Boss Lady Series - Meet Lizzie!
"Your life is your message to the world. Make sure it is inspiring."
I am extremely excited to share today's AMAZING Boss Lady, Lizzie Chadbourne. I had the pleasure of working with Lizzie while in North Carolina, and she is the most bubbly, passionate, joyful human I have ever met. She literally lights up every room she walks into.
Lizzie was already on to amazing business endeavors when we first met. She had just started her company, Lo & Behold, a natural body care business with hand-made products. Her passion for natural beauty grew out of an interest in crafting, an enthusiasm about herbalism, and a recognition that she could treat her body better. After years of education, experimenting, and research - and with an improving complexion - Lizzie started Lo & Behold because she knew she had something special to offer that was making people happy. Her mission was for Lo & Behold, to maintain an uncommon air of fun while exceeding the highest standards of the natural care industry.
"If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try."
Since we met, Lizzie's business has exploded from being sold at a few local shops and markets to being sold all over North Carolina and online! She was even recently featured in Allure as one of the "Best All-Natural Summer Beauty Products!" Her North Carolina, hand-made products range from facial care to lip balms to body scrubs and lotions to bug spray and even a men's line including beard oil and grooming care! Can you believe she creates all of these products herself? From what started out as a hobby and passion really grew into a successful business that Lizzie deeply loves and cares about.
Not only has Lizzie started a successful business, she has also found an incredible way to give back to her community. Lo & Behold now partners with a Durham-based nonprofit, Partners for Youth Opportunity, which provides gainful professional experience to youth affected by poverty, immigration, and incarceration. Interns at Lo & Behold gain exposure to a broad spectrum of small-business experience while saving money for college. Talk about an amazing lady!
"She believed she could, so she did."
So without further introduction, it is my pleasure to introduce today's inspiring and empowering Boss Lady, Lizzie!
Before Lo & Behold, you took a few different career paths, so what ultimately made you take the leap towards owning your own small business?
I have always been passionate about creating products and what I put on my skin, but the leap was inspired by my work experiences after graduating from college. I initially worked as a teacher and was unable to turn off work, I was always thinking about my students. Then I worked for a small business for a few more years and also was obsessive, I realized that when I work I give it my everything and I am capable of accomplishing a lot. So I figured if I am going to work this hard no matter what, I might as well work for myself.
Starting and owning your own business does not come without challenges. What were the biggest initial barriers to starting your business and how did you overcome them?
Fear that I couldn't learn everything I needed to know, and fear that people wouldn't take my products seriously. Time was also a barrier, I had to work full time still to support myself, so just making the time to work on the business was an obstacle. Time was also what helped me overcome both barriers, as time went on I grew more confident in my abilities and people started using the products and the feedback was encouraging. As time went on, the business took off more and I cut back hours at my day job, and finally a year ago I took the plunge and quit my day job completely. Now I still don't have enough time to do everything, but as more time goes on, and I keep hiring help, that will keep improving. Time is always a friend and a threat!
What is the mission of your business and what makes you passionate about fulfilling it?
My mission is to provide 100% natural and handmade body care that brings an air of delight to your day! I am also very focused on doing this here in NC if we grow and expand that is great, but I am focused on local. Green Beauty is a big movement, and I am just a tiny, tiny part of that movement. Green Beauty is about sustainable choices, from non-toxic ingredients, cruelty-free methods, to reducing wasteful packaging. Even though this movement is growing, there is not a lot of Green Beauty talk in NC, so I love helping folks feel empowered about the ingredients in their skincare and leading a healthier life. Beyond the ingredients and methods, it is the delightful part of my mission that keeps the passion going. Every time a woman tells me her day was better because of a bath, or her confidence has improved because of the face line, I feel fulfilled. I am lucky that so many aspects of my business keep me inspired daily.
It can be difficult building a business from the ground up and doing it on your own at that! What was the biggest mistake you made as an entrepreneur?
Not believing in myself; thinking I needed others when I could figure it out alone, listening to advice when I knew what felt right. Over and over again, not believing in myself has been a mistake.
What has been your most successful moment in owning your own business?
That is a hard question, success means so many things. Every time someone buys a product it feels like a success. For 3 years I worked 7 days a week, easily 10-12 hours a day to make this thing work and to make a living. So I could say that relying on it full time was my biggest success, BUT recently I have started taking really good care of myself. Exercising regularly, sleeping normal hours, eating well. Being able to run this business and finally prioritize my own physical and mental health, and have the business keep doing well, is currently my biggest success.
I am so grateful to have gotten to know you! You truly helped inspire me to pursue my own dreams and passion. Witnessing your hustle, grit and work ethic was nothing short of amazing. How do you strive to empower other females to pursue their dreams?
I always give business advice to entrepreneurs starting out, I try to engage in other female small businesses marketing efforts, I shop small as often as possible. I also partner with a non-profit and have young female interns (and now an employee from there!), and I try to be as positive as possible with them. Sure, the world outside may knock them down, but I try to be a force of happiness and confidence for them. My 15-year-old intern who wants to be a Doctor, well, she is going to be!
What do you know now that you wish you would have known when starting your business?
I wish I had believed in myself more at the beginning and hadn't let fear get in the way of my abilities. I also wish I had taken more time to plan the business and the products, I have changed the formulas a lot over the years and in retrospect I could have saved time and money. However, a mentor once told me "You just have to do it." Plus, I am a hands on person more than someone who thinks things through endlessly, so, I know that just going for it, without a focus, and thinking I needed others when I didn't, well that was all part of my path. Hopefully I can keep talking with young female business owners and give them some advice so they don't make the same mistakes.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) to run a successful business?
I have sacrificed a lot for the business, but at the same time I literally can't imagine my life without it. Since I sell at local farmers' markets and constantly do special events, my weekends are not weekends at all. I have had to say no to lots of friends. I don't have consistent pay, so I don't spend a lot of money, and once again I say no to a lot of things. I have missed out on family gatherings and grown apart from friends. BUT I can't imagine doing anything else, I am a person and I have to support myself and work daily, this is the work I want to do and it is a gift that I have been able to pursue this work. So if some friendship or fun times are lost, compared to a lifetime of pursuing my dreams and getting to make money doing what I love, bringing products to people I love... Is that even a sacrifice?
What would you say to a female thinking of starting her own business but has reservations and too many fears about actually taking the leap?
I would say if you are willing to work hard and believe in what you are doing, you will succeed. I would also tell her that fear is normal, I struggle with fear daily and we have to figure out how to overcome those feelings. Whether it is meditation, daily confidence journals (maybe a nice shower that makes you feel like a queen), don't let fear rule.
Who is a female hero of yours and why?
Two women come to my mind immediately. My mom, because she is so strong, unique, and just a bad-ass. I am completely who I am because of her and she will always be my hero.
My other female hero is named Sandy Rawls, I interned for her in college and she is the most kind and dedicated person I have ever met. She is also a transsexual woman, and to be fighting so hard to achieve your authentic identity and then to fight to help others through that struggle, is one of the bravest things I can imagine. I haven't spoken to her in years, but whenever I feel weak I think about her and feel strong instantly.
Lizzie's company, Lo & Behold, is a 100% natural body care company based in Durham, NC. Using only the purest ingredients, the company remains true to its roots through local partnerships with dedicated and innovative NC farmers, cultivators, producers, nonprofits, and markets. Lo & Behold is now in several local stores all throughout North Carolina as well as online. Please follow Lizzie on Instagram HERE and on Facebook HERE. Shop her line at www.loandbeholdnaturals.com.