interview w/ With Love Botanicals
This interview was first published in our Summer 2019 newsletter. Subscribe here.
I got the honor of asking Keely Dolan, founder of With Love Botanicals, a few questions about her journey starting her skincare business and how she continues to take on each new step as her business grows.
Tell us the story of how you got to where you are today.
I am a newly twenty something who was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. I recently moved to California for my first year of college and realized that it wasn’t the right place at the right time, but before that year I felt like my life was completely different. But that’s what college does! Ever since I began college, and transferred back to a school in Seattle, I have grown exponentially as a person and began discovering myself more. Right when I got home is when I felt so inspired to start my business. I’m a sagittarius who loves to learn something new everyday. I’m constantly listening to podcasts, reading self-help books, and playing around with graphic design, which I am majoring in.
What pushed you to initially start With Love Botanicals?
I have two amazing parents who both started their own businesses at one point in their lives. Although these businesses didn’t become their full time or life long careers, it showed me that starting a company and self employment shouldn’t be daunting. My mom has worked in the cosmetic industry almost her whole life so I’ve naturally always been drawn to make up. It wasn’t until college that I stepped back and decided to focus on my skin over the make up I was putting on it. I have been seeing different dermatologists and estheticians since I was in middle school. Heavy regimens of benzoyl peroxide, Clindamycin, and retinol’s helped clear my acne but absolutely sucked the life out of my skin. I felt like I had to choose between blemished skin, or dead skin. This is what pushed me to educate myself on the very basics of skin care, the science behind what our skin needs, and the natural ingredients to start with. My love for this along with graphic design and business helped bring With Love Botanicals to life.
With each new milestone, how did you know when you were ready?
My first year of business really wasn’t planned out to be completely honest. I was told many times that I should work on making a formal business plan but I was too caught up in the fun of coming up with ideas of what I wanted to accomplish next. I just rolled with the punches from making one executive decision to the next. It was easy to do too considering I am the one and only employee, boss, and janitor. Luckily because my business was still small scale, there wasn’t much to lose. I knew I wanted to manufacture my own product that could go along with skincare and I am obsessed with bringing crystals into the mix. It just felt right to bring The Rose Roller to the store. I saved up my money and went for it as soon as I could. I feel like it helped establish my legitimacy too since I got them around 6 months into business. When I’m working on my business I feel really confident in myself and my abilities. I always shoot for success with the understanding that failures are part of the process. Now looking back on my first year of business I see areas where I could have planed better and practiced more patience but I don’t regret a thing. I’ve created a great platform for my baby of a business and I’m excited to keep learning and working harder.
Find more of Keely and With Love Botanicals on their website and on Instagram.