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Q&A: Sade and Rachel Baron, founders of Sade Baron, built a personal care brand that taps into the power of natural ingredients.

Here’s how they managed their business through the pandemic.

Sade and Rachel Baron

Meet Sade and Rachel, the mother-daughter duo behind the personal care brand Sade Baron. Sade’s personal experience with eczema and the natural body care her grand aunt used to help treat it shaped Sade’s understanding of the power of natural ingredients — and it stuck with her throughout her life, even while she spent 35 years working as a midwife and nurse. Growing up with a mother who had a natural remedy for many skin and health ailments, Rachel had a deep understanding of the power of natural ingredients as well, and struggled to find skincare products that were natural and effective in her adulthood. Aware of the need for vegan, high-performance, gentle products, Sade and Rachel started their business in 2016, and used their understanding of botanical ingredients to craft products that contribute to our skin’s long term health.

 

How have you managed your business finances through the pandemic? 

We definitely focused our cash flow on more activities that can get us in touch with our customers online. We focused our efforts on social media and email marketing which had been the best tools in staying in touch with our customers. The government programs have been a massive relief in keeping our business open and being able to adapt to the changing environment and purchasing habits of our customers. 

 

Has your approach to sales and marketing changed? 

We had a very different approach pre-COVID with our marketing strategy mix, and as it was changing, we adapted to making more efforts in social media, online marketing, and email tools, which were once secondary and became primary. We spent more time updating our website and improved the flow, usability, and overall product experience (descriptions, images, video). 

 

“Staying positive was something we had to focus on more — it’s hard to watch businesses you have known for years just shut down. We received a lot of support from our past customers, and some also sent notes to us to encourage us, which was super helpful.”

 

How has technology played a role in your business during this time? 

We upgraded some of our tools, such as inventory management to be able to forecast better. In e-commerce, we added a few more apps to monitor and understand the data, and to translate that into what’s next. We spent on creating more unique ad content, stayed away from outdated ways of looking at ads, and reached new and old audiences. 

 

How have you managed your mindset (and that of your team)?

Staying positive was something we had to focus on more — it’s hard to watch businesses you have known for years just shut down. We received a lot of support from our past customers, and some also sent notes to us to encourage us, which was super helpful. We spent some time regrouping and figuring out what we needed to work on better, and to improve our workflows. 

Sade and I did a lot of walking and optimizing our business over the last year. From email sequences, to personalized notes, calling our customers to engage on social media posts and Instagram Lives. We also identified things that we are not strong in — we outsourced or hired a contractor on a project basis so we didn’t turn our wheels out. 

 

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to all entrepreneurs in your industry today? 

A big motivator is a quote by Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never give up,” which is something we really took to heart as businesswomen. The second was to pivot, which made it easier to move quickly and listen to the customer and market. That made it easier for us to stay in business and make necessary changes within days versus months. We also created better workflows. For example, our shipping usually took two to five business days. We reduced it to one business day, so customers knew if they ordered things, it got there faster. 

Looking for more advice, stories, and inspiration from fellow entrepreneurs? We’ve partnered with Cisco Designed and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to bring you What Next — a resource to help you plan your next step in every aspect of your business.