Inventors Lori (founder of Safe Grate) and Christine (founder of Sola Skin Care), both went a very smart route when creating their products. They discovered a need in their life, did the research, and fulfilled the need themselves!
Listen in as these ladies have a candid conversation about:
- Patents – Yay? Nay? What type?
- What type of research to do – and when to stop researching and get moving
- Using your own needs as impetus to create products others like you will want
- Their own founder stories
- Going for it, making mistakes, making changes, and setting boundaries
- What you start with is not what you end with
- And much more!
Show notes: www.elaineskitchentable.com/098
Connect with Lori:
- Website: https://www.safegrate.ca/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/april.ideas/
- Email: email@example.com
Connect with Christine:
- Website: https://solaskincare.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sola.skincare/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/solaskincare
Connect with Elaine:
- Website: https://elaineskitchentable.com
- Instagram: @elainetancomeau
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elainetancomeau/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElainesKitchenTable
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/chatwithelaine
Get a free chapter from Elaine’s book, Sell Your Passion: https://elaineskitchentable.com/book/
This episode sponsored by Coast Capital Savings. Would you like to have a dedicated small-business relationship manager who knows you and your business? I have banked with Coast Capital the whole time I have had my business, Easy Daysies, and they are member-owned, which means my business is their business! Call 1-888-517-7000 opt. 3 for latest small-biz promotions! https://www.coastcapitalsavings.com/
Welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table. This is where we share tips about business and parenting. Being a mom of three, CEO of the award winning company Easy Daysies, speaker and educator, you're going to learn the tips and secrets of successful and incredible people. Elaine wants you to be inspired, challenged and motivated, and that person you want your kids to grow up to be. This is real talk for real life.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 00:25
Hi, welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table where we talk about how to create better how to create better family, health, business and self. I am a person who loves to share products that I love. And when I was thinking of this "mom maker" series and featuring women who are creators, and who just like to pour out their passion into their product, into their service into their business. I couldn't help us thinking of these two ladies because I use both of their products. And I fully recommend each of their products because I love them. And the first lady I want to introduce is Christine. Christine is the owner and creator of Sola Skincare, a small batch handmade natural skincare line that utilizes the medicinal benefits of Chinese herbs to enhance those products. You see her husband Aaron, he's a doctor of Chinese medicine, Western and Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist and he selected these Herbs for the products based on his knowledge so that they will help the product's performance. Now Christine is passionate about supporting other small and local businesses. She loves figuring out how to make things on her own. And she is very passionate about her impact on the environment. Another reason why I adore this lady. She's always trying to figure out ways to reduce and reuse things to prevent more landfill waste. She's also a mom of two lovely girls, Sophie and Laila.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 02:05
My other guest is the creator of a product I also love. And her name is Lori Turk. Lori Turk is the inventor of Safe Grate, it's an awesome awesome kitchen gadget. And she's also the founder of April Ideas a company she created to support her product. And like most entrepreneurs, Lori does virtually everything in her company as a startup and I fully understand that. Been there and fully get it. After her product was only on the market for about three months she was nominated for a startup of the year award with an organization called mompreneurs.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 02:40
After she was laid off after 26 years as a specialist sales representative for the pharmaceutical industry. It was her chance at that point to take her idea from an accident that happened in her kitchen of cutting her thumbnail really painfully while grating a potato that inspired her to invent a solution to the problem that many people experienced in the kitchen. And Lori has parlayed that sales background that she has, with optimistic persistence and resulting in getting a sales agency to take her Safe Grate product within six months of her launch.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 03:27
And I cannot wait to share these two ladies with you. Hi, welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table where we talk about how to create better. And I am so thrilled to have these two incredible ladies joining me today, joining us. And I'm grateful for you as our listeners you have, I cannot wait. I cannot wait to share these ladies with you. Because if you are interested in putting your product out there, you definitely want to pay attention because these two ladies are incredible inventors and I don't just share about products I share about products that I believe in that I use personally, and I cannot wait. So I'm not going to talk about this anymore. I need to introduce them to you. Lori welcome, Christine, welcome!
Christine Kizik: 04:22
Thanks for having us.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 04:24
I am so thrilled to have you. Now I know I just introduced you earlier. And I think that there's a lot of parts that are missing. And I would love for you to share a little bit more about you. So Christine, tell us a little bit more about you, your family and how you're doing today.
Christine Kizik: 04:44
Sure. Well, I'm Christine. I'm the owner of Sola Skincare, a small natural skincare company that I created after our second daughter Laila was born. We have two girls Sophie and Laila. And they were doing great. It's a beautiful day. We did a little gardening this morning, got our deck set up and enjoying the sun went for a run. So yeah, it's been a great day so far.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 05:08
That is awesome. Laurie, how about you, honey? How are you doing?
Lori Turk: 05:12
Things are going good. Yeah, it's a gorgeous time here in North Van. I'm the owner and inventor, as Elaine has said, of the Safe Grate kitchen tool. My company is called April Ideas. Things have slowed down a bit with COVID-19. But they're slowly starting to pick up. So things are good.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 05:34
That is awesome. That is awesome. Yes, it is an interesting time right now. And one thing I always love to share is it's a great time right now, to think about collaboration, it's a great time to showcase your friends and, and people who have the same values and interests and the sense of sharing audiences. And this is why I'm so honored to have both of you. Because I cannot wait to share you with everyone that I know and everyone who's listening. Because if you need to protect your fingers from being cut while you are grading that cheese because we all do it, you need to check out safe, great. And it is amazing. And you will wonder where on earth it was beforehand. So make sure to check on Amazon. And also I will have all the websites and links in my show notes for you to go check out there as well. I also want to say I want to give a shout out right now to Christine and her products. I am in love with her deodorant. I don't normally talk about deodorant, but I am right now right here. And my favorite one is the lemongrass one and I cannot wait to order more and just amazing products. So ladies, I proceed, I want you to tell us first, your story. How did you come to make these incredible skincare products?
Christine Kizik: 07:06
Thanks Elaine. Well I started shortly after our second daughter was born, as I was saying a little bit before. And I actually never intended to start a company I was teaching I was on mat leave. And I had just kind of started to look more at the ingredients of the products that I was using as a mother and for our family. And then I read this book called There's Lead in Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon. And it kind of just opened up the whole world of greenwashing and natural products and ingredients in the products that you're using. And then it kind of just started doing more research and learning about ingredients that were in the products that I was using, about ingredients that I did not want to be using about filler ingredients and and then I just started experimenting and doing the research figuring out what products I wanted to replace for my family. And so deodorant was one of the first ones and a diaper cream, because I just had my second baby. And then I slowly started doing research and product testing just with my friends kind of to figure out, you know, is this something that What do you think? Do you think it's good, or we started talking about it and they wanted to try? And so very, very slowly grew from there. And my husband is a doctor of Chinese medicine and herbalist. So he's decided which of the Chinese herbs that we'll use in the products that will enhance them. So it's a nice family business. And yeah, it started super slowly, I opened an Etsy shop and was working very part time back in 2012 13, probably. And then was still trying to just slowly building it slowly building it on Etsy. And then going back to work teachings that was very, very part time when I was making deodorant. I started making batches of eight, nine making batches of 300 at a time which for small business, it's a lot but for you know big companies, it's still nothing but for me, it's a lot. That's what that's Yeah. And then I moved over to Shopify opened a Shopify site in 2016. And this has been very slow, slow and steady. And then I decided that I wasn't going to teach anymore. I wanted to do this full time. So I've transitioned over to the skincare company full time. And now that's just what I do. And yeah.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 09:25
I want to know how you knew how to make products like skincare products with being a teacher as a background. Where did that wisdom and knowledge come from? Well,
Christine Kizik: 09:35
Just lots of research and just from university doing lots of research, researching the ingredients, experimenting with different oils and butters and waxes and how they all work together and essential oils and the Chinese herbs that my husband would would put together and then so just a lot of trial and error, a lot of research. And that's basically it. That's incredible.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 09:55
Are you also selling in retail right now?
Christine Kizik: 09:57
Yeah a few retail locations. I made mainly focus on my online store. But we have a few, probably maybe 15 across Canada, it's not really my focus to go the retail side right now. But it's mainly online. That's wonderful.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 10:13
That is fantastic. I love your story, finding a solution that for your family and realizing that there are unsafe things in products that we use and how to make it a little bit safer, or a whole lot safer. Thank you for doing that. I can't wait to introduce your products to my, my family as well. And Miss Laurie, tell us your story. How did you come to create this product?
Lori Turk: 10:42
So imagine, I mean, this is a pretty crazy thing to have on your bucket list. But probably like you guys and everyone else out there, I've always had lots of product ideas over the years, like a lot to them. And I always thought on my bucket list before I die, I would like to take one of my ideas, create the product, bring it to market and make like be profitable, like possibly get a little bit rich from it. That to me would be the ultimate business challenge. So about two years ago, I was laid off from my job after 20, over 26 years in the rare disease specialist medicine industry. And I was just in my kitchen and I was just grading a potato for dinner. I was making cauliflower cheese by one of my favorites. And I cut my like the nail like right the skin. I cut it and it made me so angry. That was like the third time that year I cut myself and truly I'm a bit of a spaz maybe in the kitchen. But I thought surely I'm not the only person that does this. I thought I just somebody invents something that protects your fingers when new great food, like it was just that simple an idea. And then as I was I continued grading kind of like with a bandaid over my thumb. And I thought, Well, why don't you Why can't it be you the person that invents this? And I thought, oh, should I hire? Like do is this viable? And it was very scary because I was surviving financially on a package from my company at the time. I'm also the primary breadwinner. So if this didn't work out, it could be financially ruinous for us. You know, as a family it is I totally understand the fear that entrepreneurs have when they're, they're taking that just even that decision. And so I fall asleep on it and no rush. And the next morning, honestly, I was so excited to get started. And in my kitchen, I are in the living room. I had like scotch tape, I had pipe cleaners, I had foam, I had cardboard scissors, and I was just trying to create a prototype out of that those materials. And I started my research, like Christine said, I mean, you know, I started going online, what's out there that can maybe solve this problem. I started going to bed bath and beyond stores Canadian Tire all the private kitchen stores. And I just slowly but surely I got in touch with someone that could help make a prototype and then I got an intellectual property lawyer to submit for patents and then had to find a manufacturer and graphic designer and then you know each step along the way, you're going to need more help I needed someone to make a video for me I needed a professional photographer. And and it all happens in due time like and at the beginning, you're so overwhelmed and scared because you think of how much needs to be done. But truly it kind of all works out right.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 13:55
It's beautiful. Your product is beautiful and so ergonomic, it's so easy to hold and it protects us digit so well. And but you are absolutely right. Like when, and I you know, I'm thinking of the women who are listening right now you're saying, Well, I have a great product idea. How do I get it out there? And I always when they contact me or write to me and I always say you know, that's that's great, but you have this great idea. And you do want to ask yourself several questions. First one being does it solve a problem? And what does that problem is solves? Because sometimes it's not enough that it's cute or that you like it, because that might not sell it. But what is the problem that it is solving and and you know, and just listening to both of you both. What you've created, solves problems solves a problem and a need that needs to be fulfilled with your solution. And then I have to say okay, well after you've asked what does it say about Problem? And if the answer is yes, that's a great thing. Because that means yes, you have something that is sellable. That is marketable that can be out there, because it's so's an existing problem. And then the next question want to ask as well? Is there somebody else does it exist already, and and do that research, like you said that he went to the Bed, Bath and Beyond, you went to the to tire, you did the research good on you. And you know, when people write to me and say, and I tell them do the research, and they say, Oh, I don't have time to do the research on and then I kindly say, like, if you don't have time to do the research, you're not gonna have time to do this as a business, because that's the easy part, then the research and and you know, if something else exists, different from your solution, but still exist, how is yours going to be better, what is going to make you your product, uniquely different and better. And that's what you want to market, because when branding your product, it's not about the logo, it is about what people are saying about your product, that is the brand, right? When when you're sitting at coffee shop, and you hear two people walk in talking about your brand or product. It's what they're saying that is your brand. So all these lessons that we learned along the way. And, and I want us to continue talking about these lessons. And Christina, I'm gonna ask you first. The journey is, is an up and down journey. It's kind of stormy sometimes that, look, the clouds always clear, there is always sunshine behind those clouds. But what is one lesson that you could share with us that you have learned? through your journey? I know that our journey is continuous. But what has been what?
Christine Kizik: 16:53
I've learned a lot of lessons, but I think, honestly, I think one of the things that has really made a big difference for me, is finding other entrepreneurs, a community, either in person or online, that you can bounce your ideas off of ask questions, you know, come to with your problems, try to find solutions together. Because as a solo entrepreneur, I'm basically on my own writing this business, it's really some it's really lonely a lot of the time. And it's hard to know how to solve all the problems that come up. And there's always little things that come up. And it's just having a community of people that you can, that who can relate to the same things that you're going through who can help you who may have been through something similar or might have an idea. There's such a wealth of knowledge out there. And I've found that most entrepreneurs are so giving and generous with their time. They want to help they are in this and they know what it's like. And maybe they've already been through what you're what you're going through. So they might have some wisdom to impart to you. So I think it's super important. That's probably one of the most important things that I have found is to find other entrepreneurs, and build your community. And I have a great in person, entrepreneur community, and as well as a few different online communities that I found are just been so helpful over the years.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 18:12
So true. Absolutely. So when I first started, there wasn't much that was in person that I knew of. And I was kindly invited to this on. As a Facebook group of mom inventors in the USA, somehow someone reached out to me, I think it was a creative that group. And I still grateful for that because even though it was destroyed Facebook woman I've never met before, all American and I mean, Canada, it was just a delight to see that I wasn't going through this alone that I was the only one struggling with manufacturing or finding out how, what terms meant for shipping and things like that. Just add someone. And and that was just way back then. And I'm so grateful, and I sho agree with you to have that community. So important. Because you're not going through this alone. And ladies, we are stronger together. And and don't be afraid to ask great. Don't be afraid to ask and and give back. Of course. So important. Laurie, what's one lesson you could share with this?
Lori Turk: 19:24
Well, great minds, like Christine, I'll be reinforcing. Because, you know, I'd have to say, if I think about my product, it's probably the end result of over at least 100 people at least, who have provided input assistance or help in getting it off the ground. And if you know, I'll admit, I kind of think I'm a bit of a knowing or at least, you know, I've been told that. And so it's not easy for me to take advice or to ask for advice. And so sometimes you get it and you haven't asked for it and yet it's really good advice. Like I remember somebody who's was very successful already with a product said to me, It'll take a while for this sales to take off. And I thought, No, no, you just watch. I'm gonna be different. I have sales background. And sure enough, it has taken a while for Mike Okay, yeah, she was right. Like and even you, Elaine, I have learned tidbit, I have learned so many valuable things from you. And so the one lesson as soon as you can to get involved with networking groups, there are so many around like here in North Vancouver, I somehow found out about a group called mompreneurs, who's now called revolution her who is how I met met Elaine, I think Christine maybe is part of that organization, I'm not sure. across Canada, there's there's small business bc has so many great courses and you buy you attending them in person, you're going to meet other entrepreneurs. And even like that was the best way to kind of start you can do those online and forum for women entrepreneurs. And each community like there's a Fraser Valley Women's Business Association, etc. And even in Northland, there must be five to 10 different networking groups that I kind of, sometimes I've been only going for two or three sessions, just to meet some people and determine is this worth my time or not. And it really, from each outing, each interaction, you're going to learn one major, if you can walk away with one major tidbit of information or an idea of what to apply to your own business or your processes, it has been more than worth it.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 21:41
Absolutely. And that is that is all that is all you need to do. Whether you're going to an event, whether you're reading a book, or listen to a podcast, just take one thing, you know, you might hear like, oh, like 10, great ideas, and you leave like, I gotta do all these, it and you don't do any of them. Because it's so overwhelming. Just take one make one change every day, work on that one thing, and it will amount to some big change, because you're changing one little habit, or trying one new change in something you're doing whether it's on social media, because I understand we're on a shoestring budget when it comes to marketing and and how do we do that? And that could be a whole other discussion. Actually, let's talk about it right now. We know that when we are startups, when we are solopreneurs, when we are small proprietors or, or have a product, the budget for marketing is not there. And sometimes you don't really plan for it. It's a sacrifice. And so what is we can each share a strategy that we've had, and I can start I can start and I can say that when I first started with Easy Daysies it seemed bigger than than it is now but maybe it was probably a little bit change I is influencers right is people who are mom, bloggers who, who have either reach out and say, Hey, I love your product. And I tried it and I will share it. And there's different different levels of that, of course, because some will say that it costs, you have to pay them. But there's a lot of free ones, because you're paying them by giving them product and perhaps more product because they're going to do a contest giveaway. I highly recommend that and a look. And don't say yes to every single person who comes and says Can I try your product? And I'll share about it look at their engagement on their social media. You know, there's a lot of unreal following as well. And you could see like if they have like 50,000 followers, but then they have like three likes, on their comments and on their posts, that that's probably not one you want to do. I actually recommend going with the smaller influencer, the one that has under 5000 followers, because you'll see that their engagement is authentic and real. And there's lots of conversation and is their target audience your audience and and because both of you have products that are great for women and families you know, look at that, that blogger and say okay, this person writes about family issues and solutions for family chaos, or for skincare healthcare. cooking recipes. Like you say, yeah, that's the one and look, she has, like, you know, hundreds of likes or great engagement, even if it's like 97 likes, it's still real. And that's that's what you want and say hey, yeah, nothing wrong with reaching out to them too. And saying, you know, I have this great prayer that I created. I'm a mom, share a little bit about your story. It is your story. And your story is so important. And that is how that bloggers gonna connect with you saying, you know, I'm a mom, you're a mom, I love what you're doing. Sure, I'd love to try that. And and say, and please do give me your honest feedback, because good or bad feedback is wonderful feedback. And always be grateful for good and bad feedback, be so thrilled for that bad feedback, because that's where we learn. And rather than tell you that bad feedback from them, just telling everybody else, so I'm always so grateful. Because yes, errors happen. Sometimes product is not manufactured the way you wished or hoped maybe there's a bad batch that you weren't ready for, and had no idea about. And just be so grateful for it. And I can talk way too much. And stop talking. During budget, what is one of your tips for that Christine on had to share your product out there?
Christine Kizik: 26:01
Yeah, I used to do a lot of more of the influencer, trying to build up more of a following that way with influencers and I would reach out to some people or they would reach out to me and I totally agree with you, you kind of have to check each other's stats to see if it's a good fit. And, and then often that would have that would work out, I would ship them some products, and they would do an honest review. And it would be a blog post, which is great, because that's great for just exposure. I don't really do that very much anymore. I do a little bit of Facebook marketing, but not very much either. I honestly don't do too much paid marketing. It's mostly just my own Facebook and Instagram, I'm pretty active on Facebook and Instagram. And I try to engage a lot with my community. I love the community that I've created on social media, it's full of love the loveliest people. And so yeah, I'd say definitely reaching out to bloggers, and just creating a community and genuinely interacting with that community.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 27:01
I think you nailed it right there is engaged. Aging in your community, your current following no matter how small or big it is, as long as you're engaging and keeping relevant and providing value to your, your following your community, then it just becomes contagious. Because then people will say, like, you know, you'll see that when you are sharing something of value like, and Lauren, you have some great videos. And, and so when you share great content you're following your community is going to want to share it for you and say, because you'll see that they'll tag other people and say, check this out. And you know, I was just looking at some of the comments in some of my Instagram. And I see complete strangers in the community that I have never met personally. And that's what I mean by stranger. And then the tags, I'm gonna say, just watch the first 12 seconds, like because they want to share your message. They want to share what value you are offering because you have something beautiful and wonderful. And so yes, engage, engage, engage for sure. And Laurie, I know you're gonna say you're strapped and I fully get that but you have success and you have a great product. So what is one thing that you have tried to do to put your products out there.
Lori Turk: 28:29
So right off the top, I wasn't even on Facebook. When I first started this journey or Instagram, I am kind of a social media loser I've said that for and that doesn't mean I'm a loser, but I've just not like the whole online business world I would buy on Amazon. So it has been a really steep learning curve for me and I want to assure people who are thinking of going this route if I can get on board and enjoy it and and like I was just taking a course this morning on on Instagram that that is the way to go and, and video and using videos to your advantage online and I'm exploring on my own how to try and drive business. I'm both in retail stores and Amazon. So I'm needing to really ramp up my Amazon advertising. And I'm actually I have been paying a company to help me with Facebook advertising. And I'm going to move away a bit from that. And I I've tried Pinterest as well. And there's, I forget there was another company I was another Oh, I was thinking oh, I'll try Hauser who you know, because I like that site myself. Actually, I love Pinterest. So I think that my avatar, you know, my person that would be interested in the product would be on there. But one thing I did when I launched that I think was was worked well. I had a launch party. It wasn't I just had it at my house. I am Finn and I talked about my product to anyone who had a year ask me, all the late I used to go to a gym, like curves gym. And so me and all the older ladies, they were so supportive, and they were my biggest customers like around Christmas, they were buying it for their sister in laws and for their grandchildren. And, and one of them said, Oh, you've got to go to the gournay warehouse, the owner is this person's name mean. And somebody knew someone that was Canadian Tire who with the manager or husband did work there. I mean, those kinds of community contacts can be so helpful to start out. So really use them.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 30:45
Absolutely. Right, you do need to share. And you know, Someone once told me is like, Elaine, you're being selfish if you're not talking about your product. And I thought it was selfish. But you created a solution to an existing problem. So why are you keeping it to yourself? And you know, and we feel? And I, I'm in the same boat, and I feel like oh, no, I want to talk about it. I want to talk about Easy Daysies. And because you feel like you're selling but when you're and I'm talking about social media right now, and thing is you can never share enough because when you share something on social media less than 2% see it. So it's okay to share it again. Because it's a different, less than 2%. We'll see it then. And and do that again. And then do that again. But I learned what you said is so right, share it with your friends share where you are, because you don't know who you're talking to maybe a person who can help you like that. Like you said someone knew somebody who was a manager at Canadian Tire, or knows the owner of that amazing gourmet store down the road. Absolutely. Because you have a beautiful product. And yes, it does take time. And and it will happen. And you're not a social media loser, you're as a beginner. And that's the word event in and learning and you know, and it's always changing. So we are all always back to infancy unless you are spending a lot of time and studying it. But yes, social media is important today, in our marketing 180 7% of women look at social media before they make a purchasing decision. So it is okay to show pictures. Whether it's every third picture on your social media about your product. And maybe other ones are sharing a testimonial. Or maybe it's someone getting your clients to shares pictures of them with your product. I love the one that Christine you shared a few holes in your product just sent it.
Christine Kizik: 33:05
I have a new body oil. It's a craft series body oil and it's called Sunlit. And I handwrite all of the labels and you know your handwriting, you make a few mistakes. So I wrote scented. And so that's my bottle because I hate waste. But my goal I'm still going to use the label my label and it will be a good story. And every time I look at it, I'll just laugh and it
Elaine Tan Comeau: 33:27
is part of perfect right it creates conversation it it's shareable because people share based on emotion and humor. So if it's funny enough, they will share it. If it's touching enough, they will share it. And so good on you.
Christine Kizik: 33:44
And it's important to share that like not everything on social media because social media you can put anything you want on social media and it's not all real, you can project you can make it look like whatever but there's always a behind the scenes, there's always all the work that goes into the product. So I think sharing some of the funny things or how things are made or things from your life. It's all important and it's nice to have a variety of things to share. And people appreciate it.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 34:09
Yeah, absolutely. It is you know it is because this I love small business and I love supporting local and I love sharing to people that be proud of that you're a small business and don't don't hide that. You know, I and it is a huge blessing when you end up partnering with somebody who just says, Wow, they love that you have this beautiful story behind your business. And and those are the people you want to work with because it becomes a great relationship and a lasting one. And you know, and I've been in it for nine over nine years and I met a lot of people who have either been people who've been say to me like, you're too nice to get taken advantage of, and then they do exactly that. And, and, and, and so unfortunately, I've learned hard lessons and expensive lessons. And I've also learned loyalty with some great incredible companies. And don't ever be ashamed of being a small business be so proud of it, we are so lucky that we could pivot quickly because we're small and and make changes that work and learn quickly from lessons so that we can move forward. And I want to ask each of you, when we have a listener right now, who might be thinking, Okay, I have this great product that I want to launch and put out there. What are three things I need to know before I go forth? And do that? What is something that you could share? And then it's not three to one, that's great. What is something that you would say to this person listening, say, Okay, I want to launch my product idea, what is something I need to know? Who would like to go first?
Christine Kizik: 36:09
I can go, um, I don't know, I think it's important. If you have something that you're really passionate about, you should just give it a go and try. Because if you don't, then you'll never know. And it's okay, if you make mistakes, it's okay, if it doesn't work the first time you can pivot and you can change like you said, as a small business, you can pivot quite quickly and easily and just change things up if it doesn't work. And I think it's important to also when you're starting a new business, or if you're trying to launch something, it's important to set clear boundaries. Because you know, you want as a small business. And maybe it's also like as a woman, you want to you want to say yes to people you want to, you know, give them whatever they want. But sometimes as a small business, that can be really hard for you because it's either it's more work or it doesn't end up working for your business. So I think it's important to set boundaries, as well, because, you know, it's just, it's just important. And I've gotten a lot better at setting boundaries in terms as I've been doing this little, a lot for a few years. And as I've gotten older, I'm getting better at sounding setting boundaries.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 37:13
Now. I love that, like, go for it. I honestly, if I could summarize your tips right here to go for it, too. Did you say take risks,
Unknown Speaker 37:25
Well just if it doesn't work, you can just pivot or if you make mistake, it's okay.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 37:29
It's okay to make mistakes and to set boundaries. So go for it. make mistakes, and it's okay. Yeah, definitely set boundaries. That's a hard one. And you're right. And I don't know if that's a one thing by and say it is a woman thing. And we do we need to learn to set boundaries as something I know that I'm working on every day. Yeah. How about you, Lori?
Lori Turk: 37:54
I think to accept that whatever design or product idea you start out with, in your mind may not be what you end up with. And that's okay, that is a natural part of the design process. And really what you end up with is probably going to be the very best because it's had input and feedback and changes, and very few of us have ended up with probably what we started except maybe Elaine.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 38:24
No, my product has changed over and over.
Lori Turk: 38:27
Yeah, um, you know, it's really easy to do research online these days. So, to spend the time and do the research. I read an excellent book, it was probably one of the best I've read of how if you have a product idea how to bring it to market it was like step by step was written by Lori Greiner, of Shark Tank fame. And you know, it's American. So some of the you have to be kind of careful some of the rules in terms of intellectual property, but otherwise, it was excellent, very inspiring book. And I think it's really important to get a nondisclosure agreement very, very early on and get a well written one. People can even get in touch with me and I can send them mine, you know, because every time you go talk to a potential manufacturer or someone with packaging, someone to talk to about prototypes, you really should have them sign. I think, a nondisclosure agreement and cover yourself for all the work you're doing to bring it to market that they don't scoop it off you and and put it on market themselves.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 39:34
Yes. And and in the years that I've been doing a product I've been told a trade shows I've been told by distributors, you know, your product will get copied. And I remember how heartbreaking that was the first time I heard that and, you know, you could back and when even when I started I had a provisional patent on my product and my first trade show was probably The one that I learned the most, and it was a Canadian Toy Show in Toronto that no longer exists. But when I went, I was thinking, how am I going to afford to go? The booth is expensive. But then I did the research, right? Because when you are an entrepreneur, you have to be resourceful. And I dug in, I researched and I discovered, there's something called the inventors table. And it was only $500 to have this little six foot table at this incredible trade show. But of course, I still have to pay to fly there, I had to find a way to stay overnight for a week almost. And but at least the table was $500 instead of 5000, or $10,000. And then I learned that I had to protect my my new product, because I'm in the inventors corner where I would have these big name companies that are going to walk through not just buyers, but large companies who are checking what's up and coming. And they already have manufacturing in place, and they can snap up, they're a great idea as well. So then I did get a provisional patent. Because it was affordable, and it was temporary. And at least that gave me something and of course, trademark, you trademark your name right away. And I did that in the US and Canada right away. So I learned a lot in just doing that first trade show. But yes, there might come a time where your product will get copied. And maybe you've already experienced that I know I have and it just breaks my heart every time but what can't like you can only choose so many battles. And you know, I have a different stance on patents than others. But I know that, yes, there's a lot of value to patents, absolutely. But also, one tweak to someone's private makes it very similar to yours, but it will still be different. And that's why a patent is a tricky thing at times. And you know, I get wonderful people sending me links all the time saying Oh, and this person, this, this company has just copied your product, or this person has just copied your product. And I remember a large distributor, who told me, you know, they wanted to take Easy Daysies and distribute it and they said, Elaine, your product is copyable and it will get copied, but it's the first shelf that wins. And, you know, we can't put our time and energy into being sad or angry about the copycats. We just have to live our story. And we have to live our brand and continue to do that. Because I think life is short. And I know this is a conversation that many listeners have been frustrated with because I get emails all the time and people saying what do I do my product has got copied? Don't Don't worry about it, because it's not worth putting good money into bad things like this when you're a small business. Yes, if you are a billionaire or multi million dollar company, yes, you might be able to fight it. But I say live at your brand because it will stand strong. And and as a company told me once you just have to take it as a compliment that they copied your product. It is a sick feeling. And believe me I know because I have seen my Easy Daysies board with the tree. The exact shape of my board with a tree in the metal be copied with the magnets, or my labels, same color blue, same layout, same images be copied but made, like stickers, which I have as well. And it makes me nauseous and sick. But yeah.
Christine Kizik: 44:00
You have a good attitude about it. But you're right. I totally agree. You can't. There's not much you can do about it. There's I feel like you know, you just do what you're doing. You have your community of supporters and your followers and your customers and you just do what you can to just follow your truth and what you want for your company.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 44:21
Absolutely. I think our dogs are having a conversation. I am so sorry. See, even though I have a house full of people, no one is coming to get the dog.
Lori Turk: 44:34
You know though Elaine. I think there is a difference between a design patent and the other one the utility patent. Absolutely. And I think the amount of effort, like one is like the gold standard right the utility that's like the big kahuna, but Kahuna. But so sometimes it is worth fighting for it.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 44:57
Oh absolutely, patents Absolutely. And yes, I am not saying that I have never put a cease and desist out there I have and and you choose your battles? And yes, you definitely choose your battles and is to be careful with manufacturing as well. Even when contracts are signed, I have been notified. And this is why it's so important to have a support community is as I was telling you earlier, but a Facebook group that I had joined way back when I first started, years later, one of these ladies tagged me and said, Elaine, what someone on? I like now I'm afraid like do I say names, but one of the manufacturers I've had in China, or selling my board. And so very quickly, I sent a cease and desist letter, a legal letter to them, and they turn it off right away. And I apologize and said it was an error. But yes, and so they made sure it was gone. So yes, you do. Shut it down when you are able to and choosing your the right battles at the right time. For sure. And I want to leave with saying besides that I admire each of you so much, and respect you so much. And that's why I am so honored to share you with with our listeners. This podcast is all about create better. And you have each creative products that help create better life for others. And I'm so grateful. And that's I love your products so much. And I can't wait to actually shop from each of you again for for Christmas coming up. supporting local is so important, and especially when you know the mom and the story behind the products. But I'd love for each of you to share one thing. And so not a paragraph but one statement as a tip of how to create better family. So Christine, one tip for how to create better family.
Christine Kizik: 47:10
Um, I think in this day and age, I think it's important to like turn off at the end of the day, take your phone away, your computer away, because it's just turn it off and right be present. Be present with your family and your kids. Yeah,
Elaine Tan Comeau: 47:24
I love it. Lori, how about you how to create better family,
Lori Turk: 47:26
I would say involve them in a lot of the daily activities as much as you can or even the conversations and let them go on deliveries with you or help package the materials or, you know, I wish I had almost learned more bookkeeping from my mom now. But I learned a lot of basic skills from my parents working for them in their businesses. And that sticks with you. Those are good skills for life. So I would say involve your kids as much as you can.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 47:56
Absolutely. And I love that and you know, I try my best to do that with my kids. And they, I want them to see my struggles. I tell them my struggles I tell them when I fail or when it fails and when their successes, because I want them to become risk takers. And to understand that is absolutely okay to fail and to fall and it's absolutely okay. Because there's so many lessons learnt in getting up. And, and in, in, in personality and integrity in, in, in just who we are and definitely life lessons. Thank you ladies. And because of time, I'm only going to pick one more. And I'm going to say one tip for self. And by that it means self care, self improvement. What is one tip that you can each share, Christine?
Christine Kizik: 48:52
I think prioritize your health. One of the things actually a blessing that's happened with COVID is your regular routine has been totally disrupted. So I started exercising and running which I have never done I've ever, because there was no rush to get the kids ready in the morning to go like there was time it was just a whole different thing. So I've actually taken the time to prioritize health and exercise which is,
Elaine Tan Comeau: 49:21
Dood on you. Good for you. And do you do it in the morning or in the evening?
Christine Kizik: 49:26
I like to do in the morning. Get it over with get it done in the morning and then you know you know you've done it. You just kind of go for the rest of the day.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 49:34
It keeps your metabolism up for the rest of the day. So good on you. Good on you. And Lori, how about you one tip for self.
Lori Turk: 49:43
I would recommend to get involved or join in as many networking groups and take as many free business courses as you can as time allows because that will broaden your skill set. It will broaden your business community. Your mentors and your own knowledge and will make you a more confident person.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 50:05
I love that, I am all about being a lifelong learner and, so important and you know, I have a strong belief like what you're saying is that you can learn from everyone. There's always something you can learn. So thank you for that. And something I discovered over COVID is scribed which is audiobooks I love books and I wish I had more time to read books that I actually love physical books because I love turning the pages I love that feeling of getting from the cover to cover and and then I Mike what what else can I read. So when I first discovered scratch, I was little overload because I think I read three books in two days. And what I do is I have it playing while I'm doing emails or other work and then I have a notebook beside me. And I stop and actually write down like a big nugget that I just heard. And so that I can share that or and apply it and I share it with my kids I and I tried see how we can all apply this because it's so great to show our kids that we aren't always continuously learning. And ladies, you are both incredible and I'm so so blessed and honored to have met each of you in my life and in my journey and to call you a part of my community. So thank you.
Lori Turk: 51:31
Thank you so much for inviting me on.
Christine Kizik: 51:33
Thank you this was really fun.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 51:36
And thank you to our listeners. I know that you got so many nuggets out of each of these ladies and please do reach out to them as well. So Lori, if someone wanted to find you Where's a great place for them to find you?
Lori Turk: 51:52
They can just email me at Lori@april-ideas.com or my website if they Google Safegrate all one word, they'll find my website and they could come on and they can get in touch with me through that as well.
Elaine Tan Comeau: 52:08
Perfect and Christine where can people find you right now?
Christine Kizik: 52:11
They can find me on social on Instagram. I'm sola.skincare and Facebook and the website is solaskincare.com
Elaine Tan Comeau: 52:19
perfect and I have all of this also in my show notes. But I know that sometimes when people are listening they are also googling for you right now. So thank you ladies so much. And thank you listeners have a super fantastic day.
Lori Turk: 52:35
Thanks Elaine. Good luck Christine.
Christine Kizik: 52:36
Thanks you too.
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