Creative Profile: Lo & Behold Naturals

Meet Lizzie! She's the Girl Boss over at Lo & Behold Naturals - She has been killing it in her home which basically doubles as a packaging and manufacturing facility. This girl takes no shortcuts and works hard to make sure every product is 100% 

Her natural products have made their ways into stores across the state and soon the country. These 100% natural body products smell amazing, make your skin feel luxurious, and are some of our favorite products! 

Be on the lookout for a fun giveaway coming to our Instagram page and keep reading to learn more about Lizze and her amazing products.  

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

How did you get started in your field? How did you know you wanted to start this business? How did your craft come about?

Growing up running a business was not my dream, but looking back it is clear that Lo & Behold is the ultimate combination of many of my passions. I always loved skincare and was adamant about my routines. I was raised cooking,  literally making dinner for my whole family when I was 5, so experimenting with combinations and ingredients has always been fun and easy for me. As a teenager I worked on a farm and was introduced to herbalism, I spent lots of time learning about plants and their healing properties. I had another job in retail and really liked helping customers, my boss at the time told me I was meant to sell, but I shrugged it off. Around the same time I was introduced to essential oils, and I started using them to help me focus and relax.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

Flash forward and my work really began right after college when I started making my own products as a hobby. I was living in Baltimore at the time working in the education field, and in reaction to spending years in school myself- I was eager to use my hands and learn how to create all the things I had been buying. I started making my own yogurt, kimchi, bread, and then finally skincare. I was amazed by how effective the products were, and my interest quickly turned into an obsession.

I spent all my free time creating new products and friends and family flooded me with positive feedback, asking for more. I was struggling with not enjoying my job, I really missed my home state of NC, and I just felt lost. One night my best friend Rebekah told me to take a hot bath and moisturize because it always made me feel better. Something just clicked- I realized these products could help other people feel better too, and I knew then that I wanted to move back to NC and turn this obsession into a business.

 

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

What is the hardest thing about being a small business owner?

For me the hardest thing is life/ work balance. Between being completely obsessed with my work and building the business from the ground up, L&B has really taken over. When I started the business I had another full time job and for a few years there I worked 7 days a week. When I was finally able to quit my day job, I felt this tremendous pressure, plus when you do every task for a business the checklist is never finished. 2018 is our fourth year in business and I finally feel like I can step back and breathe. Even with help from employees and awesome interns, I have to remind myself daily to slow down and enjoy life outside of work. I am lucky to do what I love, but boundaries have become very important to maintain balance.

 

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

Tell me a little bit about your design themes! What draws you to the elements and mediums that you use? What inspires you?

I am inspired by the natural ingredients that I use and talented local artists that I know. When I started I had very little vision for the design, I knew I wanted something bright, but I was more concerned with the contents and functionality of each product. As the items started selling more to stores, it hit me that I wanted people to be able to walk down the aisles and immediately see a rose or jasmine flower and know exactly what natural ingredients are in the products.

While this idea was still sinking in, I met Amy Richards, a Raleigh based artist you just featured! I loved her artwork and was thrilled when she agreed to partner with me! For the “rebranding” I also started working with Suzy Porterfield of Davie Paper Co., a Carrboro based designer who creates more art for us and does all the branding work. I am so happy that working with these two local female businesses has done so well. People ask about the labels a lot,  and often if I hired a designer from a big city, or someone international, and it is always satisfying to say, “No, two local women.”

I love that our design isn’t just minimal, but rather the labels  give you a little art and vibrance with each use, and I hope to feature other artists as we grow.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

Describe your office space and what your most productive time to work is.

My office space is full of artwork (mostly Amy’s!), photos of loved ones, and checklists everywhere. I am constantly rearranging things to be more organized and efficient. My desk is right in front of the window so I can look up at birds and flowers every so often.  My most productive work time is mornings for sure, I love getting up as early as 5 a.m some days. I try to do all my more complicated office work in the mornings, and then switch to making, packing orders, or labeling in the afternoon.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

What is your favorite product & why?

I love all my products so this is pretty tough, but I would have to say the facial care set is my favorite.  Not only have these products drastically improved my own complexion, but I am so overjoyed with how many women have had the same experience. It has been unbelievably satisfying helping so many folks find a completely natural, non-toxic,  luxurious, and balancing skin care routine. I also love these products because I created them with lots of feedback from my most loyal customers from the Chapel Hill Farmers Market. The Face Toner, Cleansing Grains, and Face Serum are a perfect combination of my vision and awesome guidance from some powerful ladies I trust.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

What are some goals you have for your business?

My goal is to grow the business big enough to have a really strong team where every employee can focus on their strengths and passions, and together everyone is successful and happy. I want our team to include several students from the Durham non-profit we already work with, Partners for Youth Opportunity. Not only do I love that the students income goes towards college savings, but I am so impressed by the students capabilities. I am very excited that our first PYO intern from a few years ago is coming back this summer to work part time!

Another big goal for me is using more local ingredients. It can be hard to balance scale and growth with sourcing locally. For example, I haven’t been able to find a farmer or beekeeper who can produce enough beeswax for us. Luckily I have a few local partnerships with small farmers that are really working out, as well as some new partnerships that are very promising.  I have some lovely new products planned with shining local ingredients.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

Describe your office space and what your most productive time to work is.

My office space is full of artwork (mostly Amy’s!), photos of loved ones, and checklists everywhere. I am constantly rearranging things to be more organized and efficient. My desk is right in front of the window so I can look up at birds and flowers every so often.  My most productive work time is mornings for sure, I love getting up as early as 5 a.m some days. I try to do all my more complicated office work in the mornings, and then switch to making, packing orders, or labeling in the afternoon.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in their small business?

I would say work hard, trust your gut, and take care of yourself.  There is no one way to run a business,  so do what feels right for you. There is a lot of information out there to learn, and please learn more, read the business books, talk to others. But at the end of the day check in with yourself  and don’t let insecurities or comparing yourself to others get in your way. I also can’t emphasize how far hard work gets you. My dad is a self employed musician and one of the hardest workers I know. Growing up people would say, wow he is so lucky! It always frustrated me because he wasn't just lucky, he worked really hard! This mindset has completely stuck with me with my own business. Sure, some of my success is pure luck, and I am especially lucky to have such a supportive family and community, but a lot of my success has been due to hard work. However, I also neglected a lot of self care when working too hard and am still searching for better balance. I try to remind new businesses to slow it down once and a while, pat yourself on the back, and take a bath or something!

 

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

What are your most effective marketing tools? Business tools? Things that drive your business?

Our marketing is a combination of in person events and social media. We connect with a lot of people at markets, workshops, and demos. Social media has also been very powerful, so many customers and stores have found us on instagram and facebook, it is pretty remarkable. I am sure our marketing will expand as we grow, but for now that combination has been great.

My business tools would be business books, podcasts, and talking to other business owners and friends. The Triangle is not only full of small business owners, but very kind ones. I have received a lot of great advice from other makers and food businesses. I also have what I  consider my “counsel”- a few customers, friends, and family members who help me with decisions. Lately the main person I have been discussing decisions with is my partner Russell, he works with me full time now, and has a very rational approach to things when all I see is the creative fun stuff. It has been incredibly helpful talking through growth plans with him.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

Where can we buy your products?

Lo & Behold Naturals  is available online through our website, at local markets, and at over 30 independently owned stores. In addition to our own website, several thoughtfully curated online stores offer the products. You can find us 2-3 times a month at the Chapel Hill Farmers Market, a few times a year at the Art Market at Vega Metals in Durham, almost weekly at Duke Farmers Market April- September, and lots of awesome craft shows. These shows include Patchwork Market, Locally Made Market, and now a few out of state shows! We love the stores we work with and always encourage customers to shop with them, most of these  stores are in NC, but we also work with a few out of state as well! We are constantly updating the website with stockists and events, so please visit there for more information.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

I truly cannot thank everyone enough who has been part of this exciting path. I am still pinching myself daily that I have gotten to build this business and that people love the products. I always want to hear from you, whether the feedback is completely positive or if you don’t love the packaging or want to see something in a new scent! Write to me, message me- whatever, I am here and I want to talk with you. None of these products or the business would exist without you. Thanks to everyone who has believed in me and supported L&B.

lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business
lo & behold naturals - creative community - women in business

Don't forget to check out Lo & Behold Naturals website to find out what pop-up shops she will be  at next and shop her great products!

Jessica Fowler