"If your heart is in the right place and you believe in your mission, success is possible--but the path is anything but easy." Bethany McDaniel, founder of Primally Pure, had many side hustles before pursuing her passion of natural skin care products. Her career path wasn't mainstream, and neither is the business she created. Keep reading to hear how she built her business and continues to improve and work for success.
Name:: Bethany McDaniel
Twitter or Instagram Handle: @primallypure
Location: Southern California
Occupation: founder of Primally Pure
Secretly Obsessed With: Matcha in the morning and really dark chocolate (90 percent or higher) in the afternoon--I rely on both of these foods more heavily than I'm proud to admit!
On My Nightstand: A big stack of books (that never get read), earplugs (my husband snores), and water.
Last Thing You Read: I rarely read actual books aside from the Bible, but I'm currently listening to the audiobook "Good to Great" and loving it!
How did you get started on your career path?: My career path has been anything but linear. I've held many different jobs throughout the years as well as a number of random side hustles (including a kid's swim lessons business, a copywriting business and a very unnatural skincare business back in 4th grade, for which I made lip balms out of Crisco and food dye--eek!). My obsession with natural skincare was born after years of dealing with sensitive, acne-prone skin. I tried every mainstream product you could imagine, many of which offered short-lived results but didn’t truly make a difference in the health of my skin. It wasn’t until after I discovered the power of eating real food that I purged my bathroom cabinet of toxic skincare products and began formulating my own replacements made with real, recognizable ingredients. Much to my surprise, the products I made actually worked better than the dozens I had tried in the past. My acne cleared up and my skin felt (and looked) better than it ever had. But most importantly, I enjoyed using them. I started selling my creations on my family farm’s website and a few months later I started a website of my own. Today, I have a team of 12 and we work out of a beautiful office/warehouse space in sunny southern California.
What key elements played into your success?: I'll forever be grateful for the opportunity I had to get involved in my family's organic farm. I learned so much about business, health, marketing, etc. from my family and from my own successes and failures within the family business. Beyond that, I can't overstate the importance of just going for it in business. I didn't have any money to start Primally Pure. In the beginning, I was hand-cutting our labels, collecting magazines and newspapers from local hair salons and shredding them myself to use as packaging material, hand-writing addresses on packages, etc. Everyone thought I was crazy, including my family. But I stuck with it and grinded it out because I believed so firmly in my products and felt an intense commitment to my customers from the very beginning. I'm still grinding today, but in very different ways. My current grind is more of a mental one as I constantly seek to improve and grow as a company through digital strategy, expanding our brand offerings, connecting with people in new ways, managing roles and personalities within the company, and so much more.
What struggles did you face getting to this point?: Natural ingredients are tricky to work with, and they're always keeping us on our toes. They aren't always consistent like synthetic ingredients are, so we're constantly having to assess and adjust for differing textures, scents, etc. We try to be upfront with our customers that slight variations in consistency and scent are to be expected from batch to batch, and I think they get that and appreciate us more for it.
Who was the biggest influence in your professional life?: My husband, for sure. He was the one who really encouraged me to turn my hobby of creating natural skincare products into a real business. Even though I had always wanted to own a successful business, I still needed a push to officially start Primally Pure. Today, he helps out with certain aspects of Primally Pure and is always there to act as a sounding board for new ideas and big decisions.
When do you feel most successful?: I don't spend too much time reveling in successes, but I do love the feeling of finishing a project from start to finish--website redesigns, seeing a new product concept come to fruition, big product shoots, launching new programs...nothing beats getting lost in a project and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from sharing it with the world!
What’s the best piece of advice you received?: This may sound silly, but I am obsessed with this one video of Steve Harvey called "You Have to Jump" (you can find it on YouTube). The video shows Steve talking to the audience on Family Feud after wrapping up a show. He talks to them about the importance of taking a chance on your dreams. I watch it whenever I'm in need of motivation, and it always gets me fired up!
What advice would you give to women looking to enter your industry/space?: In the clean beauty industry, you have to really want to help people and disrupt the current status quo in order to succeed. It’s incredibly difficult to source and work with natural ingredients. They’re much more expensive than ingredients made in a lab, and they’re often inconsistent in texture, scent, etc., which has led to many moments of frustration for us and our production team. If your heart is in the right place and you believe in your mission, success is possible--but the path is anything but easy.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? : I don't know if I will ever feel 100 percent satisfied with what I've accomplished (there is always so much more to do!), but I do feel super proud of my team, our product line, and the impact Primally Pure is having on our customers' lives, the natural beauty space as a whole, and in our community.