes up, but, you know, but some days I’m just like, What, whatever happened in my life, you know, I have a, I have an elderly mom and you know, so stuff like that. But it’s just like, no, okay, I have a list. I need to at least get that done. And even if it’s just so, it’s two things and not the 15 things I’m taking success in getting those done.
Giving yourself a break, like these will go hand in hand with, it’s, it’s, it’s that. It’s life. You know what I mean? It’s everything. It’s just a step. Sometimes you have to step backwards and then you go 10 steps away. And so that’s what I’ve seen the most. But the number one thing is treating customers like they are the goal.
They are, you know, because they have a choice of where to spend their money. Mm-hmm. . And if they’re choosing to spend it with you, then you need to remind them every day how grateful you are that they’re doing such. That, you know, all that other stuff is, is, you know, sort of the, um, I don’t know, it’s, I guess the dinner, but the dessert and the cherry on the top and all the icing and all the other cool, fun stuff, you know, all the extra calories you’re not supposed to have at you want.
That’s customer service. Yeah.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That’s great. Um, so now we’re gonna move on to our rapid fire segment and then the segment. I’m gonna ask you a few quick questions. You have to answer them maybe in one or two words or a sentence or so. Ok. So the first one is one book recommendations for entrepreneurs, uh, in 2022.
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: And. Okay, so, uh, one book was hard, um, but I think professional troublemaker by, um, lovey, I use You Jones, I just absolutely adored. It’s, it really sets you in that motion of don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers and, you know, ask the important questions and, and get it done. You know, I really enjoy that book a lot.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tight landscape that you feel excited about?
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Um, so in the natural space, I would have to say, um, ADE’s toilet bombs, which is a super cool way to clean your toilet bowl and the tank around it and diaper pales and stuff in a little ci bomb without having to, you know, use all that chemical gunk.
And uh, what I mentioned before is, um, my friend Sandy from the Purple Sage makes a bubble. That I was not a bath taker for a long time. Again, I, you know, I’m on scrub shower all the way and she’s like, oh, just try it. And she made, she made me a bath taker again. So it’s, it’s a, it’s like bubbles on top and bath bomb underneath and just, it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s really good
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, a business or a productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity.
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Oh, Dropbox, hands down, you know, or any, you know, service like that where I can just be anywhere and access files, uh, save it to it, pick it up at home, bring it off my phone. Um, not have to have it all on the computer.
It just Dropbox all the way I use it every day, all day. Yeah.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Cloud services, uh, a startup or business in e-commerce, retailer tech that you think is currently doing great things. I know you gave an example.
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Um, yeah, so, uh, I would say I just recently started taking, and I’m really enjoying the whole concept too, is, um, but it’s a, it’s a long name, so it’s funny I spelled it out.
So it’s, uh, KA and pathogenics, so it’s K a E m p A t H O G E N. I c s.com. Mm-hmm. , um, and it’s basically Kana, which is a natural sort of uplifting, um, plant root, a hundred percent natural, zero calories. Like I had looked at, you know, the tinctures and I had looked at other things and I came across them on Instagram and I was really impressed.
And so I started about two weeks ago and I, it’s, it’s, I just find. A little bit of focus, a little bit of it, you know, it’s just, it’s like a nice, cause I don’t, I don’t drink coffee, so, um, you know, I don’t have that caffeine buzz in the morning. And so I’m finding that just like one of the juices, it’s really cool in the morning.
So I’ve been pretty impressed with them. I’m not quite sure when they started, it could be six months, a year. I have no idea, but I was like, I was so happy I found them. Okay.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, a peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you?
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Oh God, so many. So many. So let’s see. Um, I would say Ashley Amber.
Um, of the middle finger project, but now she’s called the, the vat. She changed it. Um, her book, the Middle Finger Project, her, um, I took her writing course, which she called, um, um, oh my God, shame on Me. I think it was called Meat and Meat and Bread. It was basically like the guts and the love, you know, everything put together.
Um, and. It just made me look at writing to my customers in a whole different way. How to market, how to things. So like everything she says is just pure gold. She’s got our website also from Costa Rica with Love cuz she lives there six months outta the year. I read that religiously. You know, I’m planning on like one day going there just to like, um, so I find that she allowed me to, um, make business writing.
which I always handed to do, and allowed me an opportunity to talk to my customers, like I was mentioning online. Mm-hmm. in the same language. Mm-hmm. that I speak to them, you know, cause here I’m a hugger and I’m a this and you know, sometimes the sentences run on. Obviously I’m a talker. Um, and so she gave me that permission to speak that online language the same way that I speak in the.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay, so it’s, I’m assuming it’s more like a copywriting. Uh,
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: she’s, yes, yes. Someone in, in my own speech. Um, I’ll give a shout out to Charlene Simon, who owns Bathhouse Puff Carey. She has two stores, um, in, uh, Arkansas, and I’m thinking, I think in Missouri’s the second. But anyway, she’s also, she’s like the queen of, you know, gorgeous, beautiful marketing and sort of everything she touches looks like gold.
So she’s another one that I really, really, really inspires. Okay.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And final question, best business advice you ever received or you would give to other entrepreneurs?
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: Um, treat customers like they’re your only customer. I’ll just go back to customer service. It just will always come back to you. Always, always, always have to remember that.
Um, you have no money, you have no business if you have no customers. Yeah. And so if they’re just, um, you know, chips on a, on a, you know, a, a spreadsheet. You know, maybe you’ll get them once, maybe you’ll get them twice. But if you want them to come back for the life of your brand, you gotta treat them with.
So that’ss it, number one. Well,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: well, Roberta, that those were all the questions, uh, that I had for you today. Uh, thank you again so much for your story, for sharing your entrepreneurial, uh, story. And you know, all the different things you’ll tried and strategies and you used to start and grow your business, um, watching this interview.
Wants to get in touch or you want to, wants to buy your product, or, uh, what is the best way they can, uh, connect with your.
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: So, um, scrubs with a z scrubs body.com. I am back slash scrubs body across all socials. And, um, email directly and I’ll answer you directly is, um, great skin scrubs body.com.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Perfect.
Thank you. Thank you again Roberta. Really, really appreciate your time today. And thank you again for
Roberta Perry of Scrubzbody Skincare: joining me today at Triplo. My absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me.
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