Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of this series.

There are many things I regret.

I regret that I ever put BGLH Marketplace in a position to compete on price. I learned early on in my accelerator program that, contrary to popular belief, small businesses that attempt to compete on price are significantly MORE LIKELY to fold than those who don’t. Small businesses don’t have the same capital reserves as larger businesses, so it’s generally recomended that they stay far, far away from the race to the lowest price, and compete primarily on value. As an example; a local coffee shop doesn’t launch with the goal of beating out McDonalds’ on price. There’s an understanding that the quality of the coffee shop’s ingredients, ambience and community justify its higher price point.

I love the work of BGLH Marketplace. I consider myself incredibly lucky that I get to do it. Even more lucky that despite my many, many, many mistakes, I have done it for this long.

There are questions right now that I cannot answer. The 50% reduction in sales volume we experienced is no small thing. Right now we’re playing a game of chicken. Will we get our sales volume up before our loan runs out, or will the loan run out first? I’ve had to go over worst case scenarios.

Thankfully no scenarios involve this business folding permanently. It might have to contract for a bit, we might lose the Brooklyn storefront, but if this rollercoaster has proven anything it’s that — when priced and valued correctly — this business has more than what it needs to grow and thrive without debt and stress.

I’ve had this story on my heart for weeks. Rolled it over and over in my mind wondering whether I should share it.

I learned in my business accelerator that my biggest marketing asset is me. My story, my voice. But I’ve hesitated because my story is so, well, embarrassing. Who wants to publicly admit that their insecurities nearly torpedoed their brand? But that is my story. At least for now. I know there will be more stories — better stories — to tell after this.

And so, this is where things end for now. Vanessa, Rodney and I are riding it out at the storefront. On days that revenue is high we are buoyant, Rodney exclaiming “Alright, alright, alright!” before launching into work. When things are slower we’re more subdued. But we’re all trusting that the seeds that have been planted — seeds of hope and not fear — will blossom into something really beautiful soon.


BGLH Marketplace

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6 Responses

  1. I appreciate you so much for your continued transparency and your standards. I have tried several body butter brands and have enjoyed many of them. But there was and is something about BGLH that I knew I wanted to invest in. I had just learned about your products on Facebook a couple of years ago and started reading the information you put out about yourself and your line. I was sold before I even tried it. Your willingness to share your experiences and be open about what you’re about is why I began supporting BGLH. I thank you for your response to such a big issue in our community (our skin, and how to get it and keep it healthy). I thank you for your hard work, and even more, putting in the work that many may not- researching what’s good for our largest organ. I thank you for your labor of love and sharing that love with all of us. I hope you are feeling empowered and encouraged, as you have done for others through sharing BGLH with all of us. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much Yvonna! I am definitely feeling encouraged and so grateful that I was able to share this with you without judgment!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve recently become a customer and your products have my skin issues. I’ve used other shea butter products, body oils and they just sit on my skin. I love how your product feels, smells and moisturizes! Wishing you continued success!

    1. Yaay! So happy to hear that! We work hard to get good texture and absorbency for our customers!!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story and your honesty and vulnerability. I’ve been a long time customer of your body butter and also follower of your blog, back in the day. Maybe your sales will pick up in the cooler weather, which is usually when I replenish. I try to buy my butters so that they will last through the summer and early fall when it’s still a bit warm. I usually have at least 2-3 jars in stock along with an open jar in the bathroom and a jar of cocoa butter on my nightstand. I also buy jars for my family for the holidays. Keep the faith and stay strong. Love your products.

    1. Thanks Kat!! We were hoping too that it was just a summer drop, but because the drop was so instant (happened right after we stopped offering 50% off) we had to conclude that it was a pricing issue and not a seasonal issue. We still do strong sales in the summer time, so we knew it wasn’t just a matter of longstanding customers taking a break.

      Still we’re grateful that we survived it! And definitely grateful for our longstanding customers who are returning after their summer break!

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