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





Cheri Moon of SNOOKNUK on building a brand that has a real impact on children and families

Describe your business in a few words? I’ve been a songwriter for many years writing for TV, commercials, myself, other artists and children. I built a company around my children’s brand, SNOOKNUK that creates content, media & products for children and families that teaches kids life lessons, social awareness, and basic hygiene. Not only do…

Ginger King of Grace Kingdom Beauty and FanLoveBeauty on the power of trusting your gut in business

Describe your business in a few words? Grace Kingdom Beauty – We help you to create your own beauty brand from concept to launch so you can create your own legacy on your own terms. FanLoveBeauty – A clean beauty brand for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs to empower confidence through beauty. We take care of your…

Alicia and Alejandra Torres-Candè of Lasto Foods on why you will never be ready to launch a business, but should do it anyways

Describe your business in a few words? Lasto Foods is a company that produces almond and peanut butter and packages it in squeezable containers for maximum convenience. We do not add any oils or emulsifiers because we believe in the power of simplicity and natural ingredients. What made you take the leap to start your…

Brooke Jonsoon and Suzie Potter on using influencer marketing to launch The Good Ritual with and scaling it to the go-to wellness brand for women on the go

Describe The Good Ritual in a few words? The go-to wellness brand for women on the go. What made you take the leap to start your own business? We already had our own service based businesses as wedding photographers however even though weddings allowed us to break away from our 9-5 jobs shooting weddings is…

Haily Meyers on building a brand born out of her love of motherhood with Lucy Darling

Describe your business in a few words? Lucy Darling was born out of my love of motherhood and my desire to cherish the moments of childhood. I love being a mom and I love watching my babies grow, which is why creating a brand that helps families cherish those moments has been so important to me.…

Carolyn Bothwell on her mission to empower independent creatives with Freelance Founders

Describe your business in a few words? Freelance Founders is a members-only community and resource hub for independent creatives. What made you take the leap to start your own business? In the early days of the pandemic, I saw many agency and in-house creatives being laid off and starting their freelance journey. For me, being…

Beau Wangtrakuldee on discovering the gap in PPE for women in STEM and launching AmorSui

Describe your business in a few words? At AmorSui, we provide the simplest way for hospitals and clinics to adapt zero waste PPE solutions towards greener health care. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I experienced firsthand the importance of having functional personal protective equipment (PPE) in protecting the health…

Caroline Conner on making wine education accessible (and entertaining!) to all with Wine Dine Caroline

Describe your business in a few words? As Wine Dine Caroline, I provide expert and entertaining wine education for consumers through live virtual events, online wine courses, and in her free facebook community. When travel returns, my other business, Lyon Wine Tastings will emerge from its Covid-coma to teach our local wines to English speaking…

Adapting quickly and being grateful for what you have with Carol Chen of Maskela

Describe Maskela in a few words? Saving the world, one beautiful mask at a time. What made you take the leap to start your own business? When the pandemic first started in Asia, I wanted to wear a mask but I didn’t want to feel embarrassed. Someone actually told me I looked “scary” because I…

Dionna Dorsey Calloway on inspiring action with District of Clothing

Describe your business in a few words? District of Clothing is a lifestyle brand encouraging progression, inspiring action and supporting self-love. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Initially, I was laid off in 2008 during the Great Recession. That’s what led to my first company, Dionna Dorsey Design. District of…

Marcia Dawood on her mission to help founders build companies that are changing the world

Describe yourself in a few words? I’m an angel investor/venture capitalist working with mainly diverse founders to help build companies changing the world and helping those founder’s dreams come true. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I worked in corporate America for many years and always knew I wanted to…

Melissa Bowley on launching the Flourish Fund, the only experience-based baby registry that puts wellness first

Describe the Flourish Fund in a few words? The only experience-based baby registry that puts wellness first! Every bundle includes gift cards for the expecting mom to use on experiences like prenatal massage or yoga, meal delivery, postpartum support and more. Her Flourish Fund is flexible based on what she needs, when she needs it.…

Andréa Bernholtz on being a serial entrepreneur and using social media and ambassadors to spread the Swiminista mission

Describe Swiminista in a few words? Chic eco friendly womens and little girls luxury swimwear. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had always been an entrepreneur and I had sold my former clothing business, Rock & Republic and my friends and I were complaining about the lack of chic…

Karla Salinari on helping women heal their relationship with food through her work as a Holistic Health Coach

Describe your business in a few words? I am a Holistic Health Coach who helps women heal unhealthy relationships around food by learning to eat with purpose, fall in love with foods that love you back and love and accept their bodies at every stage of the journey. What made you take the leap to…

Carolina Reis Oliveira on developing the first cosmetic product that reverses aging at the molecular level with OneSkin

Describe your business in a few words? OneSkin is a Silicon Valley-based, venture-backed Biotech company that developed the first cosmetic product that reverses aging at the molecular level. After 5 years of leading research by a team of PhDs, we launched our flagship product, OS-1, which is debunking the anti-aging industry with a unique approach…