SHE'S LIVE: BTS WEB LAUNCH WITH VERONICA SMITH OF ALCHEMY BODY SHOP
Just this weekend, Alchemy Body Shop relaunched their website a new whole new vibe. Over the past few months we got the opportunity to work side-by-side with the brand’s Founder, Veronica Smith and had a blast the entire time! Alchemy Body Shop is an artisanal apothecary filled with bath, body, and candle goodies designed to feed your soul. Her yummy candle blends and luscious Venus Cosmic Dust makes self-care a treat and delight that we should all indulge in. To celebrate her brand’s web re-launch, we had a quick q+a convo about her entrepreneur journey and some gems she’s gotten along the way.
Q: Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
A: Hey, ladies! I'm Veronica Smith, CEO + Founder of Alchemy Body Shop. ABS is a handcrafted all natural and organic bath and body care line for women of color.
Q: What triggered you to up and start Alchemy Body Shop?
A: I was on a holistic kick. I wanted to start living a more natural lifestyle and at the time I was a hardcore skincare junkie. As most of you know, the skincare aisles are filled with toxic chemicals within their ingredients so I decided that clean house and find some natural alternatives. After doing a lot of research I found that everything that was organic and natural cost a fortune. I was discouraged not only by the prices, but also by the lack of representation...from the prices to the advertisements, everything I saw catered to white women . I felt like we didn't exist in this industry and that we weren't kept in mind at all, so I decided to create ABS for women of color (specifically black women) who are looking to ditch the toxins and create better lifestyle choices.
Q: How do you balance working full-time, managing a business, and your marriage?
A: Girl! It's very difficult and to be honest I am still trying to navigate how to do that. But I think the key to it is to not strive for perfection, I noticed that when I do that I wear myself out. I have the best husband anyone could ask for; he is as invested in ABS as I am so he understands a lot of the work that I need to do and is always standing on the front line with me. Juggling everything at once can definitely be overwhelming, but he helps keep me in check. Once I've mastered everything, you'll be the first to know hahah!
Q: Are there any specific tools or resources you could share with our fellow business-women?
A: I would definitely recommend getting yourself a network of women who are like-minded and share your passion for business. It's important to surround yourself with other women who share your dreams + goals. Networking is one of the most important tools when it comes to growing your business; there are so many opportunities out there that you may never come across all because you weren't aligned with the people who are able to help get you there.
Q: What advice do you wish you would have gotten when you first started out?
A: As funny as it sounds, do not over invest in your business. What I mean by that is, when you are starting out there's no need for you to buy 1,000 pieces of xyz. I made that mistake and I still slap my 25 year old self for doing that. I opened ABS three years ago and immediately thought orders would come FLYING in. Now, don't get me wrong..I am not saying to not believe in yourself, but it's important to be realistic so you don't end up shooting yourself in the foot. For example, I made A LOT of packaging changes and also changed some ingredients. I found myself with a lot of inventory that ultimately went to waste. Pace yourself, start off small, see what works and what doesn't, then go from there.
Q: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned on your entrepreneur journey?
A: That you actually have a lot to win as the underdog. Most people don't realize that when you are starting from the ground up, you have a great vantage point that can ultimately put you ahead of the game. Don't underestimate yourself, but be humble enough to learn from the mistakes of others that blazed the trail before you.
Q: What skills or education did you have that helped you operate/launch your business?
A: I took a business course from Rising Tide Capital, they are a non-profit organization that is community oriented and supplies entrepreneurs with the tools they need in order to succeed. I definitely recommend them to any one who is reading this and dancing with the idea of starting a business. I am also currently studying herbalism so I can expand my knowledge in my industry and bring their healing power to light.
Q: How do you stay focused when motivation isn’t enough?
A: Can I be honest? Being a creative is difficult. Although I love to create, I am not always in the right space of mind to do so. Sometimes I'm tired or uninspired. What helps me is taking a step away and practicing gratitude. Going outside of myself helps put things in perspective just as much as going inwards does at times. I am HUGE on prayer and meditation, they help me recenter my focus. If it wasn't for my faith in God, I would have given up a long time ago.
Q: How do you maintain your individuality in an industry that may be oversaturated? I try not to pay attention to what others are doing.
A: In the beginning, I paid too much attention to others in my industry and because of what I saw them doing I thought I was doing everything wrong. Luckily, I realized that I needed to strap on my blinders and solely focus on myself. When I started minding my own business (no pun intended) I saw myself flourish. My individuality is exactly what has brought me this far today and hasn't failed me yet.