We Had to Ask

When Suzanne and I conceived of Sweet and Kind, we wanted to not only create an amazing line of skin and body care that would become fixtures in your bath cabinets. We also set out to create a company that we would be proud to welcome other women into. We are inspired every day by the fellow female entrepreneurs we encounter on our journey. The road seems to stretch out much further ahead of us than what’s behind, and that’s fine by us. We’re in great company.

Mary Katherine Schenkel and Suzanne Zelov

In honor of female entrepreneurs everywhere, on this International Day of the Woman, we asked a few of the most amazing women we know what keeps them going, even when the road gets rough and the desire to give up creeps in. We hope these answers inspire you to keep going on your own journey, and that giving up simply isn’t an option. Here is the question we had for all of us taking the exciting and sometimes lonely road in starting a business-

What is one thing you wouldn’t change in your journey as an entrepreneur, even though at the time you felt it was difficult and made you want to give up?

Suzanne, Sweet and Kind– I believe in the power of the hemp plant. It’s been so maligned for so long, and I’m always defending it’s use. The learning curve for the general public has been steep and slow to change. If there’s anything that keeps me going, it’s knowing that there are more people out there that I can convince of the amazing effects hemp can have on our mental and physical well being. And it’s fun to have  conversations where someone walks away saying they want to try it!

Mary Katherine, Sweet and Kind– We thought we had everything all buttoned up when we launched. Then after about 3 months, the credit card processor had a major shakeup, and suddenly we couldn’t accept most major cards. Banks and processors were still skittish about CBD. It was a big setback (or so we thought). But as we worked through the issues and got set up with another processor, we found that our fears dissipated when we tackled a few big tasks each day. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that fear won’t be the driving force behind our business, flexibility will.

Melanie Hernquist, Lucky+Lovely

Melanie Herndquist, Designer and Founder, Lucky + Lovely As a creative entrepreneur, experimentation is a huge part of my process and I wouldn’t change it one bit. I have tried out countless things, I have experimented, I have taken risks and failed more times than I would like to admit. You have to have resilience and grit on this journey because usually something beautiful happens when you are willing to be brave and stay true to your business.

Heather Fink, The Sexiest Beauty

Heather Fink, Founder & CEO, The Sexiest Beauty– Everything. Every day has inherent challenges and I wouldn’t change anything.  Because without fail, every day at least one fabulously, exceptionally incredible thing happens. For example, hearing we’ve made a difference in someone’s day – like today, our fabulous customer Tania in New Zealand who gets Rose Balm shipped over texted me this morning:  “Just sending love from afar…every day when I put on your balm, I have a little ritual of inhaling it and slowing down 🙏💖”. Her words kept us going one more day. How could we give up after hearing that?  That has been happening for over 1,000 days now, without fail.  I believe it’s the universe’s way of saying “just keep going”.

FUN FACT- Heather was recently selected as the Top Cosmetic CEO of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals!

Lynn Power, Co-Founder & CEO, MASAMI thought when we launched that we would need and want investment money (outside of our initial House La Ruche investment). I’ve been watching all of these twenty-somethings get millions of dollars for less differentiated products than mine. But as much as investors liked our proposition and product, Covid added a level of trepidation. We heard consistently, “let’s talk when you get more traction.” I also had an investor say that I was too old to launch a successful company. That was super disheartening. So, I just decided that as nice as it would be to have money to grow and get faster momentum, I’d rather focus my time on building my business. Which I’m happy I’m doing. It’s hard to constantly worry about cash flow, but the upside is that we have total control of our destiny and we’re growing aggressively and are now in Australia and the UK.