Build a Great Business Without a Large InvestmentMorgan Gertler
Irina Dovganetskiy is like many other moms — she aims to only use the best products for her family, which means finding products without too many chemicals and harsh ingredients. Many other countries have already banned a long list of chemicals from household and personal hygiene and beauty products, while the US has a much shorter list of banned ingredients.
As a mom of three, Irina took her interest in chemical-free products and decided to make start creating her own products from scratch. After getting great feedback (and repeat customers) from her close friends, she took a leap of faith and decided to try and sell her products. She asked her husband for $200 so she could afford everything she needed to make a batch of products to sell. Since Irina was a stay at home mom at the time, she knew her family was on a budget but had been playing around with her products for a year and felt confident she could sell them. Well, she sold them. And her husband’s $200 investment turned into a debt-free business that ships all around the United States. Read on to learn more about this inspiring story.
“I created withSimplicity in January 2015, creating products for people who are looking for safe, sustainable, and effective alternatives for their beauty and skincare routines. […] What started as a hobby turned into a flourishing business.” – Irina Dovganetskiy
No Experience Needed When You Ask the Right Questions
Irina took her business online with Etsy, naming it, withSimplicity (Fun fact: Etsy only allows for one-word business names, which helped spur the creation of her brand name). But before she made it onto Etsy, she needed to register her business and get it legally set up. If you just lost some inspiration, don’t worry — you don’t need to be an expert in small business start-ups to get one off the ground. Irina wasn’t, and she got it done without a hitch. She did what many of us can be a little intimidated to do: ask questions, and get help from the experts. In her case, it was going to her City Hall and learning the steps she needed to take. She asked questions of people who knew about business and followed their advice. She didn’t want to take any shortcuts; building her business the right way was important, and it proved to be a worthy cause.
“We think our story is unique and needs to be shared with other women looking to start a business using the skills and knowledge they already know. Irina, our owner, is proud to share that after only operating the business for 5 years, it is completely debt-free!” – Team withSimplicity
Expanding + Promoting
As the withSimplicity brand grew and started to see customers coming back for repeated purchases, Irina and her team decided to keep inventory on Etsy, but open up their own online shop as well. They created a Shopify store, offering customer referral programs, rewards, and can now easily interact with customers on a more personal level. She also expanded the physical space of the business, moving into a larger area and housing her entire team in one place. She now has a customer service representative that you can speak to directly on the phone or in a chat, as well as a marketing team.
withSimplicity is a women-run business created by mom Irina Dovganetskiy who was looking for safe beauty products to use around her children. All of their products are natural, organic, cruelty-free, toxin-free, vegan, and handcrafted by her team. What started as a hobby in her kitchen turned into a flourishing brick & mortar + e-commerce site that ships nationally.
All products are free of artificial fragrances, colorants, parabens, bismuth, fillers, gluten, and toxins. They are also vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and contain therapeutic grade essential oils.