What It's About
A gift idea for family and friends that blossoms into a full-fledged lip balm empire.
Words of Wisdom
Early on in the business, Megan and Khara were going to order shirts for cheap online, but instead, they ordered from a local shop. That small t-shirt order turned into a strong friendship. Now whenever they need a service or product, they try to look locally first in order to support the community and become a part of it.
Not only is it possible to build strong friendships—supporting local businesses helps to build up your local community!
Their first venture into other cities was when they were brought on as a vendor for Event Networks through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Gift Shop—remember this is in Springfield, IL. This happened after they met the woman who manages the gift shop at a product expo. She liked the lip balms and wanted to make them work in her shop, so she provided them with copies of Abe Lincoln’s favorite desserts and they matched their scents to those. Scents included Mr. Lincoln’s Lemon Pie, Mrs. Lincoln’s White Cake (scroll down for a recipe!), and Honest Abe’s gingerbread.
Notes from Chris
Today’s story comes from Megan Luckey in Springfield, Illinois. She’s a licensed sign language interpreter and florist. Her side hustle is an all natural lip balm business. She runs it with her business partner and former teacher, Khara Koffel, a sculpture professor at MacMurray College. The business started by accident in November 2014, when Khara wanted to make some lip balm as Christmas gifts and convinced Megan to help her. On the way back from visiting her parents, she searched Pinterest for lip balm recipes. Then she ordered tiny bits of each ingredient on Amazon. In 2014, they made just 57 balms for six weeks at the end of the year. In 2015, they made 3789 balms. In 2016, they made 42,496 balms. Last year, they bet each other they could sell $5,000 in lip balms, and if they did, they would get matching tattoos to match their necklaces. They now have matching tattoos. When they first bought lip balm tubes, they bought 25. They now buy them 10,000 at a time. Megan has a 14-year-old son, and Khara’s son is 3. They spend many weekends filling last minute orders or slinging balms in other cities. Recently, they had a bunch of custom orders that needed to be made, and Khara and Megan worked alongside their entire crew, including families, friends and even sons to make it happen. “It absolutely must be leaving some sort of impression on these boys to see their mothers making a business out of nothing, and hustling their hearts to make it happen,” Megan said. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Serious Lip Balm: Learn more about Megan, Kara, and their interesting take on lip balm on their website
- Elm City Rehabilitation Center: An organization that provides assistance and employment to people with disabilities. They help make and label the balms, and give Megan and Khara a chance to support their local community
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Gettysburg, & Ford’s Theatre: The museums that Megan and Khara created souvenir lip balms for in Abe's favorite dessert flavors
- What is an LLC?: Learn more about the pros and cons of starting your own LLC
- Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake: Get the recipe for one of Honest Abe's favorite desserts here!
- South Carolina Man Learns How to Make Candles Watching YouTube: Inspiration strikes in an upscale men’s store when a man comes across a line of handmade scented candles.
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