How I Started My Business | Story of Lavendaire

How I Started My Business | Story of Lavendaire


Hey guys, welcome back to Lavendaire! So hopefully you’ve heard that we are launching the 2020 Artist of Life Workbook on November 1st. I’m so excited about it, but since we’re in
this launch season, I thought it’d be fun to share how I started my business and I guess, the story of the business of Lavendaire. I started Lavendaire, spring of 2014, and so it’s been over five years since I’ve started it. When I started, it launched as a blog
and a YouTube channel, and my main commitment was to post
one video every week. I posted a video every Wednesday, and that was my main thing that I focused on, was to be super consistent and to post a video
on Wednesday no matter what, because before Lavendaire, I had a
music YouTube channel where I was very inconsistent with posting
and it wasn’t growing. And I think the thing I was lacking was the consistency. So when I launched Lavendaire, I did it really
intentionally to be super consistent. This was when there weren’t very many young people talking about self help and personal
growth on YouTube. It was such a strange, weird niche topic. Most of the videos were like gaming, fashion, beauty, you know the typical very popular stuff. And I just couldn’t find people talking about
personal growth or anyone that I can relate to. There were a certain niche channels on spirituality, but I felt like that wasn’t exactly what I was going for. So when I started, I had the intention of
mixing the styles that I liked from beauty, fashion, and lifestyle with
more meaningful content about finding your purpose, figuring out
what you want to do with your life, topics that I was passionate about. At the time, I gained a lot of knowledge
just by reading books. I read a lot of self help books written by older people and there were self help blogs online,
but blogging was different from YouTube. I felt like blogging was bigger back in the day. And I saw that there weren’t as many people
talking about it on YouTube. So, to me it was an opportunity to fill the gap,
fill the need in some sort of way. So the first year of Lavendaire, it didn’t grow very much. I think I grew maybe a thousand subscribers
in the first year or something. No one was watching my videos, but I promised myself that I would be super, super consistent posting
a video every single week. And fast forward to the next year, 2015 was
the year that I discovered KonMari. It was when The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the book just came out. I read it, I was inspired and I documented
my journey of tidying my life. And I also made folding videos. And I feel like the KonMari minimalism wave
was the first trend wave that I kind of got lucky and I hopped on, and that helped my channel grow a lot. I think there were times where certain topics
were kind of waves and I was lucky to catch a wave here and then. So the next year, in spring 2016, was the year I started
the podcast, The Lavendaire Lifestyle. And I didn’t really start it because I wanted to. It was because I was working with like an agency and they recommended me start a podcast
to practice my speaking. And so, I was like, “Okay, sure, why not? No one’s going to listen to this podcast. I’m just going to use it to practice
my speaking and storytelling.” And that’s how my podcast started. Back then, podcasting was very niche and there weren’t as many podcasts or
podcast listeners as there is now. So it’s just crazy to see how things have grown. 2016 was also the year that I did my first brand deal and I remember feeling so legit. And it was for such a cheap price,
but that’s how it got started. I remember, end of 2016, I did a brand deal that paid a lot more than I expected
and I was like, “Whoa!” And so after that brand deal in October 2016 was
when I first felt like I had a legit income. And by legit income, I meant like I was making
minimum wage from doing YouTube. A lot of people are curious about this. So I would say it took me about two years to grow my channel to a place where it was
making some sort of income. And that’s two years of posting super consistently, not making money from YouTube at all, but just believing in myself, believing that
eventually I will get there. And so that struggle, the first two years is
what I feel like – where people give up. If you can push yourself through those
tough beginning years, then eventually you will see some momentum, and slowly but surely things might
start picking up for you. Around the same time, fall of 2016, was when I got inspired to create the first ever
Artist of Life Workbook. So the idea started as just a digital PDF, a collection of exercises and journal prompts that I’ve done that have helped me in my life, help me create my dream life,
into a digital PDF that I could sell. And I was really excited that this would be
my first digital product because it meant that I could have
another stream of income because I was trying to make YouTube
my full time career. So I was trying to do anything it took to make it work. I launched the 2017 Artist of Life Workbook
PDF at the end of 2016. And when I launched that I got a lot of comments
on my video saying, “I would love a physical version of this.” I saw the comments and I brought it up to Wilson, who works in manufacturing and sourcing. I was like, “People want a physical version. Is it possible?
How long does it take to do it?” So I started learning the process of
making a physical product and I researched a lot of manufacturers
even in the US, UK, and in Asia. And for me it was easier to just go through
Wilson because he had the connects. Everyone that I reached out to either could not produce
what I wanted in such a small quantity because I only wanted to order like
100 physical workbooks. No one would do that small quantity, or they had just weird restrictions like,
“Oh, you can’t custom 50 pages. You can only custom the first 10 pages, and then
the rest will be blank,” and just really weird stuff. So, it was really hard to find someone to
make it in the beginning. And in the end, I went through Wilson. Wilson helped me find a factory that
didn’t make stationary. They made packaging gift boxes. So the people who make the workbook are
not stationary makers. You know, when you go to China,
you bring them an idea. They’re like, “Okay, I think I can make this work.
It’s our first time making it.” And then I had no other options. I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s do it.” So the first version of the Artist of Life Workbook
was actually just a sample run – “sample run” meaning they did it for a favor, because it’s such a small quantity that
it’s not a real order. It’s not a real purchase order for them, but still,
I was so proud of it. And it was so cool to see what I designed
digitally in physical form. I think that was the most magical feeling. The first time seeing my workbooks and
just looking through the pages – and I’ll be honest, that first version – the first workbook was really shitty quality, and I still love it, I love the color. And the reason why it’s so bad is because we didn’t have that much time to make it. I didn’t have time to be picky about the cover
or the paper type or the funds or any of that. I didn’t even get to see it before I saw
the shipment of 100 workbooks. I just gave them my design, gave them the
general idea of what I wanted, and they made something sent it to me,
and that’s what it was. But I’m so, so grateful for the people that bought
that first version of the workbook, because you guys are my real OG followers,
the real Lavi Loves. And it was just so cool because I felt like
that experience brought us together. Not only that, but after I created the workbook, I also created the Facebook groups to go with it. So we had the Artist of Life Community on Facebook, which is where I got to know a lot of you. I did live chats in the Facebook and that was really fun. And if you purchased that first ever workbook, just know that I personally packed and
shipped everything myself. I even signed each one in a little card, and so that was the most –
I think all of my heart went into that one. So moving on 2017, it was the year that I officially
registered Lavendaire as a business because I had a product and I felt like,
“Okay, I’m making some money. I feel kind of legit now. Let me make this official.” And it was also the year that I started adding
people to my team very part time. So I started working with Alice who is
still my assistant. I love her. She started out as an intern, and then
I loved her so much, I brought her on as my first person to
hire with Lavendaire. I remember writing my first check and mailing it to her. And I also got a manager in 2017, and I hired
a temporary podcast editor as well. So it was me learning to delegate a little bit
in the beginning and me learning to be like a real business. And of course, after the first round of the workbook, I knew I had to make it better quality,
and I had more time to do so. So I put a lot of time and effort into making
the 2018 Artist of Life Workbook as pretty and aesthetic as possible,
instead of black and white pages. It was in color, and the cover was a cute pink
and I handpicked the cover material. And then I did this amazing photo shoot with
my friend Karen Rosalie. She really blew me out of the water with her
photos and how beautiful they looked. And I think I owe it to her and how pretty
she made the workbook look. So that was my pride and joy. The 2018 version also holds a very special
place in my heart. For the 2018 workbook I started working with
Wilson to help with logistics and shipping, because I could not physically ship thousands
of workbooks by myself. So that’s when we hired people to do
the packing and shipping. But there were a few days in the beginning where it was me, my mom, my brother, and Wilson packing and shipping as many workbooks
as we could before Christmas, because this was when there were
a lot of shipment delays. And I don’t know, I was just learning about
the headaches of a product business, how things never run on time, things get delayed, and you know, you just have to deal with it. And then 2018, which was last year, I would say, was my year of growing my team and learning to delegate, learning to be a leader. I added a new video editor and
podcast editor to the team, as well as a graphic designer later in the year. And a lot of it was me learning to work with people, because previously I did everything myself,
editing everything. And so it was a challenge for me to practice delegating, to be a leader, to let go of some creative freedom. When you start working with someone new, you know, the quality might not be at the level
that you want it to be. So I felt like I had to sacrifice some quality, I had to invest a lot more time,
to just get out those little kinks. So 2018 was the year of me learning to manage and delegate and be more patient and learn that it’s important to invest in yourself,
because it’s worth it in the long run. During that year, I also got inspired to create
a new Daily Planner and I remember I had my team members
test it out for a few months before we finished the design to make it. And so that’s when we launched the new Daily Planner with the new 2019 Artist of Life Workbook. And these versions, these 2019 versions, are also my favorite because of the
quality of the cover material. When I picked the material, it felt so plush and soft. It was such a good sensorial feeling to the
fingertips that I was like, “Oh my god, this is so high quality and amazing.” I’m so proud of that version. And we also added those new white cardboard boxes to go with the workbook and the planner. Previously, they were just packaged in plastic and I’m trying to like move away from plastic
as much as possible. So we created those new gift boxes that are so cute. I’m tooting my own horn, but I am really proud of them. And then we also had our first Lavendaire launch event for the 2019 workbook and planner, and that was really fun. It was like a cute little event in Fullerton and we had self care workshops, we had artsy creative doodling workshops
you could do on the side, we had a watercolorist there to paint portraits of people. And I spoke, my friend spoke. The best part was getting to meet a lot of
Lavi Loves at that event. And I feel like meeting you guys and then
connecting with you on social media, I feel like you’re my friends, like I really know you guys. It’s just a different experience, because I’m so used to communicating
just, you know, online. And finally we’ve made it to 2019. And this is the year that I launched
my first online course, the Create Your Dream Life course. If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll link it down below
so you can check it out. And I also spent a good amount of time this year
working on the Pastel Notebooks, which are also out right now. And of course working on the new version of the
2020 Artist of Life Workbook, which will come in two colors this year:
Lavender and Grey. So 2020 to me is *the* year because it’s such
a beautiful year, the number 2020. I needed to make that one lavender. And I also wanted to offer the workbook in two colors, because we’ve had complaints and comments that
the colors are too feminine. I mean Lavendaire is a feminine brand,
but I’ll give it to you. I’ll make it more gender neutral color for you guys. But that’s basically it, and moving forward, there are a couple other projects that
I still want to work on. I want to create Lavendaire jewelry, just minimal really cute jewelry that reminds you
that you’re an artist of life. And of course I want to write a book. That is a huge life goal of mine that
I’ve just been tackling and just going on and off about. But it’s definitely something that I want to accomplish. So I hope this gave you a clearer picture on
the story of Lavendaire, how everything progressed over time. I always get a lot of people asking me,
“How do you do it all? How do you do so much?” And the secret behind it is: I’m not doing it all at once. I really did things one at a time. It was first the YouTube, then I started a podcast. Then once I felt like I was comfortable with that, I launched a product, and then slowly you
reiterate your product, and then when you feel like you’ve got a hold on
everything you are doing, then you add something new and then
you launch something new. And so I just try to plan out my timeline
working on one project at a time, one new project at a time, so that
I’m not too overwhelmed. And for anyone who is working on building
a content creator career, I highly recommend you come out with your own product, whether it’s digital or physical, because you get to control that source of income because AdSense or brand deals are sources of income
that are great but can be unreliable. You can’t always promise that it’s going to be the same amount, it’s always going to be there, because literally, if you look at my YouTube analytics, the graphs are up and down, up and down. I have good times in my channel, I have low times and bad times in my channel
and that’s normal. You know, your business is going to have ups
and downs, but it’s up to you. Focus on what you can control,
focus on what you can create. And with that, you have more say in your income
and your career and your business. Let me know if you liked this video and if you have any other questions for me regarding business and entrepreneurship. Let me know if you’d rather see me make a video on lessons I’ve learned from business or maybe mistakes I’ve made in business or maybe a “What I wish I knew before I started”. Those are ideas that I have in my head, but I don’t know if you guys are interested in that. Let me know down below or give this video a thumbs up just so I know you like this type of content. All right, sending you so much love. And don’t forget to check on November 1st at our shop for the launch of the 2020 Artist of Life Workbook,
the best version yet. Alright, love you so much. Bye!

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. Yeah,I am excited about the idea of video tallking about " what i wish i knew before I started Youtube/ online businness" , it's gonna be a helpful video for ppl who want to start their own Youtube channels too 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing Lavendaire's story! I really enjoyed this video and hope you do more like it. You are so inspiring! ❤️😊

  3. Thank you for this video 🙂 I’m really interested in other content about business and so on, let’s do this! 🙂

  4. I'd love to see more videos about business, or putting up a business,logistics, etc etc or what you basically need in starting a business. I'm a recent subscriber and I love your channel, I've been also finding videos/youtubers like you who has that certain ~power~ idk in you that will make you watch and listen to the videos and I'm so so glad I've found you.

    More powers to your channel and I hope you share more amazing contents in the future!!! 💛 Sending love 🌻💛

  5. This was amazing to watch! So inspiring, thank you 🙂 Please do more videos about the business side of Lavendaire, it's super interesting to watch!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story ! It's inspiring and comforting as I also struggle as an entrepreneur ❤️ Please tell us more 😁 how do you keep up when it's hard, how not to shift ideas every time somebody makes you have doubts, how do you manage your time, how do you care for yourself and count on others, how do you know what to delegate…???

  7. Hello Lavendaire,
    I'm a regular spectator from Germany. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your achievements so far. Unfortunately, you are right with your assessment and for the few male viewers so far in the offer. So my idea would be why do not you build, as it were, a small secondary brand that is based on your lavender brand. This could then lean on your female products but also radiate the necessary masculinity.
    How about, for example, with Little Thistle as a brand name?
    The thistle is a sturdy medicinal plant and with its defencelessness, it certainly also corresponds to a masculine taste!
    At the same time the thistle is the national plant of Scotland!
    You could then easily modify your products and offerings to male customers and expand your community.
    What do you think?

    Greetings from Germany and good luck!

  8. Thank you for sharing this Aileen, your story inspire me that we can build and live the life that we want if we put work, consistensy and heart on it. 💕
    Please do more video about building business/brand we would love to watch it..

  9. I started my Etsy shop while in Uni and working for school and freelancing plus an additional part-time job to pay the bills just tore me apart. I am about to graduate now and I am so excited to fully dive into my business. Any form of content regarding this would be highly appreciated.

  10. Yeah those Marie Kondo videos that brought me here and subscribe your channel since 2015. Thank you Aileen you had been inspiring me so much.

  11. Thank you so much for making this video, Aileen! 🙂 I think you've just inspired many people, including me, to seek a career of our own. Sending you lots of love. 🙂

  12. Someone in Romania who wants to buy the artist of life 2020 workbook ? contact me so we can put the order together

  13. Aileen were you always this creative? I really wish I was gifted with the skills of an artist. I love your expressions of colors. I love this niche and somehow wish to explore it. But it looks challenging because it seems like it's for the artistic and creative people😪😭

  14. I live in Vietnam currently. How can I buy it, Lanvendare?
    P/s: your voice is clear and cute, I think I will watch your video more to improve my Listening Skill!
    Thanks! ;")

  15. Your videos always inspire me so much!! 2020 is going to be a big year for me growing my brand and working on new projects… I needed this video! And I would LOVE to see a video about what you wish you knew before you started!! <3 keep up the amazing work!

  16. Would love to see a video about what you wish you knew when you started! I’ve been creating on Instagram for a few years and have grown there, and I’m now shifting focus to YouTube and creating a digital product for photographers. You’re so inspiring and I feel like I really relate to you on your journey. Amazing upload as usual!

  17. This honestly gave me so much inspiration :") <3 I am so happy to have been there from the beginning and I cannot wait to keep supporting you!!

  18. Loved this video! It’s so nice to hear how you started to how much you’ve grown. That’s life, after all! Would love to see a video on “what I wish I knew before starting business” 💕

  19. I am planning on starting my own business but I literally have no knowledge about it and I'm worried like how do I register my business ,promote it and those stuff… Would love to know some helpful resources. Thanks Aileen for this wonderful video

  20. I discovered your channel in 2016 and have been a dedicated follower ever since. I have watched almost every video since then and I admire you so much, Aileen. Your videos have helped me when I dealt with anxiety, fear and self-doubt. In retrospect, the fact that I began journalling again after years of not writing was also your influence. I believe in you so much, and you've helped me believe in myself. There have been times when I watched your videos and wished I could talk to you personally, ask for advice and let you know how much you've helped a lonely, introverted, struggling college student halfway across the world. Hope I can meet you some day! ♥️

  21. your story is so beautiful… and although I know it probably didn't happen as seamlessly as you told it, i love how everything seemed to fall into place for you… the evolution of Lavendaire seemed to pace itself really nice… I started to tear up when you showed your launch party… in terms of what I'd be interested in seeing, I'd say the actual "how"… we all have ideas, but most of the time they don't come into fruition. if you don't already have amazing, supportive, creative, connected/resourceful people around you (like you seem to), then where would one start to launch a product idea… in corporation with their online presence… AND would you recommend working with a promoter for youtube (i forget what they're called) I've heard a lot of YTers advise against it

  22. I still have the handwritten card from the 2017 workbook! It felt so special to me.🥰 So proud of you and how much you’ve accomplished!!!!

  23. Thank you a great video! You are absolutely my mentor! I have one question. I guess you are always thinking about “GIVE”. Because “GIVE” is a powerful way to feel happy each other, right? So I am always worried about taking a money to selling my contents. What do you feel the paradox that giving and earning. I am struggled. From japan:)

  24. I am in process of finishing my book and it's an exciting journey. Would love to see what you end up writing about.

  25. I loved this video! You are such an inspiration. I started a small business almost a year ago which has been a huge learning curve for me. Please please please do more business related videos! They really motivate me 🙂

  26. 🇧🇷 Oii, amo seu canal, porém sou Brasileira e falo em Português, você poderia colocar legendas em português? Por favor❤

  27. Thank you so much for posting this, even though you've done similar videos before. I literally put in the search bar "how I came up with Lavendaire" because I remember you discussing how you came up with the name for your brand/business before, can you point me to this video? I've been struggling with coming up with a name, and you're always inspiring. Thank you, it's like the fates intended I find this.

  28. Just love you and your content Alieen💓Iam super happy for you close to 1 M👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 and proud that I have found you very long back when you have less than 25 k subscribers. You have evolved as a wonderwoman 🙏🏻and touched so many lives in a wonderful way.Iam grateful that I have your vidoes when Iam low in life.

  29. This is what I need. This video has opened my eyes. I'm running my fashion online business and it's not going really well in a few months. But this video make me realized that I need more patience and consistent.
    anyway, I've ordered your 2020 dream book and I just can't wait it to arrive.

  30. Thank You soo much Aileen! <3
    Its wonderful to see your honesty, vulnerability and growth. You are sharing not just the expansion of Lavendaire but also the beauty of how life goes on the waves of the ups and downs but still, if we are consistent and devoted in what we strive for; We can make it happen!
    Its such a Refreshing and Inspiring Video for this start of November!
    I've grown up over the years with your highly developed emotional intelligence that you share with us, and I am so thankful and grateful to you for creating Lavendaire!
    Love You soo much! :*

  31. I do have a question for you 🙂 Do you use a coach? Was your growth journey on your own or you had some support all along? Let me know if you ever do a video with this 🙂 thanks

  32. love this sharing!! thank you!! Would love you know more about the biz side story, any challenge? how do u deal with it technically etc.

  33. Could you please talk about how you practice speaking? I just really enjoy listening to you, there is something about your speaking, just makes people wanna listen, so please please if you could please shoot us a video about how you practice speaking. Thank you very much!

  34. You are one of my role models for so many reasons, but definitely for improving and learning in your own business. Growth requires patience and love. Thank you for sharing!

  35. Been here since the beginning and you continue to inspire in so many ways. Congratulations on all your success and growth.

  36. I have one of your original blue books and it has been such a pleasure watching you grow. You are such an inspiration!!

  37. 2018-2019 story, I feel like I’ve been part of your journey because it was last 2018 when I started watching you 😍 so happy for you with all these accomplishments ❤️ I may not have your workbooks and journals (because shipping fee to the Philippines is so pricey) please know I support you ^^

  38. Yes please, more business-related content. I would definitely love watching that. From this video alone, I already learned a lot. I also learned to accept that having a business has its good and bad times. I'm new to the business industry – starting a little less-waste online shop – and being able to learn from someone who has been there before, a newbie entrepreneur, to growing to who you are now, is very inspiring.

  39. What I like about you, was your are so honest with all the things that you have experience and with all the struggled going through stuff but you never give up. You are inspiring to all and that is my dream too! To make my own life story, maybe… Good luck to all your goals in life! Cheers 🙂

  40. Im so Proud of you! Ive been subscribed to you for a few years now and really just am amazed with your growth! So much inspiration I got from you and I also listen to your podcast. This was a perfect video and it came at the right time because I am trying to start my own business and create a spiritual stationary line with notebooks and planners. So this was so inspirational. Thank you so much for Just being authentically you and giving us the pleasure of watching you and earning advice from you. Love you girl! And keep doing what your doing ❤

  41. Gosh! I still remembered that I printed out the first version and put them in my binder T^T omg, I just can't wait for the 2020 Artist of Life workbook delivery.

  42. Thank you Lavendaire and Aileen. I feel inspired watching your sharing on your progress on the Lavendaire journey. I wish you the best!

  43. VERY NICE
    Hard work , perseverance , courage , and to work everyday in the direction of your goals , that's what your story teach.

  44. This video was super helpful and insightful! I would absolutely love to hear more lessons you’ve learned or mistakes you’ve made and a bit more entrepreneurial content in general 🤗
    thank you so much Aileen for everything you do and have a lovely day ❤️

  45. Hi Aileen, I was wanting to start a podcast for a long time, but couldn't do it however watching your video on Podcasting I mustered courage and have started my Podcast named "Coffee Couch Ideas" on Anchor.fm which is on Spotify as well. My heartiest thanks to you for your wonderful videos which are so encouraging to many like me. Keep up your good work.

  46. I was waiting for.this video. You are an inspiration, I so much want to have a business like yours but seem to be lost on how to start. Please make more such business videos

  47. Hey Lavendaire! I really enjoyed this video! And I am interested in hearing more advice for young content creators! Thanks! x

  48. For me this reiterates the slight edge mentality, everything is a process, to do or not to do, and things build up over time to become the amazing things that the world needs!

  49. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are such an inspiration. I am curious to know if you were doing Lavendaire full time from the start ? If yes, how did you keep yourself from the temptation of going back to get a stable income job ? I quit my job about 6 months ago to build my dreams and I struggle with patience. Every now and then I feel like maybe I should have kept my job while building a business… And I worry what if I fail and it's harder to get back on the job market because I have a couple blank years in my resume ? Another question … for each product type you've focused on each year (YouTube, podcast, online course, etc.), were they planned out way ahead from the beginning of Lavendaire? Or were they opportunities and ideas that evolved as your business started to grow ?
    I know that's a lot of questions. If you're reading these, thank you so much for your time.

  50. This is so inspiring Ms. Aileen. I can also feel 2020 will be a really good year. It is just sad that I won’t be able to purchase the physical copy of the workbook. But I still have hopes for the digital one. 💜🇵🇭

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