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🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. Age and background are not barriers to success; determination and belief in our ideas, combined with hard work, can lead to creating a popular and resonating brand.
  2. Embracing new passions and opportunities can bring fulfillment and joy, even in the midst of fulfilling roles like motherhood.
  3. Success in entrepreneurship comes from being adaptable, learning from failures, and finding the right product or service that resonates with customers.
  4. Success and fulfillment can only be achieved when you find something you are truly passionate about and believe in. Having a sense of ownership and conviction is crucial for achieving success in any endeavor.
  5. Having a genuine belief in a product's efficacy and actively engaging with customers can lead to success in sales and a deeper understanding of its potential benefits.
  6. Aligning expectations with goals is crucial, but hard work and dedication can lead to unexpected opportunities and eventual success.
  7. Success in branding requires persistence and resourcefulness, as demonstrated by Tiffany Masterson's ability to market her Wonder Bar through various channels, despite limited resources and setbacks.
  8. It is crucial for consumers to critically evaluate product claims and seek evidence before accepting them at face value, emphasizing the need for skepticism and independent research.
  9. Researching ingredients and understanding their potential harm is crucial in creating effective and safe skincare products that address customers' needs comprehensively.
  10. Tiffany Masterson's journey highlights the importance of understanding ingredient toxicity levels, the power of personal growth and timing, and the value of passion and organization in pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.
  11. Tiffany Masterson's methodical research and categorization of skincare ingredients enabled her to create products with only necessary and effective components.
  12. Removing harmful ingredients from your skincare routine can lead to significant improvements in troubled skin, just like troubleshooting tech issues by following steps.
  13. Skincare products with certain ingredients can cause skin issues, and using non-fragrant plant oils and ensuring absorbability are crucial for maintaining healthy skin.
  14. By owning the formulations of her skincare products, Tiffany Masterson gained full control over her brand's products, avoided future costs, and found a manufacturer to bring her vision to life.
  15. Stay true to yourself and trust your instincts, even in the face of doubt and opposition. Embrace your authenticity and create a brand that stands out and is easily memorable.
  16. Success in starting a business requires resilience and determination, even when facing limited resources, financial obstacles, and doubts from others.
  17. Starting a business requires the support of loved ones and clear communication about the impact it will have on relationships. Staying focused on a clear vision can lead to success even when faced with conflicting advice.
  18. Success in business requires perseverance and resilience, even in the face of potential failure and challenges.
  19. In a competitive industry, it is crucial to be innovative and take risks. Tiffany Masterson's unconventional marketing and packaging strategy for Drunk Elephant highlights the importance of standing out and capturing the interest of potential customers.
  20. Sometimes, we need to believe in ourselves and take risks by reaching out to new opportunities, even when those closest to us may not initially support our ideas or dreams.
  21. Stay open to possibilities, maintain positive relationships, and never give up, even in the face of rejection. Success can come when you least expect it.
  22. Success can be achieved by seeking support, staying true to your values, and understanding the market positioning of your brand.
  23. Drunk Elephant's success in the beauty market was achieved through strategic pricing, leveraging word-of-mouth marketing, and utilizing social media platforms like Instagram for effective promotion.
  24. Being exclusive to Sephora can significantly boost a brand's success by leveraging the retailer's influence, creating word-of-mouth buzz, and gaining credibility in the beauty industry.
  25. Success often comes from embracing unexpected opportunities and building valuable relationships that can propel us towards our goals.
  26. Tiffany Masterson's decision to bring in a private equity company instead of selling early was driven by her vision to strengthen and position Drunk Elephant for success, while ensuring that employees would benefit from any future sale.
  27. Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson remained confident in the legality of her product and pursued an acquisition, not just for financial gain, but to further expand her brand and help more people with her skincare products.
  28. Wealth and success do not guarantee a change in mindset or worries. True value lies in remaining true to one's core values, cherishing friendships, and staying dedicated to one's passion.
  29. Success is a combination of hard work, dedication, and luck. Finding the right path and pursuing it passionately can lead to serendipitous opportunities that contribute to achieving success.

📝 Podcast Summary

Success at any stage: Tiffany Masterson's journey to creating Drunk Elephant skincare brand

Success can happen at any stage of life with determination and hard work. Tiffany Masterson started her journey as a stay-at-home mom in her 40s with no connections or money. Despite facing doubts from experts in the industry, she followed her instincts and created the skincare brand Drunk Elephant. She was not afraid to take risks, even if it meant going against conventional wisdom. Through strategic thinking and research, she built a brand that resonated with thousands of women, even gaining popularity among young girls through TikTok. This story reminds us that age and background do not limit our potential for success, as long as we believe in our ideas and are willing to put in the effort.

Following a path of creativity amidst motherhood and financial struggles.

Tiffany Masterson's initial focus was on being a mom and supporting her family while her husband faced job loss and financial struggles. She found fulfillment in raising her children and building a happy home. However, around 2008-2009, Tiffany began to feel a desire for creativity and an opportunity to contribute financially. She spent time on the computer, realizing that mundane activities like reading gossip websites were not fulfilling. Tiffany tapped into her creative side by designing elaborate invitations for her children's birthday parties. This experience ignited a recognition of her love for creative work. This takeaway highlights the importance of staying open to new passions and opportunities, even in the midst of fulfilling roles like motherhood.

Tiffany Masterson's Entrepreneurial Journey: Adaptability and Learning from Failures

Tiffany Masterson's entrepreneurial journey had its ups and downs. She initially wanted to start a catering company but realized the high cost of ingredients would make it difficult to be profitable. She then shifted her focus to a pantry cleaning business, where she would replace unhealthy food with healthier alternatives. However, this venture didn't go far after she mistakenly threw away her best friend's husband's pantry items, costing him money. Undeterred, Tiffany eventually found success selling skincare products from the brand Arbon. This story highlights the importance of adaptability and learning from failures in entrepreneurship, as well as the need to find the right product or service that resonates with customers.

The Importance of Finding Your True Passion and Sense of Ownership

Finding your true passion and sense of ownership is crucial for success and fulfillment. Tiffany Masterson's husband discovered his passion for art and started creating metal lights, but it wasn't a sustainable business model. Tiffany, on the other hand, tried working for a skincare company, but lacked the conviction and ownership to truly succeed. However, when Tiffany's brother and his wife were introduced to the Wonder Bar, a special soap from Malaysia, they saw potential in selling it at their store. This led Tiffany to realize the importance of finding something you truly believe in and are passionate about. Only when you have that sense of ownership and conviction can you fully commit and achieve success in your chosen endeavor.

The Power of Believing in a Product: Tiffany Masterson's Journey

Tiffany Masterson's experience with selling a skincare bar taught her the importance of truly believing in a product and its ingredients. Unlike the Arbon products she had previously tried, the bar had specific claims and instructions that she followed diligently. Using the bar and a mild fragrance-free moisturizer, Tiffany saw a remarkable improvement in her skin, which strengthened her belief in the product's efficacy. She became fully committed to selling the bar, engaging with customers and offering support and advice. Although she may not have had all the answers, Tiffany's determination and willingness to help others led her to develop a deep understanding of the product and its potential benefits. Ultimately, her success in selling the bar was rooted in her genuine belief in its remarkable ingredients.

Expanding Ambitions and Regaining Investment: The Journey of Wonderbar

Tiffany Masterson's initial ambition and enthusiasm for Wonderbar exceeded the intended scope. Initially meant to be sold only in Houston, Tiffany wanted to expand its reach and promote it nationally. However, she received a reality check when her family informed her to focus solely on selling it to women in Houston. Despite her disappointment, Tiffany's brother-in-law recognized her hard work and offered her a partnership in Wonderbar USA. This opportunity allowed her to benefit from her efforts and eventually regain her investment. The takeaway here is that sometimes it's important to align our expectations with the intended goals and scope of a project, but also that hard work and dedication can open doors for new opportunities.

The Power of Persistence and Resourcefulness in Building a Brand

In short, one big takeaway from this conversation is the importance of persistence and resourcefulness in building a brand. Despite limited travel and tight budgets, Tiffany Masterson was able to promote her Wonder Bar by reaching out to blogs, magazines, and even direct marketing companies like Guthy Ranker. She sent out over 3,000 emails, showcasing the unique ingredients and benefits of her product. However, when Guthy Ranker offered a significantly lower price per bar, she stood her ground, recognizing that their suggestion was not feasible. Additionally, there were even quality issues with the bar, causing some customers to have negative reactions. Yet, Tiffany persevered, demonstrating her resilience and commitment to her brand.

The Importance of Critical Evaluation and Skepticism in Consumer Choices

Believing in a product and its claims doesn't always mean that it's true or effective. Tiffany Masterson believed in her skincare bar and promoted it to others, even though there were reports of negative reactions. When she received a scathing review from a reputable website, she questioned the truth behind the bar's claims. This event made her realize that she needed to know what was in the product and whether it was truly beneficial. It demonstrates the importance of critically evaluating claims and seeking evidence before accepting them at face value. This lesson highlights the importance of skepticism and the need for consumers to do their own research to make informed decisions.

From Wonder Bar to Skincare Solution: Tiffany Masterson's Journey

Tiffany Masterson's journey with Wonder Bar taught her the importance of researching and understanding the ingredients in skincare products. As she encountered customers with bad reactions to the bar, she began to question its effectiveness and sought answers. This led her to delve deeper into the world of skincare ingredients, realizing that some commonly used ones like essential oils and fragrance could be irritating and harmful. With this newfound knowledge and instinct, she started advising customers to avoid certain ingredients. This experience ultimately sparked the idea for a line of skincare products that offered a total skin solution, addressing the needs and concerns of customers in a more comprehensive way.

Tiffany Masterson's Personal Journey to Create a Skincare Line Founded on Control and Transparency

Tiffany Masterson's journey to create her own skincare line was fueled by her own personal experiences and desire for control over the ingredients she used. She realized the importance of understanding the toxicity levels of ingredients and how they could affect her skin. Through research and self-education, she learned about the different names essential oils can go by and how they can potentially trigger breakouts. Tiffany's goal was to create a line formulated with ingredients of her choice, giving her control and transparency. She wanted to provide a solution for consumers, offering a complete skincare regimen without the worry of triggering skin issues. Despite not being naturally skilled in organization, Tiffany used a simple spreadsheet to bring her vision to life, driven by her passion for the project. This journey also emphasizes the importance of personal growth and timing, as Tiffany believes she wouldn't have been able to embark on this venture in her twenties, suggesting that her experiences as a parent and developing organizational skills played a role in her success.

A Meticulous Approach to Skincare Ingredient Analysis

Tiffany Masterson's experience of raising four kids taught her the importance of being methodical and organized, skills that she applied to her analysis of skincare ingredients. She would meticulously research and analyze the ingredients of different products, categorizing them based on their purpose and potential effects on the skin. She questioned the necessity of certain ingredients, such as dyes, fragrances, and silicones, and identified potential harmful components like drying alcohol and chemical screens. Her thorough approach involved consulting websites that rated ingredients for toxicity. Over time, through continuous learning and research, she gained a deeper understanding of which ingredients were beneficial and which were potentially problematic. This meticulous analysis enabled her to develop a vision of creating skincare products with only necessary and effective ingredients.

Eliminating certain ingredients for transformative skincare.

Removing certain ingredients from your skincare routine can have a transformative effect on your skin. Tiffany Masterson discovered this when she eliminated what she called the "suspicious six" ingredients from her products: SLS, essential oils, fragrance dyes, drying alcohol, silicones, and chemical sunscreen. Many skeptics doubted her, but those who tried her philosophy experienced significant improvements in their skin. This approach serves as a troubleshooting method for people with troubled skin. It's similar to calling tech support and following their troubleshooting steps. Most cleansers and skincare products contain these ingredients, except for pure oils. By preserving the natural barrier of your skin and avoiding sensitization and inflammation, your skin can do what it's supposed to do naturally.

The Impact of Skincare Ingredients on Skin Health

Certain ingredients in skincare products can contribute to skin issues, and removing those ingredients can allow the skin to reset and heal. Tiffany Masterson explains that many people may attribute their skin problems to conditions like acne or redness, but it could actually be the result of the ingredients they are using on a daily basis without even realizing it. Essential oils, for example, have some benefits but the negatives outweigh the positives, according to Masterson. She recommends using non-fragrant plant oils like marula oil or apricot oil instead. Masterson also emphasizes the importance of absorbability in skincare products, as many formulas tend to sit on top of the skin rather than being absorbed. Ultimately, it is crucial to be mindful of the ingredients we apply to our skin and consider their potential effects.

The Importance of Owning Formulations in Skincare Branding

When starting a skincare brand, owning the formulations is crucial. Most skincare brands ask for formulations to be made without actually owning them, which can lead to expensive and limited control over the products. Tiffany Masterson made the smart decision to own the formulations of her skincare products from the beginning. This allowed her to have full control over the formulations and avoid additional costs in the future. Additionally, it gave her the freedom to find a manufacturer that could bring her vision to life. By taking ownership of the formulations, Tiffany Masterson was able to create the successful brand, Drunk Elephant.

Trusting Instincts and Embracing Authenticity: The Story of Drunk Elephant's Success

Tiffany Masterson's unwavering belief in her vision for her brand, Drunk Elephant, led to its ultimate success. Despite numerous warnings and criticisms about the unconventional name, Masterson followed her gut and stayed true to her own personality and style. By refusing to listen to others and instead fully committing to her own choices, she created a brand that stands out and is easily memorable. This mindset of embracing her authentic self extended to the creation of the logo as well, with Masterson drawing it herself with her daughter by her side. The key lesson here is to trust your instincts and stay true to who you are, even when faced with doubt and opposition.

Overcoming Challenges in Starting a Business

Starting a business with limited resources and no prior experience in the industry can be incredibly challenging and stressful. Tiffany Masterson and her brother-in-law invested their own money into launching their skincare brand, Drunk Elephant, and faced financial obstacles along the way. They brought in a second investor in 2014 to help support the business. Despite uncertainty and doubts from others, they persevered and launched with a small product line. The initial investment cost them around $150,000. Tiffany faced strain in her relationship with her brother-in-law, who was concerned about the financial risk. The experience taught her the importance of resilience and determination, even in the face of uncertainty and financial pressures.

The Support of Loved Ones and Staying Focused

Starting a business can create a lot of stress and tension, especially for partners and spouses. Despite the challenges, having the support of loved ones is crucial. Tiffany Masterson's husband believed in her and made sacrifices for her to pursue her business dreams. However, it's important to have open and honest communication about the impact it will have on the family and relationships. In Masterson's case, she had to ask her husband to stop working and take care of the kids while she focused on her business. Additionally, having a clear vision and sticking to it can lead to success, even when faced with conflicting advice. Masterson resisted the idea of spreading herself too thin and insisted on getting her products into Sephora, a decision that ultimately paid off.

Embracing risk and overcoming obstacles in business.

Taking risks can lead to success, even in the face of potential failure. Tiffany Masterson was aware of the risks involved in starting her own business and potentially damaging her relationship with her brother-in-law and sister. However, she was tired of worrying about the future and decided to take her one shot at launching Drunk Elephant. Despite the stress and uncertainty, she did not let the possibility of failure get in her head. She faced challenges such as her business partner wanting to leave and not having the funds to buy him out. However, she sought advice, reached out to potential investors, and ultimately found a way to overcome these obstacles. This highlights the importance of perseverance and resilience in business ventures.

Thinking Outside the Box: How Tiffany Masterson's Unconventional Marketing Approach Elevated Drunk Elephant

Tiffany Masterson's unconventional approach to marketing and packaging played a crucial role in getting attention for Drunk Elephant. Despite receiving pushback from the industry, Tiffany sent out colorful and photogenic product samples to beauty directors, capturing their interest and garnering online exposure. This unique and eye-catching packaging stood out in a skincare market dominated by simple and plain designs. While she faced challenges in gaining local attention, national editors quickly recognized the potential of her brand. This story illustrates the importance of thinking outside the box and being willing to take risks in order to make a splash in a competitive industry.

Overcoming Doubt and Seeking Opportunities

Sometimes, the people closest to us may not take our ideas or dreams seriously. Tiffany Masterson experienced this firsthand when she launched her skincare brand, Drunk Elephant. Despite not receiving support from her immediate environment, Tiffany kept her success under wraps and believed that eventually, they would see the results. Sales were initially slow, with less than a hundred thousand in the first year. However, Tiffany's determination led her to secure a meeting with Sephora, a major retailer in the beauty industry. She even managed to reach out to the head of Sephora merchandising by guessing her email address. This shows that sometimes, we have to go outside of our comfort zones and seek opportunities for our ideas to be recognized and valued.

The Unexpected Path to Success

Sometimes opportunities may arise unexpectedly, even after initial rejection. Tiffany Masterson's encounter with Sephora is a prime example of this. Despite being told that Sephora would not be picking up her products for the following year, she was approached by Cindy from Sephora just a week later expressing interest in partnering with her brand. This turn of events showcases the unpredictable nature of business and the importance of staying open to possibilities. It also emphasizes the significance of maintaining positive relationships and connections as they can lead to unexpected opportunities down the line. Overall, Tiffany's story reminds us to persevere and never give up, even when things seem bleak.

Tiffany Masterson's journey to success through seeking support, staying true to her values, and understanding market positioning.

Tiffany Masterson recognized her limitations and sought the help of experienced individuals to navigate the business side of her company. She trusted her brother-in-law, Patrick, to assist in organizing and operating the financial aspects. With financial support from Patrick and other investors, they were able to secure enough capital to fulfill their first major order with Sephora. Prior to this, Tiffany's skincare brand was primarily direct to consumer, and she relied on repeat customers and positive feedback from a focus group to gauge the success of her philosophy. Despite initial doubts and fears of failure, each confirmation and proof of concept reinforced her belief that she was on the right track. Moreover, she differentiated her brand by eliminating suspicious ingredients that were prevalent in other natural brands and opted for high-quality formulations, even if it meant higher costs of goods. By studying the pricing strategies of dermatologists' brands, she positioned her products at a premium level. This takeaway demonstrates the importance of seeking support, staying true to one's values, and understanding market positioning.

Strategic pricing, word-of-mouth marketing, and social media success.

Pricing a product strategically is essential for its success. Tiffany Masterson recognized the importance of pricing her skincare products at a level that conveyed their value without appearing cheap. Despite her own financial uncertainty, she understood the significance of offering a product that customers would be willing to pay for. Additionally, she leveraged the power of word-of-mouth marketing and earned media coverage to establish her brand. Through online exclusives and social media marketing, particularly on Instagram, Drunk Elephant gained popularity and attracted a significant following. The combination of effective pricing, compelling product formulations, and strategic marketing efforts enabled Drunk Elephant to make a successful entry into the competitive beauty market.

Sephora's Impact on Indie Brands

Sephora can be a game-changer for building brands. Tiffany Masterson's experience with getting her products on the Favorites wall at Sephora showed how the beauty retailer has the power to catapult indie brands to success. What's fascinating is that being exclusive to Sephora alone can create a huge impact, unlike other industries where you need to be in multiple stores to make it big. Tiffany strategically used the opportunity to invest in samples and distribute them to Sephora employees and social media followers. This not only saved money on advertising but also created word-of-mouth buzz and credibility for the brand. Sephora's influence and reputation played a crucial role in helping Drunk Elephant gain awareness and recognition, ultimately leading to their success.

Embracing Unexpected Opportunities for Success

Success often comes from unexpected sources and connections. When Tiffany Masterson received a Google alert about Drunk Elephant being mentioned on Beauty Pedia, she was fearful of receiving another negative review like Wonder Bar. However, to her surprise, the writer gave her products five-star ratings, which was a huge confirmation of her brand's success. This led to a dialogue between them, and eventually, he joined her team to collaborate on product formulation. Additionally, unexpected encounters with the presidents of Estee Lauder and L'Oreal at a Sephora conference further validated her brand's rapid growth. This story highlights the importance of being open to unexpected opportunities and building relationships that can propel us towards success.

From Potential Acquirers to Private Equity: Tiffany Masterson's Strategic Decision for Drunk Elephant's Growth

Tiffany Masterson faced the decision of whether or not to sell her brand, Drunk Elephant, early on in its development. Despite receiving interest from potential acquirers like Estee Lauder and L'Oreal, she ultimately decided to bring in a private equity company focused on health and wellness. The reason behind this decision was to enter the next phase of the company, which involved hiring industry veterans, establishing a c-suite, and conducting due diligence. By doing so, Masterson intended to strengthen the brand and position it for future success. Additionally, she wanted to ensure that all employees felt like owners of the company, so that they would reap the benefits of any future sale. Ultimately, Masterson's hesitancy to sell too early stems from her desire to see Drunk Elephant grow and succeed before considering relinquishing control.

Despite facing a patent infringement lawsuit from a potential acquiring company, Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson remained calm and focused. She believed in the legality of her product and knew it would be resolved. This incident did not deter her from pursuing the acquisition. For Masterson, being acquired by a brand like Shiseido was not just about making money, but rather the next phase of building her team and spreading brand awareness globally. She was excited about the opportunity to continue doing what she loved and helping people with her skincare products. Through this experience, Masterson also ensured that both her investors and employees would benefit financially from the acquisition.

The Unchanging Mindset of a Wealthy Millionaire

Wealth and success don't always change our mindset or worries. Despite becoming a multi-millionaire, Tiffany Masterson still maintains a frugal mentality and worries about financial matters. She acknowledges that her newfound wealth brought a shock, but her core values and concerns remained unchanged. However, she did allow herself some luxuries, such as purchasing a house and decorating it to fulfill her long-held dreams. Furthermore, the experience of newfound riches has also taught her to be cautious of people's intentions and to value her loyal, longstanding friendships even more. Ultimately, while her financial situation has drastically improved, her perspective on life and her dedication to her career at Drunk Elephant remain steadfast.

The Role of Hard Work and Luck in Success

Success often requires a combination of hard work and luck. Tiffany Masterson worked tirelessly, putting in countless hours and sacrificing personal time, to build her business. She acknowledges that hitting the right notes on multiple levels, such as branding, packaging, timing, and having the right people, contributed to her success. However, she also recognizes the element of luck that played a role in her journey. Despite the challenges, Masterson enjoyed the process and didn't perceive it as hard work because she was passionate and driven. This highlights the importance of finding the right path and pursuing it wholeheartedly. Ultimately, a blend of hard work, dedication, and serendipitous opportunities can lead to success.