This is a follow up story for ScrubzBody Skin Care Products. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 4 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hi all! I am Roberta Perry, the founder, and president of ScrubzBody Skin Care Products. I started my company back in 2006 with my late sister, Michelle and now run it with my dearest sister from another mister, Wendy.
Our flagship product is by far our sugar scrub. It is my “stranded on a desert island and only allowed one product” staple. The scrub was the culmination of research and testing 20+ different versions of various scrubs before figuring out how to make it better.
I love creating special fragrances for our customers, let alone the 14+ we have in store all the time. I believe it's because the sense of smell is so closely tied to emotions, that when customers find the right scent for them, their whole face smiles and their bodies relax. I get such a heart-warming feeling when this happens to my customers. Like I gave them a moment and it’s really special.
My retail customers are usually women, ages 40-65 and that is who we directly market to. But we are lucky enough to have teens, tweens, guys, and even kids as customers because they came to a party or got it as a gift. Many times the women will purchase face scrub and cream items for their acne-prone kids, or shaving products for their guys.
Our sales increased during 2020-21 because our customers realized more and more how important self-care is. During the pandemic, we offered free shipping because the store was closed down. That increased traffic by 30% which was a huge boost to our bottom line. We also tripled our private label/wholesale business. I love having the opportunity to mentor other young business owners and help them create great experiences for their customers. I was lucky enough to have mentors who encouraged and pushed me to be better. I like to do the same for others in the same place I was years ago.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
When we first started making the scrub and the other products that followed, it was really with a mission of selling wholesale and being in as many stores as we could get into. We began that growth locally on Long Island and then expanded to stores like Whole Foods, where at one point we were in all the stores in the NorthEast region. And then we opened our first retail space. It started as a place to work and generate orders and ship from, but quickly, as our local customers came to the shop we realized we loved retail sales more than wholesale sales. We wanted to know our customers and serve their needs versus selling to a large corporation and just being another jar on their shelves. It is the mission of many businesses and that is great, but it stopped being ours, so we shifted and pivoted and did all the things we needed to do to become that type of business. We stopped selling to large wholesalers, moved into a fabulous store on a thriving main street in Farmingdale, NY, and never looked back.
We have built a loyal local following but going out of our way with customer service, so our marketing work is to increase sales online. Our typical marketing approach is weekly and targeted emails, social media posting, and donations of our product to charitable events so people can touch and feel the product when they go home.
Our private label business has been growing organically and we love helping others expand their own business. I will reach out once a month to potential new customers after they have ordered samples from our online store. I offer not only the product but insight and mentorship.
I am grateful for the direction our business has taken. We get to enjoy our local friends and customers as well as teach what we have learned to others. It gives me the warm-fuzzies to help others as I was helped.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
The past year has taught me and my staff so many lessons. The biggest one is taking care of our existing customers more than trying to acquire new ones. We still love getting new “members of the Scrubz family”, however, we spend more time pleasing and loving on the ones we have than trying for the new. It has made such a difference in the store experience as well as online communications. We treat customers like family and it shows.
It can be exhausting always trying to stay ahead of the game in marketing and content, especially if the budget does not have exceedingly deep pockets. That is when caring for the customers you have is even more important. Because they show up for you and the conversion rate is a fraction of trying to get new ones.
We run a Buy One Get One sale once a year. In 2021 we also had a 15th anniversary sale. These sales are something we do not advertise anywhere except as an email to our subscribers. It’s another way we say thank you for supporting us all the time.
The biggest mistake I made was over buying a few items that sold well in 2020 but are sitting like lumps of coal now. I have to remember to buy the minimum amounts and no more items I am not guaranteed will fly off the shelves.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
I am so grateful for the business I have built. I have great staff, hours that mesh with my lifestyle and schedule, and customers who have become friends. My store offers me so much joy and I hope to continue serving my customers for years to come.
Doing the hard work can feel like a grind when all you want to do is “create”, but that is the miracle maker in action.
As for online sales, my goal is to double our online presence within 1-2 years and double that again by year 5. I hope to add no less than 10 new private label accounts that become repeat customers, not just one sale and done. I plan on traveling and watching my grandkids get even cuter as they get older.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I am a big Scribd and an Audible fan. I listen to books all the time while driving to work, exercising, getting my nails done, doing my hair, or just sitting for a while and relaxing with a good listen. I love good, meaty reads, historical fiction being my favorite.
Recent reads include: A Man Called Ove, Fountains of Silence, Malibu Rising and The Extraordinary Life of Same Hell, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Amazing Grace, and The Lincoln Highway. I fell headfirst into all those stories and didn’t come up till they were done. Great self-help books I have listened to lately include: Will Smith’s autobiography, Stolen Focus, The Untethered Soul, Professional Troublemaker, and The Alchemist. Each one of these pushes us to be our best selves, which translates to the best business person we can be as well.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Don’t stop before the miracle. That term is for so many things, but it applies to business, as well. Doing the hard work can feel like a grind when all you want to do is “create”, but that is the miracle maker in action. It’s making sure all the pieces of the puzzle are complete and in place. It’s putting your heart into the service you bring your customers.
It also means allowing others to help you. If web design or upkeep is not your thing, hire someone who does it best. Photographs for your website? Either take great shots yourself or hire a pro. This frees you up to do the best work that YOU do, not trying to do it all.
Where can we go to learn more?
ScrubzBody Skin Care Products has provided an update on their business!
Almost 2 years ago, we followed up with ScrubzBody Skin Care Products to see how they've been doing since we published this article.
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