Stephanie Elias & Hannah Hutton of Personal Fav Co. on their mission to change the conversation around sexual wellness

Personal Fav_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Changing the narrative around sexual wellness with elevated clean products.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Looking at the health and wellness sector from a holistic lens, it became evident that sexual wellness was an underserved market that needed real change. Not just change in the ingredients, which was crucial for us, but change in how the story around our sexual health is being told.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

SE: Working in the music and entertainment industry for nearly a decade, and consulting for events, projects, and brands thereafter.  I grew up around a family business, and saw firsthand how much time and effort it takes to keep a company going from some of my earliest memories.  I am grateful to have learned so much from a young age.

HH: Starting with The Honest Company during its launch year of 2012 and seeing a true start up grow overnight and the obstacles and rewards that came with it. The energy and rush was so contagious. I grew tremendously professionally and personally during those six years.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

SE: I possessed the entrepreneurial spirit from a young age.  I have a natural ability to sell, and definitely knew that was going to be a part of my journey.  In elementary school, everyone wanted me to be in their class because I always sold the most wrapping paper and subsequently my class would get a pizza party.  I knew I wanted to do something creative and unconventional – which led me to music initially, and now creative projects and development with Personal Fav Co.  

HH: I did not have the desire to be an entrepreneur necessarily but I knew how good it felt to lead. Even from being the captain of my high school Field Hockey team, I got such a rush encouraging my teammates, motivating them to do their best. That love for leadership followed me early into my career. I wanted all my employees to feel valued and truly believe in what we are selling and to authentically connect with the consumer! I am beyond energized to lead Personal Fav Co and the community it brings.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

We are continually iterating this process daily. Our marketing strategy combining social, influencer, PR, as well as organic growth marketing via word of mouth has been going well, but we are pivoting towards utilizing additional strategies that are currently in the works for late spring/summer 2021. Stay tuned!

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

Working and launching a product in sexual wellness has proven to be challenging for us in regard to running advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and Google. We are learning to iterate and market through different channels to negate the conservative content guidelines that try to ban this conversation from even happening. It is outrageous. 

Mistakes? They happen every day. We are learning so much as we grow and something refreshing that we are learning is that if you approach people kindly and transparently with your mistake, they are pretty forgiving.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Our first press coverage was in Glamour Magazine. We have always been fans of Glamour, and admired the advertisements that spanned the pages of magazines past.That was when things started feeling really real. A true ‘pinch me’ moment.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

HH: When I am interviewing I look for four things: positive attitude, strong work ethic, initiative, and innovation. Those things I cannot teach, the rest is teachable and moldable. Also, I am allergic to ego, especially in the startup world. If you’re ‘too good’ to do a mundane task or roll your sleeves and get messy – it probably will not be a fit.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Learning to relinquish the control over consistent lead times and further shipping delays was something all businesses with supply chain and manufacturing components dealt with during the pandemic. It definitely tested my patience, and made it clear that we had to roll with all the delays and celebrate every small victory.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

We are working on launching our second SKU, our oil-based formulation, as well a few other items in the pipeline for later this year. We hope to awaken sexual confidence within others, and make the conversation surrounding sexual health and wellness more mainstream. It’s so important to have these topics top of mind when making informed consumer decisions. We understand this topic can be “awkward” or “shocking” for some and we want to diffuse that.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Hard work and discipline pay off. Keep moving. And compassion is a superpower.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

You don’t know what you don’t even know yet – stay humble, stay curious. You are never done learning and growing.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

SE: Workouts and leisure time spent with good friends have kept us sane this year. Also dancing around my living room.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

SE: We vehemently believe in work/life balance. It is so important to prioritize time for yourself and your self care. We have both learned this the hard way.  I burnt myself out five years ago – I got so sick, it was crazy. My tips are to take time for yourself by creating rituals in your morning routine as well as learning when to rest – meditation and yoga are big ones for me, but making time to read, and workout also help me recharge and reset.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

1) Go for a walk first thing – get outside. 

2) Over communicate with each other to prevent assumptions and confusion.

3) Hydrate!

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

It means empowering others by staying true to your ethos, and always offering help to fellow entrepreneurs because collaboration is key.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Ansley Pridgen of Ansley Media Co. on helping small businesses grow

Describe your business in a few words: After attending SMU and receiving an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting, I moved to New York City to begin a career in fashion. While in NYC, I learned about fashion production, design, life, and hard work. However, I couldn’t suppress my deep love and connection to the South. After…

Clinical Therapist Kendra Toothill on how to unlock your well-being transformation

Describe your business in a few words: Hey! I’m Kendra Toothill. I help women unlock their well-being transformation by using their physical scars. I have been a clinical therapist for nearly a decade, and I help women heal from their physical and emotional health challenges by using my groundbreaking system: Scars Reigniting Your Feminine. Did…

Michelle Carter-Love of sHe Eco Investments promotes a healthier and more sustainable home purchasing option

Describe your business in a few words: What motivates me to have chosen a field dominated by men to pursue is to take part in lowering gas emissions and decreasing waste that has led to the acceleration of our climate crises in the construction industry. By profession, I am a financial coach for over 7…

Ariela Gorodzinsky of ZIBARI on founding a premium purveyor of authentic culinary foods from around the world

Describe your business in a few words: I grew up in Mexico City. Four years ago, I moved to New York to study for my masters in Food Studies at NYU.  Two years ago, I moved to Miami and founded ZIBARI. A premium purveyor of authentic culinary foods from around the world, offering a diverse…

Vanessa Ungvarsky of Taylor Made on creating her unique custom nail polish kits

Describe your business in a few words: Taylor Made Polish brings elevated experiences to savvy clean beauty enthusiasts with our patent-pending Custom Nail Polish kits and 15 Minute Organic Manicure sets.   Anchored in historic downtown Easton, Taylor Made sits at the intersection of scrappy and stylish. We are deeply connected to our community and if…

Kristen and Lindsey Archer of ARCHd on empowering women through handmade home decor

Describe your business in a few words: Sisters Kristen and Lindsey Archer create handmade home decor with their original female empowerment illustrations, skyline designs, and landscape photography. From “build your own” wood bookend sets to large wall art, each piece features bold colors and is uniquely made. ARCHd gives back a percentage of each online…

Felena Hanson of Hera Hub on collaborating with like-minded business owners

Describe your business in a few words: Felena is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven.  Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and business accelerator for female entrepreneurs. This as-needed, flexible work and meeting space provide a productive environment for growing businesses.  Hera Hub members have access to a professional space to…

Joy Williams & Jane Molina of Ninni Co. on being moms’ “breast” friend

Describe your business in a few words: We are Joy Williams + Jane Molina. Sisters, best friends, and co-serial entrepreneurs. We launched the Ninni Co. brand on March 1, 2021, and sell direct-to-consumer from our website. Our featured product and what we’re known for is our breastlike pacifier. It’s a technology we patented and worked…

Business Coach Mary Massey on gaining clarity and achieving success

Describe your business in a few words: My journey to becoming a life coach began over 13 years ago when I became depressed after my father’s passing. Having lost my mom at a young age, I learned to grow up fast but never had the tools I needed to help me overcome loss and other…

Candace Noel of Flora Noel on setting the tone of any event with florals that convey desired moods

Describe your business in a few words: Hi! I’m Candace Noel, Founder and Owner of Flora Noel, a floral and event design studio based in Houston, Texas that specializes in personalizing experiences for special events and private spaces. We design floral arrangements that convey the desired mood of each event through color, shape, texture, and…

Dr. Sarah Nadimpalli of Same Team Childcare on streamlining the nanny-parent relationship

Describe your business in a few words: I am Dr. Sarah Nadimpalli of Same Team Childcare, a mom, nurse, and researcher.  Through using my academic lens and personal experiences in working with nannies, I have streamlined the nanny-parent search, hire, and onboarding process by creating a time-efficient online course both parents and nannies take together. …

Dental Entrepreneur Melissa Turner on making dentistry a better experience for patients and providers

Describe Your Business in a few words: I am Melissa Turner, a dental entrepreneur. I am a dental hygienist who has launched several businesses. I am an influencer and speaker to make dentistry a better experience for dental patients and dental providers. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’ve been in dentistry…

Product Management Consultant Christina Kelley Weiss on empowering business development

Describe Your business in a few words: I’m a product management consultant & interim product executive for startups with ten years of experience in product management, software development, and digital health. I work with early- and mid-stage startups to help them grow & optimize their strategy, product team, and development processes. What was your background…

Kaitlin Nares of Hagen | Nares PLLC on helping families affected by serious injuries get relief

Describe your business in a few words: I am a Coloradoan. I am a mother to a beautiful and funny 6-month-old redheaded son named Brody. I am also a dog mom to two rescue pups named Boston and Bella. I am married to an entrepreneur, and he encouraged me to launch my law firm. Hagen |…

Michelle Dear of Tandem on empowering couples’ financial lives together

Describe your business in a few words: Hi Entreprenistas! I’m Michelle, the Co-Founder of Tandem, the easiest way for couples to share expenses. Tandem is an iOS app that eliminates the back-and-forth of Venmo without the need to get a joint account. Our mission is to empower couples’ financial lives together. What was your background prior…