Ever wondered how to start and/or grow a product-based business? Worried you won’t be able to succeed because of all your responsibilities? Your kids need you, your husband needs you, your parents need you… how do you keep a business going with all of that going on??
Watch this exclusive behind-the-business look at how Rita Pardo started selling her small-batch, natural products for your body, hair, and home. Learn what got her to keep going and growing. She could’ve easily given up years ago, but now her products sell out in minutes and have been sold on large platforms like the World Natural Hair Show.
And she’s done it all despite overwhelming odds.
Christiana: Hey, guys! We’re here to visit Rita Pardoof Pardo Naturals. She’s a mompreneur, a product maker, a motivator, a sister, and a friend. We’re gonna learn a little bit about how she runs her business and maybe learn a little bit about how she
makes her products, too. You ready? Let’s go.
[Rita teaching Christiana how to make a bath bomb]
Rita: …Okay, so. We’re gonna mix it up a little bit because your
bath bomb makes you have to work fast with it otherwise it’ll get dry and
crumbly. And so you’re just gonna fill this up very lightly.
It works the same, so you just slide it up under there. Okay,make sure your fingers are out of the way you’re gonna press this down… press it down, and it’s gonna do all the work for you.
There it is okay and just flip it over. Kind of wiggle it a little bit [gasp]
Rita: That’s perfect, you did great. Congratulations on your first successful
bath bomb class, okay?
C: Thank you!
R: You welcome
C: Thank you so much for showing us!
R: You welcome.
R: It started because my daughter had a really bad skin. Her skin was really, really itchy. She was born a premature baby so she was allergic to a lot of stuff. So in 2014 she got really, really sick where she could not go to school.
So I had to retire – I used to drive school buses for special needs kids – so I started with the Shea butter and I had to do a little test to make sure she wasn’t allergic to it. She did well with it!
Took her to the doctor and the doctor said what are you using on her skin? I said
well I make this stuff I call Sho’ Nuff Good Stuff she said well, can I get some? I’m like,sure! She said you need to sell this.
I said nobody’s gonna buy this. So I started giving it out to people and the demand
got so high that I had to literally open up a website, so that’s how it started.
C: And, so what was that decision like for you to say okay I’m ready to make this a
business? I’m ready to set up shop.
R: It was scary. It was when this one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life.
Because I’ve never done that before and I sat there in my bed for about an hour like should I do it? Should I not do it? Should I do it? Should I not do it? When I did it, I turned it back off. I was like no, I can’t do it! I can’t do it.
So I prayed about it. I’m like you know what, Rita, you got this. This is just what you wanted to do. Go ahead and hit the active button and then do a live video and let people know that you have finally started selling these butters all over the place.
C: From there – from the door opening – can you walk us through what it was like
trying to grow the business?
R: I was blessed to be able to have customers who understood that I was a small business. So even my labels at that time were handwritten. Even the invoices itself were all handwritten.
That I always wrote a little thank-you note and I still do this because I think that that’s really important for your customers to get to know you and know that you’re a real person.
C: Once you kind of got the hang of things, were there any kind of obstacles that you felt like you had to overcome?
R: There were times that I would run out of something and then somebody request it and I didn’t have the ingredients so then I would have to literally go to like a Costco or a BJ’s or somewhere. I was only buying like 50 at a time. Where now I can buy like seven hundred and twenty at a time.
The more you buy,the more you save.
And then that shipping gets to be atrocious so if you got to pay $15 each time for 50 jars and you can pay $30 for 720 jars, do the math. So I really lost a lot of money. I lost some hard money for just not knowing what to do.
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C: We met at a vendor, you know, you were a vendor at a pretty big event and you stood out to me. Because – and I didn’t know, before I met you in that event, I didn’t know your background, I didn’t know anything – but you did stand up, stand out to me because you had a certain light around you where you were like I really care about the person who’s in front of me right now.
I think I came by with twice and you would stop what you were doing and like talk to me, and answer my questions, and got my name, and my information down and said you – you’d would send me some samples. And I was like who is this woman?!
So I kind of knew that you took care of people. That was kind of what you do. That was just part of who you were. You seem to be the caretaker. You kind of take that role on. And has that influenced your business any? How has it influenced your business?
R: People like to be taken care of. People like to be wanted. You’re coming because you need something from me. So I need to find out what you need, I need to find out why you’re here. It’s important because you could have went to somebody else’s booth.
You could have went somewhere else. So when I started the business it wasn’t based on money. Because if you start businesses based on money, whenever you’re not
making any money, you’re gonna quit.
I started a business to be a service to my children. So you come into my business,now you’re considered one of my children.
C: You have a lot of loyal followers. Loyal customers. What would you – what things would you attribute that success to?
R: Transparency and honesty. Now, since everything is visual (social media), people like to see the behind the scenes. They’re so inspired by someone’s story. So I’ve gone
through quite a bit the past two years with my family. With my husband and with
And people got to see all of that. They got to see the tears. In 2017, July 5th as a matter of fact, my husband- he was a truck driver – he got in a bad accident. Even during that time my mother died.
That was one of the hardest things to have to deal with is to have to leave your husband in the hospital go tend to your mother. And I’m trying to drive down Highway 20 to get home and I just pulled over and I lost it. I was like you know what? It’s too much. It’s too much. I sat there for about 15 minutes.
C: How were you able to move past that? Because I think that’s incredible that you were able to.
R: You just get up and do it. If you show up crying, at least you showed up. If you show up upset, mad about something, show up! So that people, your community, can gather around you and help you through those feelings.
So my community was great. They helped me so much through all the feelings. So you got to have that Purpose Pusher. That person that motivates you and say yeah you got to get up and do it.
C: You’ve mentioned that community a lot of the time. It seems like they play a pretty big role in how you run your business.
R: So I had to put that pride down not that I’ve ever been a prideful, prideful or private person but these are intimate moments that is hard for some people to share. But my
transparency allow people to come into my life and see what I was going through
and through that they were able to assist me.
So transparency and honesty really, really helped.
C: I want people to get a sense of how long it took for you to feel like okay things are rolling in, your revenue’s growing, I’m seeing movement in business.
R: That didn’t happen till this year, honestly. Before, all of the – all of the money was going right into the house and the business was struggling. It was staying afloat, but I couldn’t invest into it like I needed to because we needed to keep a roof over our head.
You have to invest in your business if you want to grow. You have to because if you don’t invest into it then you can’t grow beyond what you already are. I just did the World Natural Hair Show in April.
That’s a lot of money to earn a booth out there. It is a big investment. So I never had that. I didn’t have that kind of money to put on a booth rental and hope I make it back. So I’m like, okay, if I don’t make it back we’re gonna lose the house.
C: What kind of advice would you give them? For those people who are maybe struggling or wanting to get into the business?
R: Make sure you have a business plan. You have to have a plan. That business plan has to be contingent on what your goals are.
So get you a brand coach, get you a financial advisor, get you a motivator, and you’re gonna lose friends along the way and it’s okay.
I lost a lot of friends – a lot of close friends – because I wasn’t able to bring them along with me. And don’t be afraid to jump so now I’m jumping.
I’m jumping off everything, girl. And it hurts when you fall now. It’s gonna hurt. But you gotta be resilient, you gotta get back up, and if you can’t get up by yourself, call that friend. Call that motivator and say, look, I really don’t feel like doing this today. I don’t feel like… oh no you can’t do that. I got a lot of those friends.
C: Your Purpose Pusher, right? I really like that.
R: Your Purpose Pusher. Yes, yes, that’s what it’s called.
C: All right so we just got done talking to Rita and I’m so inspired, so happy that we got to really learn how she runs her business. Learn the behind-the-scenes that we might not have seen before and I’m just inspired to go for my dreams, to go for my goals regardless of what obstacles come my way. I hope you’ve been inspired too, but I’ll see you next time.
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