Episode 60

 

Angie Irish was an esthetician unhappy with the efficacy of natural skin care. So she decided to start her own line. But financing this new biz didn’t involve high-powered VCs or even a loan from her family. Instead, she sold her car, her washer/dryer set and “pretty much anything I owned with a motor” – talk about bootstrapping. Five years later, her line OZNaturals brings in close to 8 figures in yearly sales. Hear why she took the leap and everything that happened after on this week’s episode.

 

Announcer

Welcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty, hosted by Jodi Katz, founder and creative director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.

Jodi Katz

Hey, everybody, welcome back to a new episode of Where Brains Meet Beauty. I am sitting with the lovely Angie Irish of OZNaturals. Welcome to the show.

Angie Irish

Thank you, Jodi. Thank you for having me.

Jodi Katz

I’m so excited for you to be here, and I’m so excited that you were introduced to me by the Jennifer Walsh.

Angie Irish

Yeah, Jennifer’s awesome. I love her.

Jodi Katz

She’s always so wonderful in connecting me with incredible people. I know you just did a Facebook Live with her just a few minutes ago.

Angie Irish

Yeah, so much fun. Yeah, loved it.

Jodi Katz

I see you’re here from Florida visiting, and you’re wearing super sky-high heels.

Angie Irish

I have some that are higher, believe it or not. These are maybe four inches.

Jodi Katz

And, tell us, were you walking around the city streets in those today?

Angie Irish

No, no, no, no. I am smart enough to know you’ve gotta bring your street-walking shoes and then pack the pretty shoes in the purse or something and get them out right before you walk in. So I pulled one of those. I was walking around in flip-flops, which actually wasn’t the smartest thing. I thought it was going to be a little warmer this week, getting here, but it was a little chillier than I thought. But I was walking around with flip-flops, anyway.

Jodi Katz

Well, I used to do this whole second shoe thing, and now I’m just done. I wear flats. I look maybe a little more odd than if I was wearing heels, but it’s just like I can’t do it anymore.

Angie Irish

No, you’re smart. You’re smart, yeah.

Jodi Katz

I actually had to wear heels for, I don’t know, maybe a family function or something recently, and my feet were destroyed.

Angie Irish

Yeah, well, I mean, and honestly, the older I get, the more I can’t tolerate. I used to just kind of get onto my mom, as she got to, I don’t know, after her forties or something. She used to wear the … My mom and my grandmother both, love shoes, and I got that from them. And I noticed that she wasn’t wearing her pretty, sexy heels much anymore, and I’m like, Mom, where’s all your sexy shoes? Where are all your heels going? She’s like, I just can’t, I cannot wear those anymore. I can’t do it. And I’m kind of starting to see where she’s coming from, but I’m not ready to hang up the heels just yet. But I know where she’s coming from now because it gets a little tough, but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

Jodi Katz

Yeah, I think I gave it up like five years ago because I just couldn’t suffer anymore.

Angie Irish

Yeah, well, they say that actually heels are not good for the feet. They’re not good. And in Florida, I wear more flip-flops than I do anything else, so I actually don’t wear heels as much as you think. You know, just functions and special occasions and stuff, but day-to-day, nah.

Jodi Katz

Well, what brings you to New York today, visiting from Florida?

Angie Irish

Mostly business. Just here doing a couple meetings and the Facebook Live with Jennifer Walsh, and I have a couple of TV things I’m gonna do out today. They shoot out in Long Island, but I think that they are, one of them is aired all over New York, and the other show is Manhattan, Boston, St. Louis, and Chicago. It’s another show.

Jodi Katz

That’s cool.

Angie Irish

I don’t know if I can mention those shows’ names.

Jodi Katz

Oh, yeah, of course. Now, are you working with a publicist to get you these opportunities, or are you just finding them on your own?

Angie Irish

We have sort of a team effort. We have an agency that works for us that helps us to find things, and then sometimes it just kind of like, things will pop up, like people might reach out to us and ask us if we want to do something, and just kind of, you know, works out that way.

Jodi Katz

I love your story, and I was so excited to record this episode, because I just want people to know where this all started because what has happened is like super rapid growth for you. I feel like your brand has snuck in there and done this, right? Like, really quiet and stealthy.

So, take us back. It’s five years ago?

Angie Irish

Yeah, we just celebrated five years last month.

Jodi Katz

Take us back to why you conceived of this five years ago and what the conditions of business were like for you then.

Angie Irish

So, five years ago, so, I’m a licensed esthetician and have always loved skin care my entire life, since I was maybe four or five years old. But I started seeing this huge gap in the industry where you either had skin care products that were really natural, but in my opinion, they really didn’t, they weren’t maybe as effective as they could have been, but they were natural, which is good. I mean, I prefer natural over not any day, no matter what.

Or you had the products that were maybe more effective but they were loaded with toxins and chemicals and things like that, and I just thought, you know, I would like to see a brand where you have both, where you have very, very natural, and when I say natural, I mean very clean and natural, because a lot of times you have brands that say they are, and then you go to look at the ingredient list and you’re like, yeah, they’re not so natural.

But I wanted both. I wanted something that was highly effective, super clean and natural, but also cost-effective. That was a thing too. I think that the biggest aggravation for me, in the industry, was seeing what companies were charging for one ounce serum. It was like $70, $80, even sometimes $130 or more. It’s just like, man, that just seems ridiculous that something so small and you have to replace every 30 to 45, maybe 60 days, that’s a lot of money for most people, right?

So, I just wanted to see if I could do something and change that up. So I met my business partner. We were friends. We actually dated. We were a couple and that’s how we met, and we just sort of started kicking around ideas.

He comes from a background of internet marketing. He’s a self-taught, internet marketer. He started in 2000, back when there really was not a lot to market online. There weren’t even really a lot of shopping carts out there. And he started. He taught himself everything.

And so we met about six years ago, I guess. Yeah, something like that. We just started talking about it, and next thing you know, we were doing it. We were getting labs and he learned everything about, because we wanted to start the business on Amazon. It was a new, like being an indie brand, and just kind of like, hey, here we are.

You can’t just jump in the stores. It’s difficult anyway. Even when you are established at five years or more, it’s so hard to break into retail, so we’ve gotta make our mark online. This is the perfect timing. You know, everything now is starting to be sold online and everybody’s buying everything online, so why not? Let’s start a brand online, skin care.

Jodi Katz

So, this is really fascinating, that your instincts were to do that, because there’s so many entrepreneurs that are, either are using their own money, or even funded, maybe they have access to capital, who are still striving for that presence at retail, despite the cost, despite the challenges, despite the uphill battle and the fact that it doesn’t guarantee you a lot of sales.

It’s really interesting to me that the two of you decided, oh, no, we wouldn’t even consider doing that. From my perspective, from what you’ve told me, I feel like that was the secret to your success.

Angie Irish

It very much was. Starting online with Amazon as a lower barrier entry, doing it that way, and with my partner, his name is Craig Romero, he’s so good at what he does that we were able to launch a product and take it to number one status within just a few months. So, because of him, we were able to actually get the products in front of people, and you need that. You can have a wonderful product, no matter what it is, and if people don’t know about it, it’s just not going to go anywhere. So that’s very important.

Jodi Katz

Right. So you embark on selling this one product on Amazon, but it’s not like anyone knew you existed, right?

Angie Irish

No. We were nobodies.

Jodi Katz

So how did people even find you?

Angie Irish

Well, we started with one product, our hyaluronic acid serum, and we launched it on Amazon, and within a few months, I believe it was two to three months, the product was at number one status for hyaluronic acid serums.

The first year, just with that product alone, we … Is it okay if I talk about numbers here?

Jodi Katz

Yeah, sure.

Angie Irish

Okay, so we grossed like $800,000 in sales off of one product. We didn’t even have a website. By the way, we didn’t even have a website.

Jodi Katz

So, that’s my question. Most people are used to buying, most products, cars, skin care, whatever, because they have an infusion of trust in the brand, based on marketing, right?

Angie Irish

Yeah.

Jodi Katz

They’ve seen advertising, word of mouth, whatever it is, but some sort of marketing activation made them think, oh, I trust this product, and I’m going to buy it, right?

So, you’re launching Amazon with really no marketing support, right? You’re just really part of their funnel, right? Leveraging their process. How are you bringing people to the product that first year?

Angie Irish

Well, and that’d be a really, even better, in-depth question for my partner, who does all of the marketing, because he has secrets that he won’t even tell me. And I’m okay with that, because I’m like, look, I know you worked hard to learn what you learn, and he wants to keep some of … But I mean, I know a lot of back-linking and different things. Like we write, we have a blog, and we started doing a newsletter every week. We developed a list of customers. [crosstalk 00:09:39]

Yeah, exactly, just SEO, leveraging that and everything, Google Analytics and all those buzzwords.

Jodi Katz

So, it’s not as easy as just putting a product on Amazon and hoping people show up?

Angie Irish

Now, and by the way, five years ago, it was a little easier, and we were one of the few brands. I mean, there weren’t that many indie brands at all. There may have been just a handful then. You did have Loreal brands, you had Olay, and you had Obaji, and all these other brands on there, of course, but I’m so proud to say, too, that we were kicking all their butts, just beating them in sales. All these brands had been around for years. We were outranking them, and here we were just this little new kid on the block.

But, definitely, marketing is huge. And when we started, thankfully, we did it when we did, because if we were doing right now, I’d be really worried, because, literally, brands, so many brands, come on the Amazon scene or online, anyway. Every day there’s just tons of new brands. So it’s difficult. It’s really hard.

Jodi Katz

I love this story, because your instinct was focus on Amazon, let’s ignore retail, and let’s do it now and not later. Yeah, and I really do believe that’s the reason you were able to grow so quickly.

Angie Irish

Definitely.

Jodi Katz

I mean, you learned all the things that people are just now trying to figure out.

Angie Irish

Exactly, yeah. Thankfully, with my partner, Craig, he saw that. He knew that the timing was right, and if ever there was a time to do it, do it now, and it was … You know, they say luck is, what is it, timing meets opportunity, or something like that. That’s what luck really is. That’s exactly what it was. Just preparation, or was it preparation into … I don’t know, it was something like that.

Jodi Katz

Well, let’s talk about your mindset five years ago, because you told me that to get this one product off the ground, you sold everything you owned that had any sort of value. What kinds of things were you selling?

Angie Irish

I laugh now, because it’s like, washer and dryer. But at the time, this front-loading washer and dryer, it was a big deal. It had only been on the market for several years. So I had this newer front-loading washer and dryer, I sold that, because I’d been married before. I sold my diamond. I had to sell that, sold my car, just things like that. Anything I had that had any kind of real value to it, I sold it because I needed the money and we had to get some products up and going with our lab. We had to give them some money. We had to do it.

Jodi Katz

I love that because it’s really brave to basically take everything you have, like pull the dollar bills out of your back pocket, grab the quarters from your front pockets and from in between the cushions, and say I’m pushing this over into this business. We’re going to give it a try.

Angie Irish

Yeah, it was scary. That’s an understatement because, and like I said, Craig and I were together as a couple at the time, but I couldn’t just rely … We weren’t married or anything, so it wasn’t like I could just sell everything and just rely on, and you shouldn’t ever to to rely on another person. But I just felt like, oh, wow, if this doesn’t work out, I won’t really have anything. I could lose a lot of things.

I had faith, though, and when he and it talked about it together, and I had a lot of faith in him as a person and a business person, that I knew. You know, sometimes you just know, deep down inside, when something’s a good idea and when it’s probably going to work out. And then sometimes you have a bad feeling about … I had a good feeling about it. I don’t know, it was one of the things in my life that I think I just really had a great feeling about it. I’m glad I listened to that intuition. You know, intuition is such an understated thing in this world, where they always tell you or you always hear people saying, listen to your gut, listen to your intuition, and it’s so true. It’s very, very true.

Jodi Katz

And, at this time, were you working, still, as an esthetician? Did you have a day job?

Angie Irish

Yeah, I was working at Ulta. I was an esthetician for Ulta in Greenville, South Carolina. I don’t know, they have some at not every location, but some of the Ulta’s, they have, like the back room, where you can do, they do facials, and I would do make-up, applications, and things like that. So, it’s kind of like their resident, sort of like their head esthetician at the time, for that time period that I worked there.

Jodi Katz

How may years did you work there for?

Angie Irish

Actually, I wasn’t there for, it might have been six months that I was there when we started the line, and I just kind of like jumped out of that and into this role. So, I haven’t been in the field in that capacity, doing make-up and the facials and skin care, in that capacity, in five years because I’ve been so busy with … But I love make-up.

I have a real heart for make-up. I love putting make-up on other people, more than I do myself. Sometimes I’ll walk around looking half-dead or whatever, but I can look at another person and think, oh, man, I would love to do their make-up. Oh, I love their bone structure. I could really see every person’s face as a canvas or something that I would just love to paint on. So I do love make-up too.

Jodi Katz

And will OZ get into the business of color cosmetics?

Angie Irish

That’s a good question. We’ve always said no, to this point. I’d really like to just stay focused as OZNaturals just being a skin care brand, and just really just have that as our focus. I mean, never say never. Maybe, but I think that right now we have so many things that we want to do and products that we’d like to see launch and come to fruition before we go and jump into make-up. But I do love make-up.

Jodi Katz

So, let’s talk about the name of the brand. When you conceived of the brand, what did the name mean?

Angie Irish

Originally, the thought was we were just going to probably specialize in serums. Serums are generally in the one ounce, you know, some kind of bottle or something, and we were just going to kind of focus on that, so we thought a good name would be Ounce Naturals. But we didn’t want to spell out the word Ounce Naturals. That seemed a little too vanilla or something. So we were going to do O-Z, abbreviation, for OZNaturals. That’s where it first started, but then it involved into the OZNaturals, because everybody started calling it, like when we would be on the phone with vendors or the lab, or whatever, and they would be like, oh, OZNaturals, OZNaturals. And we were like, you know what? That’s great.

And then one we decided that it wasn’t going to be just serums, I wanted to develop a whole line, it just seemed like the natural progression of things. And I’m a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz, and I thought that’s kind of cool. That’s like my favorite movie anyway. So, I’m like, yeah. OZNaturals. That’s great.

Jodi Katz

I really like it because it makes me think of, I guess, New Zealand, right? Oz, right?

Angie Irish

And, that’s the thing, too. It could mean different things to-

Jodi Katz

Or is that Australia? What is Oz?

Angie Irish

I think it’s Australia. I think it’s Australia but we have a lot of people that will write to us from Australia and ask us, are we an Australian brand, and they get excited about that, and we’re like, no, we’re not. So people do think that as well, with the name.

Jodi Katz

Okay, so you sell everything that you have, basically everything that has a motor, and the first year you are able to generate $800,000 in revenue from this one product.

Angie Irish

One channel, too. Didn’t even have our website up yet.

Jodi Katz

Which is incredible. I mean, really, it’s phenomenal. And, I know so many entrepreneurs are listening now being like, oh, my God. This is the jackpot.

Angie Irish

It’s crazy, yeah.

Jodi Katz

Like the rainbow into the pot of gold. How long did it take you until you bought a new car?

Angie Irish

That was actually not too long, because I needed a car. So I think it was maybe six months. It was a used car, because still, even though you see, you’re like, wow, we’re making great sales, this is awesome, you don’t know. You’re kind of like knocking on wood, like I hope this is gonna stay this way, it’s gonna remain like this. So I didn’t want to go out and be crazy and just start buying things or getting a brand new this or that. So, it was a used car, still, but I got a car maybe within like four to six months, I think, after.

Jodi Katz

Right, and the washer/dryer? How long did you go without one of those?

Angie Irish

Well, I rented for a while, so I had a washer and dryer, so I can’t remember when. And I just bought a house a couple years ago, and it already had a washer and dryer in it. So I don’t think I’ve had to buy another one yet.

Jodi Katz

So, you weren’t suffering?

Angie Irish

Yeah, yeah, not yet.

Jodi Katz

All right, I think you alluded to this earlier. I’m sure our listeners are wondering. Okay, you started the business with your then boyfriend, who’s not your boyfriend anymore. Can you talk about the dynamic, because this is probably really fascinating to a lot of people.

Angie Irish

Yeah, definitely. You know, like a lot of relationships, you get together and you’re, everything’s whatever, but I think that it’s kind of can be difficult sometimes when you’re in a relationship and you’re also in business together. And I don’t know if there’s people out there that can testify to this as well, but it’s difficult because you’re always together, but then, it seems like you’re always just talking about business a lot, and after a while it could possibly zap a little bit of romance here and there, maybe, or something like that.

And, you know, we were together three years and he’s actually still a great friend to me, and we get along great and we’ve run the company together still, and it’s worked out for us. Maybe it doesn’t work out for everyone that goes down that road, that are together. I’ve heard a lot of married people being in business together and didn’t work out so good. You hear sometimes people get divorced or something like that when they go into business together.

So, I don’t know, I just … It can be kind of tough. But he’s a great guy and we’re still good friends. He actually got married a year ago, about a year, year and a half ago. So, yeah.

Jodi Katz

All right, so when you think back to five years ago and starting business with a boyfriend, would you give any advice to somebody now starting a business, thinking of doing it with a significant other, whether they’re married or not, where there’s a romantic relationship beyond the business relationship?

Angie Irish

I think if you really trust a person and you believe in each other and you know that each of you can bring something to the table, like he had things that I didn’t have and couldn’t do, and I had a talent and a thing that he didn’t know so much about. So I think that when you have that kind of formula or chemistry, then you can, yeah, you can definitely do it. I think some people can do it, and they may have such a strong relationship that they can keep it going and they could be together forever and be in business together forever, and I think that’s amazing because it’s gets a little tough, but you know what, I would say follow your heart and your gut and just go with what you feel that you should be doing, and if that’s with your husband, wife, significant other, then sure, definitely.

Jodi Katz

And how do you spend your time when you’re not working, when you’re in Florida?

Angie Irish

Well, I have two dogs and a cat, so I take care of them all the time. I feel like I’m always either feeding an animal or walking a dog or something, or just hanging out with them. I try to hang out with friends and go visit my family. They’re in South Carolina, I’m in Florida, so I would try to visit with them or have them come see me. I love to go to the beach, but I’m really kind of just like, I wouldn’t say I’m a boring person, because I have a lot of life in me, but I just like doing everyday things, to be honest with you. Just being, I don’t know, I like to chill a lot too.

Jodi Katz

You seem really calm. Is your head space this calm, as relaxed as you seem to be?

Angie Irish

Most of the time, yes, I think so. I definitely have passion, and it depends on what maybe I’m talking about or the circumstance. I can kind of get a little more amped up or something, or maybe I’m talking about something that’s in the news, something that’s upsetting or whatever. I can definitely, like things can move me or whatever.

But I think that for the most part, like day-to-day, hour-to-hour, I’m pretty laid back, pretty level-headed, laid back person.

Jodi Katz

So, your team who works under you, they would describe you as serene?

Angie Irish

I think, I’m pretty sure that’s how they would describe me, because, yeah, definitely. Yeah.

Jodi Katz

Because this business is very volatile. How are you able to just be so chilled?

Angie Irish

Don’t get me wrong. There have been some things that we’ve gone through as a company or things when you get upset here and there, and even just a couple months ago, I was feeling down about some things. And I was talking about retail and trying to break into U.S. retail. It’s so tough, and even with having five years behind us and a proven track record online with sales and things like that, it is still hard, even with our brand being as great as it is, it’s hard to get the attention of retail because they have so many brands out there that’s knocking on their doors, wanting to get in, and there’s only so much shelf space. So I think that maybe sometimes I get a little impatient, because I expect, oh, this should be happening faster, or let’s do this.

But, I got maybe a little down for like a week, because I was thinking, oh, we’re just never gonna break into retail, and it’s just so hard. But I snapped out of it, and it was just one of those things where you have a moment or something. And everybody has that.

Jodi Katz

Why is there an interest now in retail?

Angie Irish

Well, because we feel like we’ve done everything we can do online, and we are in 82 countries, so we do have an international presence. And in some of those countries, it’s little bits here and there. It may not be huge amounts of sales in every country, but we do have a presence in 82 countries.

Jodi Katz

That’s really incredible.

Angie Irish

About to be 83, because Australia is coming up the way here pretty soon. So, yeah … I forgot what I was going to say.

Jodi Katz

I was asking why now, why look at retail now?

Angie Irish

So, with retail, it just seems like the next step, and I would just love to see our products and what we’ve worked for to be on a shelf somewhere. I’d love to walk into like Ulta or someplace and just see OZNaturals on the shelf. It’d be so amazing.

Jodi Katz

And is that because you think it will reach more customers, or is it just it would feel like the ultimate expression of your hard work?

Angie Irish

For me, it’s both. I don’t know if I can speak for Craig in this, but of course you want to grow, any time you’re in a business, you want to grow that business and see, it’s like having a child. You know, you gave birth to something and then you see it grow, and then you just want to see it take the next step. But I think it’s both. It’s for the success of the company and to grow the company.

But for me, it’s a little more than just that, because I’m not just driven by money. I want my company to be successful, but more than that, I want to be proud of my company and know that what we do, like our brand, our company’s ethos, to just do right by our customers and the consumer, that I really care about the people and their skin, and just even things like, because the way I live my life every day, I eat plant-based, I’m a huge animal lover, I’m a freak about the environment, all these things.

So I want my skin care brand to reflect, it’s a reflection on me, so I really care what is in the products. So I think for me it’s both. It’s seeing the company grow, but then, to see like, oh, look at what I’ve worked for. It’s sitting on the shelf, and there it is, and just like a proud mommy or something.

Jodi Katz

There’s so many more costs involved in selling in physical stores, right? The testers, the training, I don’t know, returns, like all this stuff. It can often impede a business. What I think is really interesting about your product, though, is the price point. It’s a really appealing price point for the quality that you’re talking about.

Have retailers given you feedback on that?

Angie Irish

A little bit. Because we do have our price point a little bit lower, we have a little room to grow a little bit, like if we had to raise the price here, you know, a dollar here and there to kind of compensate for those costs that are involved in retail, we can do that, which is good, because some people, they’re already, some friends are so maxed out at their price that they really can’t go anywhere. So I feel like that’s a good thing.

But we may have had a couple people, a couple buyers say, you know, you could actually raise your prices a little bit, and I’m like, yeah, well, if we have to, we will, but again, that’s not something I want to do just because. I don’t want to just have huge prices on our products just because we can, just to say, oh, well, I think we should be charging $50 for this serum, or whatever.

I don’t agree with that unless you have to.

Jodi Katz

What’s the highest price product right now?

Angie Irish

Right now, I believe it’s around $19.49. It’s under $20. And our prices will fluctuate just a little because of the Amazon marketplace, like we play around with it, you know, just here and there a little bit because we have to compete and things like that, but I think, right now, like $19.49.

Jodi Katz

And the least expensive product?

Angie Irish

The least expensive, I think I may have to look. I may have to edit this part and put it back in, but I think $12.49, something like that.

Jodi Katz

That’s really a really interesting concept, that between $12 and $20, I can find well-thought-out, 100% natural skin care products. Really unusual.

Angie Irish

And I can honestly say, because, you know, every person with their business, they’re going to say, oh, it’s like I’m the best, or we’re the best. But I do feel like we have such a brand to be proud of because we’re cold-processing, which means all of our products are produced at room temperature. Heating products is bad. It’s just like when you’re cooking a vegetable, and you’re cooking out all those nice ingredients and the vitamins and minerals. Same thing with the skin care products. When you heat them, you’re going to lose a lot of the value and the percentage of efficacy in those vitamins.

So we cold-process so that you have higher levels of efficacy. We have what’s called biopreserve technology. It’s a trademark preservative system. It’s a mineral-based, actually, preservative system, so it’s quite possibly the cleanest preservative system on the market that we know of.

We also use what’s called Silo Gel. It’s a trademarked, plant-based. Seeing as silicone is being used in everything in skin care. It’s bad. It’s toxic. So we have Silo Gel, which is plant-based. It mimics the effects of silicone, so you have that nice, silky-like gliding, moisturizing feeling, but it’s plant-based, instead of the silicone, so it’s called Silo Gel.

So when I think about everything that we’re doing with our line, it’s just I’m so proud of it that we truly are very, very natural and clean, and very effective products, and at a great price point. So, I’m just happy that we’re able to do that for people.

Jodi Katz

When you’re talking about the ingredient story and your alternatives to what you see as toxic, it makes me think of being at industry events and hearing people talk about, I guess, traditional beauty people talk about, how it’s really hard to remove an ingredient and find a substitute that’s perceived as healthier. But I don’t know if it’s really hard, because you’re doing it, I have other friends who run brands who are doing it. What’s with that?

Angie Irish

I don’t know. I don’t know if I could say I find that hard to believe or maybe it’s who they’re working with. Maybe we were blessed and lucky that we found the lab that we found, that they are ahead, kind of, in their time in what they’re doing and it’s just the team of scientists at our lab. I don’t know, but we’re doing it.

Jodi Katz

Wait. You’re doing it. I mean, we work with brands who some of them have three ingredients in their product, five ingredients in their product, seven ingredients, 10 ingredients, and like, they’re incredible products that really work. So I guess it’s like a lack of curiosity, because it’s obviously happening, right?

Angie Irish

Maybe.

Jodi Katz

And I find it kind of amazing that there’s such a narrow view on products. I’m not a product developer, but I see, I have a window into what’s happening, with meeting people like you.

Angie Irish

Well, what I can say, is I do believe, in the last few years, and maybe you’ve felt this too, like the indie brands that have been popping up. They’re causing a change, because I believe that the indie brands have been like, we want to do something different here. Make room for us. So what some of us are doing is actually changing, like some of the bigger brands, have you not noticed they’re trying to be more natural and be a little cleaner. Now, I don’t know if they’ll ever get to the point where they’re doing what we’re doing. Maybe they will, I don’t know. But it’s definitely a lot of the indie brands like OZ, it’s causing that shift. I definitely know that for sure, because before, the bigger brands, they had no intentions of ever making things totally clean and nontoxic.

And, by the way, so our products, you know, there’s standards within the FDA, although the FDA is, there’s only like 14, I believe, 14 banned ingredients right now. Only 14. In the EU, there’s thousands. Our brand goes by the EU guidelines and restrictions, which we don’t even pay attention, so if it’s like on the FDA’s list, it’s definitely on the EU’s, plus a thousand more. So we go by the EU’s guidelines, if there’s ever an ingredient that we’re considering to put into the formula, we run it through that database first.

And then there’s the Whole Foods Banned List as well, so we run it through those databases first. If it’s a no-no there, then it’s a no-no with us too.

Jodi Katz

That’s great. Well, thank you for sharing your story with us. I mean, I just love hearing that you had to sell your washer and dryer, and look at you now. How big is the brand now?

Angie Irish

Well, as far as like …

Jodi Katz

Sales.

Angie Irish

Sales? Well, that’s a little tricky, because our sales had reached, I think it was like nine, but then last-

Jodi Katz

Nine what?

Angie Irish

Nine million.

Jodi Katz

Oh, my God, that’s crazy.

Angie Irish

But then last year, we had to take a step back because we were reformuling doing the cold processing and we had, it was our former lab, which we have our newer lab now, which is amazing, so we had a little issue, like a hiccup with our lab, the former one, and they kind of cost us a lot of money in production and we had to halt. And we were only running with three products for almost the entire year, things like that. So, this year was five, five million.

Jodi Katz

Wait, five million with three products?

Angie Irish

For a lot of the year, yeah.

Jodi Katz

This is so incredibly impressive. You know, from selling your car, selling your washer and dryer, starting the business with one product on Amazon to five to nine million dollars later. This is phenomenal.

Angie Irish

It’s amazing. I feel like I’m in a dream sometimes, you know, like wake me up. But I love what I do. I love this, and to me, and I say this with all honesty, even if it was only grossing a couple hundred thousand or whatever, I’d still be, or whatever, I’d be like, oh, I just, I love it. It’s a success, so it would be great with me. But it’s definitely awesome to see it just keep growing like it has. Definitely.

Jodi Katz

I love it. It’s such an inspiring story. I’m so glad I got to share it with our listeners.

Angie Irish

Yeah, thank you.

Jodi Katz

Well, thank you for your wisdom tonight.

Angie Irish

Yeah, thank you so much for having me, Jodi.

Jodi Katz

And, for our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Angie. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes. And for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram @wherebrainsmeetbeauty podcast.

Announcer

Thanks for listening to Where Brains Meet Beauty with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

 

 

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