Being the Little Engine That Could...

May 14, 2013

I read somewhere recently that in order for someone to want to buy your product, they need to believe it has everything they want, then it sells itself. I thought to myself, well, our products have everything you want – high quality ingredients, made in small batches with care and attention, no fillers, no synthetics, no chemicals, fresh, clean, healthy. We know this about the products we make at Sola, but how do we get the word out? With no marketing budget besides Facebook posts, the occasional giveaway, and our quick wit (!?!), it’s all really tricky. Besides being folks who are naturally averse to marketing anyways, this just makes things more difficult.

I was already pretty skeptical about claims of so many products out there... are they really delivering on what they promise? But with beautiful models, expensive marketing campaigns, being in every department store or drugstore - you’re bound to sell a lot of product. But we don’t have that. We are a small, start-up, home-based family business, where the bottom line is honesty, and producing a product that is fantastic, because it’s our name on the line.

We started making our own products because we were not happy with what was out there. We were saddened by the amount of green-washing in the skincare industry, and how so many companies take advantage of their trusting consumers. If it says "natural" on the label, it must be true, right?  If it says Moroccan Argan Oil in the title of the product, that must be the first ingredient, right? No and no.

People want to use the best, safest, healthiest products for themselves and their families.  People are busy. People read the front of a product, and if it says “Natural! Organic! Fresh! Green!” and most will trust that the company has your best interests at heart, and believe the claims without reading the ingredients.

I used to be just like that, until I learned about the practice of green-washing. I learned how to read ingredient lists and realized, wow, companies assume consumers aren’t that smart.  Integrity is pretty high on our list here, and that’s why we list each and every ingredient that goes into our products. We have a page on our webpage that explains what each and every ingredient is, and why we use it.

Here's an example of your average skincare product ingredient list.   Now…where did I put my chemistry degree…..

When I started learning about what all these chemicals were in the skincare products I was using on myself and my children, it made my head spin... preservatives, emulsifiers, parabens, phlalates, plastic micro beads, and other synthetic ingredients. I knew I didn’t want to keep using these products. I wanted to know what is going on my skin, and decided that I may as well figure it out myself. So, here we are.

Starting your own business is a very unnerving thing. We've been so grateful to have so much support from family and friends, and ultimately (hopefully) that is how Sola will grow- through those who are close, trying our products, and recommending them to friends.

All we can ask for really, is a chance to prove that Sola really delivers on its promise of honest, natural skincare. We work really hard, and we want this to be something that can help sustain our family, in a good way, without having to do things “for corporate” or cut costs “for profit”.  We use the best ingredients, create our products with the most care, and believe in what we are doing.

We want to be the little engine that could. We believe in our company and products, and would love to be able to expand, and really do great things. We hope you believe too, and give us a shot to show you that we are a trustworthy option in skin care- an alternative to the big corporations. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

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