You may find yourself in a position where you must make changes to the direction of the company. Don’t be afraid to pivot.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Chereque & Dr. Jenelle Kim.
Dr. Jenelle Kim — Doctor, author, and public speaker, Jenelle has spent almost 20 years sharing how to incorporate the philosophy, medical wisdom, and expertise of East Asia with the advancements of modern life and medicine of the west.
A pioneer in the beauty and personal care industry, and founder of JBK Wellness Labs, Jenelle has formulated some of the first all-natural luxury products carried in high-end spas across the world, including the Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons & Mandarin Oriental. Her formulas can also be found in stores such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Whole Foods Market & Sprouts.
Michelle Chereque — Michelle is a Marketing professional with over 20 years experience working for creative, global advertising agencies, and media companies. While in New York and Miami, she worked for companies such as E! Entertainment, Publicis Sapient, and Crispin Porter + Bogusky. She has worked in diverse facets of marketing and sales, including advertising, experiential, business development, and public relations for the US, Hispanic, and Latin American markets.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about how you met and became business partners?
We are two moms who met through mutual friends in our community of La Jolla, California, and quickly became great friends. We have complimentary professional backgrounds and values, and we both wanted to create our own proprietary brand of beautiful and effective products.
Together we bring decades of experience in herbal medicine, cosmetic product formulation, marketing, and creativity to the table, so it was a great fit.When the pandemic hit, we saw a need in the world and decided to launch with our current product assortment — products that are good for our wellbeing and the world.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Shape your world or someone else will”
This quote speaks to us as entrepreneurs and as philanthropists. We want to create products that we are proud of and that are good for the world. This quote also reminds us that we are in control of our lives, but we need to be mindful of all our actions and decisions.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much
The Tao Te Ching is a book that resonates with us because it gets to the root of human connection to nature and to those around us. It helps us to see our purpose in life. It provides a sense of calm and well-being by helping us examine how we can make this world better for ourselves and for others. It also helps us find balance in a world that is always changing. This book is inspiring because it benefits all people regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or beliefs.
Wayne Dyer also wrote a book called Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao in which he analyzes the Tao and explains how we can apply it to our world today. It is an extremely powerful book that can change the way you look at your life and help you to live a more peaceful existence.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
I was born to do what I do. I come from a long lineage of Traditional Oriental Medical doctors and herbologists who have dedicated their lives to understanding medicine and the human mind and body in order to help us achieve our healthiest condition possible.
For my entire life it has been my wish to make a difference in the world and create products that are good for the world.
I have always worked in creative advertising agencies and large marketing companies, helping to build and promote brands, and overseeing the creative process, so it’s a dream come true to be able to build and promote my own brand, and to create products that are good for the world.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
Originally, we had planned to launch a skincare line, but when we found ourselves in the midst of the pandemic, we pivoted quickly to launch these essential products since we were not comfortable putting the products available on the market on to our children or ourselves.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
When the pandemic hit and we saw all the toxic sanitizing options and harsh ingredients that were being distributed to our children and to our peers, we knew we needed to step in and do better.
How are things going with this new initiative, Good Essentials?
Amazing! We are getting tons of sales and tremendous feedback on our mask mist and our essential balm. Thanks to this great response, we are expanding our line to include essential oils and skincare in the very near future.
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?
My father was my greatest mentor. He was my everything. He was a man of deep compassion, wisdom, and perspective. Above anything, he taught me that the most important thing in life is to be a good person and then everything will unfold as it should.
My husband! He is my biggest cheerleader and he encouraged me to follow my dream and start my own business.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started Good Essentials?
We didn’t realize when we launched how much people were interested in the ingredients in our products and our formulations, and how much they appreciated learning about them. Because of this demand, we started a weekly herbal spotlight on our social platforms featuring Dr Jenelle Kim.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading our company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- The advertising landscape changes by the minute, so stay informed and aware, or you will lose a lot of money quickly.
- Influencers are a cost efficient way to grow your brand.
- Be open to learning anything and everything because it will all be necessary on your journey.
- You may find yourself in a position where you must make changes to the direction of the company. Don’t be afraid to pivot.
- It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it, so keep going
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
We follow the principles of the Tao, and we know we have the power to change our reality, but we also create products that help balance our condition mentally, physically, and spiritually, so we are better able to handle the stress of everyday life.
For example we are so excited to be launching our essential oil collection which will consist of 3 blends to start — calm, energize and protect.
There are so many benefits to using essential oils. We think that in these trying times they will be essential to helping people rebalance their condition, relieve stress, calm the mind, and revitalize the body so that they can be their best selves. Each of these blends can be incorporated into a person’s yoga practice, meditation, breathwork, or any part of their daily life. They are also very effective formulas for helping keep our children strong and balanced.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
We would launch an honesty movement where brands would be completely transparent about what they are providing to our children and to ourselves. We created Good Essentials to meet the needs of today, but we also wanted to leave a legacy of goodness for our kids and for generations to come. This means making a solemn promise to deliver products that are all-natural, essential, and good for the world. This commitment guides and governs everything we do. We would love to see other brands follow suit.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
We would both say Sara Blakely. She is the epitome of a self-starter/entrepreneur. She is smart, funny, accomplished, and an incredible mom. She balances her career, family life, and philanthropy with grace and humor. We would want her as a friend and mentor!
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!