We all know how important it is for us to take time for ourselves. The brand SierraHandMade aims to bring this idea back into your life if you forgot that taking time for yourself is also an important goal that we all manage to overlook. Self-care is essential to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, and it produces positive feelings, which improves confidence and self-esteem.
Sierra always had a hard time finding affordable, natural, and healthy skincare products for herself, and that is how she came up with the idea of her start-up and she tries her absolute best to make all prices friendly and affordable so that everyone can enjoy good skincare without burning a hole in their pocket.
When and how did you start?
I spent nearly all my childhood and teenage years focusing on art, because art is the one thing that makes my soul happy! (Cheesy – I know). I have extremely sensitive skin, which got me into making my self-care products to begin with. I started SierraHandMade in 2018 with the vision of being a reliable and safe local supplier for all the natural self-care products you would need.
You won a Reader’s Choice Award; tell us more about that?
SierraHandMade won a Platinum Reader’s Choice Award with the Toronto Star in 2020 for being one of Toronto’s favorite beauty suppliers & a Platinum Reader’s Choice Award with Durham Region This Week in for being one of the Best Distribution Services.
“SierraHandMade These whimsical and natural bath bombs and bath salts are all hand-mixed and perfect for gifting.” – The Toronto Star
What is the process of creation of your products?
Everything is made by hand, in small batches, with extreme love and care. We source our natural and vegan-friendly ingredients from local suppliers in Canada. We start by making bath bombs in the studio and ship them out to your front door!
We also provide free contactless delivery anywhere within Durham Region, Clarington, Peterborough, Lindsay, South Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, Port Perry & Cobourg. We’re currently working towards opening the first SierraHandMade retail location!
Who are all in your team at SierraHandMade?
Our studio team is tiny! I make/wrap/seal/label/paint all products – and I manage all social media/inquiries! I’m companied by my spouse, Joseph who helps with lots of the deliveries and supply runs. We also have a new team member – artistic Jojo, who is the only other person who helps paint and pack everyone’s orders beautifully before delivery.
On the social media and marketing side of this business, our SierraHandMade family is ever-growing. You can visit the “Meet Our Team” section on our website to learn personally about each of our influencers.
How has the Community aided you in this journey?
Since the pandemic’s beginning, people have taken a much stronger interest and priority in self-care, leading us to become busier and busier. The support of the Community has been outstanding, and us implementing the free local contactless delivery allowed our customers to continue to shop with ease, without worrying about all the constant changing restrictions and lockdown rules.
How has the business changed with the Covid-19 Pandemic?
At first, things were scary. The fear of the unknown, right?
When running a small business, we must ask ourselves if what I’m selling goes out of style or “get old”? Self-care never gets old. Never will there be a time where self-care is not entirely essential. Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot benefit from an empty vessel.
The challenge is adapting to change, making sure you’re educated on current trends, and constantly evolving as a business. For example, we started with Bath Bombs. We now offer various self-care products, including Bath Bombs, soap, Bubble Bars, Soy Wax Melts, Sugar Scrubs, Body Washes, and Pain-Relieving Bath Salts!
The bath bomb industry is crammed with makers, just like the candle and soap industry. The key is to keep consistently changing, offering new and enhanced products and fantastic customer service.
Also, Community over the competition! Friend your competitors, learn from them, and make those great connections.
What is the one thing that has challenged you so far?
The absolute most significant challenge for us right now is adapting to change. Things are changing everywhere, every day. Restrictions are being implemented/lifted. To open a storefront location, the fear of if we go into another lockdown rises.
Everything is based on risk, so making sure we have something new and exciting is critical. What we’ve done is set a scheduled theme change biweekly on our website. So instead of customers seeing the same old products every time they visit our website, our best sellers stay and the rest switch into new products! (Meaning lots of limited editions). This keeps the interest of our customers high.
Tell us how your everyday routine looks like now?
It’s essential to get up early, start the day with good nutrition and caffeine (preferably iced) if you’re me.
We have a solid 5-6 hours of making per day (fresh batches daily), & our parcels get picked up and sent out for delivery every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 3 PM. Evenings are for content planning (important!), social media, and product photography. There is never a day where we are not working! (Except most Sunday’s & Holidays – again self-care is important, and you must take time to recharge)
Do you have advice for other entrepreneurs trying to start their business at such a young age?
If you want to run a small business that even someday turns into an empire, there are 3 things you must learn:
-Patience (if it doesn’t work the first time, keep trying. There will be a struggle with EVERY business)
-Motivation (you need constant goals to work toward, to keep you motivated. For example, opening a store – we have a specific number of sales and new customers we want to establish before taking that step)
-People Skills (Being outgoing as a business owner is an absolute must. If you’re shy, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone 🙂 Good customer service is essential to a constantly evolving business)
Go out to your local events and community boards and hand out business cards (you can even create these on a word template at home and print). Create a social media presence. Post in Facebook groups. We are in an era of social media, so it’s critical to be well educated on how each platform works.
Follow them on Instagram at sierrahandmade
Visit their website at www.sierrahandmade.ca
Author: Ravleen Bali, Content Writer for Onside Media, Canada. If you have any stories or comments to share, kindly email: –[email protected]