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This week’s Work-At-Home Success story comes from Roberta Perry of Scrubz Body Scrub, Inc.
In 2005, at 43, unsatisfied with exfoliating products she’d tried, she decided to created her own body products and headed for the kitchen to play like a “mad chemist.” She mixed up different combinations of botanical oils, but it wasn’t until she did extensive research that she realized how lucky she was with the recipe she created. She brought in her sister and they started ScrubzBody™ in 2006, from home. They moved quickly to a renovated garage, and then opened their first manufacturing/store front, in Bethpage, NY in 2011.
They have since moved to a much larger space, right in the heart of town. All products are handcrafted in small batches. They host “Make your own Scrubz™” parties for kids of all ages. They sell retail and wholesale, with clients such as Whole Foods Markets. They have been published and quoted in blogs, beauty magazines and various articles. They have had 2 LI Newsday articles written about their business and have contributed to many others. She was a panelist for the LI Newsday Connect Small Business Seminar, She was a guest for a natural remedy segment of the Dr. Oz show which aired on 10/24/14, as well as a food related segment which aired on 2/29/16. She was a proud member of Indie Business Network, American Made Matters, Bethpage Chamber of Commerce & Bethpage Kiwanis Club
1) How did you get started working from home?
I have 3 kids and wanted very much to be around for them before and after school when they were young. I knew I had to work at something for my own sanity and peace of mind. I just can’t believe how lucky I got!
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
It was literally one of those “hit myself in the head” moments, as I was working on another job I didn’t care for. I had been making our scrub for a few weeks for myself, my sister and mom but we also sold to some friends. When I started researching how to make an online store, and then I renovated my garage as a working lab, I knew I was in it for the long haul.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I incorporated as soon as possible after we decided to do this. I was not going to have any worries about personal liabilities. Then I secured the website name, plus a few that were similar to ours, to protect from anyone else getting them. Then I picked up as many social media accounts as they had back then, branding our name, scrubzbody, across all the platforms. I am not even sure I knew why to do it, but I had a feeling it was going to grow and luckily I was right. I then did research on small business growth. We learned how to buy in bulk and save money. We started making calls to stores about possibly bringing in our line. We have since become way more retail, but wholesale is how we started.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
We sold at my friends house. She was having a jewelry party and asked if we wanted to set up a table, too. We sold almost every jar. From there we signed up for craft fairs, health fairs, and holiday boutiques. But the first online order was momentous for us. We were so excited that someone found us, liked us and gave us their money.
5) How do you market your business?
We send weekly emails. We blog on a pretty regular basis. We post on all the major social sites. We also have a brick/mortar store, so we get to walk in traffic and local people all the time, as well. We also host parties, so we advertise in the local Girl Scout Magazine. We donate 2 oz. jars to charity events. It makes us feel good to donate and it gets people trying our product. When we were doing more wholesale, we also showed up to demo events and collected emails to use for our weekly newsletter.
6) What does your usual day look like?
It is filled with much of the same, and yet it feels different daily, too. The orders that come in we fill. We respond to emails. I try to get press with HARO and other sites. We make the product and fill in the shelves. I am always tweaking copy on the website. More importantly, we serve the customers that come into the store.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
To not be impulsive when it comes to trying new things for our products and/or the store. I wish I had more systems in place then, too.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Respect your workspace and make sure others respect it too. When you are at work you need to maintain a work place mentality, even though you are sitting in your home.