Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Symone Gates, Founder of Sincerely Bädé, located in New York, NY, USA.

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

Sincerely, Bädé is a brand born in Harlem that is changing the game when it comes to body wellness. Our mission is to provide customers with small-batch body care products that are specifically designed to relieve, relax, and renew the body, all while being inclusive of diverse, cultural, and personal care practices.

In addition to our range of in-house wellness products, such as oils, lotions, scrubs, candles, and more, we also offer hands-on workshops that provide customers with a unique, in-person wellness experience. Our workshops are designed to educate and elevate one's self-care routine, with a focus on promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

As a black-owned and impact-driven wellness brand, we are committed to redefining self-care routines to reflect conscious consumers' modern values. We promote sustainability, employment, and community involvement through our grassroots approach, which empowers customers to take charge of their own wellness journey. We take pride in catering to conscious consumers who understand the importance of self-care and are willing to invest in their well-being. Our target customers are middle-aged women who are the head of their households, seeking elevated relaxation products that cater to their health-conscious lifestyle.

Tell us about yourself

Since moving to New York, I have suffered physical discomfort that has affected my ability to work, sleep, and move. I was motivated to develop modern plant-based formulas that championed premium quality, efficacy, and longevity. However, I was both physically injured and mentally burnt out when I began handcrafting our first formulas. Making products by hand proved to be a therapeutic experience, one that led me to create a community-oriented brand that handcrafts all products locally. While juggling a small business that requires a lot of hands-on labour, what continually motivates me is the opportunity to change the narrative of cultural self-care. Women of color have different cultural approaches to self-care and wellness, perspectives I felt weren't being fully understood by the big-box brands. Being part of the changing narrative of inclusivity was important to me, especially since I didn't see my heritage or voice represented within the body wellness industry overall. As a result, our mission is to elevate the inclusiveness of the body care industry through wellness education, transparency, and high-quality products.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've worked with some pretty cool companies, yet I have also made some major failures that have made me hide for weeks. My biggest accomplishment, however, has been to take all of this experience and mentor two young entrepreneurs for the last couple of years. I don't know everything, and I'll be the first to admit my mistakes, but I feel honored to be in a position to offer my story as a mentorship to other young women of color. Daniela is currently attending Columbia and has just finished publishing her first bilingual novel. Cherish is a current high school student and is becoming a thriving jewelry designer.

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

It's really tough to narrow it done to one, but I feel "keeping your head above water" is a great phrase to sum up, business ownership. I think all aspects are challenging, yet fighting the urge to quit and walk away might be the toughest. I've had several founder friends quit their businesses, and it's heartbreaking every time, but I do understand each time I see it happen. Pivoting and fighting through to figure it out rather than walking away completely is extremely difficult.

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

  1. Carve out time to continually learn both inside and outside your selected industry. I think this will help generate fresh ideas, provide better ways to run your business, and keep you from getting too complacent.
  2. Pivot constantly. If some element of the business has a low ROI, quickly cut it and move on. For instance, your target customer may change, and that's okay, don't waste time selling to Gen Z because it's cool when Gen Xers are your most engaged customers.
  3. Get a business coach. It took me a while to financially justify the cost, but all MVP's have coaches, and it's ridiculous not to have one as a small business owner. I will warn you, find a business coach who's built a legitimate business before turning to a coach.

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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