Don’t stray from your brands identity- create a visual identity. It is always best if the content that you create matches your brands personality. I created a visual identity for Doctor’s Daughter to make sure that I never steer away from that.
As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle Fox and Dr. Deborah Longwill.
Danielle Fox was always known as the “doctor plug”; the friend everyone came to for skincare advice. Fast forward, Danielle is now the founder and CEO of Doctor’s Daughter, a new clean skincare brand that aims to simplify your beauty routine with nutrient-packed ingredients for healthy, glowing skin.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
After years of trying different skincare brands and realizing I was using way too many products to achieve my goals, I started wondering if there was a way to achieve the same results with less. Fast forward, Doctor’s Daughter, a collaboration between me and my mom, Dr. Deborah Longwill, a board certified dermatologist for 25 years.
When my mom and I decided to start Doctor’s Daughter, we had one goal in mind: to create ingredient-focused, holy grail products that minimize your daily routine while providing the key benefits for healthy skin. At first, we created it for ourselves; then for my mom’s dermatology practice; and now, for you.
My entire life, I’ve been known as the “doctor plug” — aka the friend everyone came to for dermatology and skincare advice. My interest and appreciation for skin runs deep, and I hope you’ll see it when you try DD. Staying true to our goal of only making what we believe to be absolutely necessary, Doctor’s Daughter was born: two products, super ingredients, and results you want without the fuss.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
We actually launched at the end of May 2020 and I would say the most interesting part was navigating a product/brand launch during quarantine. Everything went according to plan and it was very rewarding being noticed during such unprecedented times.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
In the beginning of the year we had a set goal to launch the brand in the end of March/beginning of April. We were so sure that we would be ready in time. After being blind sided by a pandemic we weren’t really sure what to expect. We had a planned product shoot that was coordinated to have photos ready for the launch date. Due to quarantine we were not able to move forward with the planned shoot but that didn’t stop us. Organizing a DIY shoot in our backyard was actually so much fun and we believe the photos turned out amazing. In addition, while sourcing props for the shoot we were able to support many local businesses. We had no professional photographer or art director and managed to professionally edit the pictures and have our website ready just in time. The hardest part was deciding when the right time was to bring the products to the market. I think that the biggest lesson to learn is don’t give up no matter what challenge you are facing. I never thought we would have been able to get all this done during quarantine and now I am beginning to think we got it done because of quarantine.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I wouldn’t say it was a mistake but looking back we laugh at the fact that we were able to launch during a global pandemic.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Doctor’s Daughter is about creating products that are essential to your routine- the products you can’t live without. We are always exploring new avenues that we can introduce but it takes time because we aren’t about the fluff. There are so many products out there today that are harmful or just not beneficial at all and we want to steer away from that. We hope to bring more products in the near future but as of right now we are focusing on our two prized products.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t worry about your end goal. It takes time for the flower to grow once you plant the seed. Be patient as getting to your end goal will take time but if you put in the work you will get there.
- It is important to build relationships and always leave doors open. You never know what doors will open in the future and having people to refer to is always helpful.
- Set both long term and short term goals. We tend to like to jump to our end goal but most likely your end goal is going to take years. Set small goals that will lead to your end goal!
- Social media is your most important marketing tool and it is important to stay up with trends. Social media is the best way to target your audience. Learn and try out different ad specifications to see which works best for your brand.
- Don’t stray from your brands identity- create a visual identity. It is always best if the content that you create matches your brands personality. I created a visual identity for Doctor’s Daughter to make sure that I never steer away from that.
What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
When you feel overwhelmed take a break and this is more common than usual due to the circumstances. I would suggest picking up meditation or even a hobby that can help as a stress reliever. When you get to your burn out stage, it’s best to step away because you won’t complete the job to the best of your ability. Stepping away and taking a break also may allow you to approach the project differently. When I step away I usually come back thinking of a whole different idea and a more effective approach. Another tip that I have learned is that setting multiple small goals is much more effective than setting one big end goal.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
There is absolutely no way I would be where I am today without my mom, Dr. Deborah Longwill, as she has guided me through this whole process. She built her practice by herself and learning under her has been a true inspiration. I learn something entirely new from her every day on how to run a successful business. Not only is she a CEO but she is also the most incredible mom. I still do not know how she does it all. She is a superwoman and I am lucky to have her as my partner in creating Doctor’s Daughter skincare!
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!
I would start the ‘feeling good in your own skin’ movement, which is what we strive for at Doctor’s Daughter. We hope that after using our products and bringing one’s skin back to its healthiest state that one will feel more confident in themselves.
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Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.