This is a special episode with Chelsea and Calen from Natural Awakening Essentials. They are the winners of our Business Makeover Challenge that was held last month. Myself and 4 other local entrepreneurs will be spending the next month with them to help them refresh their brand and set up their business to be successful in 2021 and beyond. They produce natural everyday products like soaps, body scrubs and candles that are designed for those people with skin sensitivities or just those wanting to use a natural product. Chelsea and Calen have worked extremely hard to start this business and from the first time meeting them you can see how passionate they are about their products. They have put it a lot of time researching and ensuring they have products that will benefit those who use them.
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Chelsea and Calen | Natural Awakening Essentials
I started this show because I’m extremely passionate about connecting you with the people and the local businesses to make the Palm Harbor area so special. Palm Harbor, Florida is a great place to call home. It has everything you could dream up, from the food, the outdoors, the lifestyle, to the people in the community. Through this show, I’ve been able to make some incredible connections and I want to invite you to join me on Instagram. It’s @Donnie.Hathaway, where I share all the best places to live, work and play in beautiful Palm Harbor.
In this episode, we have a very special guest. They are the winners of our Business Makeover Challenge that we did. Four other entrepreneurs and I came together to help another small business in our community. To learn more about the business makeover, you can go back to our episode 15 and meet the rest of the team there.
In this episode, the business we’re talking about is Natural Awakening Essentials, owned and operated by Chelsea and Calen. They make natural products for everyday use, things like soaps, candles, body scrubs and so on. I’m super excited to learn more about their business and chat with them about the process of the business makeover. Let’s get into it and meet Chelsea and Calen.
First off, I want to say congratulations, Chelsea and Calen, for winning the Business Makeover being the local business chosen to go through this process of a makeover. The name of your business is Natural Awakening Essentials. Why don’t we start by telling everybody a little bit about what your business is and what you guys do?
Our business is based mainly on skincare that is naturally sourced from Mother Earth, products that were given to us and formulas that we put together of different organic plants, butters, essential oils, things that are good for the skin and other beneficial properties. We wanted to get more of a natural approach to skincare based on skin conditions that I’ve had and research that I’ve done throughout the years of store-bought products compared to products that we’re in the works of making.
We were working on other things that people can use on an everyday basis, stuff that people are always going to want to be intrigued by. We’re in the process of making candles, natural soaps, lotions and body scrubs, stuff that’s going to help people with skin conditions and anti-aging properties, all kinds of different things that people can research for themselves and see the long-term beneficial reasons of why you should be using these kinds of products. At the same time, trying to enjoy doing it as a couple, business owners and a team here, seeing where it goes and how people enjoy the things that we’ve put together for them.
A big part of it is enjoying the process instead of focusing on the results or how much can you sell and the journey. You started your business in COVID 2020. What has that been like starting a business? This is the first business that you have opened up.
We started March 2020, both quarantined, laid off of our jobs due to COVID, had a lot of time on our hands and decided we wanted to take some of our research and experiments, maybe turn them into something a little bit more for other people. We ordered some things, a big order of ingredients online, did a little bit more research, started throwing things together, trial and error and came up with a handful of good products. We got some feedback from friends and family. We made a website and things like that. It’s been a slow and steady start.
We’re looking forward to the Business Makeover because we feel like we have the creative side of it down, not just doing the actual business side and getting our products out there. We could be having all these wonderful products but if people don’t know about them or aren’t aware of them, they’re not going to buy them. That’ll be the next step to take us to the next level.
It’s like a hobby to start and turned into something that they are intrigued by or want to buy for themselves. I was that person at one time. I was buying from companies like myself. It’s not that I was getting tired of buying it but I figured, “Why not try and do this from my perspective, put things together and make certain products that caught my eye or done me some good? What’s popular? What do people like? What’s going to catch their eye? Someone that hasn’t ever even thought about buying products that we have, what’s going to make them more anxious to buy our product?”
This is something that you’ve benefited from. Is that where the idea came from?
Absolutely. I’ve supported businesses like our own for a couple of years prior to having the idea of starting our own. I’ve enjoyed buying products and giving feedback to others. It’s not that I was trying to take their ideas at all or anything. I figured maybe it’s time that I started doing this thing for myself, my family, friends and other people around the country, the world, wherever. We’re all human and these certain products are everyday products that people are going to want to benefit from. What you put on your body is as important as what you put in.
Going back to some of the benefits of using natural products and stuff, what are some of the benefits that you or some of your customers have experienced when using these products?
For starters, our body is made up of organic compounds. That’s why our skin reacts better to organic products, not even just organic but natural products. We don’t use preservatives, fragrance oils or things like that. Our skin is not going to have some of those reactions that it might have to some other store-bought products. Some chemicals in there irritate our skin. Each essential oil has different beneficial properties. Lavender, for example, is soothing.
Skincare is just as important as what you put in your body.
Aromatherapy is also a big part of it too. We love to use shea butter and cocoa butter. It’s very highly moisturizing, especially for dry skin. Looking into different oils, different oils are better to use. If you have oily skin, oils that won’t call you up more. There are certain clays that you can use that are more beneficial for oily skin versus dry skin. We do have some products that I wouldn’t recommend for oily skin or dry skin.
Part of your job is educating the customer too on what they could benefit from and how these products could help them.
That’s been a big thing. Calen has always been pretty wise when it comes to all of that. I don’t know everything, so I constantly continue to educate myself. When we make those posts online, trying to educate people on why I should be spending this much on a bar of soap? It’s not the look of it but it’s the ingredients that do. We try and list those on our website so we can be educating people on why they’ll benefit from these, maybe a little bit more than some of their store-bought products.
On top of it, you’re simply supporting a small local business as well too, which is always a fun thing to do. This is going to be a two-part series. We’ll do this one. We met for the first time to get the Business Makeover started. The whole Fab Five is going to be working with you guys to revamp and relaunch the business. I want to ask you guys, where is your business at? We’ll recap where we’re at on phase two of this.
Our business is something that we’re doing out of our home. We have enough space to store that amount of product for a few orders that we get here and there. We want to expand this to a full-time thing that we’re constantly working on. When we wake up in the morning, we get an idea about what we want to do and constantly grow.
It’s more of a trial and error or hobby type of business where we’re trying to figure out what people like the most. Eventually, we want to get to that point where things are consistent. We know what people like, what works for them and us, starting the path of having our own business. It started as a home business. Where’s it going to go next?
The Fab Five is going to help us get to that next level. It’s been a little overwhelming trying to do everything at once. We have the creative side of it down but working on a logo that catches the eye, branding, product pictures and things that give our business a more professional look and catch more.
We’re starting to get to the point where we’re confident in our products but we want to be more confident in our marketing and the business side of it. The next step is getting it out there for people.
One of the most challenging parts of being a business owner is you’re in charge of everything. You may have a good idea but how are you going to market it? What’s the website? How are you going to sell it? How are you going to get it out to people? There are a lot of aspects. It’s difficult to do all of that, either yourself or the two of you, whatever it is. It’s a challenge too.
We’re learning that down the road of this. We never imagined, “We’re going to have to figure out this side of it.” We wanted to make some good soap and products. Here we are and things are different. Not everything is a storefront. It’s an online world and our products are more than capable of being sold online or storefront. Our products can go to somebody in California. Here we are in Florida. We want to make sure that we have a wide variety of different customers, from young people to older people and to people that have been into this thing forever. Get feedback from everybody and have confidence in every aspect of the business.
Where do you guys sell your products? Have you done some local markets and stuff?
There are a couple of markets. I don’t even want to say mostly online. We have gotten a lot of support online on our website, a lot from friends and coworkers’ word of mouth. We got our products in a wax shop locally. We’ve talked with other business owners. Hopefully, after the Business Makeover, we’ll have everything on one page and be ready to get some of our product into other shops.
It’s been a lot of in-person sales. It’s been a mix of everything. This Business Makeover will take it in one direction to where people can buy it personally from us or online. We want to make that process easier.
There have been lots of challenges starting a business and creating this product. What’s been the biggest challenge for you launching this business in 2020?
Things are different in this day and age. Everything is not storefront. Today is an online world.
It’s unlimited, how many ideas, what brand or logo? It can be anything. It’s figuring out what’s best and what’s going to be good for people to understand how we are and who we are. A lot of the stuff that you are going to be helping us with has been some of the challenging things. That’s why it’s amazing how things worked out for us to get connected. Eventually, we would have figured out a lot of this stuff but you have given us the confidence and different thoughts from your guys’ point of view, figuring things out.
There’s been a lot of ups and always going to be downed in certain parts of the business but for the first year, we’ve been pretty successful as far as having good feedback on our product. If you look at it, we want to have a good review on everything. We want people to get the full benefit of why we’re doing this for them.
I appreciate you guys. I’m glad we could meet, do this and jump on the show. We’re going to do part two after we’ve gone through the Business Makeover. At that point, you’ve learned a little bit more about your business and the future direction of it. What’s the best way for people to find your business?
It’s our website, which is going to be getting a lot of work done to it. They look a lot better. The product pictures are going to look better. Hopefully, we’ll be able to figure out more cost-effectiveness on the shipping. We are also on Facebook and Instagram, @NaturalAwakening. That’d probably be the best way. Hopefully, soon after the makeover, we’ll have a few more local shops for people to be able to pop in and check out some of our stuff. Maybe in a year or so, we’ll have our storefront. The sky’s the limit.
We look forward to part two.