Jordan Morrow and Worth Anne Herrell of Oilogic: “Learning differences in our children is an obstacle that both of us have seen for our kiddos”

I believe women are built to be founders of companies, services, organizations, etc. Women are very intuitive; we understand the needs of our children, the needs of our families, as well as our own needs. That intuitiveness is a huge strength. Another great characteristic of women, and particularly moms, is that we are multitaskers. Whether […]

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I believe women are built to be founders of companies, services, organizations, etc. Women are very intuitive; we understand the needs of our children, the needs of our families, as well as our own needs. That intuitiveness is a huge strength.

Another great characteristic of women, and particularly moms, is that we are multitaskers. Whether it’s for a birthday party or organizing an event with friends, women know how to get things done. This makes us completely built to run whatever kind of organization we want.

As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Worth Anne Herrel and Jordon Morrow, Co-Founders of Oilogic® Care.

Jordan and Worth Anne are the moms behind Oilogic; the brand offering unique baby and kids bath products made with natural ingredients. After working together at two separate jobs for over 15 years, the two business partners (and personal friends) successfully launched their very own company based in Texas.

With a mission of making moms’ lives easier, Jordan and Worth Anne compete against massive companies by constantly innovating, and by staying connected to their customer base (which includes a Facebook community of over 13,000!)

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

W.A: So, Jordan and I have an interesting backstory of how we came together as business partners. We originally met almost 20 years ago, and we worked at an advertising agency together. I worked there for a little while, and she came in — was the new girl.

Then we got to know each other, and I ended up setting her up with a good friend of mine…

Jordan: …who became my husband!

W.A: And that worked out! They got married. Then, Jordan left the advertising agency to go work at a CPG company; a beauty company. They were looking to hire someone, and she recruited me over from the advertising agency.

We have worked together at two previous jobs for over 15 years. We are personal friends, and about 6, 7 years ago, decided to join forces and start our own business together.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Jordan: One of the most interesting things about our career is that I don’t think either of us ever sought out to become entrepreneurs. It was something that just kind of happened.

Both of us can be very sensitive, and in my perception, I thought to become an entrepreneur, you had to be this alpha male, had to have really tough skin. It was just never something I was attracted to as a career path.

Worth Anne and I had experience with using natural products, specifically essential oils, to help our children when they weren’t feeling well. So we thought, “man, this is pretty awesome, but there should be an easier way to do this. Maybe we can start a company!”

The desire and passion to create a product that we were passionate about took over, and that’s what launched us into becoming entrepreneurs.

Worth Anne: I think it’s a unique story in that we had our professional experience behind us, but it was a personal experience which led us to create our company.

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?

W.A: There were a lot of little, funny things that happened when we got started.

Jordan: Some, not so funny!

W.A: Some, maybe funny to some people, and not to others.

One thing that we were told in the beginning was how much we needed to be on social media. We had a lot of Facebook Live events…For younger millennials, they know how to work social media, but for us, we were kind of learning as we went. So, at the end of a lot of our events, in front of all of our customers, I’m going wait, which button do I use to turn this off..

Jordan: So embarrassing.

W.A: We had a lot of events where we would turn off the camera, and be like, oh my gosh. Did that just get sent to everyone that we sell products to?

Jordan laughing

W.A: But, we learned from that! Each time, we got a little bit better, and a little bit smarter. We learned that even when those things happen, you have to just keep going and make the best of them.

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 about that?

Jordan: There’s a lot of people that helped us along the way, but one group in particular was the New Hope Network. For those of you who don’t know who they are; they’re an organization that puts on the Expo West Trade Show.

We had submitted a product in hopes of winning a Nexty award — an award granted to a company for innovation within certain categories. We won the Nexty for Best New Natural Baby Brand when first starting out, and that was huge for us!

It gave us credibility with retailers, with moms, with our target market…

W.A: …and with ourselves too! It really validated that maybe we were on to something, and now people were recognizing that too.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Jordan: The Method Method was a book that I read early on — it was about a small brand that took on the big boys. One of the things that they said in the book was that being small is an advantage, because it gives you the ability to innovate.

In the categories we plan in, baby care and kids bath, there’s a lot of giant companies. We’re a small fish in that pond. I think that way we have been able to stay relevant is exactly with what that book says: innovating and staying ahead of the competition.

W.A: I had a couple of books that stood out to me; the first being The Bible. Starting a business always is a little bit of a leap of faith, and on this journey of entrepreneurship, my faith has been tested in a number of ways. So returning to The Bible has been my way of keeping perspective and of looking forward to what’s coming ahead.

The second book was regarding professional development; I’m always on a journey to learn more about myself! Several years back, I was challenged at work to do a personality quiz called Strengths Finder.

At the time, it was really eye opening. Learning what my true strengths were helps me know where to lean in and focus, which areas I need more development in, and when I should reach out to other people for help.

It can be a really good reminder when you’re stuck in autopilot or really stressed out — to take a breath, look within yourself, and know this is where you really shine and this is where you may need a little extra help.

Jordan: All of us at the company did the Strengths Finder, and it was nice to hear from each other; what her strengths are, what mine are, how we complement each other…

W.A: …and how we can build a stronger team together.

Jordan: (Nodding) Right!

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

Jordan: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

Where we’ve worked in the past together, we didn’t always feel empowered or as worthy as we were. With this company, it’s very important for us how we make each other feel, how we make our partners feel, how we make our customers feel. That’s at the forefront of what we do.

W.A: In business, like it or not, sometimes you have to have tough conversations. There are things that are uncomfortable that come up weekly, and how you handle yourself is so important. It can make all the difference between motivating someone or completing deflating them. And I think both of us have been on both sides of that. So we’re very conscious of speaking to people in a way that will hopefully motivate them, instead of having the opposite effect.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

W.A: We really started the company with the mission of wanting to make life easier for moms. We’re both moms, and we know how tough it can be. Especially, when kids are not feeling well, not sleeping, or whatever the case may be.

We wanted to help moms make that easier with products that they could feel good about using; they know the products are natural and safe for their children, and they can feel confident that what they’re using won’t have any scary long-term side effects or ingredients that they may not know.

If mama’s happy, baby’s happy, and if baby’s happy, mama’s happy. And that makes everybody feel a little bit better.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

W.A: The main thing that I think is holding women back may be confidence. I was lucky enough to go to a school that was an all female environment. Growing up, I never had any doubts that I could do anything that a man could do. So, I always had the confidence in me that my gender never held me back in anything. I think women seeing other women doing things helps to give them confidence that they can do it as well.

Jordan: I think fear is one of the things holding women back. You don’t know what you don’t know, so without having a lot of resources, it can be hard knowing what you’re getting into. That can be very scary.

In the beginning, I was very overwhelmed with how I was going to juggle childcare and starting a company. But, what I’ve really found is that there’s no way I could have been in my corporate job, working all the time and having three kids.

By being our own boss, we are able to be so much more present for our children than we ever would have been. We can pick them up from school, and we don’t have to feel guilty about it.

We have been able to create a life where we can be more present for our kids that any of our bosses would have ever allowed.

W.A: I 100% agree with that.

Can you share with our readers what you are doing to help empower women to become founders?

W.A: We try to empower women by continuing to share our story, and by our brand — we try to be very transparent with our customers on social media, on our website, and with blogging about the challenges of entrepreneurship and motherhood.

Sharing our personal lives with our customers is how we try to empower women to show that you can do it. You can have a family and run your own business. It takes discipline, it takes hard work, but it’s very doable.

Jordan: Worth Anne’s being shy. She’s been to several events where she has been on panels and spoken about the challenges of being a woman in business. Just the comradery of being around other women entrepreneurs — you see a lot of women uplifting each other. When she’s on these panels and speaking, she’s talking to a lot of women who don’t own their own businesses.

I think it’s very inspiring to speak to women about how they, too, can be entrepreneurs.

W.A: A lot of people think that to be a founder, it has to be some big company, and it’s not always about that.

It’s important to not just share a story about a company with products, but also to inspire people to just do something — to start something that they’re passionate about. Whether that’s blogging…

Jordan: …a consulting agency, jewelry…

W.A: …right, and seeing where that can go. With the right discipline, the right hard work, and honestly, a little luck, it could turn into whatever their dreams might be.

This might be intuitive to you but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

I believe women are built to be founders of companies, services, organizations, etc. Women are very intuitive; we understand the needs of our children, the needs of our families, as well as our own needs. That intuitiveness is a huge strength.

Another great characteristic of women, and particularly moms, is that we are multitaskers. Whether it’s for a birthday party or organizing an event with friends, women know how to get things done. This makes us completely built to run whatever kind of organization we want.

Jordan: Earlier I said that fear could be holding women back, but I also think that could ve a strength.

A lot of times, you hear people describing entrepreneurs as someone with a lot of ego, someone who knows exactly what they want to do and how they’re going to do it. I think that’s great, but I also think that it’s okay to have a little bit of fear.

When you are fearful, you’re willing to learn, you’re willing to listen, you’re willing to pivot. (To Worth Anne,) I mean how many times did we pivot our business?

It’s knowing what to do when things don’t go the way you’ve planned.

W.A: When I was pregnant for the first time, it was so exciting. I had all of these plans: we’re gonna go to the hospital, and it’s gonna happen this way and that way. But none of those things happened.

Then I got home, and I said we’re going to feed him this way and he’s going to sleep that way. And guess what — that didn’t really workout either.

So I tell people: it’s important to have a plan, but it’s also important to adjust your plan when you need to. The same thing applies in business as having a baby.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you please share 5 things that can be done or should be done to help empower more women to become founders? If you can, please share an example or story for each.

Jordan: The first thing starts with educating girls when they are young. Worth Anne spoke about being brought up in an environment where she never thought that you needed to be a boy to do something.

That’s a great example, but that’s not most people’s example. Depending on where they grew up, they might not have seen women in charge. It would be great for them to learn about women entrepreneurs. I think it’s important that these girls hear about women owned businesses and women who did things that were really amazing.

W.A: I think of my two sons who see me going to the office everyday, balancing motherhood and being a business owner. Part of the education is just more visibility to kids and young people that women are doing, and can do, all of these things.

Jordan: The second thing is equality in the workplace for women. A lot of that has to do with our salaries — getting paid the same as men. We were not paid the same as men with the same level of experience as us. I believe that indirectly tells a woman that she is not good enough or as valuable.

I think companies are starting to open their eyes to this problem, and I hope we continue to see women valued the same as men. Men and women that own big companies and corporations; they need to give women the value that they deserve.

W.A: A third thing: I think it’s important to have a mentor when you’re starting a business. There’s so many things that you don’t know, and so many of those things will come up. It’s important to have a mentor that will help you navigate those waters and problem solve in situations that you don’t have any experience with.

For a woman, a woman mentor could be very valuable. Having another woman in your life can help you navigate the emotional back and forth, as well as the financial roadblocks.

Something that established organizations could do to empower women is giving them more latitude when raising their families. You are seeing this more in bigger organizations, which give PTO and maternity leave.

Women want to do well in their career and do well at being mom. If an organization can respect the demands and responsibilities which come along with being the primary caregiver, I believe these companies can really empower their women employees to give their all at work without having to feel that they are sacrificing the needs of their family. Or vise versa.

Jordan: A lot of women that we know hit a professional roadblock when they started their families. If women had more flexible jobs, whether as employees or entrepreneurs, I believe it would be easier for them to balance motherhood with their career.

You both people of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Jordan: Learning differences in our children is an obstacle that both of us have seen for our kiddos.

W.A: Since we have started our business, Jordan has had two of her children, and I have had one of my children diagnosed with dyslexia.

Because of wanting to help our own children, we’ve learned a lot about learning differences in children over the past few years; such as dyslexia, ADHD, dysgraphia, anxiety, and mental wellness. We want children who are struggling with these issues to be better equipped, which could be possible with better education. Educating other students, peers, parents, on what those diagnoses mean, and how to empower children to deal with them on a daily basis.

On a bigger level, improving the education in school systems would help kids with these issues. I would also love to see a peer-to-peer mentorship program for our children, so they can learn from other, older children who have struggled with the same challenges.

There’s a ton of work that can be done in whatever cause you are passionate about! For us, that’s learning disabilities in children because it’s a very personal issue. But there are so many different causes. We believe that following your passions, and working towards causes that are personal to you, could inspire a larger movement of people making life better for people in their communities.

October is dyslexia awareness month, so we hope to do something with our brand to connect with our customers who are affected by these issues, and to educate others who may not know all of the facts.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Jordan: Let’s go breakfast — my favorite meal of the day. It would be Lori Greiner from Shark Tank. I identify with her because she’s an inventor and a marketer. I love product development, and I appreciate her opinion on products that she looks at.

While I’m not here to give up equity, I would love to pick her brain. As a woman in the shark tank, I would love to get her perspective — I think it would be really interesting, and I would have a lot of really good questions.

W.A: Right now, I’m reading the book Believe IT by Jamie Kern Lima — the founder of IT Cosmetics who eventually sold her business to Loreal, and became the first woman CEO of Loreal Cosmetics. It’s a really great book for any business owner, whether you’re male or female.

In the book, Lima talks about leaning into your intuition and building something that you are very passionate about. She’s very honest in her book about her personal struggles, so I can only imagine how intimate a conversation could be if it was over coffee.

Her wealth of experience, including the emotional highs and lows of running a business, could be so beneficial. I would love to be able to sit with her for a little bit and talk!

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