Nicole Jennings is the founder of Purgasm Shop, a handmade beauty brand with a mission to create bespoke beauty products and inspire women to create their own sacred self-care rituals at home. As a mother, corporate leader, esthetics student, and beautypreneur, she wears many hats and is finding a way to balance them all by living in her purpose.
Q. What was the inspiration behind starting Purgasm Shop?
In a nutshell, it was my fascination with natural ingredients and beauty rituals. I started Purgasm Shop as a creative outlet and a way to share my love of product making. Growing up, I was surrounded by creativity and a reverence for nature, herbs, plant medicines, etc. I recall my mom always making herbal concoctions to heal me when I was sick and my dad loved teaching me about the uses of different plants that grew wild where we lived. When I was about 12 and getting pre-teen acne, my dad bought me a cup of clay dirt from one of his travels (he was a musician) and told me that I could use it on my face to help my breakouts. Once I realized that the clay worked on my skin, I would sometimes dig up dirt from the red clay dirt road in South Carolina where I grew up to make face masks. And that inspired a thirst to know what else nature could do for my skin.
Q. How did you get started? What steps did you take to launch your business?
I got started by giving my handmade products to friends and family for Christmas gifts in 2011. Within two months after receiving tons of positive feedback, I’d registered my first business (Calyx Naturals) with the state, set up a Facebook page (this was before Instagram), and purchased a booth at the World Natural Hair Show (WNHS) in Atlanta with no prior vending experience. It was such an amazing experience! I was able to see many other brands at various stages of success, connecting with customers and that showed me that I could make my passion a viable business if I worked hard at it. While at the WNHS, I saw vendors with massage candles for the first time and I was inspired to create more sensual products for adults, and that was a key inspiration for Purgasm Shop. Shortly after returning from the WNHS that year, I reserved the Purgasm Shop name with the state, completed my business registration, and rented out space in an art gallery to host my first official “launch party”. That launch event is still one of my proudest moments.
Q. What products or services does your business provide and who benefits from it?
Purgasm Shop provides handmade beauty products and resources for women to create their own sacred self-care rituals at home. Every product is created to be used in a self-care/beautification ritual.
Our current products and services include:
Sole Soak Collection - 4 step Foot Care collection, this is for women (and men) who want a way to release stress and beautify their feet.
Bodycare Collection - This collection is for women who want to experience softer, younger looking skin, and a more even toned complexion on their bodies.
Sole Soak Sundays - a virtual self-care circle where women get together during the full moon to participate in a foot soak and pampering ritual from the comfort of their own homes. This is great for women who like the accountability of having a community supporting you on the self-care journey.
Coming Summer of 2021- Candles, facial care, hair care.
"A few successful tips I’ve begun to practice are delegation and outsourcing tasks that can free up more time for me."
Q. What are some of the marketing techniques that you’ve taken to bring awareness and visibility to your brand?
The two most successful marketing techniques that I’ve used in the past were “launch/pop-up” events and influencer collaborations. Launch events have helped me interact with my brand supporters and have led to wonderful partnership opportunities. Influencer collaborations have helped me secure blog and indie magazine features and increased awareness for my brand. I am currently enrolled in a course to teach me to run effective social media advertisements, and I think that this will help me to capitalize on the new surge of online shoppers.
Q. How do you balance out the mom-boss life?
I’m still working to find the right balance some days. A few successful tips I’ve begun to practice are delegation and outsourcing tasks that can free up more time for me. Some examples are outsourcing my social media management, and my labels and packaging design (as opposed to printing labels at home), and also using services like Fiverr and Upwork for one-off tasks. On a more personal level, I’ve begun to use a meal subscription service to make mealtime smoother in my home. All of these little things make an impact and help me create more balance in my home and in my business.
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