Browsing "Naturals by Gina B."
Sep 29, 2014 - Naturals by Gina B.    3 Comments

The plight of an entrepreneur

Although I’ve spent about half of my career as an independent, I’ve recently learned that there’s a distinct difference between offering a consulting service and manufacturing my own products.   In fact I will quietly admit that if I’d known all that was involved in getting a product off the ground, I might not have jumped in feet first.  That said, I guess there is a benefit to ignorance.

Although Naturals by Gina B. is a burgeoning company that has yet to really take off, I’m tenacious, encouraged, and therefore optimistic.  A few key lessons that I’ve learned so far to share for anyone who is thinking about becoming an entrepreneur in any industry:

  1. Relish in your mistakes.  I’ve made a lot of them, and I’ll make many more.  Some of them have nearly caused me to pack up my materials and take down my website.  I’ve learned to laugh at them, and in most cases just write another check.  My solace is that I’ll never make the same mistakes again (and if I do, I’ll have to laugh again, and write another check).  Enjoy the journey.
  2. Everyone will not love your products.  This is common sense, because everything is not for everyone, however when you spend a long time working on something and create an outcome that you’re absolutely enamored with, you want the world to share in your excitement.  Newsflash . . . most of the world will not.  In fact people think absolutely nothing of making negative sideways comments that will not make sense to you, and make your doubt your creation.  Move on and find your audience.  It’s there.  You just have to look for it.
  3. Marketing is a real struggle, and it takes time.  In this age of information, we are over-saturated with content.  Yours needs to stand out and you must have a strategy.  I’ll let you know when I develop one.
  4. Take the time on the front end to properly set up your organization.  This includes incorporation, solidifying all legal documents, bank accounts, etc.  It’s more difficult to implement a proper structure on the back end than to set up your company correctly in the beginning.  Fortunately, I learned this lesson several years ago with my first business.  Never again.
  5. Here’s a hard lesson — most of your friends will not support you.  And it’s not because they don’t love you, but you can’t rely on your friendship base as your customer base.  Nor should you.  As an example, I’ve penned at least 4 regular columns, and some of my very close friends have never read a word that I’ve written.  Now don’t get me wrong, some of your friends will be incredibly supportive and insist on purchasing your product and becoming true customers.  Others will not and will expect that the benefit of your friendship is endless free shit.  Maybe it’s because they feel that you know they’re in your corner, or perhaps they’ve known you so long that they don’t take you seriously.  Whatever the case, it’s best to set the expectation in the beginning that your friends might be the last to jump on your bandwagon, and be surprised and appreciative when a few gems step up to the plate.  Your friends like you for reasons other than what you do for a living, and you should be happy about that.
  6. Don’t start off trying to make money.  I realize this is counter-intuitive, but if the end game is money you won’t succeed.  Be patient with the business and have low expectations in the beginning.  Focusing on money takes away from your ability to properly structure your business and provide good service.  Focus instead on your love for what you’re providing.  If you think too much about what you’re making, you will become disgruntled and resentful.  Find another way to make a living until your baby grows to become a prosperous adult.


That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’m sure there will be more as I continue to stumble through this.  Sigh.

Oh, and if you’re interested, check out my products!  :-)


May 8, 2014 - Naturals by Gina B.    No Comments

Accidental Creativity – Naturals by Gina B.

You know what?  I’m going to stop apologizing for taking such long breaks from blogging, because it never seems to do any good.  I need to embrace the fact that I’m a sporadic blogger and stop trying to “do better,” because this is probably the best that I can do.  For now.

Everyone has a social media persona.  Some people find each detail of their lives worth mentioning.  Some people use it as a form of promotion.  As for me, it tends to be an outlet for my temper, thus the title of this blog.  If I’m really happy, living my life, I’m MIA on social media.

That said, I’ve been extremely busy lately, creating things by accident.  Story of my life.  The BF and I have a debate as to whether or not I could be considered a true creative.  He says yes, because he’s an extremely sweet glass-half-full, ever-encouraged optimist.  I, on the other hand, say no (because I tend more to the pragmatic side).

I argue that I know true creatives and I’m not fit to dine at that table.  My dad is a true creative.  My friends Jen and Stacey?  True creatives.  My cousin and favorite graphic designer, Connie, is a true creative.

I would say that I’m an accidental creative.  I do what I like, and sometimes those things end up being interesting and give the illusion of creativity.  I’ll take it.

Writing columns was born of a place of need.  I had thoughts that I needed to release, and stories that I needed to tell.  I needed to find a way to laugh at my own ridiculous love life.  The G-Spot was created, and I was fortunate enough to find people who would allow me to do it in a public forum.

And because I like to abandon all rules of journalism in my blog, I’ve provided you with a long (somewhat irrelevant) introduction and buried the lead, which is that I have another accidental endeavor that will be soon officially revealed.

If you’re fortunate enough to have escaped my endless chatter about this topic, I’m releasing a line of body products.  At this point, they only amount to two body balms and two body scrubs, and the company name is Naturals by Gina B.  I would tell you the individual names of the products, but I would have to kill you.  I truly mean that, because they’re trademark pending and took a LONG time for me to decide on.  I would literally kill for them.

There’s a story (because of COURSE there is).  Long story short, I was unhappy with my hair.  (If you know me personally, you will know that I’m ALWAYS unhappy with my hair)  I was displeased because my naturally curly/wavy hair had been heat damaged and I’ve been left with areas that are straight and others that have remained curly, somehow.  Not really high on the cuteness scale, and very distressing.  I didn’t love any of the products on the market (and I have an entire closet full of them to prove it).  So I decided that I was going to make a super-product myself that I would formulate specifically to address my issues and get my curls back.

Chemistry was one of my favorite subjects in high school — and in life, really.   So I got busy blending natural ingredients and came up with a usable conditioner.  I learned a harrowing lesson.  The trouble is that, once damaged, curly hair can’t be restored (it’s still a hot mess and I will ultimately have to cut it in stages).  However, I did really enjoy the residual effects that my concoction had on my skin.  So, I retooled the product, worked on texture, and lo and behold, I had body butter.

I instantly fell in love with my own product because it was made with my issues in mind and addressed all of my needs for moisturized, glowing skin.  I hate sticky products and watery lotions, and mine have none of those qualities.  I also detested lotions and oils that soiled my clothes, and my concoction dried quickly on the skin without staining my garments.  I could also use it on my face and it would eliminate the post-cleansing tightness without making me look like a walking oil slick.

I was lounging poolside in LA with a girlfriend.  She needed oil and I offered mine.  She wanted to know the brand, and I confessed that I had made it myself.  She enthusiastically told me that I should think about marketing and selling them.  I laughed and sipped my refreshing Chardonnay spritzer.  What a cute and funny idea.

Then, as I began letting others try my product, they agreed.  They say that it’s very emollient and works wonders on dry skin.  And when the BF became addicted to another product that I made — the body scrub — I gave it serious thought.  Love him, but he’s one of the most particular people I know.

So here we sit, nearly a year later.  I’ve done endless market research.  I’ve gotten deeper into the science of it — which has been SO much fun and rewarding.  I’ve picked out packaging and sourced materials.  I’ve turned my friends into my own personal guinea pigs and foisted samples upon unsuspecting strangers.  I’ve created a list of future releases and I haven’t been this excited and anxious about anything in years.  If ever.  Who knew?

I will be keeping everyone posted on the official date of release.  If you’re interested in trying a sample, let me know.  The problem is that I’m not mailing anything yet, so you’ll have to be local and see me in person.  If I don’t have any in my purse, the BF usually has a few tucked in his pockets.

I won’t harass anyone about trying my products.  I only ask that if you’re one who consumes such products, that you will give mine a shot.