Whipped Body Goods is the brainchild of Lauren Doggett, a 24-year-old self-described “Ohio girl” who’s turned her background of culinary arts into a line of luxury body, hair and facial scalp butters and crÃ¨mes. With the help of her intern Maxine, Lauren has created a very successful handcrafted product that’s been praised for its all natural ingredients.
A true entrepreneur, Lauren raised the capital to start Whipped by living with her parents and saving money from her former job, working in sales at an e-commerce furniture store. She’d later use the knowledge she gained working at a web based small business and her handle of social media, to market her products, which judging by the rave reviews from her loyal customers look to be a must have this holiday season.
Black Enterprise: What drove you to start Whipped Body Goods?
Lauren Doggett: I initially started Whipped Body Goods due to the demand from friends and family. I’ve been creating these products for years for myself, before you could really even find a lot of natural products on the market. Unable to find what I was looking for in stores, namely products that were fragrant, organic & rich, I started making them for myself. Once my circle caught wind it was pretty much over, because everyone else wanted some.
When did you have your “Aha!” moment when you realized this could be profitable?
Prior to launching, I established myself as someone who knew her stuff when it comes to natural remedies & all things epicurean. I would tweet different holistic treatments or ideas about how to add natural products into your daily life. People would often ask me why I didn’t put some of my ideas on the market & inevitably that was my “aha” moment. I realized that my business could be profitable when I tweeted “in the kitchen making body butter” and had a dozen people ask where they could buy it. Initially I thought I’d just have a couple products here and there, but my reputation had preceded me.
Your business is very popular & successful. What are your plans for future expansion?
I’m actually having a lot of fun with my online store. I want to expand my product line to include even more things that individuals use on a daily basis. If it’s related to grooming, beauty or body care I want to be able to provide it. In the meantime, I plan on being at quite a few booths at upcoming festivals so please be on the lookout. I want to expand my facilities a bit and hire my first employee. I have a lot of ideas of products to add and ways to expand, but I’m going to have to bring in an extra hand or two to be able to do that.
In what way do you use social media to market your product?
Twitter is such an integral part of my business, and where the bulk of my customers come from. It’s great for a product like mine because when people find a great skin, hair or body product they generally want to tell someone! As a result I have incredibly great reviews right there on my twitter timeline, and the word of mouth exposure has been great for Whipped.
As the holiday season approaches, how are you preparing to handle the rush of new customers?
I plan on having quite a few gift sets available for the holidays. As a new company, quite a few people are interested, but not quite sure what to get. So I’m putting together sampler sets and other just generally awesome gift ideas.
In what way do you utilize mobile technology in running your business?
My iPad is my saving grace, it keeps me organized. With all of the apps out there designed specifically for business owners, it’s really a disservice not to take advantage of it. Organizers like Evernote and Fantastical help prioritize my day. I also keep track of product, manage supplies, customer service, etc., all on my tablet. It’s awesome for someone who is on the go. I’m currently working on an app for Whipped for customers on the go. Our store currently works on most smart phones too.
Do you have any advice to others who might be contemplating becoming an entrepreneur?
I wish I never held myself back; my new philosophy is to just jump sometimes. Nothing could have prepared me for the different nuances I’ve run into, and yet I’ve solved every last one of them anyway. The products I’m selling now are the same items I’ve been making for myself for years. I often considered selling them, but I’d start thinking about how I didn’t know how to do this, or how I should research that. It’s called a leap of faith for a reason.