In 2011 by Kathleen Blaney, MSN, ARNP-C, started Simply Nonotoxic Cosmetics. “I don't think there's been a time in my life where I wasn't in school or running and managing a business. I am a firm believer that every step you take lead you where you're supposed be and after many years I feel like I have finally found my true passion. Developing a completely e-commerce business seemed to be the best avenue to reach the most people. Given the world of technology today, it just seemed logical to me.”
Kathleen started Simply Nontoxic Cosmetics as a solution her own medical issues. “As a nurse practitioner, that's what we do - resolve problems and find solutions to make people better. I had extremely sensitive skin and rosacea. Anything that I put on my skin, thinking it was helping, actually made it worse. I turned to the natural and organic Industry for answers. I combed the aisles of health food stores only to be frustrated. I even went to big name companies looking for answers only to be frustrated again. It finally dawned on me, after many hours of research, that I can do this myself! I can bring to market luxurious calling natural organic and toxin free products that people will love to use. And that's where it all began.”
“When an order comes in, even today, I smile. It gives me strength to move forward and continue on my mission. Often times I reach out to the customers personally. I believe in customer service and top quality products. I want to know what my consumers think and their feedback, because this business is evolutionary it's always changing – and it’s up to me to be on top of those changes for my customers.”
Describe yourself in three words:
Ambitious, tenacious, and creative.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
My greatest professional achievement would be starting this business. Because it's my passion. I’ve started other businesses previously, but nothing that made me feel as strongly and as passionate as this business. Life is ever changing, there can be other things that happen in my life, professionally, but this is where I am most satisfied right now.
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
E-commerce for our site will be showing growth. In six months, I’d like to see this business thrive to the point where I'm overwhelmed -- not just just selling products, but hearing from the people to use them!
How does your company stay connected through social media?
Being an e-commerce business, it is imperative that we stay connected through social media. We can be found on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
At this point in my life, the growth and success in this business is the only thing I can think about. I have had many businesses in the past. The only thing I can see myself doing is becoming more educated about the natural organic and nontoxic industry as well as the technology that we're using in this ever-changing world.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Maintaining a work/life balance? Well this is a tough one. Though I not only believe in these products, I live the lifestyle. I make time for my personal life. I actually pencil in my personal time on my calendar. If I don't set time aside for myself, it will never happen. Like I said before, when you own a business, you live, eat, and breathe that business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
What websites do you visit every day?
I follow my social media accounts very closely. I visit my website and work on the backend for a while. I'll take a look at other competitors websites, I like to keep an eye on what's going on in my industry.
What is your favorite adult drink?
I drink water most of the time or I’ll whip up a smoothie, that's usually my daily breakfast. And occasionally, if I'm going to drink alcohol, it's red wine. Good red wine!
What are your top 3 favorite people/places?
The three top favorite people in my life are: my mother, she will always be number one, as well as my family. Lisa Brasfield, my business partner, has such a lust for life it is contagious. My best friend Phil has been with me through all the ups and downs the last 25 years.
One of my favorite places I have ever visited is Alaska. I’ve traveled all over the world for the most part, but there's something about Alaska that is breathtaking.
What is your goal for retirement?
I’m not ready to think about retiring yet! My main goal in this life is to make change. If retirement comes along with it, then so be it.
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
First and foremost, find a mentor. It's not east to start and maintain your own company, especially if you've never done it before.
Follow your passion, and do not let anyone, not one single person, tell you otherwise. You might have to do something that you don't want to do to reach your ultimate goal. That's just temporary keep thinking that, stay positive no matter what life throws at you.
Don't give up. You will have failures, you will do things wrong, people take advantage of you -- it's the way in the world. Work with and surround yourself with good people from the start, otherwise you'll find yourself stumbling again and again and again.
CONNECT WITH KATHLEEN BLANEY
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.
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