A massage therapist founded The Good Hippie in 2011 when she began feeling concerned about all the chemicals she found in the commercial creams and lotions she used for her work. After using these products all day, she began having skin problems herself. As time went by, Emily McNabb Butler bought the company from her friend, taking her philosophy of only using real natural ingredients to create handmade skincare and beauty products to the next level.
Emily McNabb Butler runs The Good Hippie as a “natural, eco-friendly, and vegan skincare brand.” As a former professional dancer, Emily used to visit spas and massage therapists all the time to relieve her muscle pain and to keep her skin healthy and nourished. While visiting massage therapists, she saw that they and their customers needed a new natural skincare solution, which should be truly all-natural. So, she hooked up with her massage therapist friend and bought The Good Hippie.
With The Good Hippie, Emily McNabb Butler markets her products to women between 25 to 65 years old. No matter the age, we all need to take good care of our skin, and we all deserve products that won’t harm us or the environment in the long run. So, the company has prided itself on its ethos of doing “what is right, not what is easy.”
Emily McNabb Butler wants you to learn more about the commercial skincare and beauty products you see on the market. These products use harmful chemicals and preservatives, which might give you skin problems. The Good Hippie focuses on “quality rather than quantity,” which shows in their natural and 100% vegan products.
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Emily McNabb Butler: We stand out because of our process. I love that I have my hands in every part of the process. All of our recipes are our intellectual property, rather than bought from a manufacturer that pumps out the same recipes all the time. And we hand craft every product in Texas. Having that extra human eye on every product makes it better! We also are able to hold our company to a higher standard as far as better environmental practices! I haven’t emptied the trash can in the studio for 3 months or so. We recycle, upcycle, and reuse so much and I’m very proud of that!
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Emily McNabb Butler: Discover your community. We’re all here to help keep each other motivated and to share tips and tricks. But if you’re not feeling up to it for a day or two, STEP AWAY! I’ve had many moments where I’ve felt like I have to push through and get things done, but if I had stepped back for 24hrs to take care of myself, I would have gotten so much more done and my final product would have been better.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Emily McNabb Butler: Bre from Radical Girl Gang has been a rock for me and for all of the woman owned businesses she represents. She and I will always work together and ask for advice. Because we also believe in never working for free, we have $20 in Venmo that bounces back and forth between us when we need some consulting or product. She’s the best and biggest champion for women entrepreneurs I know, and I will be forever grateful for her friendship and business acumen.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The Pandemic has changed many aspects of all of our lives. One of them is the fact that so many of us have gotten used to shopping almost exclusively online. Can you share a few examples of different ideas that eCommerce businesses are implementing to adapt to the new realities created by the Pandemic?
Emily McNabb Butler: We’ve been sending a lot more emails. I believe, as a society, that we’ve become numb to ads and we click or scroll past them without blinking. I’ve tried to connect more with our die-hard fans by implementing an affiliate program. I’d rather connect with people that know us and love us rather than spend thousands of dollars. We don’t have to find new customers in a not-so effective way.
Jerome Knyszewski: Amazon, and even Walmart are going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise retail companies and eCommerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?
Emily McNabb Butler: Advertise your morals and showcase the ethos of your company. If we want to make a change in the world, we have to be smarter consumers. If you want American made, then buy American made. If you want an eco-friendly product that creates ethical jobs for humans, then do your research. You can’t complain about the things you tolerate. And we complain about a lot of the wrongs in the world but do nothing to change our spending habits.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start an eCommerce business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Emily McNabb Butler: Oof… I don’t know. Maybe expecting there to be movement without social media (unfortunately.) I only say that because I made that mistake.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running an eCommerce brand tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Emily McNabb Butler: The amount of work that goes into setting up the logistics of pricing and shipping, while keeping in mind that smaller brands like me have one to maybe 3 employees. A lot of people expect us to function like Amazon because people are so used to instant gratification, but when you’re ordering quality, it’s going to take longer. If prices are higher, it’s because the product is better. Period. And that seems to be the biggest complaint I hear. People believe that you’re getting a more expensive product that’s not as good as what you can get from a manufacturer overseas. That’s the work of really good marketing and it’s a complete lie.
Jerome Knyszewski: One of the main benefits of shopping online is the ability to read reviews. Consumers love it! While good reviews are of course positive for a brand, poor reviews can be very damaging. In your experience what are a few things a brand should do to properly and effectively respond to poor reviews? How about other unfair things said online about a brand?
Emily McNabb Butler: If I get a poor review, I always start by thanking the customer for their feedback. It only makes us better and gives us an opportunity to make it right or to explain why something is the way it is. If you treat that customer with compassion and gratitude, you’ll often come to an understanding and you’ll keep that customer. If someone doesn’t prefer something, I encourage them to keep it after explaining how to use it differently, or re-gift it, but then I’ll always replace that product with something they know they love.
Jerome Knyszewski: You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Emily McNabb Butler: I’d start the movement of spending less and taking care of yourself more. We don’t need many of the normal comforts we think we do. If you have a quality bar of soap, it’ll last you longer, you won’t be contributing to waste, and you can use it for many different things. While my business requires sales to stay afloat, I want people to understand that the products are designed to last you longer, so you don’t have to buy more. Spend less and take care of you and the planet more.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Emily McNabb Butler: You can find me on:
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!