How Moon Rivers Naturals Grew From One-Woman Soapmaker to All-Natural Skincare Business

Today we meet Stefanie McNeely, founder of the all-natural skincare company Moon Rivers Naturals. Stefanie began Moon Rivers Naturals to allow her creativeness to flourish, and has since evolved the business into a thriving brand with a team of employees. What kind of challenges did she face along the way? Are there unique business obstacles for creative people who suddenly find themselves dealing with marketing, finances, taxes, and management? Let’s find out!

Hello! Perhaps you could introduce yourself?

Hi! To start with, I am a mom of two wild boys and 1 handsome husband. I am the founder of Moon Rivers, an all-natural skincare line ranging from soaps, scrubs, to creams and serums. My responsibilities on the day to day at Moon Rivers is product development and creative development. I also like to throw in other random tasks.

In college, I was very homesick and newly married, my only experience had been when I taught myself how to make soap to keep myself busy. Once I started having kids I was feeling that urge to create again. I started Moon Rivers and discovered my passion for not only creating but evolving a company. I split my time between Moon Rivers and home where I have an amazing family, a small farm, and my garden which I call my therapy. We live in a small town where I can go and escape into my home life. I love it.

Moon Rivers Naturals soap

Tell us more about your business.

So our business was founded back in 2016. My son was 1-2 years old and again, I was feeling alone and isolated just like when I originally started making soap back in 2006. I needed to create again and my husband encouraged me to start making soap again. I started and played around with it for a bit and then I got a wild hair to do a little music festival in town. The spark of business ownership sparked that evening and I was addicted to owning my own business and growing a brand. I saw a future, a life, and a way for my creativeness to flourish. I know what this brand is capable of and my family keeps pushing me.

It wasn’t as easy as poof! We have a brand. We did have to develop and create a lot of business ideas, a website, labels, etc. Oh and taxes and such… Still trying to figure all that out lol. But creating a brand was so fun and I still love evolving it. Our land provided the perfect inspiration. I knew I wanted the products to be clean, natural, and wild. One of our sayings is to keep it simple, keep it wild. The land provided the wild aspect, the simpleness is our design and ingredients. We make effective products with simple ingredients, but we have a fun wild side to our business.

We actually have several original products that I first started with still on our line. They are some of our biggest sellers! Good Vibes oil has evolved but is still a great selling product and one of my first!

We have an awesome team of people working with us! They allow me to keep evolving the company and they have some serious dedication to the company. We’re so happy to have them!

What are you working on at the moment? What are the future plans?

I don’t know what has really gotten into me. I think 2020 just threw us for such a loop but I have had such motivation for new products! I’ve been having so much fun creating some newbies that I’ve had on my list for a while.

Keep your eye out for new face washes and creams!

Moon Rivers Naturals

What are your biggest challenges? What motivates you?

Learning how to be a business person has been a struggle and a boss. I love people but managing people hasn’t always been fun. Learning how to manage money, taxes, employees, that’s not what a creative person loves doing. It’s been a struggle but we’re getting there!

What kind of marketing initiatives are the most effective for your business in terms of driving more sales?

We are kinda experimenting with that. Social for sure! We definitely like to reach out to our customers on a regular basis to form a good relationship with them. They are what keeps this business going.

Moon Rivers Naturals lip balm

Can you share what tools, apps, or other useful things you are using in your business?

We use Later app for scheduling social media. Scheduling instagram has allowed for it to be a little more manageable.

Also, use your reminder app on your phone. I use that a lot while I’m driving and I need to save my ideas or to-dos. I can just yell at my phone to save my thoughts.

What is the best business advice you can share with others?

Keep on going. Your trials and slumps always teach you something. You gotta keep going.

Could you recommend any books, movies, podcasts, learning materials?

Silence haha. I have 2 kids and a 30 minute drive to work. I use silence to gather my thoughts and plan my day. I don’t always drive in silence but when I have a lot I’m juggling, it helps me organize my thoughts.

Moon Rivers Naturals

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