by Judit Meszaros
January 11, 2021
This podcast was hosted by Christina Sjahli of https://www.christinasjahli.com/She is a sought after on-demand CFO with a warm heart.When you’re building a company, it’s normal to have a lot of goals.You probably want to put out a high-quality product or service, create happy customers, and turn a profit.But you probably also want to make a positive difference in the world.So, how do you do it?Building a business that has a strong social impact comes down to the small choices.Think: where you source your materials, how you package products, and how you brand your company.You can give back and make a difference by being intentional about your business’s processes and operations.That was Judit Banhegyi’s goal when she purchased her skincare company from a local business owner.In our conversation today, we discuss Judit’s immigration story, how her personal health journey inspired her to become a business owner, and what her social impact goals are.You’ll learn how to create a new kind of customer loyalty program, what it takes to stay profitable when you’re small, and why it’s important to start giving back now—no matter how much money you have.About my guest:Judit Banhegyi is the owner of Glowing Orchid Organics, a Canadian company that makes personal care products using organically sourced ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. After moving to Canada from Hungary and experiencing health issues, Judit began changing her diet and reexamining the products she was using. Her interest in natural products eventually led her to purchase her company from a local business owner. Since then, she’s grown it into a sustainable organization with a strong social impact mission.In this episode we talk about:➤ Why Judit started to change her health and daily habits (7:02)➤ How Judit came to own her business (11:05)➤ The importance of creating systems within your business (15:10)➤ The strategy Judit used to approach wholesalers (17:02)➤ How Judit made her company profitable (19:45)➤ Judit’s business sustainability goals (23:22)➤ Creating a loyalty program for customers to give back (25:36)➤ How other business owners can increase their social impact (29:12)Keep ListeningHow these women founders and CEOs built a start-up later in life — listen to Start-Up After Mid-Life Podcast Series.Contact MeReady to transform your purpose to an impactful business financial story, profit, and joy? Schedule a chat with me at any time.
Connect with Judit➤ Website➤ Instagram➤ The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals➤ Creating more impacts through B1G1
Full Transcript:Judit: [00:00:01] I would also say that no matter how small the impact is, it's better to do it now today. So, for example, small companies who are thinking whether they can afford or not, I would just say start it because we know many people have built up over a lifetime to just give it away at the end. And these people, these causes need your help right now why not take on the expense as soon as you can and with B1G1, I'm sure that companies can find one U.S. dollar a day.Christina: [00:00:35] Gift from guilt is not sustainable, but giving from joy is sustainable. A simple idea came to Masami Sato in 2007. What if every business could make a difference in their way just by doing what they normally do?Christina: [00:00:54] With more than a decade of work, her simple idea became a global movement. Around six months after I started my consulting, I came across the Seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For those of you who don't know about SDGs, I have put a link in the show notes for you to find out more. There are four SDGs close to my heart, no poverty, quality education, gender equality and reduce inequalities. The truth is, I haven't done anything to become the solution to those global problems.Christina: [00:01:34] I wonder and wonder how I could help, but selfishly I did nothing. But after my conversation with Masami, I know there is a way for me as a small business to create a real impact if I can make giving a habit and this tiny habit of giving starts with this podcast. Last week is the beginning of a new podcast series, The Gift of Giving More Social Impact. So I make a promise to myself, starting with last week's episode. Each time I release an episode, there will be a woman who receive bookkeeping, training, business training or microloan so she can earn her living, be independent and support her family and step out of poverty. Or a girl who received access to education so she can help break the poverty cycle in her family and community. If you haven't listened to my conversation with the founder and CEO of B1G1 Guan Masami Saito, you need to head on over to christinasjahli.com/herceojourneypodcast. It's not a conversation that you want to miss. In this podcast series, you will learn from women founders and CEOs from both service and product based businesses how to incorporate giving in every day's business activities, how micro impacts create a real change in our world, and how to balance, impact and profit. In today's episode, you will hear from Judit, the owner of Glowing Orchid Organics. It is a Canadian company out in the west of Canada that produces authentic personal care products using the best organically sourced ingredients. Eco conscious packaging and vegan friendly Judit has always been passionate about giving back, but she had a hard time figuring it out how many impacts she created with her giving.Christina: [00:03:40] I invite you to come to this podcast series, The Gift of Giving More Social Impacts, because she incorporates simple habits in her business to create more social impact in the world using the B1G1 platform, you are listening to her CEO Journey, the business finance podcast for mission driven women entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Christina Sjahli. If you are new here, a big, warm welcome. If we are not connected on linkedin, then please reach out and say hi because that's where I hang out and share my business finance tips. If you have been listening to this podcast for a while and you are a regular listener, I want you to know I appreciate you. My podcast won't be around without your support. This is a free weekly show where my guests and I want to inspire you to balance between mission and profit, to create an impact in this world and to achieve financial equality through your business. You are not in a business to achieve financial goals. Instead, you are in the business to achieve your purpose and create social impact around the world. I was asked by a podcast host recently. The question was why it's crucial to set up financial goals, especially in today's environment, but here's my answer. It is not about setting your financial goals, but it's about knowing your why your purpose and then translate those into financial numbers.Christina: [00:05:20] The way I see it, your business financial numbers are a reflection of your why your purpose. It is a tool to measure if you and your business can continue to amplify your social impact mission that you set up at the beginning of your journey as you are preparing for 2021, which is only 11 days away. Believe it or not, perhaps shift your mind from financial goal. It's that go back to your why your purpose and make an assessment. Where are you now and where you need to go. Then translate them into financial numbers and create your business future story for the next 12 to 36 months that aligns with your purpose. Your profit is the direct byproduct of your purpose. It is not to go after you listen to this episode and you feel inspired to join the movement. Check out the B1G1, do you one website included in the show notes. And by the way, if you need to create your business future story and impact for the next twelve to thirty six months, but don't know where to start, let's chat and figure out how we can put the right infrastructures in place. Book a time to speak with me at https://www.christinasjahli.com/let-s-chat. Now, let's find out Judits CEO journey.Christina: [00:06:52] Judit. Welcome to her CEO journey. I am excited to talk about B1G1 with you because we are both passionate about that. But before before we talk about the B1G1 and about the gift of giving more impact, let's start with your journey in building Glowing Orchid Organics, because I know you are an immigrant like myself. You came here from Hungary five years ago. It's not easy to start anything in a new country working or building a business even more, so Can you share your journey with my audience?Judit: [00:07:32] Absolutely. I would be happy to. So, yes you mentioned I moved here in 2015. I came here because of my husband. I fell in love with him in Budapest, Hungary. He's Hungarian, half Canadian. And I got my permanent residence status in 2017 in the spring. So it was just a year before starting my journey with glowing orchid organics. Although I would say my true journey, my journey started way before that. I would say it started in Hungary right before I made the move. Judit: [00:08:06] It actually started with some unfortunate news that I received from my doctor during my yearly pap smear test, he found some precancerous cells on my cervix. And basically it's one of the three stages of having cervical cancer. And he wanted to operate me. As you can imagine, I got really scared. I was also shocked because I thought I was living a healthy lifestyle and I did some research. I talked to my husband and we actually decided to refuse the surgery. So I decided that I'm going to kill myself naturally. And that's how it all started.Judit: [00:08:46] So I decided to change my lifestyle in order to heal myself. And I've changed my eating habits. I was already vegetarian at that time, but we decided to go completely vegan, not just for the animals, but for also my health. So we follow a whole food plan based diet. That was one thing. And on the other hand, I looked around in my environment, in the household, and I had to realize that the products that I was using are not as healthy as I thought they are. Many companies says that they are natural, they are clean. But unless you read the label labels and you convince yourself that, yeah, it's true, it can be it can be different in real life. They use fragrances. They use perfumes in their products. So it's not as clean, it's not as healthy. So I thought because I was a homemaker, frugality was also important for me. I thought, why not starting to make my own products? So I started to make deodorant, toothpaste, cleaning products, laundry detergent. I also started to experiment in the kitchen. I started to do fermenting. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and I really love that. I started to do gardening, so sustainability became really important to me, doing my own compost here in the garden.Judit: [00:10:08] And also there was another thing I was suffering from acne throughout my whole life. That's why I started to focus on making skincare products for myself to get rid of the acne I know is something that I had to heal within so inside my body, but also topically. And that's why I started to learn about the essential oils, career oils, butters, and I started to source all of the ingredients. And into 2017, just a few months before starting my journey with the business, I already had a pretty big material, inventory. I even posted on Instagram saying that I think I should start my own skincare line because, you know, I just had way more ingredients that I could use for myself. But to be honest, I couldn't nail a perfect recipe for my face. So I tried to experiment with face creams first. I don't know. I was a bit disappointed, but I didn't give up. And one day early in 2018, one of my neighbors started to rave about a local company. She was buying this lady's deodorants and face cream.Judit: [00:11:16] And I thought, Oh, why not check out this company.Judit: [00:11:20] I went to her website and I was really amazed by her products. And I have to admit, I felt a bit envious. I felt like, oh, wow, this lady's doing my dream work, basically. And what I really loved about her company and about her products, she use the same or similar ingredients that I had on hand. And those are specialty ingredients. So even up to these days, I don't really see other small businesses, small companies using the ingredients that I use in the products, for example, Helichrysum essential oils or Tamanu oil. These are specialty oils that are really good for acne. Anyway, long story short, I decided to try her products. I went to her house and I picked up some deodorants and face cream for myself. And as I previously imagined, we clicked right away with this lady and we chatted about health, about skin care, about the ingredients. And I really liked her. So I went home and I thought, you know what? Why not emailing her and offering my help to her? Because in person she told me how overwhelmed she felt with her kids and with the business together. You know, it was just taking time away from her family and she was kind of struggling. And I said, I'd like to help her out. I would like to volunteer. I didn't hear back from her for weeks. But then one day out of nowhere, she emailed me and saying, I know it's random, but I really liked you. Would you be interested in purchasing my business?Judit: [00:12:57] That's how it started. I said yes immediately, but I have to admit it was kind of a blind purchase. I didn't really know what I was buying. I know that she already had a smaller, loyal customer base, was buying the brand, the logo, the name.Judit: [00:13:13] And the most important thing was the products and the recipes that she already had because she was really good at creating products. That was her forte.Christina: [00:13:23] Hang on a second. How did you guys come up with the purchase price?Judit: [00:13:27] She came up with the purchase price and. Well, I didn't really know if it's if it's a good price or a reasonable price. But I had the money in a savings account so I could afford purchasing the business. My husband supported me. So, yeah, you know, it was hard to put a price in the business because for me to do that, I had to know what she had on hand, what ingredients she had. And I didn't know.Christina: [00:13:55] She was overwhelmed.Judit: [00:13:56] Yes She was overwhelmed. To be 100 percent honest with you. I think I got a really great deal now that I know what I was purchasing. Now, when we went there to pick up the when I say the equipments, I mean, like bowls and jugs and some immersion blender. So that wasn't the most value in the business. But when me picked up, the other material ingredients, the essential oils. So she had a lot of stuff. And yeah, it wasn't organized because she like opened different bottles of the same essential oils because probably she forgot that she already started to use a bottle. So there was some difficulties there.Christina: [00:14:36] It was just like a hobby for her. And then suddenly it just gained traction.Judit: [00:14:40] She started to to grow her company and she had some wholesale accounts. It was a time to make the decision whether she wants to grow the business and go full time in or if she wants to be with her family. One of her kids was only a year old by that time. So she she decided to be with her family which I totally understand.Christina: [00:15:01] So you purchased this business 2018 in March, so what did you do next after you purchased this business?Judit: [00:15:09] So the first that for the most important step was to create a system where I can oversee all the ingredients and all the information that I needed to know for running a successful business. We hired a freelancer who helped me build a spreadsheet, a Google spreadsheet. Basically, that's that's my main thing in the business, my spreadsheet, because I can see the material inventory, the SKUs, the name, the suppliers, the minimum stock.Judit: [00:15:42] When I have to reorder the products or I mean the ingredients.Judit: [00:15:45] When I ordered less than how much I ordered last time, how much I paid last. So I can even track the price difference if they change their prices, I can see my product inventory.Christina: [00:15:58] What about manufacturing or producing this product? What did you do?Judit: [00:16:04] Well, I was lucky that I got some products from her too, so I didn't have to start with mixing immediately. But then that's what I did. I went to my kitchen and I started to make deodorants in my kitchen. Following her recipes for step by step recipes, I created a website. I also switched the host of the website. So I started to work with Shopify. That's the platform that I use for selling the products.Christina: [00:16:32] The best platform in Canada.Judit: [00:16:34] Yes, it's a Canadian company. So I started to make these products selling online and then my next step was to approach wholesalers and try to get my products in stores. And that's what helped me grow my business, landing more and more retail partners. So I work with individual small businesses, not chains, but small, small mom and pop shops.Christina: [00:17:02] What was your approach and how successful were you in this wholesale channel?Judit: [00:17:09] I'm pretty nervous when it's about pitching my products and pitching my company. So I'm a really shy person, especially I feel a bit shy here in Canada because I feel like in Hungary I would be way better purchasing uh pitching my business in my own language. So I had some difficulties gaining the courage to to go out there and approaching them. So that's why I know it's not the best thing to do. But I emailed them. I cold emailed companies.Christina: [00:17:41] How did you even know who to email and what was your approach?Judit: [00:17:45] One of the things that I was doing is to check other small businesses like small skincare businesses websites, and I checked where they are in stores.Judit: [00:17:57] When I started the business and probably still unique things today, selling the deodorants in push up paper tubes. When I saw that the company didn't have that in their assortment. Then I felt confident approaching the company. I sent an introduction email.Judit: [00:18:14] I told a bit about myself. I thought about my products. And you know the main thing was really offering these zero waste deodorants, because that's the new trend, basically. And and it's cool. And our deodorants actually work. So over time, we were able to to build up a really nice customer review system on our website. I was really focusing on one asking for reviews from customers. So that helped when I was really in my element. And I thought, OK, now I can approach these stores. I approach ten stores a day and usually one or two replied. So that's I think that's well, that was a pretty good ratio for me. So I felt successful and my name and by that they are interested. I send them some complimentary products to try out. So that's how I did it then. I'm so grateful because I landed, for example, Nu Grocery, one of the main zero waste stores in Canada. They are in Ottawa. Yeah. That was just out of a cold email, you know, and I'm still so grateful for for those companies that trusted me. And also word of mouth was really important. So on the other hand, companies approached me because they heard about my products and they found me through zerowaste movement. So I that's that's how we grew.Christina: [00:19:38] How did you manufacture all of this by yourself? Do you have like a manufacturing facility somewhere?Judit: [00:19:45] No, everything happens in my basement as of today. And it's just me. And yes, sometimes my husband helps with mixing, but it's still just me and it's not easy. But so far I can I can do it alone. I tried hiring some people, but I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but I live in a really small town and I have limited access to to hiring people. And I didn't have luck with finding anyone. Unfortunately, however, I really wanted to even just someone who can help me with labeling because I do my own labeling too. So basically I do everything in-house. And that's another reason why I could be profitable so quick, is that I didn't outsource all those tasks that most companies outsource right from the beginning. But now we are buying equipment, better tools like at the beginning I could only make like one hundred deodorants at the time. Now I increase the tools that I'm using. I got a bigger professional immersion blender and the bigger bowls. So now I can mix two hundred and fifty deodorants at a time. So that's really good that I can still use some tricks, how I can increase the capacity without outsourcing.Christina: [00:21:07] So that's why you are able to basically be profitable within 16 months after you purchase the business.Judit: [00:21:17] For me, it would have been a mistake to outsource, for example, labeling or spending huge money on on the website for a website designer. I built my own website. I started small. And we are still in some aspects, we are still small.Christina: [00:21:34] I know on your website you said that you did a lot of research before you decided on B1G1. For those people who do not know what is B1G1, can you share your journey on why you are choosing B1G1 and how does B1G1 fit in into your social impact mission?Judit: [00:21:58] Yes, so we started our journey with B1G1 in 2019 in the summer, my birthday's in the summer and I was thinking, well why don't I do some investments in the company like the year before we became Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty Free Company. So that was important for me too. Maybe this year I should do something else. And we always knew from the beginning that to be the ones to give back in some way, you know, we believe strongly in "be the change you want to see in the world". And we said we decided to go with this organization for multiple reasons, comparing to other organizations. They they are one of the more affordable company for a small company like me. Many other organizations were just too cost prohibitive. I had a back and forth conversation with another organization. I almost went with them, but my problem with them was that I couldn't really see where my money was going. So that was another big issue. And another great advantage with B1G1, because 100 percent of the giving goes directly to the causes.Christina: [00:23:12] You have no concern. You know where it's going and it's according to the social impact, the sustainability development goals that you want to focus on.Judit: [00:23:22] Yes, they have really great causes. And also, in most cases, the administrative costs are below 20 percent. I really like how they break down, for example, our giving into small, tangible units so I can see and track my progress with every single impact that we make. I also really like the fact that if you are small, you don't have to spend so much money on giving. You can give as little as I think one cent on there.Christina: [00:23:55] Correct.Judit: [00:23:56] So there is a membership fee, but I think it's so if a company only can pay for this membership fee and I and they can't give anything above that, it's still helpful because then with the help the organization to to spread, we help them to advertise themselves for other companies that can have bigger impacts through B1G1.Judit: [00:24:20] So at the beginning, well, we we always give above the membership fee. So that was something that we did from the very beginning. But obviously we increased our giving over time and we created giving stories, for example, for every full size deodorant in a paper to packaging that we sell, we provide ten days of clean water for families in need.Christina: [00:24:44] And I think one of the area that you and I talked when we were discussing about you coming to this podcast, because you and I believe that the action of giving impact can be incorporated above and beyond, sales of product or revenue, so I know that you started other initiative within your day to day operation. I would love for you to share what else that you do that is not tied to revenue, because I think one of the many reasons small businesses stop and are not thinking of giving impact or they are not capable of giving impact because some organization, they are looking at the revenue level.Judit: [00:25:36] Now, we also incorporated it in our loyalty program where our customers can also cash in their loyalty points in exchange for certain impacts. It's really nice because we already had a few customers take advantage of this and they choose giving instead of buying another product or getting a discount like 20 percent discount or getting a free ice cream sample they choose to give. And that's amazing. That's, for example, that's not tied to our revenues because we would give them something anyway because they are loyal customers.Judit: [00:26:11] For the loyal customers. When someone comes back to us for the fourth time, we automatically do a giving in their names. We give them a month of safe drinking water or so nourishing meal and a school kid in Cambodia for a child. And we also plant an avocado tree. So every month we we check our customers, we can see that or they just place their fourth order. Then we are doing these Giving's in their name is basically. Actually send them a certificate of gratitude.Christina: [00:26:46] I think what I really love about B1G1 when we are sharing this impact, aren't even looking at their website. It's not about the dollar value, it's about the impact. Right. And then that dollar value can be like one cents or one dollars or whatever, low or little amount. But they didn't paint that this or this is how much a dollar that you are contributing. But they are saying this is how much impact that you are creating in somebody else's life. To me, that's powerful.Judit: [00:27:19] Yes, definitely. I agree. I had a smaller personal story a couple of years ago before even starting the journey with Glowing Orchid. I was listening to your podcast and the podcaster interviewed Scott Harrison. He's the founder of the charity called Water, and he told a story about a young girl who was 13 year old I think from Ethiopia. And that young girl had to walk six hours every day to get water for her family. And she also had to wait in the line to get her water from the well. And one day when she was going back home with the water, she was carrying it in a clay pot and she broke the pot. And it was just so devastating for her that she felt shame and she actually ended up hanging herself. When I learned that story, I felt so bad. And I checked the numbers and I saw how many people are living without clean water. I think B1G1 even says that it was two point two billion people in 2017 without clean drinking water access. That's insane. I know that the that number actually reduced significantly over the years, although now during covid, I read that it's now three billion people who don't have access to clean water to wash your hands. So that's that's just awful. So that's why we focus the most on on clean water. Yes.Christina: [00:29:01] Given the theme of the podcast for the month of December, I'm promoting the gift of giving more impact. How can we create more impact through their small business?Judit: [00:29:12] Well, I would definitely recommend signing up with B1G1. I think that's one of the best organizations that I could find, although every contribution to every organization hopefully helps, so it could be any charity that you pick. But I really like B1G1. And really, it's great that you don't have to purchase any impact at first. You will already be contributing directly to B1G1 and you will help with only being a member. And you can start with small steps and you will find that it becomes a natural ritual. Every month you are going to get an email from one given reminding you that you are giving time derived hand and that you can make some contributions. And, you know, it's it's a really nice feeling to give, and hopefully when a business continues to grow, they can continue to grow their giving.Judit: [00:30:09] But if not, that's OK, too. That's the most important thing, to just start somewhere. For example, for us, customers are everything, but also creating healthy and good products. Ethically sourced ingredients are really important for us, not using animal products or animal byproducts, being cruelty free, not testing on animals and using sustainable packaging. That's how we do it. But but I'm sure that every business can find their own way, how they can be more sustainable and how they can be more ethical in their business. I think transparency helps.Christina: [00:30:51] It has to be part of your day to day operation.Judit: [00:30:54] I would also say that no matter how small the impact is, it's better to do it now today. So, for example, small companies who are thinking better if they can afford it or not, I would just say started because we know many people who build up over a lifetime to just give it away at the end. And these people, these causes need your help right now. So why not take on the expense as soon as you can and with B1G1 and I'm sure that companies can find, you know, one U.S. dollar a day. Christina: [00:31:29] To contribute, Yes. Judit, Where can people find your product and where can people connect with you?Judit: [00:31:36] They can find my products on my Web site. It's https://glowingorchid.com They can also find us on Instagram. And if they reach me there or reach out there https://www.instagram.com/glowingorchidorganics/ or also on Facebook and on the website, there is a list of our locations where they can purchase the products in person. We are now all across Canada, so not just here in B.C., but you can find, for example, our presence in Toronto. So yeah, there you go.Christina: [00:32:09] Which store, which store in Toronto?Judit: [00:32:11] It's a Zero waste store that just opened I think last summer. Its called Green Jar.Christina: [00:32:16] Judit, Thank you so much for being here.Judit: [00:32:18] Thank you so much for having me. It was great chat with you.Christina: [00:32:23] And that brings us to the end of another show. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of her CEO Journey the Business Finance podcast for women entrepreneurs. If you want to create a proactive financial plan and process for your business so you are ready to weather the financial storm over the next few months, let's chat and see what's possible for you. Book in a time to speak with me at https://www.christinasjahli.com/let-s-chat.END OF TRANSCRIPT
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