Welcome to another interview of the “Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur” series on Busy Bee Kate. Today we are featuring Cynthia Zhang of Rodan + Fields. Cynthia launched her small business in 2017 after using the products and achieving amazing results. She felt if she could share and help others feel the way she does now about her skin and self while at the same time giving back then that would be a great thing.
You can find Cynthia’s website here and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram. Take time to get to know Cynthia and more about what she does in the below interview! Also, Cynthia was so gracious to share a discount code with you, be sure to grab the offer at the bottom of the interview.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a wife to an incredible husband (who works long, hard hours) and mom to 2 amazing little girls (ages 5 and 2). I am incredibly passionate about children’s health. My older daughter has severe food allergies and youngest a rare immune compromising condition, so our days are filled with lots of doctor appointments. In my free time I love doing science & art projects with my girls, baking allergy safe goodies and just bought a sewing machine to learn how to sew! Most recently , I am the CEO of my own skincare business! 🙂
(photo courtesy of Cynthia Zhang)
What does your business do?
My business, Rodan + Fields, helps change skin and lives. Our clinically proven multi-med therapy products help to prevent and address many common skin concerns – aging (lines/firmness/pores), dullness/spots, acne/scars and sensitive skin (dry/red/irritated). We also offer lash and everyday essential products (lotion/SPF).
(photo courtesy of Cynthia Zhang)
Who is your target audience or market?
Anyone with skin! We are all aging and being exposed to the sun all the time and need to invest in our skin!
What year did you start your business?
What were you doing before starting your business?
Going pretty far back … I use to be a Chemical Engineer (on the supplier side to pharma and personal care). After receiving my MBA I moved into healthcare for several years, but ultimately made a career change to CEO of my family – supporting my husband and taking care of our 2 girls full time.
Where is your business located? Do you have a dedicated workspace?
I am in Belmont, CA, and always available to show any products in person. But, my shop is virtual and always open 24/7!
What would you say your biggest success has been? What was the key action that led to this success?
So far my biggest success has been my latest fundraiser. On behalf of my youngest, who suffers from a 1 in a million rare condition called Severe Chronic Neutropenia I raised several hundred dollars through my side business to give back to Rare Disease Day (on 2/28). This funding went directly towards much needed rare disease research. This a core of reason for my business and it felt amazing to give back in this way.
What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
So far my biggest challenge is still getting comfortable enough to reach out to anyone. I am not a salesperson and have never been one to post or ask people to buy things. I used, loved and felt compelled to share about these amazing products that transform skin and lives (like it did mine) and it feels amazing how I have helped so many people already feel great about their skin and self again. I am almost there, but still working on getting fully out of my comfort zone!
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? If so, why?
Not at all. I am having so much fun, helping others with their skin, giving back to the community and developing on a personal level as well. I have a lot of self motivation from my reason WHY I am even doing it – to help change lives in a big way through better skin and giving back.
What do you love MOST about being an entrepreneur?
The ability to work from anywhere, anytime – total flexibility.
What do you love LEAST about being an entrepreneur?
Nothing! I absolutely love doing it all! I am definitely a Type A, love to wear all the hats kind of person and being an entrepreneur is incredible for personal growth. Also, in my business we do not handle inventory or order fulfillment, so that takes away risk and gives back tons of time.
How have you funded your business? How long has it taken you to see a profit?
The initial investment for my business was very low – I only needed to purchase products I needed anyway at wholesale cost to use personally and leverage for the business (to show/giveaway etc). I already had a computer and phone, which are my main tools to run my business day to day. I was profitable in the first month.
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?
I was not looking for this business!!! My plate was so full already and although I have thought about starting businesses before, I never found the time/resources for it. This came along and was an easy and meaningful way to be a CEO of a side hustle. I had neglected myself and skin for many years and finally said “enough is enough”. I tried, used and loved the products. Rest is history! I am so happy it crossed my path.
Where do you see your business in the next 3 to 5 years?
In the next 3-5 years, I hope to see my business continue to grow. I see my business helping so many people and being a solid platform to give back regularly every month to the community and children’s health.
What advice would you give to other women that are interested in starting their own business?
If you have a dream, go for it. Nothing changes if nothing changes. And change brings opportunity. I did my due diligence on the company first, but even still had some hesitation … but I decided to still jumped in. You will never feel 100% until you try something as there is always an unknown component until actually are in it, doing it.
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!)
My phone and computer. I meet with people in person, but the majority of my business is run off my devices! Some apps that I use for creating images/videos – pic collage, word swag, typorama, boomerang.
What does your day to day in your business look like?
My business is a side hustle – I work it in the nooks and crannies of my FT job as wife and mom. So my day to day is primarily taking care of our house and my girls … with 15 min before the get up setting up marketing posts, 30-60 during nap time reaching out to friends/potential customers and 30 min after they go to bed finishing up answering any messages/questions/help with ordering. I also check and respond to messages throughout the day.
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 love spending as much time as I can with my girls! Whether playing outside, working on art projects, playing board games, or baking cupcakes I spend the majority of my time with them. When I am not working or with the girls, I am trying to pick up sewing! It has been a fun experience and so far so good – my older loves the new pillow for her favorite stuffed animal and new leggings I made her!
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or your business?
Rodan + Fields is the #1 and fastest growing skincare brand in North America developed by the same 2 world renowned Stanford Dermatologists who brought Proactiv to market. Our products are all clinical grade and proven. It is also totally risk free to try – with a 60 day empty bottle money back guarantee.
(photo courtesy of Cynthia Zhang)
The business opportunity is incredible – I use and share about incredible products without handling any inventory or order fulfillments. For a company with a solid, proven brand of market disrupting products in a growing industry. So, if looking for more time, a plan b (or a), a way to help others this could be the vehicle to help you get there. I am growing my team and happy to share more info to see if this could be a good fit for you.
Any other comments?
I run my business off Facebook and my website, so please feel free to contact and friend me on Facebook to learn more about my business and products. You can also check out my website, which has information on all products with clinical results at cynthiazhang.myrandf.com.