How this founder innovated in a competitive market
“Made fresh to order” is something you tend to hear in the food and hospitality industry, but not so much in the beauty space. But that’s exactly what an entrepreneur brought to the market. What intrigued me about this line – which was released during the pandemic – is that it’s made to order. Julie Goodman, founder of Potent Serum, decided she wanted a skincare line with only the active ingredients that matter, without the fillers that keep creams and serums on the shelves for months.
So what does an entrepreneur do? Create what she couldn’t find.
Goodman recently launched Potent Serum, with a very interesting business model that solved a big problem. Your product isn’t made until you order it so it’s not filled with synthetic fillers and they send you a new shipment every month so you have the most effective ingredients on hand at all times. I was able to catch up with Goodman to learn more about his new take on a crowded market.
Burns: First, share with us more about Potent Serum and your mission.
Potent Serum was created to help women grow. We are fed up with unrealistic beauty standards that keep women from reaching their full potential. It is time to regain our autonomy and move the dial forward.
Our brand facilitates this change by:
Simplify beauty routines. We say no to unnecessary 12 step routines that rob us of our precious time. Time is our most precious commodity and allows us to make our desires come true. The less time we spend performing an elaborate skincare routine, the more we can go out and create meaningful change in the world.
Transparency of ingredients. Educating women on the science of the skin is essential. Gone are the days of buying a product full of load and a single active principle, ineffective and degraded products. We are committed to formulating with the highest quality active ingredients that balance and support our skin. Each ingredient has a purpose and a benefit.
The less is the more the state of mind. We adhere to the “do less, but better” philosophy. Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated. There is a wealth that comes from engaging in simple self-care. Our concentrated, data-driven formulas give your skin everything it needs to feel healthy, radiant and nourished. Maximum results with minimum effort.
Empowerment of skin care. No one’s skin is pore-less. The myth of flawless skin has perpetuated a standard of beauty that hinders our progress as women. We put an end to skin insecurities. It’s time to treat our skin with supple formulas that gracefully promote aging. We find the word anti-aging insulting. We take care of our unique skin with intention.
Potent Serum is the opposite of a complicated skin care brand. We believe in real, streamlined products that just make you feel confident.
Burns: As a clinical researcher and mother, how did you find the time to launch a skin care brand and how did the pandemic play a role in the timing of the launch?
Good man: Like many people, I had to put in place systems to promote productivity. According to C. Nothcote Parkinson, “The work expands to fill the period of time available for its completion.” With this in mind, I frequently made lists and set deadlines for myself. I find that I am more productive with deadlines, so I assign them to each task but give myself a little leeway. It also gave me the space to delegate more effectively.
As a parent, quality time is extremely important to me. My partner and I aim to spend 15-20 minutes one-on-one time with each child per day. It hasn’t always been possible with all of us confined to one space, but that’s the goal we set for ourselves.
Many of us have come out of the pandemic and have changed in one way or another. I have had time to reflect and reassess many areas of my life. I was finally able to face some realities that I had been turning away from for years, such as the lack of attention to the health of my skin. Everything and everyone came before my own needs. I recognized that by taking care of myself first, I would become a better mother, wife, friend and businesswoman.
While researching skincare products on the market, I found myself surrounded by items that contained one to two active ingredients in an entire vial. As a busy woman, I didn’t have time to waste with products filled with fillers, and I didn’t want to sacrifice my skin health with harmful synthetics, either. I started to think: what if I could condense concentrated and proven ingredients into one or two dynamic skincare or two? A product that has worked hard to deliver results without a multi-layered approach.
Burns: What challenges did you face during the launch during the pandemic?
Good man: Launching the brand during the pandemic proved to be quite difficult. The shipping times were the most difficult; at one point, our packaging was blocked at the port and untraceable for 4 months. I had no idea of the outcome of the launch of the brand but I told myself to continue despite the hiccups. My belief in the product and its value has kept me and keeps me going.
Burns: The Powerful Serum is a 2-step skin care system delivering just that – powerful and effective actives to your skin – without the fillers that are typically included in other skin care products. Why did you choose this route when developing the line?
Good man: One of the main reasons was that many active ingredients lose their effectiveness over time. Many topical products based on ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are ineffective because the product breaks down very quickly. The beauty industry is currently looking for ways to stabilize this ingredient; a patent for a stabilized ascorbic acid only exists for one brand. There is some evidence showing that ascorbic acid is stable for about five weeks and degrades rapidly after that with exposure to water, light and oxygen. A great way to alleviate this problem is to make and use freshly made Ascorbic Acid Serums.
I made the decision to make the serums fresh when ordering because I wanted to deliver maximum results with the active ingredients. Our customers have subscribed monthly, and the monthly creation ensures that you receive not only a potent product, but a highly effective product without a lot of preservatives, stabilizers, or fillers. The subscription model really played a big part in our decision to return our monthly serums. In addition to receiving a concentrated product, we also offer the convenience of delivery to your doorstep. You just define it and forget about it.
Burns: What’s the best advice you could give to an entrepreneur who is also looking to disrupt their industry?
Good man: Be the face of your brand. I was hesitant about this at first and wanted to stay behind the scenes. I quickly discovered that people need a face they can trust. They need to know that you are a real person.
To disrupt an industry is to change the status quo. This can be very difficult to do because people are generally resistant to change. You have to earn people’s trust by creating a real emotional connection and educating them by meeting them where they are. People buy from people and relationships build trust and loyalty. You need a face that people can relate to and think of: that person feels my pain and understands me. This face must breathe passion and energy. You want people to know that you can trust and care about them and their issues. People may love your branding and aesthetic, but in order to become loyal customers, you need a face.
Many entrepreneurs, including me, struggle to be the center of attention. We want attention to be on our product. This can be a difficult hurdle to overcome as it is your name on the brand, website and on social media. The fear of publicly failing is also a fear to be overcome. By being so easily accessible and sharing your post, you will receive harsh criticism and comments. But remember to detach yourself and not take it personally by looking at the big picture. You will grow from the experience and it will get easier.