Monday, July 2, 2012

Up and Coming Entrepreneur Spotlight -- Leila Larsen of Silly Lips Lip Balms

Summer Promo

My second Entrepreneur Spotlight this week is Leila Larsen, of Silly Lips lip balms.  I stumbled across Leila's products while looking for up and coming entrepreneurs to spotlight in my blog.  When I saw her unique and fun lip balms, I knew I had to share her story and products with you.

Silly Lips lip balms add serious moisture and shine, with a hint of flavor. silly lips™ is enriched with Shea butter to leave your lips feeling silky and smooth. Use it alone or with your favorite lip color!  Leila came up with the idea for these universal lip balms when she noticed she had 3 different balms in her handbag -- all, with a different purpose.  Looking for a product that would provide moisture, shine and be fun, Leila decided to create her own line of lip balms.  And, so Silly Lips was born.  

Leila got inspiration from her friends and modeled the 3 flavors after them -- Tracy, Katie and Bekah.  Each lip balm has its own flavor --  Tasty Tracy:  Coconut Peach, Kinky Katie:  Vanilla Mint, and Bangin Bekah: Sugared Strawberry.  You can also get to know each girl by reading their "profile" on the back of the box.   After reading about them, I can see why Leila considers them close fun.  They sound like so much fun to be around.  

Please enjoy my spotlight interview with Leila today, and then head back here on Friday, when I will share my review of her Silly Lips lip balms with you further. 

Name: Leila Larsen
Company Name/Product/Service: Silly Lips/ lip balms
Company Location: Orlando, Fla.
Company Website:
Twitter Handle: @SillyBrand --!/SillyBrand
Age of Company: Launched in April of 2012
Favorite Inspirational Quotes:   Success comes in "Cans" not "Cannots" - Fortune cookie quote.  I have had this quote taped to my laptop screen for about 6 years.  I see it everyday and it reminds me that I can do anything. 
Favorite Book:  Other than "50 Shades of Grey" (ha!), I just finished reading my new favorite book, "The 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking" by Cliff Michaels.  I love reading books that motivate me and feed me with knowledge .  It's funny how things change when you are done with school :)

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.  

I just got married to the man of my dreams.  We do not have any kids, yet but definitely planning on it in the future.  Other than work I enjoy exercising, doing anything crafty, and spending time with friends & family. Recently, I have been devoting some time to volunteering for local charities, which has been a very rewarding experience.    
Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?   

silly lips lip balm line was created in my kitchen about 6 years ago.  It all started when I noticed that I had at least 3 or more different lip balms in my purse at all times.  Each one served a different purpose, one would be for moisture, another for shine and a few thrown in there because I loved the fun packaging or flavor.  Because of this, I wanted to create a lip balm that embodied it all, moisture, shine and fun!  It took a lot of sleepless nights and many failed attempts, but I finally ended with the perfect formula.  The next step was the fun part, the packaging.  This was where I got inspiration from my friends and modeled the 3 flavors after my 3 closest girls, Tracy, Katie and Bekah.  They helped in picking out their favorite flavors:  Tasty Tracy:  Coconut Peach, Kinky Katie:  Vanilla Mint, and Bangin Bekah: Sugared Strawberry.  You can also get to know each girl by reading their "profile" on the back of the box.   
What is a typical work day like? 

 I don't think I could say there is a "typical" work day because everyday there is something new and exciting to do for silly lips.  It can range from a day full of office work, organization and administrative duties to the more fun-filled days where I get to sample new flavors, work on the new package designs, and do a fun interview on the company :)  So I am definitely always on my toes and that's the beauty of having your own company, everyday you work to grow your brand.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?  It doesn't help that I am a slight perfectionist, but it took me a couple years to decide on the packaging & design for the silly lips brand.  I had a vision and didn't know exactly how to put it on paper.  It took some time but it was well worth the wait.  
What did you do in your past work life?  

I have always worked in the Marketing field (over 10 years) either in sales or consulting.

What have been some of your major successes?   
- I would say the biggest success would be creating a product and brand that I believe in and can stand behind wholeheartedly. 
-Learning the ins and outs of the lip balm industry and connecting all the dots to create a productive business.     
- Not giving up.
What have been some of your major challenges?   

When you start your own business, it is up to you to learn all aspects of the business.  Especially, when you do not have the budget to hire employees right away.  So it is really important to learn as much as you can about every position.  This is challenging because you are pretty much learning as you go, which means you make mistakes. For me that was (and still is) the hard part, but I have learned that making these mistakes will only make me better.  
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?  

I'm not gonna lie, I would work 24/7 if I could, but I have a feeling that wouldn't fly with my hubby :) 
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?  

This is a great question. It was hard at first especially balancing wedding plans, getting married and moving all during the launch of silly lips.  I just have to remember that the reason I am where I am today is because of the people who love and support me, so I make a conscious effort to make time for them.  Sometimes, you just have to leave your cell phone or laptop in the other room.       
What is next for your business? 

 More silly lips girls, of course!  Adding to the line is our main focus right now and I am working on that as we speak.
Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?  

I would say the first step is believing in yourself.  If you believe in yourself you can do anything.  Educate yourself as much as you can by reading books and articles.  As you start learning more and more each day, you will find that many of your worries and fears will go away. Lastly, don't give up!      


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