From Lawyer to Entrepreneur - An Interview with Homage Essentials and Co.

Some of my favorite business stories start the way Homage Essentials and Co. business started. 

It started with a woman, Raven, searching for a better solution to a problem she saw in her day to day life. Non-toxic home cleaners that smelled great and actually cleaned your home. 

In this blog post, you’ll learn how Homage Essentials and Co. was born, how it grew from a one-woman run business to a two-woman run business, how these two entrepreneurs have navigated business together and a little advice for anyone else interested in taking a similar leap into entrepreneurship.

From Lawyer to Entrepreneur | I got to interview a non-toxic home cleaning company about starting and growing a business. Read it at www.jordanprindledesigns.com #smallbusiness #businessinterview #nontoxicbusiness

What is Homage Essentials and Co.? 

Homage Essentials and Co is a company that pays its respects (i.e. “homage” *wink*) to the  environment, our homes, and those seeking healthy lifestyles. We do this by creating premium non-toxic, earth and family friendly cleaning products, and also by curating information, tips, and products that support a healthy and happy home environment.  

Why did you start this company? 

I always made my own laundry and cleaning products because I knew how toxic most conventional cleaning products were.  Because I absolutely hated to clean (still do, actually lol), I would create cleaners that smelled really good as motivation to help me get through what I consider a painful process.  Interestingly, the products I created ended up working better than the commercial ones. So in December 2014 I decided I wanted to share these products that others could safely use and enjoy, and a company was born! 

You started your career as a clean conscious lawyer. Can you explain what that is and how it led you to launch your business? 

As a lawyer I question everything.  And it’s exhausting (especially for those around me).  Any time I see, read, or hear anything, my mind works overtime to try and pick it apart so that I can make sense out of it.  This goes for understanding allergies, the impact humans are having on our environment, and how substances interact to actually clean a particular thing.  So in my quest to understand these things and create a product that I could use in my own life, I ended up creating a line of really effective cleaners that I now use exclusively in my own home.

Raven - Photo provided by Homage Essentials and Co.

Raven - Photo provided by Homage Essentials and Co.

What has been your greatest win and struggle since launching a business?

My greatest success in business was being able to connect deeply with my customers.  I got so much joy and pleasure from getting to know my customers, it really didn’t feel like work at all.  When I first started the company I would write long notes and put them in my customers’ orders to let them know how much I appreciated and valued them.  I got a lot of penpals eventually! It felt so good to be able to really connect with so many people I would have never met otherwise. I can’t write notes like that anymore because of the volume of orders, but I still love to connect with customers in our Facebook group as much as possible.

You now have a co-owner, what’s the story behind that? 

Yes! Last year I was about to close up shop due to my own legal practice taking off. Both businesses grew and took off and I couldn’t provide the high level of customer service that I wanted to both companies. I decided to close up Pyoure Cleaning at the end of December 2018.  At the same time of wrestling with the idea of closing up shop. One customer who continued to share her love for the products messaged me about wanting to help get involved with the company. I had thoughts about selling the company outright but the formulas and company felt like baby to me. I didn’t want to let that go and I hadn’t found the right partner in previous years. The more Leslie and I talked, we both had the feeling that we could be awesome partners. In January, 2019 we made it official. We rebranded Pyoure Cleaning to Homage Essentials & Co, moved our location from Texas to Washington and opened our online shop back beginning of April. 

Was it hard to transition from being a one-woman company to a two-women company?

Nothing about being in business is easy!  It takes a lot of work to mentally transition from doing everything myself, to transitioning all of the day-to-day activities to another person.  We both are different people, with very different personalities, who come to the table with our own set of strengths and weaknesses. It’s been a lot of work on both of our parts to figure out how we best work with each other to build or business in a way that is fulfilling to ourselves as individuals.  Thankfully, I really feel that I could not have found a better partner with Leslie! She has so many strengths that complement my weaknesses and we work really well together. Plus, I really like her as a person and I enjoy spending time with her, even if it is virtually since we live in two separate states!

Leslie - Photo provided by Homage Essentials and Co.

Leslie - Photo provided by Homage Essentials and Co.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to start their own business?

You just have to start.  Spend your time doing, versus thinking about doing.  Commit to the process. Create your business around the things that give you true joy and fulfillment. 

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I loved hearing how Raven launched this company based on a need she saw in the market. What was your favorite part? Let me know what you thought of the interview in the comments!