I enjoy seeing all the wonderful products that our customers make! I find every shop I visit to be inspirational in many ways. I want to share this inspiration with you by featuring a crafter just like you!Today, we are featuring an interview I have done with Lisa at ForGoodnessGrape. I hope you enjoy our conversation!
Andee: I see you opened the ForGoodnessGrape shop on Etsy in April of 2010. What first drew you into making lip balm? Where did the name come from?
Lisa: Well I first started out with making melt and pour and cold processed soaps and I opened my first Etsy shop in 2009 called My Spa Secrets. I thought I’d like to add a line of lip balms to complement my soaps and other bath goodies. So I started off with a purchased lip balm base. I had already learned so much from researching oils for soaps, lotions and other bath and body goodies that I knew I could make a much better balm myself starting from scratch so that is what I did and I fell in love with making lip balms.
Where did my name come from? I made a grape flavored lip balm and went to name it, the name ForGoodnessGrape is what popped into my head. The reception was so GRAPE from my lip balms that I knew I just had to start an entire shop devoted to lip balms and ForGoodnessGrape was born. From there, I added perfumes both oils and solids and then added lip tints as well. I now have more than 400 items in my shop on any given day.
Andee: What is your favorite thing in the day-to-day operations of ForGoodnessGrape?
Lisa: My favorite thing is interacting with my dear customers. Without them there would be no ForGoodnessGrape. I also love dreaming up new concoctions and designing my labels for them.
Andee: What separates you and ForGoodnessGrape from the competition?
Lisa: I know that there are some really great handmade lip balms out there. I did a lot of research, testing and product development to come up with what I believe to be an awesome lip balm product. I use outstanding all natural ingredients and I offer a formulary that is moisturizing and healing and has great staying power. I have an extensive line of flavors and essential oils. At any given time I have more than 150 flavors of lip balm available in my shops. I do offer 3 different lip balm formula options, my Lip Candy Lip Balm and my Lip Essentials Lip Balm and my Moose Lips Lip Balm. Lip Candy is sweetened with stevia and flavored with flavor oils. Lip Essentials only uses essential oils for flavor and fragrance. Both of these use my proprietary lip balm base which, by the way, is made exclusively with ingredients from The Sage. My Moose Lips formula is different and is made more with men in mind and has a no to low shine factor and sun block as well.
Andee: What advice would you give someone just starting their own business?
Lisa: Dream big. Be passionate and GO for it. But never lose sight of your dream. Do what you love and do it better than anyone has ever done it. No shortcuts. It will take a lot of blood, sweat and tears to realize a dream but there is no feeling in the world quite like that of being the boss of YOU and deciding your own destiny. My favorite quote by an unknown author is: “Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” (This is so true for me because I am very dedicated to my customers and offering what I believe to be the best the products out there and because of that I think about my business 24/7)
Andee: What one thing would you do with your business if you knew you could not fail?
Lisa: I would definitely quit my day time job and do nothing else but focus entirely on taking my brand to the next level. What would that be…perhaps doing more marketing to get into a few more local boutiques and maybe even approaching Whole Foods Supermarket and Wegman’s.
Andee: What was the biggest challenge you have faced so far?
Andee: When you aren’t working on your products, what do you do in your spare time?
Lisa: I am a history buff and love going to Gettysburg and doing a little ghost hunting with my husband.
Andee: What do you see as the coming trends in the personal care industry and particularly with the lip balms and perfume sticks that you make?
Lisa: I think that all natural products will be more prevalent in 2013. More and more people are becoming conscious of all the chemicals being used by the big name companies and developing medical conditions as a direct result of some of these chemicals such as GF being used and people developing gluten intolerances. I believe that handmade and natural products in general are what consumers will be demanding more of in the coming years and these natural products will hold a larger share in the market place.
Andee: What was one of your most memorable experiences while testing products?
Lisa: Reading my first customer feedback that confirmed that all of my testing and product development was successful which said, “mmmm…YUMMY!”
Thanks Lisa! I had a great time “talking” with you and your website is so much fun to peruse! I kept having to wipe drool off my keyboard because there were so many yummy things available!
I hope you find inspiration with Lisa and ForGoodnessGrape. I know I have created quite the wishlist of goodies from ForGoodnessGrape and now I just need to narrow down my list!