Inventing & Launching a Product with Teri Tkachuk | Stellar Girl

Call Me CEO Teri Tkachuk Stellar Girl Inventing and launching a new product
 

Teri Tkachuk has a stellar mindset with the inventing and launching of a new product, glitter lotion. Teri has worked hard to understand the realms of the business world all while balancing motherhood! Her tips on launching a new product are key to the success of mothers and their businesses!

Where do I start with inventing and launching a new product?

Teri Tkachuk gives us some ‘stellar’ insight in this next episode. As a full-time mother of four, she has worked hard to create and sell a product! In this podcast she covers the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people, making family time a priority, and becoming the best version of yourself!

Having the Stellar mindset

To be a mother and become a CEO requires a certain mindset. In this episode Teri talks about her stellar mindset that allows her to think positively and never give up.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

In this episode, we cover: 

  • how to use a brand to empower women of all ages
  • how to launch your brand successfully
  • using a publicist and the benefits of having one
  • celebrating and making a connection with women of all cultures

Resources and links mentioned during this episode:

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST:

[Music]

Welcome back everyone to episode four of Call Me CEO. I am your host�Camille�Walker. And I'm so excited about today's episode. If you've ever had an idea or a creation or invention in your mind that you are so passionate about, but you're not quite sure how to get that product to market. You're going to love today's episode with Teri, from Stellar Girl who shares a story about how she created an at-home glitter lotion that got so much attention she decided to make a business of her own. What I really love about this Stellar Girl brand is that it is all about female empowerment of any age, anywhere across the world, and that you have a voice and an inner shine that is available to everyone and everyone's voice is different and everyone's voice sounds different. And that is exactly how it should be. So, if you're thinking about something unique, something that you want to share, go after that, let's listen to how Teri went after her dream.�

So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it, that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week, as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.�

Camille Walker:�All right, welcome to the show. I am so, so excited to have Teri [01:28�inaudible] here with us today.�Did I say it right that time?�

Teri:�You said it perfectly.�

Camille Walker:�That is a major win. We are already off to a great start.�It is such an honor to meet you. I love meeting new women entrepreneurs that are chasing after their dreams and making things happen. And I can't wait for our audience to get to know you. Please tell us more about what you do and the business that you started.�

Teri:�Oh, well, thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to meet you as well, and I�ve followed your blog. It's just so, it's very inspiring to me as a mom of four. But I would love to talk to you about Stellar Girl, which is why we are here in this movement. That is just, it's so close to my heart and it's full of positivity and love and joy and hope and laughter. And when we started this movement and this community, we really wanted to bring together all women, all girls, and really make a safe place for having Stellar mindset, having a, you know, get up and get it done. Have some grit. Let's really focus on ourselves, but also each other and support and elevate and uplift each other. And we should all be celebrating extraordinary women. And I think there is a little bit of a void in that in today's culture.�

Camille Walker:�Yes. I love everything that you just said. I think that that is a banner. I hold up every single word that you just said and just celebrating our uniqueness and going after it. And so how did, take us down the steps of how this came to be a lotion. Now you see, I actually have it sitting on my little [03:13�inaudible]�there. What's so fun is I put it on today and for those of you listening and you can't see it, it's a bottle of lotion that actually is a sparkle lotion. It's a glimmer lotion and she can describe it a little better than I can. But when I put it on today, my four-year-old said, mom, you have sprinklers on your skin.�

Teri:�I love that.�

Camille Walker:�Instead of sprinkles, sprinklers. So, I thought that was pretty cute.

Teri: Well. The kids, exactly a little sparkle, sprinklers, I�ll take it all. So how was it started? I kind of had to do it yourself routine for years. For about 10 years, I had, you know, you started off with your base, whatever lotion you used. Then I added some shimmer, which was like iron oxide basically, which is kind of like a sparkly powder. And then I added like glitter flex on top. And I wore it every day because it made me happy and smile and not because for others, but because I loved putting it on. And that was just kind of part of what I wore. So, over the years and over all of my travels everywhere I went, girls would stop and say, oh my gosh, like where did you get your lotion? Like, is it this brand? Is it that brand? And I'm like, no, it's like this kind of mixture. Why don't you make it? So we went on this journey and found, eventually found this cosmeceutical company out in Illinois that I met with in that my co-founder and I met with, and we met chemists and after 40 samples going back and forth we finally created the perfect lotion and bottled it. And it's like a celebration for your skin. I call it body jewelry, body bling. I wear it every day. Lots of girls would wear it, maybe just for prom or their wedding or a special occasion. But it just, it does, it makes me happy putting it on. So, I'm really glad you love it too.

Camille Walker: Yeah, it's really, I was really surprised by how fine that lotion or the glimmer in the lotion was so that it, I felt like I could be a cast member of Lord of the rings, like one of the, one of the elf� Queens or something like, it is beautiful.

Teri: Thank you. The microscopic glitter is really subtle, and it looks great on the beach. You know, that's where I wear it head to toe. Otherwise they just put it on my upper body during the day and daily wear, but yeah, at the beach it looks so good. I could put it on your legs and they just flip it and glow. I just love it.

Camille Walker: Oh, that's so fun. So talk to me about how, so you have this lotion that you've been creating and it makes, I love that the reason why you went after creating this is because how it made you feel and that that's your mission is that it's more about giving that gift of empowerment to the people who wear it, you know, put things on that make you feel good. So, take me through the process of that. Like, how did you find a manufacturer that you liked? How did you come together with formulas? Like this is three years in the making, right? Like it took a while to get there.

Teri: It does, yeah, back and forth with all the samples, like it was a little dry at first, or it was too much glitter or too oily. And we decided to go with this company in the United States, just because it was close enough to drive back and forth too. They were excellent to work with. They have created different brands that dermatologists use. Their base was safe. I felt that the ingredients were pure with like the Shea butter or the avocado oil. And, you know, we talked about the differences between, should we use coconut oil, avocado oil, like there's so many almond oil, so many different things out there. And just the way they worked with you, like on facetime over and over and over again. And I just, you know, when you connect with someone and you know it was right. I think we went to a couple of others; I think a total of three before we decided on this one in Illinois.

Camille Walker: And was that difficult? Oh, so your partner, you did a co-founding with your partner who is also your life partner. And I know at times when I�ve worked with my husband, when he's helped me with tech or different things for my own business, it can get a little tricky maybe where you have different strengths and weaknesses, but sometimes it's seeing eye to eye on things. What's your best advice for how to work with your partner in a way that's productive and doesn't interrupt your personal life, so to speak.

Teri: Well, I have to say, he's my biggest cheerleader and I am his, and we definitely have our strengths and weaknesses that for sure. I'm more of the creative. I know more about social media and I'm more of the marketing creative side and he's more of like, oh my gosh, I need you to find, you know, an attorney for our trademark. I need you to do the licensing. He has, he started his own companies and businesses 10 years before we met or even longer than that actually about 15 years and his companies were Stellar development. And so he had this word because he thought it was extremely underused instead of why, like you think of a Stellar athlete or a Stellar performance on stage, or, you know, a Stellar performance on, I don�t know a hockey arena, or I just think that that word is just something that's very underused. And so, did he, and so he actually wanted to call his daughter stellar and she ended up to be Stella.�

Camille Walker:�I love it.�

Teri:�back to how we work together. We really have a divide and conquer, so when it has to do with like the creative aspect of Stellar Girl and the movement and celebrating women, and of course that's going to be more on my forte and he works the backend, like the finances, the licensing, etc.

Camille Walker: That's wonderful. So, when you said that he had named his daughters or he wanted to name her stellar, you had mentioned to me previously that you are a blended family. Talk to me about how that journey of motherhood and how that came together.

Teri: Well that is probably the biggest blessing in my life, for sure. So, I have a son Brady and he's got three children, Alex, Cooper, and Stella. And we met about seven years ago when we blended our family together when I moved up to Wisconsin in, I don't know, about five or six years ago, I can't believe I�ve been here that long. It feels like forever. But of course, it's going to have its ups and downs, but it's definitely they are my biggest blessing and my grandmother actually even have it tattooed on my arm right here. It says before. And when she passed, she was probably one of the greatest influences, female influences in my life. And she says, Carrie, you're going to have four kids. And at the time I only had one. And when I met Keith, I'm like, oh my goodness, I have four kids and I�ve had this tattoo for about 10 years now. And so even prior to meeting him and I just think that having all this love and life and energy in this house and having this daughter now that can hopefully, that I can learn from then she can hopefully take this company on and make it her own one day.

Camille Walker: I love that. When it comes to empowering women and now, especially your daughter, what are some messages that you wish you had learned at an earlier age or something you carried with you that really helped you to develop into the woman you are today?

Teri: I believe that we should take care of our own four walls and also each other. So, whether your house is four walls or 50 walls, you take care of what's in your family, what you hold dear, but also learn from that and then spread the love forward. So that is definitely one of the things I would love for Stella to take on and learn from. Kindness first, always, always, always, always. And if we have all that love and kindness that we step forward into our lives and in anything we do first, I think we can really grow from that versus judging or anything negative whatsoever. And that's what Stellar Girl is all about. And I am thrilled. I'm absolutely thrilled. And I believe in this movement, I�ve poured my heart and soul into Stellar Girl, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. And I can honestly say that after about three weeks of launching, we launched on November 9th, that I�ve had over 70 media requests and press requests for Stellar Girl. I think people are just needing this joy and happiness and love and laughter and positivity in their lives.

Camille Walker: Incredible response. How in the world did you launch with such success?

Teri: I think because the world needs a little happy and yes, there are highs and lows, but I focus on the positive. I really try to focus on that. And we had, you know, we were, didn't really know when we were going to launch. We were supposed to launch in April and, you know, we launched in November instead. We waited till, you know, the dust settled. It wasn't the right time. But that's how businesses grow and develop. And we definitely have to learn from those things.�

Camille Walker: Talk to me about getting a publicist. How does that, what are the steps of getting a publicist that reaches out for you? Because that's actually how we were connected was a publicist reached out to connect us and I�ve have never had a publicist. I'm curious what the steps are to doing that.

Teri: Well, when we first thought of Stellar Girl three years ago, and we wanted to create this movement first, before we even had any products or, but we had this message. And so actually one year after struggling, like, what are we going to do we have this name, Stellar Girl, what are we going to do with this name? Or how are we going to have a business over a name? And after meeting with a different marketing companies we finally found one that decided to take a chance on us and do it in reverse. Because usually you come to a marketing company with a product and say, okay, I have this product. How do we get it to market? So once we had, you know, we created our mood boards and all the beginnings of having a marketing team, you know, we kind of thought, well, now with the marketing team, you need a publicist to promote what you have.�So we actually met with three or four in Los Angeles and three or four in LA, three in New York, I apologize and we went with our gut and Nash and her team have been, they've been cheerleaders of ours and champions of this brand and we've been in contact for the past two years, even though we weren't ready to hire them. She was a consultant and she's been a great force in my life. And I really, I'm so grateful for her and her team. They've just been so positive with spreading the word about Stellar Girl.

Camille Walker: Oh, that's awesome. I love hearing stories about women supporting women like that, even when it was just the beginning and you didn't quite have it all figured out yet.�

Teri:�Yeah, absolutely.�

Camille Walker:�So how did you get out of that messy middle when you were kind of like, Oh, I don't know what, I'm not quite sure. Like what was something that really helped guide you during that time?

Teri: What guided me was other women and as fun and as cliche as that may sound, but that is the honest truth. Like I wore the lotion, it was still my do it yourself routine, even though I had samples here and there, but still everywhere we traveled everywhere. We went for those three years while we were building this brand and this company, everyone was like, where is that lotion? And I would just kept saying, it makes me so happy. And they're like, where can I get it? Where can I get it? And it's just like, this has got to create something, this happiness and this movement about celebrating other women and being, having a celebration for your skin. It just resonated with so many people all over the world during our travels that I knew, I knew it in my heart that this was going to go somewhere.

Camille Walker: That's awesome. So, I know that you have traveled quite a bit and you speak four different languages, which is mind blowing and so awesome to me. I wish I could speak more. What is something that you've learned that is uniting as women all over the world and something that you've learned from different cultures around the world as you've traveled.

Teri: So I think that to take away from meeting all these extraordinary women is that they all, they were also kind, I'd never, it was very rare that I met someone who was judgmental or wasn't, you know, everyone you wanted to ask, Oh, can we, you know, can you take our picture? Cause you know, when I travel, you always don't selfies. You want people to help you out. Everyone was always so supportive and sweet. When I traveled to cultures, you respect that culture. When we are in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. When you're at the mosque, when you're in different cultures, in different religions you respect them. And when I was in Asia, in Thailand or Japan you know, no one spoke on the train, everyone was just, you know, it was their silent time. They were, it was rude to be on the phone there.�So, you didn't disrespect their culture, you respected where you were. You looked out for each other. And I just found that, that energy that I received from them brought me such great hope as well and joy. And as I see myself going forward in this brand and with this movement I just, I want this to go global. I want this, I want this message to be spread. When I heard about the first woman and Saudi Arabia getting her driver's license and being able to drive, that's something that should be celebrated. And so, it was just, it's just still inspiring to hear all these drills stories and we'd sit down and, you know, the tourist by local gal. And we'd talk about her and sharing her story about what she's been through and how she became to loving Budapest or wherever we were. And I just, that's what I found. I just found, I learned so much from other women. So, what I found during my travels [18:34�inaudible]�there was a real human connection with all of these women, when you get to talk to them and hear their stories. And I really miss that even now, but, but even with all these girls on their phones all the time or everything that's going on, I think it's just, it's lost. And I would love to bring that back.

Camille Walker: So, tell me, I can see that you have a huge vision for Stellar Girl. What are next steps for you? Do you have an idea of what you want to do next?

Teri: I want this message to resonate with girls globally. I think I would love to see ambassadors of this brand across the US, Canada and go into Asia, go into I just think that, and throughout Europe, I think that celebrating extraordinary women is something that everyone and every woman, mom, young girl can relate to. And I would love for this, for this movement to just take off. And it's not, it's not about the product. It's about sharing joy and being happy and being positive and really being your true, authentic self, having a stellar mindset, you really can do what you put your mind to and having that mindset of being the best version of yourself is extremely important.

Camille Walker: I can see that. Where do you think that drive and that message came from? Is this something that you've had that you developed through your childhood, like as you went into school, where do you think this drive to connect women all over the world has come from?

Teri: I think from having an amazing stellar mom, my mom worked throughout all of my, when I was younger with my brother and I, and she was always there for us. She was a pillar of strength. And so was my grandmother, Bobby, and actually both my grandmothers and my girlfriends and the girls and the women that I surround with, our CEOs, our moms, our CMOs, you know, they work hard and they have a family life. And so, the energy that I got from all of these supportive girlfriends and my family has definitely made me who I am today. I've learned so much from them and listen to them and what their thoughts were. It's just, it's like this girl and the sisterhood of this girlfriend, my girlfriend, the sisterhood of having all these stellar women in my life, I think has really, has really made me who I am today.

Camille Walker: I can see that. Tell me about your time that you spent at the school of art Institute of Chicago. Did you go to college there, was that secondary like master�s?

Teri: No, I wish I was able to go to that school. I was asked to be on the board of the art Institute. It's called the fashion council. So, it's the committee that supports the students of the school. So SAIC is the school of the arts students, Chicago, and they have fashion photography, sculpting arts. So, it's an art school, obviously the art Institute of Chicago is a huge museum, but they have a school that pairs with it. And when I was a style editor at Naperville magazine in Illinois, I was asked to be on the board as a fashion Maven and fashion enthusiast. Cause I love fashion. I think it expresses everything you do and how you present yourself to the world. And it's fun to [22:35�inaudible]�for me. So, they, when they asked me in 2009, I just served the board and serve the students. And they are such talented young, young men and women, and they create this huge fashion show. Every single year we didn't have one last year, but we raised money for the scholarships for the kids. And that has been my passion and my projects for the 2009, since I was asked to be on the board.

Camille Walker: That's amazing. I love to hear about your involvement and how you can see that you're so passionate about expressing yourself and also giving back. And that is really incredible.�

Teri: Just hearing you say that and this smile on your face and seeing you on camera, like I just can tell the kindness and the energy from your heart and the love that you do as well. I just, I don�t know, you've been just so incredible and great during all of this and thank you.

Camille Walker: Thank you. That means a lot to me, thank you. One thing I was wanting to ask you is if someone was in your situation of wanting to create a product and they have this idea, but they don't know where to start, what would be your top three, like get started this way, but make sure not to do this. Like, do you have like a warning in that step-by-step process?

Teri: Trust your gut. If they have a product that they want to build, whether it's a clothing line or a beauty product or any during that, that person may have, I think you got to trust your gut and think, okay, this is going to work for me. Bounce it off everyone you know, everyone you know, your family, your friends, your girlfriends. Whoever comments about it, something you're wearing, something, whether it's, you know, in my case it was the lotion. What if it's, if you're a fashion designer from the art Institute and you're wearing that and someone comments on it. And I think that, I think that's sort of how you have to reaffirm that this is something that will work and to never give up on trying to make that happen. You know, we have the internet at our fingertips. You can pretty much Google anything, how to make your, do it yourself, this or that. And you can get resources from there, but I definitely start with the people within your circle or reach out and ask for help. There are mentor programs everywhere. Go to an old teacher you know, find someone that you look up to and ask them for help. And, you know, if they're not ready to offer it to you, then go to the next person, just don't give up, just don't give up.

Camille Walker: Just do not give up. I love it. Any pitfalls or warnings that you would give?�

Teri: Focus on the positive, of course, there's going to be highs and lows that's life, right? But if you have that stellar mindset, if you put your mind to it, if you think that I can be the best at this, or I can do better at this, then I just really, it has been ingrained in me to never ever give up. Just don't take no for an answer. Keep on going.

Camille Walker: I think a lot of times in my experience too, especially working with small children and the ins and outs of every day, I�ve found that every day can't always be about work and everyday can't always be about family. But some days there are days where you have to pick and choose and kind of navigate that and just do the best you can with just like anything else. So, I love that slow grind. You know, you just keep going, even when you feel knocked down.

Teri: The 90/10 rule, I live on a 90/10 rule. So, if there's, so if I there's 10 days and I have one bad one or one, not bad, one, maybe one that's not as perfect as the other nine and moment, t's a really good 10 days. So, I have three off days in the whole month, nothing's going to be perfect in life. That is this something that is people who live in that reality, it's not my reality. That's for sure. As a mom and as a working mom I'm not only like the CEO of my company, but I'm the CEO of the house and of myself and you have to take accountability. And there are going to be those moments. So that's why I always do the 90/10 rule. So how many out of these 10 days where there are a couple of moments that were just not as great as the other ones, accept that, inhale it and exhale it out because, and you go on to the next day.

Camille Walker: I love that, 90/10 rule. What is one way that you really refuel and recharge for yourself? If you've had one of those days, you've had one of those months or whatever it might be, what is a way that you take time to refuel and recharge for yourself?

Teri: For me, I love to move, movement is key, healthy and happy, healthy, and happy body healthy and happy heart. So, for me, I love to exercise even if it's movement, even if it's a walk with the dog for a mile I love a good workout. I love a good sweat session, but that's me. So, I also light a candle. And for me, this having, this is a reminder of Stellar Girl, because shine bright is one of the taglines I use all the time, let your Stellar shine. And whether you let your Stellar shines through your kids that day, cause you're more of a mom than a work course that day, or you let your stellar shine through somebody else because they need that more than you or you let your stellar shine in because you need to take care of you. You need to have self-care that day. So, I just, I remind myself constantly that we're all blessed, and we're all blessed in different ways. And so, for me, my out, and it's definitely a sweat session, but a candle definitely helps me as well.

Camille Walker: That's cool. I light a candle every night as like my ritual going to bed at night. It's kind of like, okay, the kids are finally in bed and I light that candle. Like this is me time. So, I love that you keep on rotating with you. I maybe I need to start doing that. So, I want to hear more about what's up and coming with your brand. Do you have new products coming out? What are you excited about?

Teri: So, yeah, for winter season, we have beanies coming out and I love them. They're like these knit, like beanies, they're cable knit, and they have a detachable [29:43�inaudible] wreck�my hair, but don't care. And they come in, comes in white as well and also gray. So, I love, they're just so comfortable and cozy and not too tight on the head. We've had our Stellar Girl ball cap. So, we have this one as well. And it's Stellar Girl necklace to show you are a Stellar Girl.

Camille Walker: Very fun. And so, are these products all on www.stellargirl.com?

Teri: Yes. So, on the shop page on www.stellargirl.com, you can find these products, but beanies launching in November at the end of November and then the rest of them are already up and on there.�

Camille Walker:�Perfect. So, by the time that this airs, all of that will be there. So, you can check it out right away.�

Teri:�Absolutely.

Camille Walker: It's been so good to speak with you today. Where can our community come and find you and support you and support Stellar Girl?

Teri: Well, this movement is a www.stellargirlcom. You can join the community on our website. We can also be found at Stellar Girl official on Instagram, Stellar Girl on Facebook as well.�Stellar Girl on Twitter. And I really, I am really am blessed to have met you Camille. I think you're also an awesome Stellar Girl and a great mom. And I really enjoyed our time today.

Camille Walker: Thank you. I so appreciate that. And thank you for giving me the badge of Stellar Girl. I'm going to take that with me and put on my sprinklers as my son says.�

Teri:�Take your sprinklers, take your sparkles, Stellar Girls always leave a little glitter behind.

Camille Walker: They do. We were giving each other kisses and he went to preschool today with some sprinkles on, sparkles on his face. Sprinklers, all of it.�

Teri:�I love it. I love it.�

Camille Walker:�All right, well, thank you so much. We will add all of this information to the show notes, if you have any questions so that you can follow along and we'll check in with you next week.�

Teri:�Thank you so much.�

Hey CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and a five-star review, you could have the chance at being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram at Call Me CEO podcast. And remember you are the boss.

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On last weeks episode, we heard from Jennifer Borget who completely changed career plans to reach big goals. If you missed her story, click below!

Reaching Big Goals Call Me CEO
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