Many of us have picked up new hobbies and skills while trying to weather the COVID-19 pandemic indoors. Some taught themselves how to bake, others started gardens, while others occupied themselves doing crocheted crafts. One way or another, there are new things we now know how to do thanks to all the free time afforded to us by strict stay-at-home and social-distancing protocols.
Moving forward, though, all these newfound hobbies might soon take a backseat as we collectively troop back to office work and face-to-face classes. It could be years before we revisit them, if at all. By the time we get enough time to do hobbies again, we might not even remember and thus have to relearn everything we have learned thus far.
That is, unless we follow the way of mother-daughter tandem Janet Frederick and Deannee Santiago, who managed to turn their fun hobby into a highly lucrative business.
It all started with Deannee’s fascination with her mom’s homemade skincare products. She remembers how Janet would gather pure cane sugar, lemon essential oils, cocoa butter, and other natural ingredients to make soaps, shea butter, scrubs, and serums. Deannee loved the fact that her mother’s products were all natural and vegan-friendly. She thought it would be nice to share some of her mom’s creations online. Little did she know that her post would attract many questions and even some outright orders.
Then and there, Janet and Deannee decided to turn their nice little hobby into a full-blown business. Apparently, there are many other women like them who just want chemical-free treatment alternatives for different topical skin issues. Before they knew it, they were already producing hundreds of soaps and butters to meet the demand. During their first year in business in 2017, they were able to generate $215,000 in profits. That number continues growing with every year Lulu’s Holistics remains in operation. By 2020, their bottom line hit a new milestone of $5 million in generated sales.
Despite all this, all of the brand’s products are still 100% handmade. They believe the extra care that goes into making their every product is part of the reason customers love them so much, which is why they’re not considering any other mode of making their skincare products for now.
Lulu’s Holistics now has two stores in NYC on top of their flagship store in Florida, where their two warehouses are likewise located. Furthermore, their products are getting shipped everywhere on a daily basis. In fact, this mother-daughter duo is already thinking about expanding and setting up physical stores in the U.K., Canada, and Jamaica. They are also looking into expanding their product line to tap into the marijuana industry; they might even start testing CBD products soon.
Deannee and Janet have indeed gone very far from just making soaps for their own use, and they hope to inspire other ‘casual hobbyists’ to give themselves a chance to earn from things that they do well and love doing.
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