Tiffany Buzzatto on pioneering unbottled, undiluted, and uncomplicated slow beauty with her brand DEW MIGHTY

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Describe DEW MIGHTY in a few words?

We are pioneering unbottled, undiluted, and uncomplicated slow beauty. We plan to always deliver effective skin care products without fillers, sans water, free of nasty ingredients, and without plastic or trashy packaging to always USE LESS. DEW MORE™

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

I had been considering my own brand for some time prior to our launch in April 2020 and knew I wanted to make a positive impact in the world. I felt many brands were following archaic traditions that promoted hyper consumerism behavior. I knew effective skin care could be made without fillers, trashy packaging, or countless non-effective SKUs. I had the passion and baseline knowledge so I formulated our first product as a solid moisturizing serum bar dubbed BLOOM Jelly Serum Bar (now patent pending!). We highlight the need of a healthy skin barrier that can be achieved with a skinimalism regime. Our customers get a healthy glow while replacing up to 8 beauty products by using our single powerhouse formula.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I have 15 years of beauty care experience in business development, product development, and everything in between! I had the lucky circumstance to find my first job out of college with a beauty ingredients company and loved it from day one. They had a great team of people who cared about the science of ingredients and taught application chemistry in their own company lab. Coming out of University California Santa Barbara with a science degree there were really two clear paths to go down…. lab work or something else, I decided on something else. This was the kickstart to my beauty career and was the right mix of creative, science, and working with people. The first day in the company lab I created a complex emulsion and stayed over 12 hours sifting through product information. I knew I was hooked.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Interestingly my bosses commented throughout my career that I bought an entrepreneurial spirit to all of my business development roles. Until I conceived DEW MIGHTY, I usually had a lot of freedom to run areas of business for other companies and enjoyed the collaborative aspects without the personal financial risks. I was steering in a new career direction when I had an intense passion to formulate an innovative product. This company came to fruition because timing and preparation met the right opportunity.

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?

Marketing has not been a large part of my beauty background AT ALL. I began with a strategy that quickly became a steep learning curve of trial and error for digital presence and DTC sales. I learned a lot from others but it was grueling work. The strategy became the “unplan” and testing until we found a sweet spot of customers who really cared about their skin care and planet. We continue to test avenues and roads even now but continue to self-fund and bootstrap our way through digital advertising.

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?

I can’t stress enough the importance of incremental changes and tests. Plan to the best of your ability but eventually you will have to decide on a marketing strategy or a sales strategy and go for it! Decision paralysis can be the death of a company with a great service or product. In April 2020 we launched at the beginning of the US shelter in place. We had 2 decisions to make, push forward with our first product launch or wait? With a limited budget and a huge unknown we chose to keep moving forward. We needed a more robust digital marketing strategy and learned this the hard way until finding our sweet spot in late summer. I still believe this was the best decision for the company to keep moving forward and I learned a lot during this time. For what it is worth you don’t know what you don’t know until you take the leap of faith.

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

There are so many great features and articles (even a review by Hyram of @skincarebyhyram and @shelbizleee where we are called the most innovative product they have seen!) so it is tough to choose. If I had to pick one as of late I would say our partnership with FabFitFun as a Spring 2021 add-on. This was a big leap from our usual direct to consumer sales and was an exciting opportunity to work with a company who was striving for higher sustainability. It has been a great experience and was wonderful to be a part of an organization willing to cater to new brands like us and share unique sustainable products with their millions of beauty lovers.

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

I tend to hire based on dedication, passion, and quick thinking/problem solving which doesn’t really lend itself to specific interview questions. Talent and knowledge plays a large part in any role but I have been stung by creative types in the past who tend to have a relaxed and trust me attitude. Since many questions don’t reveal these characteristics well, I now usually like to meet for a coffee or a meal to interview and get a bit more background on their life and work with organic storytelling. I always need to feel like they have a passion for our business and wiliness to understand our unique product vs the “most experienced veteran in beauty.”

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

We had no idea the impact COVID-19 would have on our community when closures began so this was an unprecedented time. We had moved our launch date from late 2019 to March 2020 when the first shut down in California took place. There was little way to prepare or predict the outcome so we decided to wait several weeks and launch Earth Day April 22nd 2020. In some ways it was a gift because there is never enough time to perfect a website or product. I look back now and am grateful for the few additional weeks of preparation. When you plan and create something for years, leave your stable full-time job (and paycheck) to pour your passion into a company, there is always a huge risk to consider regardless. I felt that climate change, overuse of natural resources, the use of plastics which lead to obscene levels of landfill trash, and hyper-consumerism needed to be addressed. The pandemic created heightened awareness in fairness of wages, equality across all people, the need for many to evaluate what created happiness in their lives and more digital communication than ever before. In some ways I think my main learning is that there are challenges and obstacles no matter what timing you launch a business. Staying focused and true to your brand will be the most important way to carve a successful path

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

We plan to launch several new products in the next year so we can round out our beauty regime with other powerhouse products. We will always focus on offering the best in efficacious skin care while supporting a skinimalism regime so we tend to spend years on R&D to ensure the same key characteristics (dermatologist reviewed for all skin types, effective, multi-tasking and very effective results!). We currently ship and are a carbon neutral company but also have goals to become a Certified B Corp and have additional involvement in non-profit organizations.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

There are always challenges that can occur no matter how much you plan and dissect a situation. Make the leap to begin your business journey and continue moving forward, don’t live with any regrets.

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

There is never enough time or resources when you run your own business so you have to be very passionate to take the leap of faith. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed so make one step at a time and have your big picture goals in mind.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

I think I might have a better balance now than I did 8 months ago. There was a period after launch that was so lopsided it was nearly all work and very little life. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself setting lofty goals so I wouldn’t have been happy any other way. My tip would be do what makes you happy and feel accomplished, in the long run this is the best balance overall.

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

I think I might have a better balance now than I did 8 months ago. There was a period after launch that was so lopsided it was nearly all work and very little life. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself setting lofty goals so I wouldn’t have been happy any other way. My tip would be do what makes you happy and feel accomplished, in the long run this is the best balance overall.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I formulated and started the patent process on our first product. Creating the products and packaging seemed like the natural start to my business but not many people realize I’ve always had a passion for application chemistry.

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

I honestly wake up each day excited to see what that new day brings! I’d say three tips that work best for me is to take a sweat session break (hour of running or some kind of work out), write a list of the top daily goals, and schedule out the high priority needs. If you get hung up on something move onto the next item and just revisit it later in the day. Productivity is usually a feeling and can fluctuate from time to time.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista is about dreaming, persevering, and achieving your created definition of success.

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