Charissa Skinner is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario. She is the CEO of Crushed With Love Natural Vegan Skin Care, where she has created an all natural vegan skin care line including aftercare balms to help soothe and heal skin post-microblading (permanent eyebrow tattoo), where a portion of the proceeds from sales helps send fruit into a local kindergarten classroom to enjoy a healthy treat! We are excited to share Charissa’s Success Story.
About the Crushed With Love Product Line
We offer an all natural vegan skin care line including aftercare balms to help soothe and heal skin post-microblading (permanent eyebrow tattoo). Other uses for the balms include other permanent makeup (PMU) purposes as well as post dermal lip fillers. The brow balm and healing lip balm aids in the healing process through the use of specially formulated earth derived ingredients of oils, butters, and dried flowers. Crushed With Love also provides a variety of 100% naturally formulated lip balms to help moisturize and keep delicate lips ultra smooth all year round. Along with offering a natural and vegan aftercare option in the PMU field, another idea that has been a growing trend is personalizing labels. I originally created a personalized label for a local microblading artist and their brow balms. Other similar businesses loved the idea and they too wanted to be able to send their clients home with their own aftercare system, branded with their logo.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
During my maternity leave from teaching in 2015 with my second child, I was laying in bed one night thinking of some of the kids in my kindergarten classroom the previous year who did not have a healthy food option in their lunches. If a child did not have a healthy snack, I would often give them an apple or banana from my own lunch. I thought to myself it would be nice to find a way to fund a supply of fruit to be available for all students in my class on a daily basis. At that moment an idea of making lip balms came to mind, with the incentive of selling them in order to use a portion of the sales to keep a bowl of fruit in the class for the kids to eat when needed. Around that time I had just started using essential oils in the home to eliminate toxic and harmful chemicals in my household cleaning products and skincare. I made scrubs as Christmas gifts for family and loved it so much that I taught myself how to make body butters, lip balms and bath bombs. At that point, I decided to just “go for it” and posted my natural products on Facebook to sell! Currently my “Fruit for Kindy” program contributes fruit to a local kindergarten classroom so that they can have a healthy treat.What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur provides a life for my family that I wasn’t able to have growing up. I grew up in a family that didn’t have much money and we lived in low income housing and would sometimes depend on the food bank for food. I have always worked hard to provide for myself and paid my own way through university, as well as getting my teaching degree and masters of education. I vowed to myself when I was out of high school that I would work hard to give my future self and family a lifestyle that I did not have as a child. Being a teacher has helped with that, but now having my own business that is growing, I can do things and give my children things that I never had. This year we are going on a family trip to the Dominican Republic, and we are able to do this because of my business! Not only this, the flexibility of owing my own business allows me to be here for my children. I can drop them off at school and pick them up, as well as attend their school events. Without my business I wouldn’t be able to do these things!
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
There is so much that I love about owning my own business, it is hard to narrow down to one thing! I do love that I create a product that people absolutely love. When an artist receives their brow balms with labels that are branded with their logo, they often contact me afterwards saying how much they love how they look and cannot wait to give them out to their clients; that is so rewarding to hear! I also love getting feedback from people who have used my balms and say that it has made a world of difference with their healing process. Helping people really matters to me, and when I know that my all-natural and vegan products that are free from harsh chemicals and toxins are working, then I know that I am on the right path! As well, the flexibility of owning my business works so well for me since I have 3 children. With my business I don’t have to prepare to get myself and my 3 kids out the door by 7:30am in order to get to work in time. I have the luxury of taking my daughter to the school bus stop and pick her up, as well as attend all her school functions. Being there for my kids matters and keeping my sanity matters too! Yes owning your own business is hard work, but the flexibility is something that I find works better for my stress level and mental health, while being a mother and working to bring in an income.
Can you describe a typical day?
Right now I am currently on maternity leave from full time teaching so my days look a lot different now that I am not in a classroom. Each morning when I wake up I check all my social media and emails and send out social media posts for the day. I then get my daughter ready for school and drop her off at the school bus stop. After that I come back home and play with my 2 year old as well as take care of my 4 month old baby. Throughout the day I will answer any emails, reply to orders, communicate with the company that I outsource my labels with, post in a women’s entrepreneurial facebook group I run, along with cleaning the house, cooking, etc. At the moment my business is home-based, so making the actual balms I have to do when my husband has his days off and I can work alone in my “soap making room”. At night when the kids go to bed, I will spend time putting all the labels on the products. The best part of the day is when I go to bed and listen to other inspiring female entrepreneur podcasts! I truly look forward to this downtime where I can be inspired as well as educated!
Who do you count on for help?
My husband has been a great help for when I have to make products. I usually have to tell him ahead of time that I will need a couple hours that day or night to make product so he will be on “kid duty” with all three kids. Having a business that is based at home can be tricky sometimes, because it is hard for your partner or kids to understand that you are working. Ideally, I would like to one day have my business outside of the home so that it is separate from my house and family. That way I can say I am going to work and my husband and kids will know that I am not physically home so they can’t interrupt; I also won’t feel as guilty since I am out at work rather than in a different room in the house hearing them playing.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Yes absolutely. If I have product to make or an order to fill my husband will be taking care of the kids and usually he will take them somewhere outside the home or they will play outside, and I feel like I am missing out on family time where we could all be together. I try to manage my time so that I only spend a certain amount of time making product while the children are awake, and then do a lot of my work when the kids go to bed. I think when the kids are older and they are in school, I will have more time to manage my business and my home life so that there isn’t as much to sacrifice. Although I may have to sacrifice at times, I also know that because owning your own business there is flexibility, I am able to attend special events for my children that I may not be able to otherwise.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
Right, I rarely have a day that I am not doing anything associated with my business. But to me that is ok because I am so passionate about my work and absolutely love what I do! However, when I am not “doing business” I will spend time with my family and we will do an activity outside of the home, visit extended family, or I will meet up with a friend for coffee or dinner.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I would love to continue to make all natural balms for businesses world wide! When my business expands I will find a location outside of the house for production, labelling, paperwork, etc. Another thing that I am passionate about is working with and helping other female entrepreneurs. So if I can find a way to continue with making branded balms for businesses and combine working with female entrepreneurs then that would be the dream!
Any tips for other women thinking of starting a business?
Do not compare yourself to others! You are unique and what you have to offer nobody else can do the same because they are not you. So be confident and be your true self and others will see that and it will resonate with them. Also, be prepared to work hard every single day. But if you love what you are doing you will want to work hard every day because you know that is what it takes to make your vision come to fruition. If you don’t love what you do then it is impossible to work hard every single day. Eventually you will give up if it isn’t something you are passionate about.