LBC CLIENTS CELEBRATE A PROFITABLE + PRODUCTIVE 2018

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My clients made *big* money moves in 2018 and I’m so stinkin’ proud of their courage, tenacity, and smarts!  I’ve noticed that many of us are “head down” and eyeball-deep in the hustle, and we rarely surface to celebrate the wins. Celebrate client wins is one of my most favorite things to do, and as one of my final blogs of 2018, I wanted to pop a cork and celebrate the tremendous strides we’ve made both individually and collectively.

 

Celebrating Big Client Wins of 2018

 

I could be here all day tooting the horns of the Lucky Break community, but I’ve pulled together a handful of my favorite client wins from the year to share. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do!

 

Christy Rose of KBShimmer in  Terre Haute, IN also rocked a major rebrand this year, seriously up-leveling her collection of nail polishes. In the process, she expanded her team to include 3 full-time staff (in addition to Christy and her husband, who both work at KBShimmer). Even better? She hit her dream sales mark as of October 30, secured three international wholesale stockists to expand the brand reach, and grew her FB fan group by a respectable 28%.  Woooohooo!

How have we worked with Christy? LBU Graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, Brick House Branding graduate, my GMP class, Wholesale Matchmaker member, VIP Line Sheet Design.

 

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Kara Brook of Waxing Kara in Owing Mills, MD enjoyed a phenomenal year in the press. Among the highlights: She scored an 8-page (!) spread in the autumn issue of Danny Seo’s magazine, Naturally Danny Seo. Her artisan honey was also in the NYTimes, resulting in hundreds of orders and scads of new fans.  And her Haute Cocoa gift set took top honors in the IBN Artisan Awards for the “Bath + Body” product category, too.

How have we worked with Kara? LBU Graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, VIP Line Sheet Design, both my GMP + Spa Market classes, and private strategy sessions.

 

Sara Runser of LILY DE MAI in NY launched her brand and enjoyed a delicious round of press, including NY Magazine, Shape, Coastal Living, US Weekly and Style Caster.

How have we worked with Sara? LBU graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, member of Wholesale Matchmaker, VIP Line Sheet Design, and private strategy sessions.

 

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Michelle Smith of MamaSuds in recently underwent a major rebrand and all of that hard work has reaped some rich rewards this year.  Sales are up 40% versus 2017 figures.  She took home an accolade from the IBN Artisan Awards, too, in the form of top honors for the “Lifestyle + Home” category for her Laundry Soap.

How have we worked with Michelle? LBU Graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, Brick House Branding graduate, Wholesale Matchmaker member, and private strategy sessions.

 

Renan Kennedy of Sans Skincare has doubled her revenue in 2018, in addition to being honored several times throughout the year. She was named one of SCORE’s American Small Business Championship winners of 2018. As part of that competition, Renan was flown to Reno, NV for a celebration and intensive business workshops with industry professionals. She also pitched and was accepted by Home Shopping Network to participate in their intensive business incubator program. That meant another trip to Tampa, FL to attend an amazing week of business workshops put on by HSN.

How have we worked with Renan? LBU Graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, my GMP class + spa market classes, Wholesale Matchmaker member, and private strategy sessions.

 

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Angie Chua of bobo design studio in San Jose, CA  won the Indie Source competition at the MAGIC tradeshow in Las Vegas after a live pitch event. That accolade was accompanied by a $5,000 prize to help bring a new product to fruition. Angie’s also been recognized by local community officials, who awarded her a pop-up shop in downtown San Jose for six solid months! And that storefront is paying big dividends… Angie recently enjoyed the biggest sales day in the history of her company on Small Business Saturday this year.

How have we worked with Angie? Brick House Branding graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, and private strategy sessions.

 

Stacia Guzzo of SmartyPits in Tehachapi, CA had a banner year all the way round! She raised over $18,000 for City of Hope’s breast cancer research program through the sales of her priobiotic deodorant collection , and the SmartyPits team participated in their annual Walk for Hope. The brand expanded its retail reach from 150 to 900+ (1) stores while adding four teammates and a forklift to their lineup.

How have we worked with Stacia? LBU graduate, Brick House Branding graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, my GMP class, line sheet design, and private strategy sessions.

 

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Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics in Carbondale, CO launched a new initiative on Earth Day in 2018, vowing to plant one tree for every order they receive. In just over six months, she and her team have planted 12,609 trees! She hosted one hell of a Cyber Monday sale, planting 1,584 trees on that day alone. She also launched her limited edition “Craft Series” products as a way to indulge her creative side and play with some deliciously exotic ingredients. Each of those runs of products has sold out, sometimes in as little as a few hours. The icing on the cake? Sarah’s gorgeous soaps made the NYTimes Gift Guide!

How have we worked with Sarah? My GMP class and private strategy sessions.

 

Tamiko Blake of Sweet & True Sugaring in Walnut Creek, CA has seen a huge surge in revenue in 2018.  In fact, it’s up 250% (!!!) versus 2017 and she’s on the verge of launching an exciting new facial collection under a separate brand umbrella.

How have we worked with Tammy? LBU graduate, Brick House Branding gradate, Member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, both my GMP + spa market classes, and private strategy sessions.

 

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Zandra Cunningham of Zandra Beauty in Buffalo, NY had a banner year in terms of both exposure and support. She graced the pages of magazines and the airwaves of major television networks, from The Today Show to Entrepreneur Magazine. She pitched Shark Tank and the executives at Sephora offered to support the line, too. Zandra graduated high school in 2018 and bought her first car in cash. Huzzah!

How have we worked with Zandra? LBU graduate, Brick House Branding graduate, Member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, my GMP class, and private strategy sessions.

 

Aubrey Miller of REDBUDSUDS in Canton, OH landed an interesting deal with NuCamp, makers of teardrop trailers. She’s been supplying them her multipurpose soap bars for several years now, as NuCamp gifts a bar to each new trailer owner. But in keeping with Audrey’s mission to live simply and get outside, NuCamp offered her a custom trailer for a year and sponsored a nationwide pop-up tour for REDBUDSUDS. Pretty amazing, eh? And just wait until you see the custom trailer!  She was also accepted into the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy, a business training put on by the Outdoor Industry Association. It’s a 6-month training program in manufacturing, sustainability, and environmental advocacy as well as personal growth and development and Aubrey is honored to be one of only 35 people selected to participate.

How have we worked with Aubrey? LBU graduate, Brick House Branding graduate, Member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, and private strategy sessions.

 

Holly Marshmueller of Marshmeuller in Astoria, OR hit the trifecta of launches: relaunching her brand, launching a new website theme for her retail site, and revamping her wholesale website (including some Google-Fu level coding)! She was also accepted into Crafty Wonderland for the fifth consecutive year and the popular “Scary Mommy” blog opened an official shop which carries Holly’s line.

How have we worked with Holly? LBU graduate, member of the Alumni Coaching Community, Price-O-Matic software, member of Wholesale Matchmaker.

 

BRINGING HOME THE ACCOLADES

Several members of the Lucky Break community scooped some handsome awards, including…

  • Becky Bluh of Bluh Alchemy netted a record-breaking FOUR nominations in the Indie Beauty Expo Awards. She’s a BHB graduated who’s launching her rebrand in January of 2019, alongside the announcement that she’s landed her dream stockist, though we can’t spill the beans just yet!
  • Ebru Karuzoglu of AveSeena was also nominated in the Indie Beauty Expo Awards.
  • Molly Beane and her From Molly with Love brand received a nomination in the Indie Beauty Expo Awards.
  • Stacia Guzzo of SmartyPits garnered a nod, too, via the Indie Beauty Expo Awards.
  • Heather Lux of True North captured an honorable mention title in the IBN Awards.
  • Lisa Kennally of Wild Air Skincare received an honorable mention in the IBN Awards as well.

 

NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION DEALS

I was particularly excited to see several members of our community land national distribution deals. Especially robust high-five goes out to…

  • Gwen Jimmere of Naturalicious launched into select Sally Beauty Supply stores. The collection has performed so well that she recently announced the expansion into 640 stores nationwide!
  • Iyanla Vanzant of MasterPeace Body Therapy landed a multi-appearance deal with HSN.
  • Pamela Jenkins of Koils by Nature shimmied onto the shelves of Target.

 

Sharing that news with you makes me grin from ear-to-ear! I salute the hard work of each you and I’m privileged to have a front row seat to much of this growth. Did you enjoy a special win in 2018? I hope you’ll leave a comment below to shout it out.  I’d love to celebrate with you!

 

Are you putting a carefully edited product collection out into the world?

Are you putting a carefully edited product collection out into the world?

I’m gonna give it to you straight: launching a “too large” product collection is probably the most common mistake I see in my work with creative, product-based brands. Many of us are fueled by passion and creativity (and that’s a beautiful thing!), but it’s also a double-edged sword when we decide to launch a business. The key lies in nourishing that creativity while also giving it some healthy parameters so that we’re able to launch a carefully curated product collection that’s manageable from a logistical perspective and one that stands for something in the minds of our target audience.

 

Please say it with me: “Just because I can make it, doesn’t mean I should sell it.”

 

Launching too many products is a mistake because…

 

• It keeps product costs artificially high.

• It keeps profits painfully low.

• It divides your attention + diminishes the kind of focus that builds real business momentum.

• It makes it more challenging to truly “own” anything in the mind of the consumer.

• It’s typically an indicator that you’re unknowingly cannibalizing your own product collection.

• It contributes to indecision + chronic, low level anxiety among your customers.

 

What? ‘Tis true! If you’d like to dive into a good read about consumer psychology and the effect that an overwhelming number of product choices ultimately has on your consumer, then check out the book Decoding the New Consumer Mind by Kit Yarrow. It’s one of my favorites!

 

So what’s the fix? Thoughtfully editing your product offerings. Although I don’t suggest any standardized formula for how many products every business should make, I strongly believe that less is more.

 

TIPS FOR CULLING A BLOATED COLLECTION

 

Begin by reviewing your product costs and sales data. You should be able to pull this data from your accounting software and/or your e-commerce platform. If you have my Price-O-Matic system (commonly referred to as “the best damn pricing software on the planet), then your costs of production should be especially easy to tabulate and extract.  Review the data and then put it through this grinder.

 

1. What’s not selling? CUT IT.

Look at what’s selling. If it’s not moving in any significant quantity, then it needs to be relegated to the archives.

 

2. What’s not profitable? CUT IT.

What’s making you money? If you love making it and your customers love buying it BUT it’s not moving your financial ball forward, then it needs to die a quick death on the cutting room floor. And if you’re only guessing at your costs of production, then you’re essentially flying a plane blindfolded.  Yikes!

 

3. What’s not fitting in with your brand storyline? CUT.

If something doesn’t jive with what you’re all about, then cull it.  The product collection (and your company’s health with be better for it… promise!

 

Price-O-Matic is finally here!

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For far-too-many years, I struggled with how to price my products. Late nights of cursing and crying and worrying were commonplace as I wrestled to get a firm grip on raw material, labor and overhead expenses and then extrapolate a competitive pricing structure from those figures. Enter my tech-savvy husband: I sweet talked my brilliant better half into creating a piece of software to help me crunch my COGS and gain the upper-hand in pricing negotiations. After nine months in development (to make it extra-pretty and sprinkle it with tutorials), I’m thrilled to share my Price-O-Matic software with makers and creative entrepreneurs who want to ditch their calculator and make a living while making their art!

 

I’ve dubbed Price-O-Matic my “cost-tracking, profit-ensuring, price-strategy-defining weapon of mass satisfaction” and truer words have never been spoken. The skeleton of Price-O-Matic is what I’ve used to grow Bella Lucce from a teeny tiny company operating out of the kitchen of my 800 square foot house into a thriving company that still handblends its products (albeit in a 7500 square foot facility) for distribution to more than 1,000 spas and boutiques worldwide. Now I’ve paired the software with an hour-long pricing workshop, two worksheets and a video tutorial to create an integrated pricing tool for makers and creative entrepreneurs on a mission.

 

The Price-O-Matic system includes:

• The Mechanics Of Product Pricing Workshop
60 minute video workshop: learn how to price your products to ensure profitability across multiple distribution models

• Price-O-Matic Tutorial Video
Comprehensive video walk-through of the software’s features + functionality so you can get up + running in no time

• Price-O-Matic Software
Build + Cost + Analyze + Strategize any creative product

 

Claim your copy and grow your empire for just $199, exclusively at Lucky Break Consulting.