Women across Canada are kicking butt in the workforce, all while maintaining their cool and doing the things in life they enjoy. “Monday Motivation: How she does it” is a news series where we profile notable women working in various fields to find out how they juggle work-life, balance. For this installment, we spoke with Karine Morin and Terry D'Amore, two entrepreneurial mothers from Montreal who launched Cloth in a Box - a beauty solutions company.
You’re the founders of Cloth in a Box! Can you tell me how this business venture came about?
Terry: Back in 2011, I was actually on maternity leave and I wasn’t sure if I was going to go back into the fashion industry where I was working. I was getting fed up of what I was doing and decided I wanted to go into nails because I always had this artistic side to me. So I went to Salon Sugar which Karine owns for a job interview, and the first day I met her it was like I had known her for years.
Karine: Before I met with Terry for the job interview, my make-up artist told me that she would be a great fit. That she does beautiful nails, that she speaks both English and French, and that she’s even traveled often to China for work. At that second, there was a lightbulb that went off in my head and I absolutely wanted to meet Terry, but it had nothing to do with nails or the job. I had this idea in my head that this person came to me to help me create the product that I had long wanted to create.
The current star product of Cloth in a Box is Face It. What’s special about your company’s product?
Terry: Face It is a reusable face cloth that we created. It’s heart-shaped with two-pockets, which allows you to wash both sides of your face at the same time and also your neck. It’s reusable and doesn’t come with any soap, so you can use it with the lotion of your choice. It’s a drag to remove your make-up at night, but this product cuts the removal make-up process in half and will leave your skin with a more cleansed feel.
A lot of people think of launching a business, but they don’t actually do it! What gave you the motivation to launch your own business?
Karine: It was seven years ago that we first launched our product Face It! That’s how hard business is. I was one of the first to launch such a product, but what happens when you’re too new is that people are waiting for the wave. I was knocking at doors and selling at my salons, and we sold out very quickly, but big retailers still weren’t ready to take us on. Now we’ve relaunched with a new partner and you can find us in the U.S., at QVC in Germany, at Rexall, and there’s more to come. We didn’t look at the journey, we just knew where we wanted to take this product. We always visualized the end goal.
Wow, it’s been seven years! Was there ever a time where you thought this business wasn’t going to work?
Karine: We didn’t know the retail business too well, so we hit a few bumps in the road, but we just kept learning from our mistakes and moving on. We’ve relaunched our product and changed the packaging since seven years ago and it’s been a lot of work. We have those days where we wonder how are we doing all of this, but somehow we just keep moving and we always focus on the result. When you look at the big picture, that’s what keeps you moving everyday.
Terry: With our product, we’ve been getting a lot of positive reviews and interests from big retailers too, so that gives us the motivation to keep going. When you create something from scratch, you fall in love with your product and we truly believe in it.
And as busy working moms, do you have any tricks that help you manage work-life, balance?
Terry: Having a partner helps a lot. My kids father helps out a lot and I’m thankful for that and I think Karine as well, her husband is a big help. It’s also very important for our children to also see our project and make them a part of it by talking about it. My 12-year-old just started wearing mascara and uses Face It, so I tell her what the product is and how I made it. She tells me that the product is amazing and that she’s proud of me. I think the whole family is proud of us and they give us that extra support.
Karine: You have to be able to manage your time too. We compromise on a lot of stuff, but we set small goals everyday and we achieve what’s on our list.
How do you like to unwind?
Karine: I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes in the morning and for an hour at night. I started last summer and meditation saved me. It makes me more efficient and calm, and allows me to concentrate more. It gives me a lot of balance. I also do Yoga.
Terry: I meditate as well when I feel stressed. I take 10 or 15 minutes wherever I am if I need to decompress. I also exercise during the week, which helps clear my mind.
Choose one: wine or cocktails?
Karine and Terry: Wine! Adult grape juice; it’s fantastic.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Terry: Everybody started something somewhere, so don’t give up. Don’t let your own fears stop you. If you feed into fear, you will never move forward.
Karine: To never give up and nothing is impossible.
How would you define success?
Terry and Karine: Actually making an idea a reality, that to me is success.
What’s next for Cloth in a box?
Karine: We have more products that are going to launch including the men’s face cloth coming out soon that will be called Face It Like a Man. Stay tuned!
This article has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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