Business ideas pop up all the time, but few pursue them. When Tiffani Joseph came up with the idea of SkinnyMe Bangles she knew she was onto something. Something worth pursuing.
And in January she launched SkinnyMe Fashions with her first product, SkinnyMe Bangles. As the website describes, “SkinnyMe Bangles are the first-ever, fashion accessory that can help you tone and strengthen your arms without even stepping foot in a gym. Weighing a 1/2 lb each, all of our bangles are designed to be fashionable and functional.”
Here, Joseph tells us how she got the entrepreneurial bug.
TNJ.com: What inspired the product?
Tiffani Joseph: I spend a lot of time at work sitting in front of a computer and always felt like I was doing a disservice to my body. Plus, I’m not a gym person; I find them intimidating. I imagined what if I could create a product that would help my body in some kind of way? I would be solving a problem for myself and other women like me.
TNJ.com: How do SkinnyMe Bangles work?
TJ: It’s pretty simple. Each SkinnyMe Bangle weighs a 1/2lb. each. And that small resistance forces the muscles in the arm to work. Since it’s not a strenuous amount of weight, women can wear the bangles for longer periods of time and reap the rewards.
TNJ.com: How did you fund the startup?
TJ: I launched and IndieGoGo campaign a few months prior to the official announcement of SkinnyMe Bangles. I wasn’t successful in reaching my goal, but I did receive enough support to get the business off the ground.
TNJ.com: What has the response been?
TJ: The response has been wonderful. Women love the product and its stealth benefits. They find it useful and practical to wear what seemingly looks like a bangle, but is actually a product that’s helping them tone and strengthen their arms. Women have even told me that the bangles have acted as a catalyst for them to get fit. That response alone has given me purpose.
TNJ.com: How do you market and sell your product?
TJ: We only sell SkinnyMe Bangles online at SkinnyMeFashion. We market them to fashionistas who appreciate and value a product that has form and function.
TNJ.com: How do you juggle this and a full-time job?
TJ: I’m a full-time copywriter at an advertising agency. Juggling both hasn’t been too daunting, but I also find the time to make both work.
TNJ.com: What has been your biggest challenge?
TJ: Money! I knew it would be difficult to launch a business and then keep the business afloat, so I make sacrifices (no vacations, no new wardrobe, no new anything)! I set a little aside from every paycheck and have offered my friends and family a small percentage of the business for their investment.
TNJ.com: What has been the most important business lesson you have learned?
TJ: There are no finish lines in business, so there’s no need to rush. Another, is to divide big goals into bite-size ones, so they’re more obtainable and less overwhelming.
TNJ.com: What are your 2014 goals?
TJ: Our next step is to produce more colors. This year, we’re releasing blue, yellow, and purple versions of SkinnyMe Bangles. Also, if I can get celebrities like Oprah or Michelle Obama to wear them, that’ll be golden! Long term, we want to make SkinnyMe a recognizable brand that is all about helping women feel empowered and good about themselves.