About six weeks ago, someone asked me how long Oilogic had been in business. It took me a minute to think about it and then I realized it had almost been 5 years. 5 years, WHAT?!?! Is that right? Honestly, we had been working on Oilogic for a while before, but 5 years ago we shipped our first product, so that's what we count as the start of our little brand.
5 years of entrepreneurship. Wow! Early on, someone told me when you start your business, everything will cost twice as much and will take twice as long as you thought. Of course, I didn’t believe that would be true for us. After all, we had experience, passion, and we were so smart. I mean, in 5 years I thought we would have multiple employees to run the day-to-day (aka “hard stuff”) and we would be sitting back just working on the fun stuff and collecting a healthy paycheck.
Sadly, the advice I received has turned out to be truer than I would have liked. Maybe I wasn’t so smart after all. However, I do think we are smarter than we were 5 years ago and I do think our company is slowly building into its true potential, though it hasn't always been easy. There have been several high Highs and few low, Lows, but we're still here and we're still pushing.
After reminiscing with my team, here are our top 5 memories from the past 5 years. Some high , some low, but all memorable!
1) Do You Want to Buy Oilogic?
Without question, one of the top memories we all share is June, 2015. We landed an appointment with BuyBuyBaby to show their baby toiletries buyer our little Oilogic. We really had no idea how it would go. We knew we loved our idea for this brand but had no idea what a retail buyer would think. After a 30 minute meeting, the buyer said “she had seen nothing like it” and seemed very excited about the brand. Whew! Yay! Then 2 weeks later, after cold-emailing the Target baby buyer, we were walking into the corporate offices at Target to give her the same presentation we had just pitched to BuyBuyBaby. The only thing I really remember from that meeting was the buyer saying, “I think this would be a perfect fit for Target”. Um, what? Did I hear you correctly?
One of our first major pain points came about a year into our business. We started noticing when we were in the stores that several of the boxes on our Bug Bites & Itches Roll-on were wet. It looked like the Roll-on inside was leaking product and getting all over the box that held it. Ah! It looked horrible! We quickly figured out that in the manufacturing process that vials and roller balls from two different vendors were used. You couldn’t tell a visible difference in the appearance of the packaging, but apparently the two pieces were different enough to allow a small amount of oil to leak through during shipping. So we had to quickly hire a company to go into every single Target store and replace those on the shelf that had leaked. It was a very costly and embarrassing ordeal that quickly allowed us to step up our quality control. I guess sometimes you have to learn your lessons the hard way.
3) The Girl From "Who’s The Boss?"
One day we were quietly working in our office when all of the sudden I noticed our followers on Instagram were climbing. I checked our recent tags and saw that @AlyssaMilano had posted about Oilogic! Wow! Our PR agency had sent her some product to try and, lo and behold, she was impressed by her experience and decided to tell fellow Moms about the brand. A few days later we received a note on Alyssa Milano stationary thanking us for the product. It is a pretty good day when one of your childhood idols talks about your product.
4) The Worst Timing Ever.
In late 2019, we finalized one of the biggest programs in our company’s history. We were planning to launch a new sub-brand of Oilogic, called Oil My Goodness®, a kids personal care collection using Essential Oils. Walmart was so excited about the product line, they wanted an exclusive in their stores. On top of that, the buyer wanted to launch with a 4-week branded tower end cap. This display would sit at the end of the aisle and would include branding and selling points. This space in Walmart is very difficult to secure and usually reserved for really big brands. We could not ask for a better way to launch this new product collection. The display would be expensive and the timing would be super tight to execute, but we knew the investment was well worth it. The display was scheduled to be in stores the week of March 19, 2020. Remember what happened that week? Yep, COVID shut down the country! The stay at home order was put in place and everyone dashed to the stores to wipe them out. What did that mean for us? The stores were completely overwhelmed on the food/beverage side and our displays did not make it from the back room to the floor. There were a few stores who were able to get it out and guess what, no one was interested in buying kids bubble bath. Only the essentials: food, sanitizer and toilet paper! We spent most of 2020 cleaning up and recovering from the worst timing ever.
5) 80,000+ Shares
Our last highlight happened on November 14, 2020. Early in the day, I noticed the sales and traffic on our website was unusually high for the day and we couldn’t figure out why. After lunch, our Amazon rep. called and said our sales on Amazon were up over 600% than our normal daily average. What was going on? That night, after contemplating many theories, the Oilogic facebook messenger account received a message saying that we should check out the post his wife had made about our Stuffy Nose & Cough Vapor Bath. The post had gone viral and was quickly racking up thousands of shares. The user’s post said, "If you have a little one dealing with allergies or a common cold then RUN, don’t walk, to your nearest CVS or drug store and buy this!!!” For the rest of the week, our sales were up everywhere—in stores, on Amazon, on our own websites, everywhere. Our sales in one major account were up over 100% versus the week prior on that product alone. And beyond that, this single post got the eyes of over 80k people on our product, driving awareness and trial of the product and brand. We couldn’t replicate this if we tried. Normally we would have to pay thousands of dollars to get that many eyes on our product. We were not only thrilled, but also so grateful that we have customers who love and appreciate our products so much that they want to spread the news to their friends. Those are the kinds of days when you feel like the ups and downs of entrepreneurship is well worth it.
5 years has certainly flown by.
Just like the time with your kids, we feel so grateful to have had 5 years in business. We’ve loved helping our little Oilogic grow and blossom and we can’t wait to see where the next 5 years will take us. Thank you for being part of the journey and please feel free to take $5 off your next purchase of $20+ with the code “HAPPYBIRTHDAY”.