Welcome to another interview of the “Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur” series on Busy Bee Kate. This week we are featuring Cara Prieshoff of Rodan + Fields. Cara is a Mom of 4 and became a Rodan + Fields consultant last year. See how she juggles being a Mom and works to grow her Rodan + Fields business in the below interview!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a native Chicagoan (Go Cubbies!), but left the MidWest 15 years ago to start a new adventure of living out West in California. I am a former Advertising Executive, turned Non-Profit Program Director, turned Stay-at-home mom to my four children. Besides raising my family and working to grow my Rodan & Fields business, I love to read, travel, volunteer and play sports.
What does your business do?
Rodan & Fields offers dermatology-grade, clinically proven skincare products that produce real results. The products were created by renowned dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields (the same doctors who created the anti-acne brand Proactiv) and utilizes a social commerce business model to get products into the hands of customers. Our vision is to help people achieve great skin by having access to premium skincare products.
Who is your target audience or market?
Anyone with skin! We have products that can be used on children as young as two years old and up.
What year did you start your business?
What were you doing before starting your business?
I have been fortunate enough to be at home raising my four children for the last 10 years.
Where is your business located? Do you have a dedicated workspace?
My business is virtual, so I can use my phone or computer and work anywhere that has WIFI.
What would you say your biggest success has been? What was the key action that led to this success?
Believing and trusting in myself to try something new and different. Having the support of my family, gave me the encouragement I needed to jump in to owning my own business.
What would you say your biggest failure has been?
Waiting so long to create a better work-life balance.
What did you learn from this failure and how have you changed things to prevent this from happening again?
I had to learn to give myself permission to have a role outside of motherhood. In doing so, I have learned that I am happier and more well rounded when I carve out time to pursue things I am passionate about. I have learned first hand, how important self care is and how it allows me to take better care of my family and friends.
What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
Finding the time to consistently work on growing my business as much as I’d like. As a mom to four kids, the daily demands and unexpected challenges arise constantly, so I work as much as I can, without sacrificing family time.
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? If so, why?
I am less than a year into owning my own business, so my passion and drive are still very strong. However, there are times when things don’t go my way or people question why I am doing what I do. But the beauty of this business, is that everyone has their own reasons, dreams to fulfill and my reason why fuels my energy and motivation. I also feel fortunate to have a great network of other consultants that help support me and encourage me when I need it. I am also fortunate to have access to a wide variety of free trainings and seminars through Rodan & Fields, that help my personal and professional development.
What do you love MOST about being an entrepreneur?
Showing my kids you can try something new at any age, work hard and find success.
What do you love LEAST about being an entrepreneur?
I am a goal oriented person, so I have an overall vision of how I want to run my business and then set personal milestones and goals to achieve that vision. Sometimes I don’t hit those goals in the timeframe I want, because I have to prioritize my family first and my business second. When this occurs, I have to remind myself that as long as I am helping my family and helping people in the best capacity I can, then I am doing the right thing.
How have you funded your business? How long has it taken you to see a profit?
Rodan & Fields allows you to own your own business within a budget range you can afford. The top business enrollment kit costs less than $1,000, which includes a variety of products, tools and marketing materials. However, you can also start your business for as little as $45! I personally chose the top business kit and earned back my investment in my second month of owning my business.
Did you always see yourself owning a business? If so, is this the business that you thought you would be owning? If not, what did you think you’d be doing?
No, I didn’t envision myself owning my own business someday and I certainly didn’t see myself selling skincare (who does?) But this business is so much more than skincare for me. It has allowed me to create a better work-life balance that I desperately needed and given me the chance to feel productive and motivated in a different way than motherhood, with tangible results. It has allowed me to help my family financially by bringing in a consistent residual income to help pay for our family’s expenses. Bay Area living is expensive! It has afforded me the opportunity to help people have confidence, feel good about themselves and love their skin as well. It has created a sense of community for me with other like-minded and driven women and men and allowed me to help empower other women and men to pursue and achieve their dreams through becoming entrepreneurs themselves. And don’t let me forget to mention enjoying great skin and lashes is a really nice perk too!
I knew when my kids were older, I wanted to go back to work in some capacity, but wasn’t sure what I would pursue or how I would go about doing that. Rodan & Fields has been the perfect solution for me, because it gives me the flexibility I need to be there for my family, while still affording me to grow my own business on my terms and my own timing.
Where do you see your business in the next 3 to 5 years?
I envision leading a team of fun-loving and dedicated women and men entrepreneurs, empowering them to achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams because of Rodan & Fields. I will also continue to help people fall in love with their skin, have confidence and feel good about themselves through introducing them to these great products.
What advice would you give to other women that are interested in starting their own business?
Talk to as many business owners as you can, along with other successful people you admire, to learn about their successes and failures and lessons learned along the way. Do as much research as possible on the industry you want to be in, so you are well grounded and can have a plan for how best to achieve success within that industry.
What is one program, tool or app that you can’t live without for your business? (If you have more than one, please feel free to share more!)
While I own my own business, Rodan & Fields has a proprietary software program that I use daily to manage and run all aspects of my business. I also use a variety of graphic design applications for marketing purposes, such as Word Swag, Canva and Pic Collage. I use social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram, to market my business and products as well. Lastly, I have access to a wide variety of trainings and workshops offered free through Rodan & Fields.
What does your day to day in your business look like?
Every day is different for me. Because my business can be run virtually, I am able to work in and around my family’s schedule. So I can input a customer order while waiting in line at the grocery store or I can communicate with a teammate or customer while waiting in the carpool lane at my kids’ school. Or I can host an event during the day or in the evening, for people to learn more about the business and products. This is one of the aspects I love most about working my R&F business, is the flexibly of this business model.
As a business owner it can often be hard to find time for ourselves. What are your favorite hobbies and what do you like to do when you are not working?
I enjoy reading and am part of a book club. I love to travel and recently had the amazing opportunity to travel to New Zealand with my husband, while my parents watched our kids. I love to experience live music and am fortunate through my husband’s work in the music industry, to be able to attend concerts of incredible artists. I volunteer at my kids’ elementary school by helping to chair fundraising efforts and community building events. Lastly, I love to play sports, but nowadays, that means just playing in the backyard or watching my kids play their own sports!
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or your business?
Owning my own business with Rodan & Fields has been such a great opportunity for me. It goes way beyond skincare. I’d love to help those of you who are looking for a change or a way to pursue your passions on your own terms.
If you are now curious about how owning your own business with Rodan & Fields can help you, I’d love to talk. No matter what you pursue, I wish you all the best in whatever path you choose to make your life a success!