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So it took a lot for me to kick off this entire Indiegogo campaign. There were the logistical issues: Coming up with the perks, shooting the video, finding an editor, hiring an editor, replacing said editor, sifting through hours of royalty free music, learning my way around yet another “social networking” site, creating a strategy to get the word out.

But there were also the emotional hurdles. Revealing all the work that had been done thus far to my community, Self promotion which I’m ultimately really bad at, and the thing that I’m worse at, asking for help. And asking for money. 

I’ve spent the last ten days in utter misery and anxiety, constantly refreshing the page looking for the little bar jump. Wondering if those hundreds of people I’m “friends” with on Facebook actually give a damn about this thing that I’ve been toiling on for the last 2+ years of my life (because as of right now, it sure hasn’t been reflected in the balances). Then it became internal strife. Maybe I’m wording my “ask” requests wrong? Maybe I’m not cut out for social entrepreneurship? Maybe no one actually wants these goods? EVERYBODY SECRETLY HATES ME.

Then, it inevitably happens. I’ll get the email. The email that someone who I least expected donated, or that I was tagged in a post from someone congratulating me on my progress and cheering me on from the sidelines. More often than not, these generous souls tell me how proud they are and how they also see the clear need for my brand and how many people it could help eventually.

Suddenly, I remember to breathe, and it all seems worth it again. I come back to alignment, and try to figure out exactly where the breakdown is happening for myself. I can readily admit that I’m scared to death. I’m scared of failing. Failing to meet this arbitrary number based on an algorithm that I wrote late in the night. Failing to launch this year or next, and ultimately, failing to provide this incredible community with every comfort that they deserve.

Essentially, I’m putting myself out on this limb so you no longer have to, but the only thing more scary than the height, is the thought of never trying. I always live to see another day, and the cycle will inevitably begin again but each time I remind myself of the journey and not the destination.

In that right, I have already succeeded. Now, go donate.

www.indiegogo.com/hausurbanfund

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Haus Urban Apothecary on Indiegogo! DONATE!

Our Indiegogo Campaign is all the way live! Help us #LiveTheDream!

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People are always asking me what Haus is about, and how this whole thing started, so we decided to do a three part interview comprised of questions that I receive about the Haus brand, it’s inception, and it’s future.

What Is Haus Urban Apothecary?

The simple answer is that Haus Urban is a natural skincare line inspired by dance, music, art and urban life.

The more complex answer is that it’s beauty based solutions to real life problems. Parched lips, dry skin, limp hair, or just not enjoying your time in the shower anymore? We got you covered!

How did you get the idea to start the line?

Well, I’ve told our brand story fiftyleven times; being injured, rebuking the drugs doctors were trying to give me, being in physical therapy and trying to get back to the business of performing, and not finding anything that suited my needs. You’ll hear that story more in depth in the coming days once the online store launches.

In terms of the business itself, I’ve always wanted to develop a lifestyle brand. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a really long time. I’ve always been enamored with brands that become apart of a community’s collective consciousness. For example, Kleenex. Kleenex is a brand, but it’s the brand. It’s pretty much synonymous with tissue, so even if you happen to have a non Kleenex tissue on hand, and someone refers to it as “Kleenex” no one bats a lash. MAC is the standard for theatrical make up applications. Ralph Lauren is Americana. In my professional life, I’ve had the opportunity to explore the DNA of some of the greatest brands in the world and figure out what made people connect with them. Then it was a matter of decoding what it was I could see myself doing down the road given my interests and skill set.

I didn’t want to do a clothing line because, as much as I love fashion, I don’t really know that much about it. I know what I like, and generally what is appropriate and what works for what body type, but not enough to organically create. I also have entirely too much respect for what designers do to just try and put out some jank sportswear line and call myself a designer. Even now, some people refer to me as a “designer” and I cringe a little bit. I just don’t see myself that way. I think I’m more a Curator than anything. I then thought hotels, but I hate real estate, and wanted to learn a little more about interior design before I dipped my toe in the pool. Beauty and grooming was a perfect fit for me because I’m a product junkie, and everyone can relate to it. Even if you meet someone who says “I don’t wear makeup” or “I go natural”, they still have their skin care products of choice. Soap and water isn’t cutting it for anyone anymore. I’m not a make up artist, but I know what everything in a kit does, just from being around it so much. I also know that healthy skin is the best canvas you can have, so it just seemed like a good fit.

What is your long term vision for Haus Urban?

I have many, many goals for the life of the brand. First and foremost, it’s to bring a new dimension of exploration and fun to personal care. This line is really a love letter to the entertainment industry. There are all these people who struggle and sacrifice for their art, and I want to aid them in their output, whatever it may be, by making them comfortable, and not having to worry about their physical instrument. I’d eventually like us to grow into that one stop shop for whatever you may need in terms of grooming and personal care: bath and body, haircare, color cosmetics, men’s, baby, grooming tools, fine fragrance, oral care, everything.

So there could be Haus Urban toilet paper in the future?

LOL! We’ll probably start with wipes first, but if we can find a way to make the T.P. experience completely different from what it is now, I don’t see why not.

Who are your inspirations?

How much time you got? Lifestyle pioneers like Tom Ford, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons Hounsou, Simone Legno, Lisa Price, Todd Oldham, Shintaro Tsuji and Johnathan Adler. Artists like Michael and Janet Jackson, Prince, Ben Vereen, Bob Fosse, Bette Middler, Quincy Jones. These are people who have had to emerge, re emerge, expand, and revamp their brands over and over and did it, while staying true to themselves. There are lessons there that haven’t been lost on me.

TO BE CONTINUED…


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Via Indie Beauty Blog:

The Center For Environmental Health has filed suit in California against several companies it claims are violating California organic labeling laws.

Specifically, the Center says that 26 companies are marketing their products in California as “organic” when, under California law (see the California Organic Products Act of 2003), they are prohibited from doing so.

In case you didn’t know, California requires that all products claiming to be organic must contain at least 70% organic ingredients.

The most shocking offenders? Brands we that we know know better like:

Aubrey Organics, Inc: Collagen & Almond Enriching Moisturizing Lotion

Beauty Without Cruelty/Lotus Brands, Inc: Organic Aromatherapy Facial Cleanser

Boots Retail USA Inc: Boots Amazon Forest Brazil Nut & Vanilla Body Wash

Hain Celestial Group: Jason Thin-to-Thick Conditioner and Baby Avalon Organics Silky Cornstarch Baby Powder

Kinky-Curly Hair Care: Kinky-Curly Spiral Spritz

Kiss My Face Corporation: Hold Up Styling Mousse

People are always asking me why me products aren’t “organic”. The truth of the matter is, 95% of the Haus Urban collection meets the 70% criteria to be labeled as organic, but because we are a small company, and our suppliers, and often formulations change I’d rather not take the risk of misleading anyone. When this sort of thing happens, it’s hard to win back the good faith of your clients, or your brand equity. 

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The last week has been a complete and total shitshow.

Last monday, one of my epically huge migraines decided to come knocking on my door, which meant that I was out for the count. Sweats, Nausea, sensitivity to light and sound. Of course, when you feel like you have Lady Gaga thrashing around in her McQueens between your temples, and all you want to do is rest, is when the when the construction crew shows up next door and insists on banging away. On Wednesday, I thought I was well enough to go to work, so I got all the way there to find out that I wasn’t, and had to go home.

So at this point, I feel like death warmed over, I’m stressed about the money lost (I have supplies to buy!), and then UPS wants to start playing games with the supplies for my lip balm. I had strategically planned to do a sampling/marketing blitz that Sunday, as it was West Hollywood gay pride, and no one loves glossy lips like those gays! I switched my shift from an opening one to a closer (3 AM!) to make sure I could hit the streets and talk about Haus Urban to anyone who would listen, and maybe get a few more FB fans in the process.

Welp, seeing as UPS and their employees couldn’t get their act together, or follow simple instructions, I didn’t have all of my packages in hand until yesterday, almost five days after it was originally supposed to be here. And did I mention that I had to pay extra for the inconvenience?

I decided to take the time and really focus on what my next steps for Haus were going to be. I had a conference call with Jason from Entact Studios to work out more packaging/branding solutions (gray? white? clear? opaque? waterproof? gloss? matte?) and really gave some thought to HOW I was going to move this product.

The initial idea was to just have people come to tumblr, and send them paypal invoices for the product, as I didn’t expect that much interest in just two products. After trying to get folks to donate for an unrelated volunteer project using PayPal exclusively, I realized that wasn’t the best idea. I had avoided saying the “E” word for a while, but I bit the bullet…

Etsy. There was something about it that irked me. I wanted my line to be seen as Urban, Sexy, and Fashion Forward. Not Holly Hobby. And posting and reposting and relisting ad nauseum didn’t sound appealing either, until I came across the “Quit Your Day Job” blog series that Etsy produces. I learned that not only is it possible to sell your wares via Etsy to much fan fare and appreciation, but it is ALSO possible to have your full time job be devoted to just that.

DING DING!! That’s the end game! All I really want to do is educate people, make stuff, and hang out with my friends. I had been complaining that no one wanted to pay me to do that, so this seems like a natural progression. I understand that this will not happen overnight. I haven’t even signed up for the new Etsy account yet, out of fear that no one will buy anything (I know, I know, irrational). I still have more research to do, as I’m a big believer in “fail to plan, plan to fail”, but the “Quit your day job” series has given me so much hope and belief that this can be done, and done without selling my soul or sweat to a corporation.

Unfortunately, due to the setbacks of the last week or so, we may not be ready to ship out any balm until July. I’m doing everything that I can to make our initial target deadline of June 30th (Launch of the Etsy store, and taking orders), but there are many variables. Thank you for patience and know that it’s coming, I’m hustling, and it’s going to be well worth the wait.

Love and Lip,

H.

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It begins!