Have you ever considered how you might utilize social media to market your product or service? In this episode, Camille introduces Victoria McKinley, the founder of 11th.Haus, a company that develops pheromone-based products aimed at facilitating connections among people, with themselves and the world.
Victoria shares her journey, navigating a divorce during the COVID pandemic and stumbling upon the potential of pheromones for dating, ultimately leading to the creation of her own pheromone-based products at 11th.Haus. She discusses her strategies for expanding her customer base through TikTok, building valuable partnerships to grow her business, and refining her approach to product fulfillment.
If you’re interested in learning how to effectively utilize social media and foster connections to boost your business, be sure to tune in to this episode to hear Victoria’s top tips.
Interested in becoming a virtual assistant? Join the 60 Days to VA Course:
Access the 5-day email sequence to help you discover your purpose:
Looking for one on one coaching to grow your team, reach your goals, and find the right life balance. Grab a free discovery call with Camille:
Victoria’s top three recommendations:
The Busy Brain Cure:
Discount code for 11th.Haus:
Use discount code: camillewalkerco
VICTORIA MCKINLEY [00:00]
I love how many people are coming to me right now for coaching. I love that my dream clients are coming to me right now for coaching. I love that I have to put people on a waitlist for my coaching because so many people see and value and love what I do and the impact I have on the world. And I would literally risk that over and over and over again.
CAMILLE WALKER [00:27]
So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. This is Camille Walker, your host. And as you know, here we celebrate stories of women, especially mothers that are building businesses, overcoming trials, doing incredible things, and inspiring us along the way. And today's guest is so inspiring to me. And already from our pre-interview, I cannot wait for us to dive into today's episode.
It is Victoria McKinley, the CEO and founder-owner of 11th.Haus, which the way that this business is described is really interesting. It's a modern alchemy lifestyle product. And it's really interesting too because I think you've probably seen videos about it. And I'm just going to leave that as a little tease. If you're any fan of Tiktok, I know you know what this product is.
So, I'm going to stop right there because I am going to let Victoria tell us all of the good and everything about her and how this business blossomed out of something really hard. And we're going to get into really deep layers of real life, of motherhood and divorce. And so, thank you for being here today. And especially, Victoria, thank you for being on the show.
And thank you so much for having me. Actually, before we get into my story, I want to say thank you for not only having me but for having this platform. Because as a fan of the show as well, when we first got connected in a Facebook group all those months ago, I started to listen. And I thought to myself like, where was this for me? Why didn't I know about this?
And it is such a gift to women who can listen to this. And these are the founders' stories. These are the people who are changing the world, and you're giving them a voice and a platform to do so. And people pay thousands of dollars in conferences all the time to hear these stories, yet we can come here, and that is insane. So, thank you for having this.
Thank you. That means so much to me. Oh my gosh, I can't even express. Just like any business that anyone does anywhere with creating content online, there are times when you think, is this making a difference? Does anyone care? And even hearing that from you is fuel for months and months. So, I appreciate that so much. I appreciate you for listening and for that vote of confidence and for sharing that. It just really means the world. So, thank you.
Please tell our audience who you are. First, where do you live, your kids? And tell us a little bit about your business. I teased what it was. I don't normally do that. So, we're diving into this. But what is this? I left them on a cliffhanger. Tell us about yourself and this beautiful business that grew from your life.
Yeah. So, right now, I say right now because I feel like every year, I've been moving, but I think this is pretty where we have roots now. But I recently just bought a homestead about 35 minutes north of New Orleans. So, we live on the river on five acres, and we have lands, and we have deer in the backyard. And like I said, we have a little nature walk to the river and a 100-year-old Victorian. It is my dream home. Wow. So, we just moved in in December.
Victoria in a Victorian house, that is too cool.
Yes. Iconic, I know. So, that's very new for us. And I say us, I am newly married. I got married in October of last year. And then, we bought this house in November. The day before we left for our honeymoon, we bought this house, so we could host Christmas in it. And, yeah, we have an almost 16-year-old son Trace. And we can get more into Trace later. But Trace is the most incredible human that I know. And he is the fuel, not only in a way of like, this is my child, but in a way of his brain and the way he thinks and his tenacity is what fuels who I am for sure. And you have been teasing about my business. So, we are 11th.Haus. I have 11th.Haus, and it is best known for our pheromone base layer products.
Okay. So, tell us what that is. If people are listening to that and saying, "What's a base layer pheromone product?" What is that?
Yeah. So, right now in our catalog, we have three base layer pheromones, two of them are more geared for attraction and confidence, I'm going to try to keep it a little PG, not get too spicy. And where the other one, our best-selling product, that has thousands of people on auto ship for it, it is absolute viral sensation is our True Allure. And that is an oxytocin-based product.
And what oxytocin does is it helps to build a rapport. It's the cuddle hormone, it's that same thing that's when you're breastfeeding your baby or you're hugging your partner, things like that, after 30 seconds, you release oxytocin. So, this is a synthesized version of oxytocin that the wearer, which most of our customers who wear True Allure daily, are people who maybe struggle with social anxiety, or they're in commission-based sales or the service industry, that they use that to better connect with their customers and the people in their lives.
Okay. I remember the first time I heard about what pheromones were, I was in my honors biology class, I think I was in the 10th grade. And the teacher was saying that all of us have our own natural pheromone, that has a scent about it, men have it, women have it. And it actually is an allure or an attraction of our own scent. It's not a perfume scent. It's not a BO scent. It's something all and of itself.
And I remember just being fascinated by that like, how does that work? But, of course, biology and evolution of man, we are drawn to each other in that way. And so, I'm curious how you got into this field? How did that become something that you thought, I'm going to make a synthetic of this? Take us into that path. How did that happen?
So, in order to know how I got to that point, we have to know the couple of years leading up to it. And I had been married for my entire adult life. So, I was married at 18. And at 29, the day after my 29th birthday, my then husband had told me that he didn't love me anymore and that he was going to move out within the next few weeks, and that this was the end of our marriage, as I knew it. So, that was shocking. This was in 2020. So, April 2020, is the height of COVID.
At that point, I had been working only in coaching and consulting. And I was only working to make enough money seasonally to fund our son's acting career. So, my son's an actor, and he would fly back and forth from Los Angeles and things like that, we would stay there for in-person auditions. And it's very expensive.
So, at that time, I'm thinking, how am I going to coach other people right now when my life is in shambles? That was number one. And then also, my stepdad was dying. And because of the COVID protocols, I was unable to see him. It literally felt like the whole entire world was on fire. Nothing looked the same anymore. I woke up feeling just confused on how this was me. And how did I get to this point?
And it was traumatizing. My divorce was absolutely traumatizing for sure. So, I did what anyone would do in that point where I'm staying home. So, I cried for 73 days straight. Camille, I cried, and I cried, and I cried every single day. And on day 74, I woke up, and I was like, I'm done. I'm done crying. It's time to pick up the pieces and be the best mom I can be and figure out my new life.
And so, I started dating and getting on dating profiles and things like that, which again, I've been married since I was a teenager. So, I had no clue about any of this. And what was incredible about that time is that's when I got to tap into my tools that I used to give my coaching clients. So, I would say, "Use your tools, use your tools." So, I started working out. I started praying more, meditating, eating better, taking daily walks.
And I found a tool in dating, which were pheromones, and I bought every single pheromone on Amazon that you could possibly buy. And I found something really interesting and that was that all of them were either filled with cheap filler fragrances, and they smelled like Axe body spray or like a very cheap synthetic body spray, or that I had to use a ton of them to see and feel the difference. I had to just layer and layer and layer it on.
And in dating, I was playing around with new makeup techniques and new ways of dressing and really making a new name for myself and who I was, and I stepped into wearing more upscale perfumes. So, I was like, I cannot wear this body spray and Tom Ford, you know what I mean? I can't layer those together.
So, I sat at my mom's kitchen table, and I said, "I really wish that they had some that were just the pheromones that were just going to be for the absolute strongest way I could make them. And then, it was just pure pheromones diluted enough to be skin safe." And she was like, "Let's do that. What are you waiting for?"
And it was that day, my mom helped me, and we called labs all over the world, we started that process. And it would be much later that we would actually launch, but that was really the day that my whole world changed.
Oh my gosh, I love stories like this where there's something lacking and you see that lack in the market, and you just say, I'm going to do this thing. And the amount of bravery and also fear, just not even knowing where to start, I think that's so amazing that you had that but also that you had a support system there saying, "Why not? Why not you? Why not do that?"
And I feel like with so many interviews that I've done, I'm getting close to 200 now, those are the two things that I hear more than ever. It's the ability to be willing to fail, that you don't know all the pieces and you're going to do it anyway. And then also having a support, someone there saying, "You can do this, and why not you?" And I love that so much about you and your mom. Is that someone in your life who has given you support through your life? I would guess so.
Yes, but never in this sense to that degree that it was such a pivotal moment. So, I thank her. She's actually our number one on my team right now. She's at our warehouse right now fulfilling orders, she is a huge part of our infrastructure. And it's been a gift because I remember back to those times, and she actually did it twice.
So, that day was a pivotal moment because it planted that seed. And it got me used to picking up the phone and making those calls and something that felt, like you said, uncomfortable, and that fear of failure and fear of like, who would care about this product line from me? How do I launch something? And what's the minimum order quantity, raw materials? It felt so overwhelming. And that was that initial kind of thing where she's just like, "Why not you? If anyone can do this, you can do this." And she saw something at that moment in me that I could not see at that point for myself.
Oh my gosh, I love that. And speaking back to that place, I know that we talked about this before, that I said, "Is it okay if we talk about divorce?" And you said, "Absolutely," which is something so many of us have gone through or have been through or maybe we will in the future.
Can you tell us about maybe not the nitty gritty details, but the shock and the process of getting through that and then also that place of being able to rise above that? Can you talk through that? Gosh, 2020 that year in and of itself, the time that people thought the world was ending, I can't even imagine literally your world was in a way, like you said, it was on fire. And then, you have someone passing away and then the divorce. Those are major stressors all at once. How were you able to navigate through that?
Yeah. I think when I come back to it, we can mention that fear of failure in business all day long, but as a woman in America, as a Christian, all these layers of things, there's never been a bigger failure that I've had to navigate than feeling like I failed my family. I failed my son. I failed my then husband in some way, shape, or form. What could possibly have gone wrong and wrong and wrong to get to this point?
And when I say traumatizing, I want people to hear this and know that it's okay. You can continue to move forward, but you can say that divorce was traumatizing. You can say that it brought you to a place that you didn't think was possible because I felt that so, so heavily. It would have been what I considered my biggest failure in my life was to be a divorced mom, a single mom. That's what it felt like. So, it was a very, very tough thing to navigate. But also, without it, I wouldn't have the kind of impact that I'm having right now. And that is the basis of everything that I do and want to do in my future. So, it has been a gift for sure.
Yeah. I think that's interesting to look, in retrospect, it's a gift. And that perspective of if this wouldn't have happened, it's that butterfly wing effect. But this is much bigger than a butterfly wing, this is an earthquake in your whole life. But to be able to look back at that and say, I never would have known the influence, impact, difference I could have made, and not that that needs to happen to you, the listener, to make a difference. I think what's really beautiful about this is that you are able to rise up from something so devastating and find a new path that has brought so much opportunity, growth, and also confidence in so many people.
Because a product like this, I hadn't even thought about the sales piece, but to help people in their business and their relationships, and especially with social anxieties, I think that that is so fascinating. So, with getting the product ready and fulfilled, as we're jumping into that space, what was that process like for you? And how did you find manufacturing, someone you could trust that the product was actually legit, and that it was a quality product that you could then share confidently?
So, like I said, it started in that summer or early fall of 2020, sitting at my mom's kitchen table. And because of that, we started the process of ordering samples and starting to build relationships and a rapport with the different labs. We ultimately decided that we wanted to stick with a US-based lab. That was pretty important to us, just because at this point, we're not only venturing into something that has this weird stigma to it or this outdated information on it and things like that. But also at the time, I had started a job in sales in furniture, upscale furniture sales. And that was something I had never done before. I didn't even think I had new furniture at that point ever in my life. I think everything we had was hand me downs at some point.
So, we started taking these and doing and using these samples. And we did that for a long time. I'm talking at least a year and a half before we even decided on which lab to work with. I'm getting these efficacy reports and safety readings and things like that. And I'm having to Google what the measurements mean and things like that because I had no idea. It was like speaking a different language to me.
So, at some point during all of this, I start dating my now husband, Devin. And Devin was in the military, and he actually had a chemistry job in the military. And, yeah, so he was reluctant to say the least, he's like, "This is fake. This isn't real." The last science on oxytocin, any scientific studies, things like that, at that point, now, there has been a lot of new stuff now that helps us a lot. But at that point had been so far pre-COVID, that he's like, "Nothing is saying this." And I was like, "Can you just try these samples at work? I need men to try these things, too."
So, he started trying. And within a week, Camille, he said, "I don't have a lot in my savings. But I want in, and you can have my savings. You do with it what you need to do, and let's build this company." And he gave me all this money.
Wow. So, that's really fascinating. First of all, that you find someone that just happens to know chemistry. That's God's hand in the best way in my opinion, where things like that happen and fall into place where you're like, that's weird, but is it that that happened for you? What is it in the product? Because I have heard skeptics that say, "This is phony." So, how did he vet the product? And how did he know, this is legit, this really does what you want it to do?
So, in the same way that I A/B test on emails, this is how different our brains are. I have to do it in that business way, and he does it in that way. So, he started testing it at work. And he started wearing, our Wild Boy is what we call one of our products. And it is an attraction blend, but for straight men to wear to attract women. But what also happens in it is it helps men around other men wearing it edify them and put them up and have more of a respect and revere.
So, what he was seeing, and I don't know how much you know about the military, but the men in the military usually don't really give each other a ton of accolades, and they don't pat each other on the back and say, "Good job, my boy." It's not really like that.
But as he was wearing it, he was seeing that. And he would wear it on some days, not wear it on other days, wear it on a day he had to, say, give a speech, not wear it on the day he had to give a speech, and he would take notes. And he was like, it was very clear. It was very clear to him not only how he felt, but when he's reviewing his notes. And thankfully, what happened was he went based off of that gut intuition feeling of like, not only do I know I like this, but I know other people will like this, too.
And then, of course, the joke is, why would you give your boyfriend attraction blends? But I truly needed to see a different shy man. So, he would go to his little bookstores that he always goes to. And he was like, "I cannot believe how many women went out of their way just to be like, 'Hey, can you hand me that book?'" Even though they could have gotten it themselves, or "Hey, I really liked your shirt." And it's like a plain blue-t shirt.
And he said it was those little things that he could see. And once he could see it on paper, he knew he was feeling it. Once he could see it on paper, he's like, "The science will catch up. The science is going to catch up." And he felt that deeply. And it's true, the science is definitely catching up. Just in the past year or so, we've seen more and more scientific studies using oxytocin nasally or even oxytocin with children who have autism. And, now, that is one of the most impactful things in my business is getting those testimonials. And when you have parents tell me that their children don't want to hug them. And when they wear this around them, their children are more touchy feely, it is racking my soul in the best of ways.
That's beautiful. It's interesting, I think that so much of our social construct or communication relies on things we say or even the tone of our voice or the way we hold our face. And those are things for children and adults on the spectrum that are hard to understand, that it's something that the way that their brain works, they can't fully function that understanding of what those nuances are. So, to be able to use that chemistry, that biology to break down some of those barriers is so beautiful.
Yeah. And for the skeptics, we always say that we're the tool, not the rule, that we know that some people and what the science is saying now is some people are more susceptible, if they have, say, a deficiency in oxytocin, and some people don't have a deficiency in oxytocin. And as far as copulins, which are in our Double Take, which is more for attracting men, so a woman would wear to attract a man, the copulins in that are the same things that mimic what happens when a woman is ovulating.
And what's happening is there is scientific studies that show that women who are servers, they make more money when they're ovulating because they're letting off those signals, and men end up tipping them more. Even if they're not attracted to them, there is that biological connection that says, "Let me help her in some way."
Yeah, no, I believe that. It's funny that you mentioned that because I was actually just reading about I have an Oura ring which tracks temperature and the rhythms of your sleep and stress and all the different things, and it was talking about your cycle and when you are ovulating and how that affects the way that you are perceived just biologically. So, that's real. I totally believe that.
Okay. I'm going to shift the gears a little bit here because TikTok is a huge factor of growing your business and the timing of how you were able to market there and bring your product to life has been incredible to watch. And I know this because it's funny because you say you didn't know what my podcast was for years, but I have known about your product for years. Because at the time I was partnered with TikTok, and so I was contracted to create five or more videos a week. And so, I was on it very regularly. I was part of their creator program in the beginning.
And so, I spent a lot of time there, and I saw your videos coming through with people being out on dates or sniffing the neck at the bar or whatever the vibe was, and I was like, what is this? So, tell me more about how you have utilized TikTok, how you were able to use it so strategically, and how that's impacted your business.
Hey, did you hear the news? 60 Days to VA is no longer something you have to wait for to enroll. I'm actually starting to bring on students one by one. It's a very personal interaction where I do a discovery call with you to see if 60 Days to VA is a good fit for you. Because in the end, on the flip side of things, I'm starting to do matchmaking with CEOs who are looking to hire virtual assistants. So, if that's something that you feel like is a good fit for you, you want to become your own boss, and start a business that you can do on your terms and with your schedule so you can spend that purposeful time with your kids, reach out to me. You can book your time at www.camillewalker.co. Or you can DM me @camillewalker.co or @callmeceopodcast. And we can set up a time to chat. I can't wait to talk with you.
Okay. Camille, I want to tell this story. And I want to plant the seed in every woman who is listening to this right now and even if they can't see it, that there is a sea of opportunity, not just one TikTok but as the internet as a whole. And every time we discount ourselves and what the type of impact we can have or that feeling of like, I only got 200 views, I have completely shifted to that 200 views is 200 people who are knocking on my door. That's how I think of TikTok now. I don't let the algorithm scare me.
But it has been the biggest blessing that I could ever, ever, ever have. In October of 2022, so I want to preface with this. The reason why, I mentioned this earlier, that my mom had two pivotal moments for us, even though we were testing these products, and we had done all that, we never did launch even with Devin on board, even with my savings on board as a single mom, things like that. We never did launch.
And what ended up happening was Devin was a state employee for the Louisiana National Guard, and they had a temporary layoff. And my mom took us to lunch. And she said, "There has never been a better time than right now. What is it going to take for y'all to launch this business?" And we were like, "You know what? You're right." At that moment, at that coffee shop, we ended up purchasing all the raw materials right then and there that we would need for our first 300 runs. So, 100 units of each of our products. We did that.
The next week, he got his job back. So, they ended up saying everyone else is still laid off, but we actually need you back. So, he went back to work. And I'm like, at this point, we just spent all of our money. We have to make this work. So, on October 3rd, we decided to launch November 3rd. So, just exactly a month later, we went viral for the first time and did $140,000 in sales. So, we immediately sold out. And then, we hurry it up, put it on, it actually took us about 12, 14 hours to figure out how to do a pre-sale. We set up pre-sale, and then immediately sold $140,000 for the product. It was crazy.
Oh my gosh, were you freaking out? First of all, how often had you been posting? Because if you just started posting and then what was the video? And I just have so many questions. I'm like tell me everything. What was it?
Okay, for sure. So, like I said, we just spent all of our money on raw materials. And at that point, I think it was two days before we went viral, we finally put product pictures on the website. Before that, for the whole month, we only had moons, pictures of moons on it as placeholders, and it still blows my mind that this was like our life.
So, I sent out three boxes to influencers who didn't really consider them influencers, but I saw their influence. And I sent out three boxes. None of them responded. None of them said anything. But that's literally the only products I could afford to give. Everything else we had to sell. And I started posting teasers, like we did in the first one, what could come? Something's going to come, and it's going to change the game, and it's going to change the world. And we would get maybe one order a day, usually from someone who already followed me. I had a little bit of a following. Maybe 15,000 followers at that point. And on TikTok, that's equivalent to 1,000 followers on Instagram. It doesn't equal the same thing anymore.
So, maybe every day, we'd get one order. And every day, I would bring that order to the post office. And I would thank God, I would literally sit there and imagine the day when I would be rolling in just hundreds or thousands of boxes in there. And I would just be so excited with that one order.
And it turns out on November 3rd, a creator named Jenna Cannella, who actually is launching or she is starring in a TV show that comes out next week about TikTok cyber sleuths, meaning those who are helping solve cases on murders and things. So, just shout out, Jenna. But Jenica Cannella made a post and she's like, "I don't know what happened," and she's recording this, and she's talking to the camera.
And she's like, "I thought this was a stupid perfume," because True Allure's unscented. And she's like, "I bought this perfume, was the worst perfume ever. I didn't read the box. I didn't read anything. But I went," and she walked us through her day, "I stopped at the gas station, I stopped at my kids' school, I did this, I did that. "And every single place she went, someone made it a part of their day to reach out to her and be like, "Hey, you know what? Let me buy your drink for you," or "Hey, there's something different about you today."
And so, she's like, "It had to be this stupid perfume that doesn't smell like anything," and she looks at it, sees it's a pheromone, makes the post, goes on with her life. And within 10 minutes, we sold out all 300 bottles. And after that, it went crazy. So, that was our first going viral.
That's so interesting to me because one, it was an organic share, which obviously that's going to be the best ever, especially if it's an audience that trusts the person sharing it. So, that was like really lucky that that happened and so cool. Because you didn't send it to her, right? She bought it herself?
No, I did. So, she was one of the three people that I had first sent it to. Yeah.
You sent it to her. Okay, so that was strategy. Okay. Good on you then. That's even better. So, what is interesting too, is that the problem is, shoot who's going to buy this? And now, your problem is, shoot, how are we going to keep up with this? How did you go from that onesie, twosies to now massive orders?
So, it's a Thursday that it happened. I skipped work the next day. I had to go back to work on Saturday. I'm in furniture sales at this point. By Saturday, it was actually our busiest day. So, it took time and when I say to get traction, no, it didn't, I was still selling hundreds an hour at that point. But by the time Saturday came, it was out of the world, and I had to tell the people around me because my face was stressed. I could not concentrate on work at all. My phone, I had to turn it off because it was cha ching, cha ching, cha ching, it was killing the battery on my phone. Everything and everyone's like, "What is wrong with you?"
And so, I just break down crying. I was like I don't know how I'm going to do this. Is this a one-off thing? Do I quit my job over this? I'm a single mom. At this point, I wasn't engaged or living with my boyfriend yet. So, I'm like what do I do? I'm so overwhelmed. What if I can't get enough bottles in on time? The what-ifs were times 1000.
So, I left work early. I said I was about to have a panic attack, I need to go home. I turned my phone off. And I just got to work, and I just fulfilled orders, and I just sat down, did all the things. And by the next day, I texted my boss and I was like, "I cannot work anymore. I can't." I think once it hit like $100,000, I think that was like my threshold that I was like, you know what?
You're like, okay. I'm good.
Yeah, I'll figure it out. Everything else can wait. So, that was the very first time, and because of that, all of my videos, my personal videos about my product started going viral because at that point, people were now searching for it. And I was the only one talking about it to look at as a reference, so it just multiplied and multiplied.
With the hashtags and everything.
Oh my gosh, I love this so much. It's like making me so happy. Let's get into the logistics a little bit just for someone who's thinking maybe they have a product in mind, something on the shelf, but they're like, logistically, what does this look like? How are you fulfilling orders? What websites are you using? How are you mailing boxing products? Did you have a big team that you are hiring? What were the logistics of getting from conception to now I have to fulfill these orders?
Yeah. So, Uline was extremely important in the beginning for us, because they have 30-day terms. So, being able to have that cash flow and utilize that. Like I said, we went so crazy viral that actually Shopify, our banks, things like that they were like, "Is something wrong?" They didn't know what was actually happening. So, it actually took us about two weeks to actually get any money in. So, I was cash fronting all of the shipping at that point, because Shopify was not paying us because they were scared something went wrong, or it was making sure that we were legit and going to send out the products.
So, that was very challenging. So, we had to navigate all of that. And it was a nightmare, but we got through it. So, like I said, we utilized Uline for everything. Our shipping labels, our packing tape, our actual boxes, we tried to use Uline as much as possible because of their terms.
And then as far as getting the raw materials, that was another tricky thing, we just had to decide like, okay, let's trend forecast. Most of these people are wanting the True Allure. So, let's use the money for the most part for the True Allure. And then when some of the money actually clears, we can buy the other raw materials for the other products.
It went so fast, and it was so crazy. And it taught me so, so much. I think the number one thing, if you have a product idea, though, is to say what would you want your product to be different? And write that down as almost like a little list. a to do-list. And when you're talking to suppliers or labs, if you're doing something like I did, say, "How do we make this happen?"
So, for me, it was saying, "How do I make sure that I'm getting skin safe, but also the strongest I can possibly get as far as oxytocin levels and things like that?" And they actually discouraged me, they actually told me, "You don't want to do that. You want to go much less oxytocin, because oxytocin is so expensive, you're going to go much less and dilute it way more." And I'm like, "If I wanted to do that, then I wouldn't have the business that I want to have." You know what I mean? That was the whole point was to be different, so even if that meant my product had to cost a little more.
Yeah, it's that quality. That's when there's a difference and that people can see that. So, now that it's going viral, people are starting to share, I'm imagining, because if the TikTok family has captured this, and it's going viral, and I'm guessing many of you if you're TikTok people have seen this, do you feel like people started sharing more organically? What was the step then of continual promotion? Were you sending it out to more influencers? Were you leaning more on organic, or what did that look like?
We tried everything. So, this was basically getting thrown into not just having a side hustle, but being a business owner and now being a CEO. And they're all such different levels of organizing things. So, to get thrown into the wolves like that, we started testing out every thing we could. So, we did some paid influencer marketing, didn't love it. I don't want to get into it because I had not such a great experience with them, but like a influencer marketing platform that's very popular. That was a big another waste of money. We have failed a lot. There's been a lot. We've done over $1 million dollars in revenue since our inception, which was 16,17 months ago, which it felt like forever ago, but it really wasn't.
16, 17 months ago and $1 million in sales. Oh my gosh, that's amazing.
Yeah. We had to learn everything like email, SEO, all these things. So, we dipped our toes into everything. But at the core of it, now, this was pre-TikTok Shop, and there has been a complete shift in how you market things now that TikTok Shop is there. But what we found was to edify and really just love on the creators who actually purchased from us and were genuinely excited.
We can know at this point that about 7.9 out of 10 people love our products, okay, the other two don't get it or they hate it. And I have had to take that. That in the beginning was very difficult for me being plummeted into the spotlight in that way of hearing people who didn't like it, it hurt my feelings, it still hurts my feelings. Sometimes I'm like, "No, you didn't use it enough."
So, we've had to pivot our education and make sure everything on the website really says like, "This is not a perfume, this is not going to smell like you want it to smell. This is to layer with the perfume who you already love." That was really, really difficult.
But at this point, we're in a unique position, because now, we have a partnership with Free People. So, that has shifted, like I had said, gone from business owner to CEO, that was a huge shift because now we're navigating their purchase orders, their payment terms, things like that, while simultaneously still having our online direct to consumer and then also TikTok Shop.
And those are all three speaking different languages, and we're a small team. So, it's been very, very difficult. It brings me back to that first month when we were trying to navigate cash flow and how to navigate all of those crazy things.
Yeah. Let's talk about TikTok Shop. Now that that is available, and if you're not familiar on TikTok Shop, actually I think is it anyone or you have to have 10,000 views within the past I can't remember?
To make money, I think there are some specifications.
Guidelines. There's 100,000 likes and 10,000 views in the past month. I don't know, I might be saying that totally wrong. But that means that you don't have to go through and filter who and who cannot promote your product, they can go in and choose, is that right?
Right. Yes, absolutely. If they already have purchased it, they can. At this point, we very rarely send out any type of promotional marketing or anything, just because we see and know that due to the nature of our products, we need people who get us and understand us. Otherwise, they put crazy videos. It's very obviously fake or something like that. And it's like people just sniffing all over them. And that's not actually who we are. That might be other companies and what they want to portray, but we have an experience, we want everyone to know we're a tool. It's not the rule. Not every time you go someplace, somebody is going to be necessarily interested. They still might be tired or stressed out and keep it to themselves that they think you look interesting.
But with TikTok Shop, what that has allowed is almost everyone to become an influencer. And when I say that, a lot of people are like, "Yeah, that's the downfall of it." And I'm like I love it. I love it. It is giving every single person a platform to share what they like or don't like, and why they like it and don't like it, and whether they have influence over four people and that's just their family members, or 400 people, 4000 people that they are able to use this and get a small commission, sharing what they love, and I actually love that. I think it's brilliant.
Yeah, I think I do, too. Okay. So, Free People, oh my gosh, okay, let's talk about that. Because when I saw you had that partnership, I'm like game over. That is such a highly respected brand. Once you get the stamp of a brand like that, it's so much the path of other companies or brands wanting to partner with you is way greater. So, how did that happen? And what was that like, that process of getting to that call or however it happened? Yeah.
Yeah, it's from sharing. It's from TikTok. When they got us on the phone, they basically told me that they found us because of a silly video that I had made, sharing a story time from a customer. And in that video, which was made months ago, the best friend of the senior buyer or a junior buyer got sent to it by their best friend, and that they started looking at other pheromone companies during about a three-month, four-month time period. And that they ultimately saw that we did things differently and that they wanted to align with us.
So, it was the easiest phone call I've ever had to have in business. They talked to like you and I are talking right now. It was very relaxed, it was very engaging. And they were very excited to be and have an exclusive pheromone partner. It meant the world to me, I didn't know what I was getting into at all, still barely do. But we're learning every day.
We launched December 28th. And three days later, we sold out with them, so their initial purchase order. So, they put us on preorder. And now, so it's been exactly a month or something, and we've had to fulfill three purchase orders with them in the last month. So, it has been insanity. Now, they've done an interview with me.
Their customers are obsessed, and they're so excited. And we've had to do a lot of education with them, too, like, "Hey, don't call this a perfume. I see you have a title the perfume, you're going to have some disappointed people, when they see that this one's unscented, or this one smells a little musky. Make sure we're on the same page." But they're a champion for our brand, for sure. They want to work with us and collaborate with us as we continue to grow. So, it's super exciting.
Oh my gosh, that's amazing. So, obviously, you need to grow your team. What does that look like right now? You're probably right in the middle of this, so we need to do a follow up in months down the road. But what does that look like as far as your goals for growth or growing your team? What's next for that?
Yeah. We're trying to see what that means for us right now, like you said. It's taking a look at what are the biggest issues that we're having? One part of our team that has been absolutely integral, her name is Zoe, and she came on as a intern. And now, she is going to completely do all our VA tasks. So, she will get a paid position within our company now. And she has just helped bring it all together.
We didn't have time to really solidify our messaging, our colors, and things like that as a brand. So, actually hiring that out has been super helpful. And we're starting to just now dish that out as we go on. But as far as the actual framework, I do think that if we continue on this trajectory, we're going to need to bring on someone who is very well-versed in purchase orders and being a vendor for large corporations and things like that.
Yeah, Oh my gosh, this has been so incredible. As far as people that are listening to this journey that you've been through and your story is so beautifully developed as well as so fast, it's just like catching our breath, what advice would you have for someone who finds themselves wanting to start a new business or has started a new business? What is your best advice for them?
I want to say that it's a little woo woo in this, but doing exercises that continue to help you to think bigger and think of possibilities. I think that oftentimes, before I saw this level of success, it's because I couldn't see myself there, or I didn't think it was possible to happen fast, things like that. But bringing myself back to those original days before, the three weeks before we went viral the first time, was sitting in that parking lot and just being simultaneously so grateful, thanking God exactly for where I was to physically go drop that off was a gift, but also knowing, envisioning myself that I was going to have thousands of orders going out a day at some point. And I just knew it with all my heart and soul.
I think practicing that and making that a regular part of what you do is so important. And even with Free People, we have said no to so many smaller, wholesale accounts. And the reason was is because I knew by practicing that thought that we would get in with a bigger company and that that would be a heck of a hard launch.
Yeah. that's beautiful. I know from watching your TikTok videos that manifestation is a big part of your practice of what you do and developing these thoughts. Is there a daily practice that you do, or what are maybe some ideas that you could share around that? Because I know that you're very passionate about that.
Yeah. I think just stepping into that, I think if I could have a daily practice, it would be asking myself each day, who did I want to be today? How do I want to show up in the world? And the more I continue to say, I want to show up as a present mom and CEO, or a present wife and CEO, or an adventurer, or whatever it is for that day, taking that and stepping into it in my mind first, and then letting the day play out like that is a huge part of it.
I do it all, I tap into vision boards, that's happened, too. The affirmations, I think that has been massive. And I think really what affirmations are is a way to fight your brain. So, if you can affirm, what's something you want to manifest right now? Can we all? We'll do a little shift.
Let's see, what do I want to manifest? For me, right now, I'm really working on bringing in more coaching clients for helping them to build their business and also create a healthier life balance at home and with their business. So, probably bringing in more clients would be what I am pushing for.
Yeah. And those juicy soulmate clients that get you, love you, and value what you bring to the table. So, that would be one of those things that I would say, I love how many people are coming to me right now for coaching. I love that my dream clients are coming to me right now for coaching. I love that I have to put people on a waitlist for my coaching because so many people see and value and love what I do and the impact I have on the world. And I would literally riff that over and over and over again.
But the most important part is what happens in your head once you start doing that. Are you fighting it? Are you saying that's not going to happen this quickly? Or I don't have any people in the pipeline right now, or whatever it may be? See what's coming up. So, that way, you can continue to fight your brain on that and say, no, absolutely not. I'm actually brilliant. I bring a lot to the table. I've helped clients shift this, this, this, and this way. I'm helping change people's lives by coaching them to have a new income and be able to be better parents and show up in the world better for themselves. And you fight it by affirming what you actually want. I think that is a superpower that anyone can use.
I agree with you. Even as you're saying that, I'm like, yeah, I'm getting fired up.
It's a riff.
A lot of times, we're our own worst enemy when it comes to if you do not believe it yourself, how could you bring it to fruition? Because something has to be a thought before it can become a thing. And energy is so impactful that way. So, I fully believe that.
We haven't touched on your parenting at all yet. But I am sure with your son at the age that he is, he is probably so psyched for you. Has this been so fun for him to watch? What has the dynamic been like with him?
So, it was a very interesting dynamic because we were so close as a family unit when I was with his dad. So, the divorce was equally as traumatizing to him mostly because of his age, too. He was 11, 12. That was a tough age already. But to have that added layer of stress and with the death of my stepdad who was his grandfather and things like that, it was a struggle.
So, this has been an enjoyment for him, too. And in a way, maybe taken away from him a little because, like I said, everything I gave before was ultimately for his dreams. And so, now we've had to step aside and say like, "Hey, I have dreams, too." And now that he's a little more mature and things like that, it's definitely an excitement thing, and he'll say like, "I know you're going to have a good spring this year, mom. I can feel it. I prayed for your Q2," or he calls it spring and things like that.
But ultimately, we have lots of conversations on how and why I show up the way I do is because I got to watch him follow his dreams in acting, and that things can be easier. He actually is the reason why my mind has been so malleable and able to think bigger is because even when he was six years old, he was actually five, and he said he wanted to do commercials. He wanted to do toy commercials. He said he wanted to be on TV and play with toys on TV. And I was like, "You can't just wake up and be an actor. It's not that easy."
Turns out, it's not that easy. But his very first thing he booked as an actor was playing Matthew McConaughey's son in a feature film. He's literally changed my life by thinking like, why don't I just think with that childlike faith, right? Okay, why not? Why can't you just wake up and be an actor? Why can't I just wake up and have amazing things happen to me? They're going to happen to someone, why not me?
Yes. The quote that comes to my mind right now is the ones who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones that actually do. Who said that? I can't remember. But that's just the quote that comes to my mind.
I never remember my quotes.
I think it was Steve Jobs, but I don't know. I don't know if that's who it was. But I think that that's true that when we think about, why not me, and that faith of putting yourself in the place. One thing that I've heard that really rings true to me and has run true to many people that I've coached or helped is that oftentimes, it's not that you have the wrong offer, it's that you're in front of the wrong group of people, that your audience is not the right audience yet.
And so, finding that audience or putting the steps in place to be in front of the audience, or that phone call, or that email, or that networking event, whatever the thing is, you need to be in front of the right people, which is what you're able to do. And I think that that is so cool.
As we're wrapping this up, I want to ask you, everyone in 2024, this is a new question that I'm asking. I want to know what you're reading, what you're watching, or what you're listening to, top three. It can be favorite of all time, it could be right now, but this is a fun one that I'd love to share.
So, I actually wrote it down. I was excited about this question the most, and I didn't want to forget it and have a brain fart there. But, okay, what I'm watching right now is The Traitors on Peacock, and I am a firm believer that when you are so in the thick of it and work, it is completely okay to have something just mindless and silly that you have appointed time for. So, The Traitors, it is a reality/game show. And it's so funny, and I love it. So, we are heavy on The Traitors right now.
Good. And I can't wait to check it out.
And then, number two, I am obsessed right now with The Busy Brain Cure, it just came out at the beginning of this month. I'm actually on my second time listening to it, so I can make sure I absorb it. I have a physical copy of the book. And I'm listening to it on Audible. I've ADHD, so I have to listen to everything at 1.5 or 1.25 usually.
Yeah, while you're also in the shower and shaving your legs.
Ideally, yes. If I want to know what's going on, yeah, I need to be doing at least two or three more things. So, The Busy Brain Cure, it's by Dr. Romie Mushtaq. And it's called the eight-week plan for focus, anxiety, and sleep. And I am obsessed with it. Her storytelling is amazing. The way she's helping to break down and give you those tools, I feel like it is empowering me to not get burnout. And that is so important to me. I never want to lose my passion and that drive to wake up every day. And if I feel like I am, I'm using this as my toolbook for that.
Yeah. Oh my gosh, I love that.
I love it. I hope you two can get connected. I think you would love her.
I'm going to listen to it. I'm going to download it right now. We'll put it in the link in the show notes as well.
Yes, it's amazing. And she's just brilliant and precious. And then, the third thing is one of those things I don't want to say it's mindless, but again, it's taking me out of that fact that not everything I do has to revolve around being better in business and challenging myself in that way. But I got another Peloton. And so, in 2020 when I was making all those shifts and changes, I had a Peloton. I ended up moving to a smaller place and got rid of it, but I got my Peloton back, and I am back to moving my body, and that is helping me show up as a CEO just so much better, so team Peloton all the way.
That's been on my list that I'm like, would I really like it? I would for sure need to get a better seat than the one it comes with because I'm worried about my behind being sore.
You'll get used to it.
You get used to it?
You'll be sore for the first week, it totally will, but you'll get used to it, and then you'll be like, wow, I can't believe that I ever felt better.
Okay. So, for Peloton lovers, I know everyone has their favorite teacher, who's your favorite teacher or class?
Alex Touissant, he is hard and I am nowhere near that advanced, but I'll do his 20-minute class, and I will be dying, drenched in sweat, so good. You said Peloton is on your wish list, an Oura ring, I keep looking every time you would say it, next to me is my list of things that I want to get. And I am a very gamification girl. So, in my sales goals, I have something different on every layer. And right now, I have my Oura ring if I hit a certain point in sales, and I'm like, can't wait to get my Oura ring.
I love that. I do gamification with my goals, too. I love that you do that. Because when we were paying down our house and paid our house off, I just told my husband, he's a CPA financial guy, and he checks into our savings and investments, he checks it every day. But for me, I'm like, "Okay, I want something I can check off the boxes of however many thousands or whatever."
And so, we did. We printed it out, we put it in our closet. And every time we got 5000 down, we'd mark it off and then have a prize. The prize at the end was paying it off with this scenario.
But how exciting is that?
Totally. It was so fun.
You get it all filled in. I love that.
Yes, I do too. And I think that if you have a goal in mind, think of a way to gamify it or to make it visual because when you have it in front of you and you're looking at it every day, it makes it so much more impactful. I think for our minds, it's all about that mind mapping of keeping our eye on the target.
Oh my gosh, I could talk to you forever. I feel like we need to do a follow-up in six months or a year because you are just on this racehorse that I'm like, wait, keep up, tell me what's happening. It's been so fun to hear your story.
Absolutely. Yes. Thank you so much for having me.
Yeah. All right. Tell everyone where they can find you online and also support you on TikTok, in different social medias, and we'll make sure to link below as well.
Yeah. So, if you want to follow 11th.Haus, it's going to be @11th.haus. So @11th.haus, but the Haus. And then if you want to follow me, I will give you a warning. I'm spicy. I'm silly. My stories are definitely all over the place. So, if you're looking for somebody who's like that girl that's extremely professional, I'm probably not your girl to follow.
You're way fun to follow. I love it.
But you know what I say? I say that who you are on TikTok, who you are on Instagram, and who you are on Facebook, they're all you, but they're all different parts of you. And so, if you're following me on any personal platform, it's going to be @vsospicy. That's my avatar I stepped into after my divorce.
I love it. Hey, Beyonce is Sasha Fierce when she gets on stage. I think that's awesome.
All right. Thank you again. Everyone who tuned in this week, make sure that you are subscribed. Any comment, review, or share helps our show so much to let other women know mothers who are creating incredible businesses and inspired by people like Victoria. Thank you so much for tuning in. And we'll see you next week.
Thank you for tuning into this episode. If you are looking for coaching and wanting to level up your business as well as grow your team, that is what I love to do. I help moms in life and business balance, which balance is all about season. What does that look like for you? And is it time to hire an assistant? Is it time to open that podcast? Release that course? What does it look like? I am here to help. You can reach out to me at www.camillewalker.co, or you could reach out to me on Instagram @camillewalker.co.
Hey, CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment in a 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram @callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss!
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.