How a First-Time Entrepreneur (and Mom-to-Be) Built Her Business

SLATHER setup main2When Chelsea Cavender’s employer relocated from Arizona to Indiana in 2012, she had a choice: Move to Indiana or strike out on her own.

Chelsea chose the latter and launched SLATHERlotions to offer high-quality skincare products at affordable prices. Although she’s a first-time entrepreneur (aside from selling friendship bracelets as a kid), it’s not her lack of experience that’s interfered with planning for 2015.

“I’m having a baby next month, so I haven’t nailed down all my business goals for the year yet,” the soon-to-be first-time mom said. “I’m keeping it flexible.”

We don’t blame her! We caught up with Chelsea by email recently to learn more about her SLATHERlotions success story that has allowed her to build her business in a way that works for her — and her soon-to-be title of mom.

The DRIVE: Thanks for joining us, Chelsea! You’re a first-time entrepreneur. What inspired you to start SLATHERlotions?

2SLATHER Mothers Day Product GroupingChelsea: I have a degree in plant biology, so I’m inspired to harness the power of plants in everyday products. When my last company relocated, I knew I wanted to make natural, plant-based skincare products that are high quality yet affordable. So, I started making products that I’d like to use and shared them with others. And SLATHERlotions was born!

The DRIVE: What’s your favorite part of the job?

Chelsea: Complete creative freedom! I can make products I am passionate about exactly how I envision them. Plus, I make custom formulas for customers with specific skin sensitivities, issues, or wants. It’s a lot of fun.

The DRIVE: Tell us about one special moment in your journey as a first-time entrepreneur. 

Chelsea: I have a customer who has been allergic to every face product she has tried for years. It has been so frustrating for her to continually buy new products that are expensive and don’t work.

She took a chance and tried the SLATHER EYE and FACE & HAND Creams. The next time I saw her at an event, she ran up to tell me that she didn’t have any reactions to the products. She was so excited to finally find something that worked for her. It melted my heart. I was so happy for her.

The DRIVE: Tell us about one challenging moment in your journey. 

Chelsea: It is definitely challenging to trust your gut and stay confident that you are on the right path — especially if you compare your brand to others. Instead of comparing, I try to pull inspiration from successful brands to keep me motivated.

The DRIVE: How did you come to sell through Scott’s Marketplace?

2SLATHER ScrubsChelsea: I was invited to a Local First AZ event that introduced Scott’s Marketplace. Everyone from the team was so nice and helpful and it was an awesome concept. I was excited to hop on board.

It’s a real help to have access to all the marketing and branding advice. I am a one-woman crew, so I handle every aspect and department of my business. It’s been so helpful to have the blog, Twitter chats, and other resources to learn from and connect with other small businesses.

The DRIVE: What one product are you especially proud to offer via Scott’s Marketplace?

Chelsea: SLATHER EYE Cream is our best seller and my personal favorite! All natural, plant-based, light, and silky, it soaks into skin to help smooth, soften fine lines, de-puff, and simulate collagen for tightening. Plus, caffeine from green tea helps diminish dark circles. It smells great and feels great!

I’ve had many customers tell me, “I love your eye cream! It works so much better than the others I’ve tried and those others cost a fortune!”

That’s fantastic, Chelsea. Thank you so much for sharing your success story with us. Oh, and good luck with Baby No. 1!

Have your own success story to share? Comment below and we might feature you!

About the Author

Matt Simpson

Matt is a freelance writer for The DRIVE blog with expertise in digital marketing, social media, and copywriting. He's active in the #yesphx startup movement and has been recognized by AdWeek, Mashable, and more for digital innovation. Visit Matt's website or follow Matt on Twitter.

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