Hello! My name is Lauren and I am the founder of Naturally Made Essentials and L & D University.
I have always had a desire to work for myself. After many failed attempts due to a lack of persistence and motivation I was still searching for my “why”. What was I meant to do with this life? I have been surrounded by the working-class, 9-5 environment my whole life and I’ve always known that convention was not for me.
While working as a restaurant server most of my adult life, with some experience in salons and retail as well, I always had a small thought in my mind of owning my own business one day but never thought that I’d actually have the capability of doing so. Since meeting my husband, he has always had the drive to go out and get what he wanted. His motivation was something I envied. I knew I had it in me but always had a fear of failing.
I was pregnant and working three jobs (don’t get me wrong, this was my choice since I knew I would be out of work after giving birth) but I knew that my life was meant to be more than that. I felt myself settling for average and this scared the hell out of me.
Once I looked into my son’s eyes for the first time, I knew I had to do something to change the course of my life. There’s nothing like the need to provide for your child is the inspiration to do the best you have ever have before.
After Chase was born, my drive became even stronger to own my own time to be able to stay with him and watch him grow. I wanted to find a way that I could stay home with him. While working a couple part-time jobs, I started the company Bibs for Kids. I was making handmade bibs in my living room and selling at markets to donate a part of my proceeds to childhood causes and non-profits. Yes, this was something I was passionate about, considering my son was a preemie, but it wasn’t going to pay the bills or allow me to have the lifestyle I wanted with my family.
During the time I was pregnant and Chase’s first few months of life, I became more and more aware of the dangerous chemicals in products we were using in our house and now using with our son on a daily basis. This led me to begin using essential oils.
Many of the products I found were either very expensive or were products that I had no idea whether or not I could trust the quality. There was no in-the-middle option for me to find quality essential oils that were reasonable in price. It didn’t take long for me to notice that the market had a HUGE void for affordable essential oils that were pure in quality, along with quality accessories and supplies. Many of my online purchases came with a lot of frustration as well as wasted money. Not only did my products take FOREVER to arrive (often months), but these companies were impossible to get a hold of if I had a question.
Something clicked. I knew I could run a company better than these people. I knew I could provide a product and service that was trustworthy and that would genuinely help others. This is when the idea of Naturally Made Essentials was born. The education piece for me as a consumer was something I felt was missing so providing resources, education, and tools for anyone using our products was what I wanted to focus on to set us apart.
The online business world was something brand new to me and was scary at first. After a lot of research and tons of help from my husband, we began to create relationships with manufacturers and made the decision to take the leap and start our own e-commerce business and launched in January 2017!
The beginning was a learning experience but we stayed persistent. We were committed to growing our knowledge about our customers, providing them with the very best customer service, and making sure our products were not only the best quality but that our customers received them quickly.
After months of trial and error, hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of training, and many marketing dollars, we started to see one small success after another (with many setbacks in-between). By April 2017 we increased our marketing efforts and by July 2017 we reached our first $100,000 month! Our 700 square foot apartment that we were running the business out of was starting to look more like a warehouse than a home!
Since then, we’ve accomplished our goal of working full-time for ourselves, reached a million dollars in revenue, and ultimately began to own our time as a family. Not only has the success allowed us to enjoy watching our son grow up but has allowed us to invest and acquire another e-commerce business doing 7 figures in revenue as well.
Even with the success, we have had so far and a to-do list that never goes away, I still do not send my son to daycare. My inspiration for starting the business was to spend time with my son and I vow to never lose sight of that. My husband and I work from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed even sometimes through the night. We tell ourselves “Don’t wake up at 2 am and answer emails” but it doesn’t work very well. The tasks that can’t be done with Chase by my side, I complete while he naps. Running a business and having a family is hard, but the payoff has been beyond worth it.
Being an entrepreneur wasn’t something I was born with but is something that I have learned along the way. You don’t have to be born with it but you do need to have the persistence, passion, and devotion to making it happen. Finding the courage to believe in myself took time but after I found my “why”, it has helped me to create long-term goals for both my life and my family.
Now that I have this experience and continue to learn more and more each day, I’m inspired to help others that may be in the same place I was just a little over a year ago. After realizing how important the education aspect of our business was for our customers, we now want to offer the knowledge we’ve gained along the way to those who are starting their first e-commerce business or growing their online business. L & D University is our way to offer this support. If I can give others insight to the lessons I’ve learned in business during the past year, as well as help them discover their “why”, I know it will help them take their business from average to outstanding!
I would like to share my top three secrets I was able to learn while on my journey that I hope will help you with your business as well.