Want to express yourself through your hair?
There are several parts in a person’s body which can be used to express one’s self, but the hair is one of those parts that’s least appreciated. Today’s guest is Jessica Lee, one of the founders and CEO of NVENN, a company that specializes in highlighting a person’s beauty through their hair.
Jessica has been a beautician for over 14 years, and this is the longest standing thing she has done in her entire life. Jessica believes that when you truly nail down who you are, you feel better, you do better, your relationships are better, your career is better, you're just overall more effective in life because you feel good.
“I love helping people to fall in love with who they see when they walk. But when they look at me, that's the biggest thing. And from there, as you get to know your clients and people that you meet, is one thing that I think a lot of people are missing is we do things just for the sake of doing things and not from a heart space.” – Jessica Lee
Jessica Lee is the CEO and one of the founders of NVENN, a company that has a mission of changing the world through beauty and hair. NVENN believes that a person’s hair is an expression of style and who he/she is as a person.
Learn more about how NVENN can redefine your hair’s beauty by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.
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Welcome to the thoughtful entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com, where we turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. So we believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. Even you stick around to the end of this show, where I'll share info on how you could be our next guest, three times a week, five to 15 minutes each learn from successful business owners and professionals. It's time to get inspired. Let's go. with Jessica Lee, you're the co-founder and CEO of NVENN and Dollar Eyelash Club, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. So you and I met at Social Media Marketing World and you have been using social media very, very smart, I've actually used you as an example to share with other people. I love what you're doing. And just so other people that are kind of like smart social media, people and business owners, if you want to see what Jessica is doing, just go to either one of her front, or either one of her websites you can go to then know then which is nvenn.com. And then of course the other one is dollar eyelash club. And you do the same thing there. And that is, you see these pictures of all of these social media users. They look like social media influencers. And guess what they're holding, they're holding Jessica's product. And Jessica took the screenshots of all those Instagram posts. And now she's got that as a as it as an authority block on the front of us. It's a social proof block on the front of your website. I honestly that that is so super smart. And I absolutely have to think that when people go directly to your website, they see that it's going to be you know, again, it's tells me that everybody else is using this product, this is the product that social media influencers are using, I should probably be using this product so and even you've got a caption on it says take a selfie with you in an event products, and then you got a hashtag for your chance to win. So talk about smart as a fox in generating user generated content. All right, Jessica, how did you get? Let's start off? How did you get into starting your own beauty company?
Well, it was a natural transition. I've been a beautician now for probably close to 14 years. It's the longest standing thing I've ever done in my life. And it's something that I've always been really passionate about, because I love helping people to fall in love with who they see when they walk. But when they look at me, that's the biggest thing. And from there, as you get to know your clients and people that you meet, is one thing that I think a lot of people are missing is we do things just for the sake of doing things and not from a heart space. So when we started this company, the event actually stands for or stems from the phrase invent your world in Latin, invented you to Mundo means to invent your world. And so as a company, what we're really passionate about is helping people to develop and figure out who they are at their core, not who we want you to be or who social media wants you to be, who do you want to be?
So that's how that
Yeah, so what does it help me connect the dots? So and I know I've read and I've heard a lot of great content around that. So I'm totally with you. But explain to me how our exterior or say someone who, you know, practices, beauty. Why is that? Why is our Woodside reflects Why is that important to you know, being able to convey who we are?
Well, I'm let's, I'm going to change that world. That word from beauty to self-expression. Let's say that, because when you truly nail down who you are on outward perspective, you feel better, you do better, your relationships are better, your careers better, you're just overall more effective in life because you feel good. So one thing about the beauty industry that I don't like is often it's portrayed or perceived from a place of vanity. And that's not it for us at all. It's more about self-love. And when you feel authentically you, you can go and change the world. Something that I always say to people is if it doesn't suit you, and brand you and it's practical for your life, then the style is not a 10 out of 10 it needs to be quick, easy, so you can feel good every day. Because every day we need to start fresh, right?
Yeah. So it's really, I mean, even just something smaller. So this morning, I said, Well, you know, I've got a bunch of calls, I'm going to be on zoom all day long. And it was kind of funny. I was like feeling my face. I'm like, man, I don't know, I kind of need to shave. You know what, I'm going to shave because I feel better. You know, I'm not feeling all like scraggly or whatever like that. So I do it. And because I feel better. I feel like I'm more confident than on those calls. Absolutely. No, ladies and gentlemen, don't wear makeup. You know, because it's fun to do necessarily. They do it because you fill in, you answer the rest of that.
Yes, exactly. And you know, it's I and I want to really reiterate, it doesn't mean putting on a full face of makeup every day or dressing with super press clothes. It's whatever it is that makes you feel enhanced. And like that you're really captivating your essence. That's all it is. For some people, that's no makeup. Actually, for some people, it is a full face, because that's just how they their personality fits right. I always say this to everyone. It's not necessarily what fits my face shape is what fits your personality. Are you bold, and actually I did a I did a makeover for someone this weekend. And he has been gearing up going out his hair. It's a guy for about a month now. And I'm like, Okay, before your appointment, I need you to come up with one word that you want to be branded as the best describes you that could be bold, it could be edgy, trendy, and from there is where we're going to craft your personal brand. And actually, we're going to take him shopping as well.
Overall brand makeover.
Wow. Wow. Alright, so take me back again. So you're working it to say that you're going to start your own your own beauty company. I mean, it sounds audacious to say you're going to come up with your own line, your own product line. How did you make that transition to doing that?
Well, one thing I've always believed is that when you're doing something, you're doing something. So one thing I talked about with a lot of my clients are like, well, I want to do this, but it's hard. Like how is that different than doing what you're doing right now everything is hard, you're just going to be doing something different. So why we wanted to craft this hairline was we wanted to make people's regimes easier in the morning. What's common now when you walk into a drugstore, or any kind of beauty salon is that there's hundreds of products there, oh, you need to mix one, two, and three, and you're going to get this result with our as you can see, it is what it is, if it's called volume, it's going to give you volume, if it's called texture, it's going to give you texture, our whole line will always be a boutique, short, smaller line, there's 11 skews right now. And we're probably going to add a couple extra products. But at the end of the day, that's it. So you can just grab it, they're all invisible. So you can layer five products into your hair, and they'll all completely disappear. Because ingredients are key. I actually just filmed a video of the difference between natural and non-natural ingredients and the effect that that has your health.
Yeah, I can imagine. So from a so you decide to launch a company with your own products, obviously, you know, visibility is so important is, you know, having a consumer product. So I can't imagine you were right out of the you know, right out of the gate. You were selling tons and tons of product. I mean, it's been it's it's absolutely a process to do this. But how did you get your first sales?
Oh, you know, me, my sister joke about this all the time. We call it the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. As an entrepreneur, it's really difficult because you come out and you think the world is your oyster. And it is right. But there's going to be work that involved with it. Just for example, our very first business plan that we wrote, we projected that we're going to make 1.7 million, and in the second year, we were making $11 million.
We're not even close.
So your dreams, right?
Right It is. And that's why I always tell people like you know, follow your dreams and also be a dreamer. And know that sometimes dreams take a little longer than you think. So their very first sale, one of our very first sales, we did a trade show, and we caught it. And my dad actually helped us because we were so young at the time. We carted so many cases of product into this trade show. And we ended up selling one product. But it was something that will always remember right, we did it and I remember in my dad was just so encouraging after she's like, Don't worry, girls, you got the first sale out of the way as he helped us to cart every single one of those boxes back.
And this and that. I mean, that is just so part of I mean, I can't tell you how many, you know, verge? I mean, essentially, you know carting products back that didn't sell. I mean, that's just that's just the territory. So, you know, what's wonderful is, you know, I, I heard something it's like, you know, in every failure, it's, you know, if we approach your or, you know, let's say you even have a disagreement, that was somebody, it's like, how is this disagreement going to fill me with more bless, you know, how does this bring me more blessed? How does this bring me more success and everything? You know, really is, I mean, it's wonderful when you make money doing it, but you know, you want to become the kind of person that is just so self-reliant and so bulletproof, that you can handle any failure. And because you can handle any failure, you're not going to give up and because you're not going to give up, it's inevitable. I mean, success.
That's what I say to everyone. I'll tell you, like, if I can have one piece of advice, what would it be like put one foot in front of the other every single day, I would not be where I am today, if I let every single know or every little failure stop me. And it's crazy to see how far we've grown from having sold only one product. And now having brand recognition, actually, in my little someone came up to me was like, This is not supposed to be creepy, but your dollar eyelash club and I follow you religiously on Instagram, and Facebook and all these other things. Like that's so cool. And then we were traveling in Vegas, we were in a hair show, someone came up to my sister and I was like, Oh, she came into my sister actually, and said, Is this you and pulled up our YouTube channel. And she's like, is your sister here? And so it's really cool to start getting that brand recognition. Our very first video on YouTube was put out a close to three years ago, and now has 2.1 million views. Just the one video.
that was incredible. Don't quit ever.
Yeah. So if you were to give advice to someone starting any kind of, you know, hair, beauty, makeup, any kind of any kind of brand in that space right now. What would you suggest they do in terms of social right now
be different, be you we all have unique DNA. And at the end of the day, I know it's how much how what's challenging about social media is we often look at people that have done more than us have a bigger following or whatever. And we like we want that. So we start to emulate them. But it's not authentic to you. That would never work. You need to find your own stride your own way. And one thing that's really changing about the industry now is that with social media, there's a lot of influencers that are making their own line. But what's different is they're just private labeling, they're buying someone else's thing, putting their label on, and that's what it is. with us. We hired a chemist, we got our own formulas, we own all of our IPS, we did it differently. So even with like the base of our line, it's organic sea kelp, which is one amazingly sustainable, and to it's very good for your scalp and skin health. So if you were going to go to a naturopath and say, I want to grow more hair, they're going to put you on extra calcium pills, essentially. Yeah. So
what's the advantage of owning your own brand? Or owning your own formula? As opposed to just like what other influencers are doing? They're just slapping their label on something else?
Well, I don't really think that you can truly make it. Well, actually, that may not be true, I was going to say, you may be may not be able to make it. Your heart wouldn't be behind it as much. I think it's what it is. When it's yours, it's your baby. It's growing. You're a lot more passionate and emotionally invested in what you're doing rather than it just being like a regular nine to five, right?
Yeah. And I can audiences, this is going to be a silly question, because I know we all know the answer. Do you think audiences can tell the difference?
Yeah, you know what? I before I would say no, but now I'm starting to think more. Yes. Because consumers now with the internet are becoming more and more savvy. They're starting to learn ingredients matter. There's gonna see Oh, what does this feel like this? Why does this look like this? And so yeah, you know, it's definitely starting for sure.
And what about if an influencer truly believes in what she or he is talking about? I think that's where I was referring. Can audiences tell when you're faking it?
Oh, no, as long as it is, as long as the influencer believes in what they're talking about, then no, it's totally fine. And you know, I don't want to just I don't want to stop people from doing private label either. That is, that's totally fine. It's just really doing what's true to your heart in your heart.
Nice. Nice. Good. Well, great. Well, so Jessica Lee, you're the co-founder and CEO of dollar eyelash Club, which I love the brand I love that domain name, and then no event, which is envy and n.com. And so if you look at the show notes for this podcast episode, or if you go to up my influence calm, and you see the post for this will have worked out a special secret coupon code with Jessica that. So Jessica, thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you so much for having me.
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