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How Starting a Business During The Pandemic Changed My Life

Okay, I know this isn't necessarily skin related but it is related to The Holistica Hive and what it's become and what I envision it to be... take a little look into what it's been like for me starting a business during one of the most chaotic and unknown times in our history.

Flowers outside of the Galway, NY Post Office

I've been slacking on my blog writing for sure! Between being busy with managing online orders, working on an extra special project that I can't wait to share with you all, and having my incredible siblings (11 and 8 years old) here for over a week, things have been a bit hectic! Oh right.... I almost forgot to mention that we are officially moving to Raleigh, NC by the end of October... so you can say we might be a tad stressed haha!

Amidst all of this chaos, I have been seeing such an incredible amount of love & support from all of those who have been joining me for Skin Coaching Sessions, purchasing from The Holistica Hive Shop, sharing, reposting and more... seriously, I am so blown away and can't wait to see the way my business begins to grow and transform over the next few weeks, months and years!

I basically had the plan to open my doors to my skin studio during the 3rd week of March in Saratoga Springs, NY, coincidentally during the same week that New York was alerted that we'd be going into COVID-19 lockdown. Not knowing what the future would hold, I decided it was best to take a BIG step away from that and take a moment to breathe and refocus.

I didn't want to sit on hold and wait to see when things returned back to "normal", I spent so much time (and $$, let's be real) getting my Esthetician License, planning out my offerings, networking to potential clients, building a website and platform, and planning out how my studio would look... but that just wasn't feasible for me anymore at the moment.

I needed to take a moment and regather my thoughts...

What should I do?

Flowers from outside the Galway, NY Post Office

I thought to myself, "great businesses have been built in times of crisis before, so why can't I do it?"... I can either wait for the world to start up again (and waste months of time) or just start right now and see what happens. Mid-April I started slowly advertising my Virtual Skin Coaching Sessions and met with some incredible women to help them with their skin. I decided to start really doing that full time, and looked at every Virtual Skin Coaching Session as a replacement for an in-person facial treatment! May rolled around and I decided to start selling retail to see how much traction I would get. I was pretty amazed at the support I was getting, but was still sort of "informally" selling products here and there.

By July I had a sense of what my clients liked and how wonderfully their skin was reacting to the products they were using, so I officially launched my online store and so far have sold out two times completely of retail! I mean, WOW! I'm not making infinite amounts of money (hopefully someday!) but I'm doing what I love, loving what I do, helping people with their skin and educating on the importance of non-toxic skincare for our bodies & our planet! All of that has been so incredibly rewarding I can't even explain.

I want The Holistica Hive to be a business that I would shop from, I see certain companies doing aspects of what I'd like it to become but they're not meeting the full picture.

For example, a company might sell a non-toxic skin product but it's packaged in a plastic bottle and sent wrapped in plastic. I want to see the "holistic skincare" space come full circle and be sustainable and thoughtful in all areas of the business, and that's what I have slowly started to do with The Holistica Hive.

Flowers from outside the Galway, NY Post Office

The Holistica Hive is so small, I mean it's just me doing it all right now haha! But my goal for the future is to have a team of people with similar values to me, that care so much about our clients and customers, believe in the products we are selling, and care about making the world and planet a better place! I want to show that you can be sustainable and profitable, and I'm slowly getting there!

If you are thinking of starting your own business, whether you want to open up an Etsy shop or run a restaurant, one thing I have learned so far is to answer every message and treat every single person reaching out to you with love & respect. I never let a message go unanswered and I have built such incredible relationships with people all over the country (and some from out of the country!).

So there's a little insight into my journey so far, I am so lucky to be doing this right now amidst all of the chaos in the world. It's not easy and some days I get down, but today was a great day and I am so grateful for that!

Take care, xo

Astrid Makenzi

The Holistica Hive

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