Success Story: ItzMade4Me
Michelle Stone worried about taking her business to the next level after incorporating ItzMade4Me, a skin care business she and her cousin, Shawndasha Hall, had started in 2017. Stone and Hall put in the work to establish the business, but they needed a way to tell their story to a wider audience.
Here’s how they did it, with a little help from the Deluxe website design team.
A personal mission turned business
ItzMade4Me, based in Middletown, New York, makes and sells chemical-free, gluten-free and vegan-certified soaps and moisturizers for hair, skin and lips.
The idea for the business came about when Hall adopted a vegan lifestyle and had a hard time finding products that didn’t include animal products or byproducts.
Then, Stone was diagnosed with celiac disease, an immune disorder in which gluten can damage the small intestine. She could no longer eat foods made with wheat, rye or barley. But even with the change in diet, there was one symptom of the disease that remained: itchy skin rashes. That made Stone take a closer look at not only what she was putting in her body, but also on her body.
To remedy the problem, Stone and Hall wanted to create their own natural hair and body care products without chemicals, gluten or animal products. Through lots of research and trials, they found the right formula free of harsh chemicals. They then used their lotions and soaps on their own hair and skin.
Stone noticed the rashes did not return and her skin retained moisture.
“People started noticing our smooth skin and the fullness in our hair and reached out,” said Stone. “So we gave them samples.”
Those early samplers liked the products so much that they encouraged Stone and Hall to start selling the lotions and soaps. Not long after, Stone transformed part of her home into a manufacturing facility.
With help from her family, she and Hall work nights and weekends to make products and fulfill orders.
They were off to a great start, and even took the step of incorporation, but Stone and Hall wanted to expand their online reach. That’s when they reached out to the Deluxe team.
A bold step forward
To grow the business, Stone and Hall needed not only to increase orders but to increase their marketing efforts. Without a logo or website, it’s hard for an e-commerce business to see strong returns.
Stone called the Deluxe team to create a logo.
“Our products are for a diverse population, so we wanted a logo that represented diversity, both men and women with different hair types,” said Stone. “[The Deluxe team] listened to what we were looking for and delivered it. My logo is beautiful. People love it.”
The colors Stone chose for her company also have special meaning. A strong brand vision helps guide the business, and she uses gold and green consistently across all her branding: “The gold represents a golden product that everybody should own and use. The green represents the green light: Just doing it and not being afraid of moving forward and doing what’s right for your hair and skin,” she said.
A healthy future
To make the website work for them, it needed to be simple and easy to understand. The layout of the home page briefly explains the products and has quick links to buy. If people want to dive deeper, they can learn more information about the cousins’ story or the products.
Most importantly, now customers can buy products directly from ItzMade4Me’s secure website — even right from the homepage.
The site has enabled the company to expand beyond its geographical area. Hall and Stone have even received interest from customers in other countries. Stone can easily change prices, add product lines and update the content on the website in just a few clicks.
Pages like the one below set the stage for building customer relationships. Online shoppers can learn more about what’s in the products, what works for other people and how to make a purchase.
By doing so, the company generated more than 47,500 followers across Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in just a few months. The professional look of their Facebook page, for example, matches the look and feel of their website. This gives customers a consistent experience and makes their brand more memorable.
“Deluxe is helping me in areas I couldn’t have done on my own. I just don’t have time right now to build a website or try to market on social media,” said Stone, who still works a full-time job with the New York Department of Education, providing support for students with learning disabilities.
“I see this business going far,” she added. “One small idea is now affecting so many people in positive ways.”