For years, I worked for big brands and agencies, focused on public relations and marketing. I learned so much, and every single experience was intensely valuable. After a while, I was beginning to feel like I was spending time, every day, working on projects or products that weren’t fulfilling. Inspired by a girl I met in India (full story here), I began thinking about how I could mesh the things I enjoy — beauty, fashion and consumer goods — and my knowledge of marketing with social impact.
After reading, researching, and talking to my mentors, it dawned on me: the “buy one, give one” model of beauty. For every unit purchased, Rella Beauty donates one to a woman in need via our various non-profit giving partners. It’s important to note that we realize lipstick is not necessarily a “need” for living. Rather, Rella Beauty is built on the idea that while many organizations prioritize the items deemed necessary for daily life, understandably, the small things that often put a smile on someone’s face or simply make them feel good are overlooked; things like makeup and accessories that are not necessities. After chatting with the brilliant ladies who founded Dignity not Despair, I knew lipstick was something small, tangible, and powerful that women around the world resonate with. It’s something that can quickly tell a story, make you feel confident and ready, give you that sense of feeling polished; the list goes on.
Our products are vegan, cruelty-free, made in Italy, free of harmful ingredients, and are made according to halal standards. Adding on, they are all modeled after cult favorite shades so if you think about it, they’re your favorite shades with social impact.
Embarking on the journey as an entrepreneur has been enlightening, exciting, stressful, and motivating. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I learn something new almost daily. Living through this time of COVID-19 is a learning experience none of us could have imagined. Not only do I feel we are being tested as human beings in terms of our relationships and our personal lives, but, personally, as a small business owner, this poses unexpected harsh difficulties.
Over the course of the past few weeks, I have second-guessed my choice to start Rella Beauty. I have had to remind myself that there was no way I could have known we would be in this situation. As the days go on, I shift between feeling motivated and positive that we’ll get through this to being filled with self-doubt and prepping for all worst case scenarios. I know I’m not the only one feeling the perils of this situation as a small business owner, so I thought I’d share a few things that you can do to help your favorite small businesses during this time.
Hit us up on social media
We are all online more than ever these days. One of the best, easiest things you can do is follow your favorite small businesses on Instagram. When they share content, drop a like/comment – it really helps! Share their posts on your stories to help them get in front of more eyes. By doing this, you’re really helping them advertise (which is an expense many can’t afford right now). If you’ve purchased a product, post about it! Share the brand’s product or message with your network, too.
What you can do online besides engage with social media
Head over to the brand’s home page and it’s likely that you’ll see a form for you to add your email and stay updated. Joining email lists is another painless way to help brands build a customer base since they might be struggling to build right now.
You can also write a review if you’ve purchased a product. Leave a review on the product page; it takes just a few minutes, and is so helpful for the brand.
Purchase from small business when you can
Stock up on products if you can! You can support small businesses by making purchases for yourself or as gifts for your loved ones. As an example, our lipsticks are something that so many women can enjoy. You can send an unexpected treat to a girlfriend and let her know it’s a gift that literally keeps on giving.
See if your favorite small brands offer gift cards. If not, reach out and see if it’s something they’d be interested in doing. It’s something that’s typically easy for a business to activate, and it helps them when sales may be down.
Offer whatever help you can
Many of us are connected to people who can help a small business. If you’re friends with an influencer, editor, or writer, see if that person might be interested in hearing about one of your favorite small businesses. Perhaps you’ll be able to offer the business a connection they wouldn’t have otherwise made.
I hope these tips will help you support the small businesses you love!
If you want to learn more about Rella Beauty, please visit us at www.rellabeauty.com, and if you’d like to drop me a line, I’d be so happy to hear from you! You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram here.