Meet the Mentor: Cynthia Cortina

This is part of an ongoing Maker Mentors guest blog series that features interviews with established makers.  Join the updates or recommend a maker for the blog.

What does your business do? BEING is a handcrafted line of small batch, organic and vegan bath and body products.

When did you start your business? Officially, January 2015 and a soft pre-launch in December 2014.

What kind of work were you doing before you started your business? My background is in marketing and I’ve worked in quite a few advertising agencies as an account manager.

What was the biggest challenge in getting started? Designing the packaging was the most difficult part because there are so many components to it!  Not only is it a strategic process of figuring out the branding, layout and copy, but a physical challenge of fitting all the requirements and producing various-sized labels in the most cost efficient way possible.

What product are you most proud of? Drift Salt Bath is my proudest creation because of its simplicity and unique scent.

How did you find your first few customers? Most new customers were family and friends that were being supportive after I announced the launch on social media channels.

What marketing tactics have been most successful for you? Instagram loop giveaways have gained me followers and resulted in immediate sales, though this type of success almost entirely depends on collaborations with highly targeted accounts whose follower interests strongly correlate with those of your brand’s.  Collaborations with bloggers for product reviews has resulted in traffic as well.


DISCOVER SILVER JEWELRY ON ARTFIRE


What does a typical day look like for you? I triage emails in the morning as I drink my coffee, which may last until early afternoon, depending on how much I get through.  I then have lunch, perhaps take a few photos for Instagram, then switch gears to making if I don’t have inventory stocked up.  If I do, and I need to fulfill an order, I usually take this time to do so.  The rest of the time, I work on my wholesale strategy or new marketing content.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you started your business? Don’t get discouraged by all the things you “can” do.  Once you launch and really start diving into your industry, you’re going to see so many people who just seem to be doing it better: prettier Instagram photos, more stockist relationships, more customer reviews, tighter branding, etc.  I’ve learned to regularly check in with myself and remember that at one point, there was a strong reasoning for the decisions I’ve made and I should trust that.  Moreover, don’t be afraid to switch gears if something isn’t working anymore.

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You can follow Cynthia’s work here: Website // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook

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