Q 1. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: Dermlove is a skincare company focused on creating the best products for your skin and the environment. Our promise is to use formulas containing only safe, effective ingredients that are backed by scientific research. Our products are fragrance-free, and our packaging is designed to protect ingredients and avoid the use of irritating preservatives, making them ideal for people with sensitive skin.
At the same time, we care about our environment. Our products are vegan and cruelty-free, our capsules are biodegradable, and our jars and boxes are recyclable.
We follow the highest manufacturing standards. Our capsules are manufactured in Italy, following European guidelines. Our products are dermatologist tested and have gone through efficacy, safety, and stability studies.
In plain words, we create skincare products to love your skin and the planet.
Q 2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: My Name is Ximena and I am originally from Bolivia. I moved to the US for my MBA at Harvard Business School. Before focusing in the cosmetics industry she was a project manager Boston Consulting Group in New York, and worked in the Hospitality Industry.
Q 3. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: As I was looking for a Vitamin C serum, I realized all serums in the market had a problem: Either they used Ascorbic Acid derivatives, which have very limited research that prove their effectiveness, or they used Ascorbic Acid that oxidized a few weeks after production, meaning nobody was really getting a product that worked effectively.
We worked over 2 years to bring to the market skincare capsules (serum) focused on a simple day and night routine with proven ingredients and a precise dosing that preserve ingredients potency
Q 4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Know your strengths, and ask for expert support in the areas where you are not as strong.
Q 5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Resilience: There is a big difference between getting a month-to-month check when you are an employee and waking up every day when you are starting your business, not knowing how it will go. You will have good and bad days. You need to enjoy the good days, and learn to recover quickly from difficulties
Hard work: This is not a 9-5 job anymore; it is like a baby that needs you 24/7
Passion: if you are not passionate about what you do, it will be very hard to overcome all the challenges and do all it takes to be successful
Q 6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: There is not really an average. It will depend on what needs to get done. For example the other day we were shooting a couple of videos for the brand. We started at 6:30 am and ended at 10:00 pm. Other days I do not have such a packed agenda, but I dedicate it to think more strategically about the business.
Q 7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: To hard work and passion. I am a very committed person
Q 8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: We recently launched Dermlove, and we were lucky to have a strong followership on Instagram from day one because we focused on building strong content before launching the product. I would say social media is what has helped us the most so far.
Q 9. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: We are self-funded. My husband and I both worked for almost than 10 years which allowed us to save enough capital to invest in our business.
Q 10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Best way to be successful is to always do things well. Create best-in-class products, offer a great service, partner with the best to market your product. When you do things well, results follow.
Q 11. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: We want to expand our line of products and grow outside of the US
Q 12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: In general, I admire businesses that work with their communities and create products that are good for their customers. That is why I love Sweetgreen. They create healthy and incredible salads, but also use sustainable materials avoiding plastics, and organic and local produce, supporting local companies.
Q 13. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: I do not think it is that much about time, as it is about the fundamentals of the idea and the capability of the team to implement it. If you have a good team and the idea solves a pain point, I think you can always adjust the product to make it work in the market. It is also a question on how much time and resources you are willing and able to invest.
Q 14. What motivates you?
Ans: ◦ Creating good quality products, that I can feel proud off
◦ Helping people with their skin concerns
◦ Being the best we can be. Not only to our customers, but also to our stakeholders, to the environment, to the world in general
Q 15.How do you define success?
Ans: I define it as being able to have a balance and being happy with the person you are. It is not only about the job, the money, the success. It is about the people that you have around. Success to me is having a family, feeling love and giving love, being passionate about what I do and being valued at what I do.
Q 16. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: By creating best-in-class products. There is no other way. It might take time, but if you have a good product, your customers will become your advocates and bring you more customers
Q 17. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: That you have the freedom to create, and that you can go at your own pace
Q 18. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: The first sale we had! After 2 years working to bring this product to the market, it was o exciting to see a person we never met, buy our product.
Q 19. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: My career has not been perfect, but I would not change anything. It has led me to meet my husband, to be who I am professionally today, and I would not like to change any of that.
Q 20. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: It has not really affected it as my husband, and I are true partners. We support each other and this has been just like taking a new job. It has actually given me a lot more flexibility as in my previous jobs I used to work 70-80 hours a week at least.
Q 21. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ans: I cannot give advice that works for everyone, some people might read this answer and think completely the opposite, but the biggest mistake we had was trying to go small. We were trying to work with a small manufacturer to start with a smaller investment. We quickly realized that in this business you need scale for innovation and to market the product. We decided to invest 10X our initial budget to work with the best manufacturer in Italy, and have some scale to amortize our marketing expense. This allowed us to bring to market high quality products and content.
For more information visit https://dermlove.com.