I absolutely fell in love with Kishya Hayden's brand and products, Naturally Me, when I ordered her chemical- and preservative-free Baby Butter for my friend's newborn. My friend loved the moisturizer so much she ordered more, not to mention the bath bombs make pretty awesome gifts too. Recently we had a chance to ask Kishya about her entrepreneurial journey and about the benefits and challenges of being a business owner. Check out her inspiring story below.
What made you start Naturally Me?
"Naturally Me began way different than I had imagined. I had plans for a new business venture selling all things natural for the hair. While writing this goal I was dealing with children with severe eczema and allergies. My baby girl was suffering the most and I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I was literally watching her bleed at night and toss and cry from her eczema and scratching. I stayed up many nights researching natural oils and herbs that could soothe her skin. I spent hours on the phone asking my mom for old remedies for dry skin. I finally made my baby girl her own lotion with calendula in it. She finally had some relief but it wasn’t thick enough for her skin. I finally remembered black soap I had learned about in Atlanta, remembered reading about Shea Butter benefits and started once again mixing up my own products for her. I watched her skin change so much the doctor asked what I was doing, and I quickly informed [the doctor] it wasn’t the steroid creams. As I posted my butters on Facebook people began to order and I decided to make a business out of it."
What has been the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur?
"The most difficult part of being an entrepreneur for me is the money. You not only see little to no profit in the first five years of business but it’s even more difficult when you are your own capital. I didn’t get loans, investors or anything else. I used my own money to buy my supplies and I still do. The other hard part is your 24/7 schedule. People will tell you to take time for yourself but it’s easier said than done. You are always open when you have your own business. If you aren’t making your products then you are doing inventory, taxes, shipping or research. There's always work to be done. You have to force days off."
What part of being a business owner was the largest learning curve for you?
"The learning curve for me was learning sales tax, learning to properly price your products and pay yourself. I am still learning these things to this day. The other thing I had to learn was training your Customer, and saying no. I have a hard time saying no and going too far for my customers. Customer service is very important to me but I have to make sure I’m not kicking myself in the buns by going overboard. It may be costing me."
What new product are you most excited about right now?
"A new product I have out that I love and my customers seem to love as well is the whipped soaps! It’s something special about using a soap that gets you clean but isn’t a bar, feels like butter, and moisturizes! Once I add the beautiful colors and amazing fragrances you fall in love with taking a shower all over again."
What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?
"My advice to other entrepreneurs entering this world of ownership...take your time. If you make your own products you have to learn to take breaks, pace yourself, and understand error will happen and things won’t always go right but keep going. I’m still working on taking breaks. I would also recommend a book on pricing, we all need to be better at pricing our items to sell and make enough money to keep going, especially as a new business owner in a field that may be flooded."
Thanks for taking time to answer our questions Kishya!
P.S. We're waiting on the plumeria whipped soap to arrive, so excited! You can order some goodies too at https://www.naturallyme502.com/