The Process Lab: Building an Approachable Brand with Lauren Griffith from Scrub & Butter
"Scrub & Butter is your friend from down the street, not intimidating, not scary, just really friendly and open” - Lauren Griffith
Scrub & Butter is a skincare line that focuses on making sure that people have the things their skin needs to feel happy and healthy. Lauren Griffith has been the owner and founder of Scrub & Butter for about four years and her time owning and operating her business has been marked by many ups and downs.
Lauren’s story begins with her taking an interest in making products for herself at home. When Lauren was in college, she started conducting research to find alternative products for her skin and hair needs. Her motivation? To make cost effective products for her skin and hair type.
"I was a broke college student so I frankly couldn’t even afford walking into a Sephora. So I did a lot of research."
This progressed to Lauren making scrubs and other skin care products for her family and friends. She started gifting her creations during the Holiday season and this caught the attention of her colleagues. These colleagues would push Lauren to sell her scrubs as they loved her products and thought that she could really create a product line to help others feel good about their skin.
It took over a year of convincing before Lauren started her business. Originally, she thought of naming her business Butter n Scrub, but thinking about the flow of how her products would be used, a scrub and then a butter, Lauren opted in for the name that she has since kept, Scrub & Butter.
Iterating a Business
Lauren reluctantly started her business as she was aware of the work that went into starting one. Initially, she did not have a business plan or an idea of her target market. She also did not have a marketing plan or suppliers for the raw materials she would need to create her products. Her friends and family were posting about Lauren starting her business but she wasn’t quite ready yet. She didn’t have the branding she needed to really differentiate Scrub & Butter. So, three months in, Lauren takes a step back to re-think her business.
Lauren’s first task after pressing pause on Scrub & Butter? Contact an artist to create distinguishable branding through a logo. Lauren had to be creative in using her network to iterate her business as Scrub & Butter was something that she started on her own, paying out of pocket for any costs that the business incurred.
After Lauren had her logo and labels created, she had to think about the cost of the raw materials and her packaging. It would take thousands of dollars, so she had to be all in. She took a few months to think about the direction she wanted to take. But eventually, she closed her eyes and ordered everything she needed. She had made the investment and it was time for Launch # 2.
“I taught myself how to market things on social media, how to build a website and I started developing relationships with wholesalers… It was the part I enjoyed, building a business.”
Lauren’s second launch went well and her products were a hit! But as it often is when you’re building something, another challenge faced Lauren. She had a full-time job in events, which required a lot of travelling. This interfered with her ability to fulfill orders and limited the time she could spend marketing her business. This led to her business yo-yoing, where she would take months off Scrub & Butter and then return to creating and selling her products.
Despite the demands of her work, Lauren wanted Scrub & Butter to be consistent. She found an accountability partner in her mom, who started helping Lauren fulfill orders and pushed her to continue posting informational posts on social media to create an approachable brand. This support helped Lauren become more consistent in creating a brand that her followers adore.
“My strategy on social media is to build a community. With skin, there is so much to talk about. So many people have different stories, different challenges… so I really want to couple selling with information.”
The Impact of Black Lives Matter
The Black Lives Matter movement originated as a social media campaign in 2013, after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who was later acquitted. More recently, the murder of George Floyd sparked a series of international protests, shedding light on the issues that Black individuals face at the hands of the justice system and racisim.
Lauren observed an increase in business as a result of the protests as they brought Black businesses into light. Scrub & Butter did the best in sales than it had ever done, giving Lauren the boost she needed to keep going. With that being said, there has been a recent decline in sales as the #blacklivesmatter movement hashtag has stopped trending. However, it is important to continue our efforts to support BIPOC owned businesses beyond a hashtag. We encourage all our readers to support a small BIPOC owned business this Holiday season!
During our conversation, Lauren pointed out that she found there to be a lack of resources pertaining to starting and managing a business. Her primary source of guidance were her family and friends. She encourages more groups to highlight business processes and create resources to help small business owners with their operations.
Finally, Lauren laid out what empowers her and her vision for her business and the world. Lauren is empowered by her customers and her desire to constantly challenge herself. Lauren is very goal oriented and loves to figure things out on her own.
For Lauren’s vision for Scrub & Butter, she would love to reach more people and handle larger volumes of customers by moving into a designated space for Scrub & Butter. She currently operates out of her home. For Lauren’s vision of the world, she hopes for a more inclusive world where we all continue to be curious about one another.
“I hope we continue to talk to each other. I hope that we continue to get to know people who don’t look like us. I hope we continue to support businesses who don’t look like us… I hope that we keep making friends”
You can find more about Lauren and her business at @scrubandbutter.
This article is written by Pallavi Dutta.
Images are provided by Lauren Griffith