On Starting A Luxury Self-Care Products Brand
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
I am the Self-Care Phoenix and my name is Anicka Martin. I rose from the ashes of my own neglect to create a legendary self-care brand named Eneka Elements. Eneka Elements creates "Legendary Hair & Skin For Women & Men".
We started with a focus on bringing an option to the people who wanted holistic products they could trust. We answered the call and we focus on providing holistic products targeted toward living our best life now.
We provide luxury products for hair and skin care. Our company is based in Phoenix Arizona. We specialize in total relaxation moments via our Moment Boxes. The moment boxes are special to me because we all talk about self-care, but not "how" we can get it. If you find the time my moment boxes are targeted to give you the moment of self-care you were wanting and needing.
Our focus is the "Me Time Revolution" self-less self-care. You may not have a lot of time but there are always a few moments for self-care. By formulating and creating self-care products that are quick to use and quality we provide something valuable to everyone. Specializing in spa-quality items to use at home. Celebrate yourself with Eneka Elements and Join in on the " Me Time Revolution".
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Eneka Elements was started after I was making DIY projects for family and friends. I decided to do a handmade Christmas for my family and was big into garden and kitchen creations from Pinterest inspiration. I created a lime salt scrub and some infused oils with herbs and peppers. It was well-received by my family and friends.
The next week my aunt Stefanie commissioned me to make her some salts similar to what she picked up while on a cruise to the Caribbean. I loved the salts but they had artificial coloring and some things I felt I could improve on holistically without compromising on the beauty. It got me researching and applying my love of beauty and holistic ingredients to work together to help improve her life and it improved our relationship. She enjoyed the salts and ordered more. My Aunt Stefanie encouraged me to think about creating a business. I felt so blessed having someone see my gifts and pour encouragement and life into my creations.
That was the spark to start Eneka Elements.
The first thing was to pick a name, which was tough. I first wanted to do Abracadabra Beauty as a business name and Eneka was just going to be my LLC. It was a bit of a mouthful and ended up not being the final product. It evolved into Eneka Elements like magic. It was different and unique just like me. I loved saying it and writing it and I wanted it to represent me and what we do. I had to secure a domain next and start my LLC along with social media accounts and all the other more unsexy parts of the business. There are a lot of steps to get everything up and running.
The first year was building a strong foundation and it was all about research and patience. I also had to focus on watering one seed and completing one project at a time. That was a bit tough at times because I had so much I wanted to bring to life as a product.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
The Noir Mask was a solution based product. I had a blocked pore under my mole on my cheek and it needed help. I had no medical insurance to see a Dermatologist for it so I researched until I found the ingredient combination to address cystic acne. I was very thankful because it has since been a huge help for my overall beauty regime.
I went about finding the correct label combination to convey the elegance that was Eneka Elements. I fell in love with the black, white and gold after I narrowed it down to 3 choices. I love options so detail has been a big help for me as it evolves in my life. Finding templates and helpful business tools on Etsy has been a big help for me and it supports small businesses. I was very into African and French black and white themes. I have a huge love for Morocco, Egypt, and Paris. My use of Noir and Blanc was a big part of the beginning vision. That is why Noir Mask was chosen. A lot of inspiration came from those places and Egypt shines brightly to influence my gold theme and the way I honor my golden roots.
I have a lot of inspiration from my elders and ancestors and believe in being authentic. People know when you put your heart into creating something.
Milk Bath Moment was also the first product on Etsy for us and it is still one of my favorites. I was really into milk baths because they were so nourishing in Arizona dry weather. As a new mom, it was very helpful for me in taking a moment for myself to restore and refill my cup so to speak. We talk about self-care but getting it can be a challenge in everyday life. I have true respect for those who are busy and still get in a good self-care routine.
Creating unique names is a big part of our process to stand out. I love choosing fun names having to do with self-care and the time theme itself. Everything fits with our brand as much as possible. Branding is very important from the look to the feel and the names of each product.
Describe the process of launching the business.
To launch I started building my store on Etsy and I focused on a few products to create variety. I also wanted to start media buzz before launch. I told everyone around me about my plans. It was hard to even say my business name with ease to new people at first. I would be excited to say I have a business but to say I am the owner of Eneka Elements and you should check it out some time was challenging. I set out to change that. So, I reached out to 5 local papers and let them know what I was doing and one responded and I was excited and grateful. All you need is one.
I had plans of having a launch party that ended up not working out. The articlewas a big help. I had a great platform to talk to more people about my passion and my products. It increased my confidence in the business space. So many people I grew up with were so supportive and surprised I started my own business without waiting for a bank loan or getting into debt.
Etsy was a great platform to be able to start an online store at an affordable price. It was very accessible and gave me exposure to new customers. I was thankful it was easy to use Etsy and create listings for products but I had to figure out photography. Photography can be a big expense if you want quality. I used my artistic eye and what I had, my cell phone and did my best to capture the best in my products.
It was very fast and very emotional. My best friend Leslie of over 20 years had passed away weeks before my launch so I was mourning and birthing something new. I knew my best friend Leslie would have wanted me to live my best life so it gave me a lot of inspiration and urgency to put heart and authenticity into my business and life. It makes me think back on how my mom says, regarding my birth “You were unleashed on the world”. I am not subtle. My personality could fill a room. I came to walk in my purpose and I knew what I wanted. I wanted a clean product. That my mom and I could enjoy and one I could also use on my baby if I needed to. Eneka Elements is the evolution of my work.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
When the product stands out so do we. Not many companies in our industry provide products that we do and we love to introduce you to new products that are exotic and effective. We enjoy selecting ingredients from Africa and South America. There are a lot of ingredients that are ancient and available to use. Our Shea Butter is from Ghana and we just started working to provide a new rare Shea butter from Benin.
The more we support eco businesses who protect sacred land and ways the more our world can thrive. To see improvement in other people’s lives because of collective efforts to buy quality sourced Shea butter has made my heart happy. Making progress from Africa to Arizona.
We get a lot of feedback on how our products solve issues in everyday life from our return customers.
Testimonials help us a lot to refine and continue to create solution-based products that work. When you speak, we listen and we do our best to be the next-level beauty company that is truly legendary.
Our magnesium is what currently is working very well for us. Our Super Star Sleep magnesium cream is very popular. It has been getting great reviews alongside our Eneka Salt for a transdermal magnesium soak.
Athletes are loving the high-performance results it gives them. Magnesium helps with more energy and better sleep and is depleted during times of stress and when you play sports and exercise. Bringing more awareness of the importance of magnesiumis a big part of my holistic mission. Mothers are loving the improvement in sleep specifically the depth and longevity, not just overall quality. I am loving the fact that my product is improving relationships and lives.
Focusing on media and letting others know we exist is working very well and we are shining brightly among other Phoenix stars. I feel like it is not enough to build a website and a great product you must reach the people who need to benefit. The evolution of social media is amazing to utilize and to spread the word about our company. Word of mouth never gets old as well. Martin Luther King Jr. said “Be the best of whatever you are” and people will go out of their way to find you. I am extremely inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and his speech ”What is your life’s Blueprint?” and how powerful it is. Rest in Power King. I have a lot of inspiration from my elders and ancestors and believe in being authentic. People know when you put your heart into creating something.
Our brand awareness is important and heart-centered, and it is working for us. We love that people can recognize us by our clothes, signs and brand patterns and logo. We do all we can to let you know we are here and we are a one-stop holistic shop. Most of all we do our work with kindness and quality and it makes us stand out.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
The future for us is about thriving. This is a big year of growth for Eneka Elements. The next community event we are presenting is on Feb 16, 2020. It is a restoration and rose-based event that is a self-care and sip to enjoy in Scottsdale at Abundant Space. We are providing a rose focused self-care space as well as a mini pamper session.
We love to inform people of our products and how to use them to get the most benefit. We also like to give examples of how to get self-care even if you have a busy life. It is a great chance to start some new good habits for the new year.
My level of mastery is ever-evolving and I feel so very blessed to have found my purpose. I improve relationships and quality of life doing what I love. We recently started subscription options on our website so people can get automatic Eneka Elements on their schedule at a discounted rate. I am loving what the future looks like. We are seeing more eco-packaging evolve and having a blast creating a more sustainable product package future for our brand. We look forward to seeing more local faces in the community and doing more vending events to spread the word about Eneka Elements. We have been collaborating and speaking to other local holistic businesses and influencers so the future looks very golden here at Eneka Elements.
We aim to collaborate with local businesses to provide quality spa products that are fresh and effective. We provide skin care products such as clay masks, ocean baths, body creams, and exotic oils using ingredients you may not have heard of before. Specializing in ingredients from Africa to Arizona. Our business goal is to provide products for use in the comfort of your own home with options for boxes and subscriptions to increase wellness and relaxation. Focusing on quality products for women and men. We welcome local boutiques, wellness businesses, and spas to contact us for further inquiries.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
We believe in village support as a big tool in our growth process. Eneka Village is our community and is a holistic group of people who support and partake in our offerings on Youtube, Castbox Podcast and other social media platforms. We do not just sell holistic products we also give value through providing tutorials on Youtube and blogging to pay it forward. When you have a product that gives solutions it will sell itself and when your offerings are valuable people pay attention.
Focusing on return customers is a big focus. We love to get the whole family addicted as well. My family is multi-generational and we all use Eneka Elements from head to toe. I and my mother have lost over 80 lbs and sustained it. Arizona has been a very healing place for me and I am so grateful for this beautiful state.
People often do not realize how far little changes go to improve the overall outcome of your lifestyle. Creating a healthy and holistic lifestyle has been very rewarding to us and we look to deepen that connection and continue to thrive. Shopify has been a big help in our e-commerce business and I am thankful it was our foundation for Eneka Elements online store.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Choosing a platform to host your e-commerce is huge. I started on Weebly and WordPress and they both are great but did not fit for me. I ended up choosing Shopify and it was the best thing I could have done. Shopify was challenging at first but you get what you put into it. I had to get through a few challenges with resizing my photographs for products at one time. They have great customer support and instructions on how to do things which is a major plus.
It is still proving to astound me. The value is what you put into it. The apps are trial and error but when it works it is worth every second of time invested. After trying a Weebly site and building a site on WordPress I knew Shopify was the one for me.
Working with beauty bloggers on Beauty Clout is a new avenue we are pursuing currently. Our mission is to add value to more people through our pure products. I enjoy seeing influencers who love what they do, try Eneka Elements. It can be a bit of a risk working with new people and so I am very picky with who we work with. So far it has been great. I used to get a lot of requests to have products sent to influencers and my first experience was not great. The influencer never communicated after the product was sent. It is something I learned from.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Oprah has been influential in the area of success and how to allow it to happen. Also, how to say “no” with grace and to achieve boundaries like a boss. Listening to how she built her empire and how she enjoys nature is inspiring. Her ability to visualize is profound to me. She is a Legend. I enjoy hearing her speak about worthiness and empowerment. I enjoy her words on how she is raising consciousness using her platform for good. We are all here to do our purpose and express our gifts and this is mine. Through providing self-care options and education it provides me so much joy to be a part of Eneka Elements.
When it comes to getting more information on a business world I did not go to college for I look to Gary Vaynerchuck and a few others. I enjoy how he gets to the point and how he believes in adding value to his customers above all else. He is someone I enjoy watching on various topics such as the future of voice and the internet. Getting to experience this internet revolution is amazing and I am here for the long game. I love how Gary speaks his kindness message and also about the long game in business. He has a way of speaking that gets things done. I like people who produce results and still enjoy their lives.
Martin Luther King Jr. is a role model. I love his integrity and ability to speak to a wide reach of people to create change. I love his ability to unite people and his visionary mind. I have a proper, solid and sound blueprint. My dignity and worthiness are pillars of my life. My life has significance and I have a solid determination to achieve excellence in self-care. I have my blueprint and I will build it one step at a time. I plan to keep moving forward using the eternal principles of beauty, love, and justice. Whatever I set out to achieve I do it and do it well. I am doing it while on the shoulders of my ancestors with great power and honor.
Another inspiration is an interviewthat Kris Jenner did with Maria Shriver and she spoke about how she had 10 kids with Bruce and how they had to produce results. She said she sent out to a video of him speaking and his highlights to a bunch of news outlets to tell people that Bruce existed. She said she got responses from more people than she thought and that inspired me. I figured if she could get results so could I. That changed everything. I enjoy and currently do our PR because of it.
Listening, observing and mentorship are where I am currently. I seek to be around more people with experience that will help me thrive in business and life. I listen to podcasts and interviews about people who have done big things with humble beginnings. I have listened to Oprah, Gary Vaynerchuck, Jeff Bezos, Jay-Z, and Lisa Nichols just to name a few. If you do not have mentors find them online to help on the journey.
Mentorship is important when you know better you do better. As I learn I hope to help others to grow to. That is why my Youtube channel and podcast on Castbox is so important to me. I can reach more people and share my gifts as I learn amazing ways to live my best life now. Eneka Elements is about starting a self-care revolution. We like to help mothers because when you do it helps the whole family. Mothers usually take care of everyone and do not ask for much. Now that I am a mom I make sure to put self-care into my routine to ensure I am balanced. I call myself the Self-Care Phoenix because I had to rise from the ashes of my neglect. When I neglect myself it serves no one. When I take care of myself and my needs all is well.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
My Brand mindset is what sets me apart. If you work to perfect your brand, people can tell it is you by the most basic things. You walk into my house and you can tell it is an Eneka Elements home. I am living in my brand and walking my talk. From my rugs to my pillowcases I am Eneka Elements. When you walk in purpose and believe in your business it is so organic and natural and leads to success. Most of all though, I am having a lot of fun. If you do not enjoy your work, why are you doing it? Own It is my motto.
I am a believer in owning everything I create and utilize for my business. I am very into trademarks. I look forward to eventually having patents in the future. In every case, if you can own it do so. Seek to invest in your brand and by extension yourself. When I invested in myself my whole world changed.
Whenever possible pay-it-forward. Kindness is the currency in my world and it always pays itself back 3 fold. I am a big supporter of living my life like it is golden. I recommend it to others in business and life.
Let people in and let them help you. No business was built in a day.
When you have people helping you and you involve others in your process it means more to achieve goals. Share milestones and let your village know you did something to celebrate. I shared when I got my first business stamp.
There is so much to celebrate so let others know about your victories. I am so much more connected to the people around me since I started posting my milestones on social media. They feel like we win together and it builds community even though I may not live in the same city as a lot of my loved ones.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Not at this time.
The future holds growth so keep in touch and contact us at [email protected]
Where can we go to learn more?
- Selfcare Phoenix Facebook
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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