By Geraldine McCullagh, Founder of Me-Time Therapies.
When I launched my business Me-Time Therapies 24 years ago, my main offering was in-person massage and therapy treatments. For these appointments I had developed a range of natural, sustainable massage balms to use on clients.
The rise of clean beauty
Over the years I noticed that there was a huge demand for clean, eco-friendly beauty products using natural ingredients, something I was already making on a small scale for my clients. In 2017, I refined my products and their packaging and started selling on Amazon as an additional source of income.
People really care about what what goes into their skincare products so I am completely transparent about the ingredients I use. Similarly, the packaging used for all of my ranges is reusable and eco-friendly and everything is handmade with care by myself.
My massage balm, body butter, lip balm and self care kits, all use eco-friendly and 100% natural ingredients. What sets my products apart is that, given my aromatherapy background, I can create aromatherapy blends that will help customers feel relaxed or invigorated depending on their needs.
The impact of the pandemic
The client side of the business was still my primary source of income, so when the pandemic hit last year forcing me to halt all consultations I went into panic mode. I had appointments booked in that had to be cancelled and I had to completely rethink how I was going to make an income.
I refocused my business strategy on my products and doubled down efforts online. People were becoming increasingly conscious on mindfulness during a time of isolation, and demand for products like mine increased. People were either looking for something to use themselves, or as a gift to check in with loved ones.
How I shifted to sell clean beauty online
Thanks to having established a small business Storefront on Amazon, the pivot to a more product-led business model was fairly straightforward and it became my main source of income. This meant I was already in a good place to reach new customers and fulfil orders. Amazon’s distribution network was one of the ways I could maintain sales with a good service to customers.
With Amazon handling fulfilment, it meant I was able to focus more on making the high-quality products that my customers have grown to expect. As I am the only person in the business, it is reassuring to know that this aspect of my business is in capable hands.
There were several key ways I adapted my strategy to not only sustain the income I had lost from therapies, but make my products a more prominent part of my business and continue to grow during this time:
- I solidified the relationships with suppliers and placed more considered orders for materials strategic order sizes to ensure I was always properly equipped and limiting wastage.
- I doubled down on production and increased the inventory held with Amazon tTo meet the increased demand for my products. This helped me to not only meet delivery deadines, but also expectations of my customers.
- I expanded my product ranges to cater to new customer needs. As we emerged from the first Lockdown in July 2020, and massage therapists were returning to work, I developed the Muscle Relax Balm for more professional use. Similarly, in the run-up to Christmas, I launched the Self-Care Kit which proved as a popular gift as people isolated over the festive season.