From Weight Loss to Skincare Success: The Inspiring Journey of Lana Kerr and Her Multi-Million Dollar Skincare Company
Behind every remarkable entrepreneurial success story lies an individual with a bold vision and an unwavering passion. Lana Kerr, the mastermind behind CO2Lift, embodies this spirit of innovation and determination. From her background in finance to her foray into the world of wellness, Kerr's entrepreneurial journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. In an exclusive interview with esteemed journalist Chris Choi, Kerr takes us on an inspiring adventure, sharing the personal narrative that led to the creation of CO2Lift—a groundbreaking skincare solution that has taken the industry by storm. Join us as we delve into Kerr's transformational story, uncover the unique value CO2Lift brings to customers, and gain valuable insights into the strategies that propelled her company to remarkable success.
Chris Choi: Hi, Lana! It's great to talk to you today. Thank you for joining the call. I'm really excited to learn more about you and your company.
Lana Kerr: Hi, Chris! Thanks for getting in touch. I'm happy to be here and share my story with you.
Chris Choi: That's wonderful! Before we start the interview, I'd like to get to know you better. Can you introduce yourself and tell us how you got into entrepreneurship? I'm especially interested in the personal story behind starting your company and the special value it brings to your customers.
Lana Kerr: Of course! So, my background is in accounting and finance. I worked with KPMG and then with Smith Barney. However, I decided to go back to school to study nutrition over 20 years ago and started focusing on wellness and weight loss. We opened a weight loss clinic that expanded throughout Florida, serving around 30,000 individuals over the years. In 2014, we changed our model and transitioned to virtual operations, except for one office that became a spa. We saw that after losing weight, people wanted to take better care of their skin and overall well-being.
It was during this time that I became interested in skincare. Whenever I saw someone with great skin, I would ask them about their skincare routine. One client introduced me to carboxytherapy, a treatment I hadn't heard of before. It intrigued me, and I realized there was a need for a unique skincare solution like our weight loss program. After extensive research, we partnered with scientists in Japan who had developed a delivery system for CO2 gas in the skin. We obtained an exclusive license for the technology and launched CO2Lift in 2016 after conducting clinical studies to demonstrate its effectiveness.
Chris Choi: Fascinating journey! When you first developed the prototype or initial product, how did you approach your first customers? What was your marketing strategy at the time?
Lana Kerr: Before the official launch, we focused on getting buy-in from key opinion leaders (KOLs) in the dermatology and plastic surgery field. I had existing relationships with some KOLs, so I provided them with our product to try and gather feedback. The response was overwhelmingly positive, which gave us confidence. We then launched at premier dermatology conferences and received further endorsements. On one occasion, after a presentation, we opened 300 accounts in a single day.
Chris Choi: Impressive! What was the average order value for those initial accounts?
Lana Kerr: At that time, the average order value was around $2,000, although our prices have since decreased significantly.
Chris Choi: That's interesting. Many of our subscribers are eager to know how to determine the right price for their products. Could you share your process for setting the product price?
Lana Kerr: Certainly. When it comes to setting the price, especially for a new category like ours, we look at comparable products and services in the market. We aim to offer slightly lower prices than what's already available, providing a compelling benefit to our customers. Of course, we also consider our costs and the value we provide. With CO2 Lift, we invest heavily in clinical research and back up our claims with peer-reviewed publications. This allows us to position our product with confidence and set a price based on the unique benefits it offers.
Chris Choi: I see. Moving on to distribution channels, besides your website, what other channels do you use to reach customers?
Lana Kerr: We initially focused on core professionals, such as dermatologists and plastic surgeons, and eventually utilized a team of around 53 representatives to reach out to doctors and medical professionals. However, in 2017, we also launched a direct-to-consumer website. We didn't venture into Amazon right away due to its reputation at the time, but we have since expanded to Amazon as well.
Chris Choi: How are your sales distributed among these channels? Which channel performs the best?
Lana Kerr: Amazon has been a process for us, but our main channels are still the wholesale providers and our direct-to-consumer website. Typically, the split is around 60% wholesale and 40% direct-to-consumer. However, this year, we've seen some changes in the split.
Chris Choi: That's insightful. Could you share your current sales level or revenue range?
Lana Kerr: From inception, we have had double digit growth. We have recently revised our strategy to continue to double our revenue for the next 3 years. We've been profitable since our second year of operation, and we aim to continue this growth trajectory.
Chris Choi: That's impressive growth! Did you secure any external funding or invest your own capital?
Lana Kerr: Thank you! I prefer to bet on myself and my own resources. We have been profitable and managed our expenses carefully. However, we may consider strategic partnerships in the future, once our revenue reaches a significant level.
Chris Choi: It's great to see your success without relying on external funding. Now, I'm curious about the size of your team. How many members do you currently have in your company?
Lana Kerr: We have around 75 team members at the moment.
Chris Choi: Hiring the right people can be challenging for many entrepreneurs. What advice would you give to others when it comes to finding the best fit for their businesses?
Lana Kerr: For us, finding the right team members was crucial. We started with our own family members, who helped with packing and distribution. As we expanded, we focused on hiring individuals who aligned with our company culture and shared our passion for the product. Leadership plays a significant role, and leading by example is essential. When hiring, it's important to understand the candidates' goals and see if they align with the company's vision. By finding people who share the same culture and providing them with fair compensation, we can create a team that is motivated to succeed.
Chris Choi: That's valuable advice. Motivation is a key factor in entrepreneurial success. How do you personally stay motivated, especially as your business has achieved significant milestones?
Lana Kerr: I'm a goal-oriented person, and setting clear goals keeps me motivated. I break down my yearly goals into quarterly, monthly, and weekly targets. This helps me stay focused and ensure that my activities align with my objectives. I also follow a daily routine that includes exercise, prayer, and personal development. Investing in leadership programs and courses keeps me inspired and provides fresh insights. Motivation comes from within, and I believe in maintaining discipline and prioritizing actions over fleeting feelings.
Chris Choi: Excellent strategies for staying motivated! Finally, could you share your goals for this year and your long-term goals for the next five years?
Lana Kerr: Our immediate goal is to expand into the Canadian market. We've recently obtained the necessary registrations and are preparing for a launch. In the next five years, our aim is for CO2 Lift to become a recognized name in carboxytherapy and skincare. We want to educate people about the benefits of our products and establish ourselves as leaders in the industry. Additionally, our focus will be on the Vaginal Rejuvenation market, as we believe there's a significant opportunity for growth and empowering women with effective solutions for their intimate health.
Chris Choi: That's an exciting vision for the future! Lastly, what advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
Lana Kerr: I would advise aspiring entrepreneurs to find a unique idea or solution that fulfills a need in the market. Do thorough research, understand your customers, and create a compelling value proposition. Stay focused on your goals, persevere through challenges, and continuously learn and adapt. Building a strong team and nurturing a positive company culture are also essential. Most importantly, believe in yourself and have the confidence to take calculated risks. With dedication and passion, you can turn your vision into a successful business.
Thank you so much, Lana, for sharing your inspiring story and insights. It was a pleasure talking to you, and I'm sure our readers will find your journey and advice truly valuable.
Thank you, Chris. It was a pleasure speaking with you as well. I appreciate the opportunity to share my story, and I hope it can inspire others who are starting or running their own businesses. Thank you for the interview.
In conclusion, Lana Kerr's inspiring story highlights the importance of passion, innovation, relationship-building, strategic pricing, diversified distribution, and unwavering motivation on the path to entrepreneurial success. Her journey with CO2Lift serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and industry leaders alike, demonstrating that with determination and a compelling vision, remarkable accomplishments are within reach.