In 2021, our team’s resolution is to provide you with the best curated content, tools, and resources to take care of your business, as well as your wellbeing…and we are well on our way.
And today, we’ll introduce you to Sunnies, a self-heating eye mask business started by a young couple during the pandemic, along with other articles on wellness & general trends for the year.
P.S. Whether you are a current business owner, professional, or student, consider joining our micro-entrepreneur community to get curated access to resources for entrepreneurship. Click the link below to connect with our Founder Alice, and learn about how to participate.
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Featured Micro-business: Sunnies
Company/Brand Name: Sunnies
Offerings: Self-heating eye masks
Founder(s): Vaibhav Agarwala and Maya Sachdeva (husband/wife pair)
Location: Plano, TX
Founded in: 2020
☀️ Tell us about yourself, your company, and how you got started.
I first discovered this product while on a business school trip to Japan in 2019, where I noticed similar masks in every convenience store I stepped into. When COVID-19 hit, I started becoming extremely aware of how much time I was spending on screens, not just for a virtual class, but also the mindless time on my phone and on social media. I immediately thought of the products I had seen in Japan. Sunnies was born as a way to help people focus on themselves—instead of spending 15-20 minutes before bed scrolling on their phone, they can spend that time resting your eyes, relaxing, and letting your mind wander a bit. We designed the product on a student trial of Adobe Creative Cloud and negotiated with factories in Asia. Once we found our supplier, we iterated through samples, built our website, and prepared for launch!
☀️ How did you acquire your first batch of customers?
We were featured in a blog post that was also put out on Harvard Business School's various social media accounts and got a ton of initial interest then. It was fortuitous timing - it was October and everyone was being drowned in constant updates about the election, the economy, and the pandemic. I think the story about our product - one which quite literally lets you block out the external world - resonated with people.
☀️ What is your plan for the future? What trends do you foresee for your industry?
I would define the industry we are in as the intersection of beauty and wellness/self-care. My personal opinion is that right now, that industry is becoming increasingly technical and confusing for consumers. Adaptogens, cannabinoids etc are being thrown around in descriptions as if they are indisputable facts when in reality, they are a bit pseudo-scientific. I think consumers will start craving simple functionality. That belief informed our product positioning - no matter what, our customers know our masks work. You can feel them heating up - there's a simple functionality to it.
☀️ Any requests for help from our community?
I'd love to get any tips and tricks around how other brands have navigated the digital marketing ecosystem. Most brands I've spoken with have experienced an increase in social media acquisition costs this year, pushing margins to unsustainable levels. Similarly, partnerships and influencer marketing are becoming increasingly commercialized - rates are going up and engagement, in my opinion, is going down. How are other brands telling an authentic story to a wide audience?
Other Upcoming Events
🌟 Dianna Cohen - Founder & CEO of Crown Affair; Forbes 30 under 30 - RSVP
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