Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sam Zbikowski, Owner of Dahlia Skincare, located in Whitehouse, OH, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Dahlia Skincare offers carefully designed, simple, and sustainable self-care products for all skin types. We use plant-based ingredients that nourish, hydrate, and repair the skin's natural barrier while leaving the skin glowing. The idea of creating simple skincare solutions came from the lack of sustainable, effective options available to my own clients while working as an esthetician. Our customers look for naturally derived, ethically sourced ingredients and understand the importance of using products that are free from artificial fragrances and dyes. Many of our customers are health-conscious individuals who are looking for a safe and effective way to care for their skin.

Tell us about yourself

Hi! My name is Sam Zbikowski, and I am a Licensed Advanced Esthetician and the owner of Dahlia Skincare. My journey in the beauty industry began in 2015. In beauty school, I quickly realized the lack of sustainable, natural, and effective products that were available at that time. In early 2016, I received my license and began working for a popular chain beauty store and remember feeling so discouraged that there was only one "clean" skincare line available in the store at that time that was packaged in plastics and sold at a very high price point. I began dreaming of formulating and designing my very own skincare line with my values. In 2018, I was given the opportunity to start my own business as an esthetician. By 2020, I had signed a lease for my brick-and-mortar location, Dahlia Beauty Bar, located in Northwest Ohio. With the belief that clean skincare should be affordable and accessible to everyone, I began formulating Dahlia Skincare and designing ethically and sustainably sourced skincare tools made with real stones and crystals for self-care rituals in my own treatment room and for my clients to use during their home regimens.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a small skin care business owner is how well-received our products have been by our customers. I am so proud of the feedback we have been given from customers who have seen positive results, such as more supple, radiant complexions, less visible fine lines and wrinkles and improved acne. It has been extremely rewarding to make a difference in my customers' everyday lives through clean skincare products to help them look and feel their best. Additionally, I am so proud that our products are completely plant-based, cruelty-free, and use minimal plastic for the environment.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the biggest challenges that I face on a daily basis is balancing my work life with my home life. I run and manage our skincare line while taking clients full-time at Dahlia Beauty Bar. When I leave the shop for the day, I go over emails, work on new ideas, and create social media content. To avoid burnout, I make sure that I set aside time to practice my own self-care rituals and set strong boundaries, such as only responding to emails during the work week.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

The first and most important thing I would suggest to anyone thinking of starting a business is not to let your thoughts or self-doubt get in the way. There have been times that I've thought to myself that I would never be able to create a product or that I am not capable of running a successful business, but we are all capable of doing anything. Begin researching the first steps you need to take to make your vision a reality and create a plan of what you want your business to be. Think of your values and things that you would want out of a product or business, look at other similar products on the market, and formulate your own idea of what works and what doesn't. You can use your knowledge to create a unique business that will set you aside from others. And lastly, use social media to your advantage. Social media is free and is an amazing marketing tool that helps reach a larger, more specific audience. We generate most of our business and clientele from consistent, clean posts on our accounts, which has helped us grow, build relationships, and increase brand awareness. You are capable of doing anything!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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