Meet the Inspiring Entrepreneurs HairLust
HairLust was only supposed to be a side gig for the two founders, Rasmus and Sofie. But the business took off quickly, and today, it takes up most of their daily lives.
In this video, you’ll meet Rasmus, one of HairLust’s founders. He talks about his and Sofie’s amazing entrepreneurial adventure.
How did they get started? How did they become so successful? What challenges did they face, and how did they overcome them? Get the answers in the video!
My name is Rasmus Serup and I am co-founder of HairLust. We sell hair care products and dietary supplements for the hair for both men and women.
Name one thing that has driven your success.
One thing that has driven our success in HairLust is our marketing. Our focus has been on online marketing, mainly driven by influencers, bloggers, and social media, whereas the traditional market for especially dietary supplements, but also hair care products, hasn’t usually been using these channels. For example, for dietary supplements most of the advertising usually goes through resellers, such as Matas or others, where they don’t do the marketing themselves.
What has been your biggest challenge?
One of our biggest challenges has been starting a new business and everything that comes with that. Especially being a food business, which we are because we sell dietary supplements. When you sell dietary supplements there are a lot of regulations and legislations in general that you have to abide by. And this has caused many challenges as we have been very new to this area, and all rules haven’t been transparent, it’s been hard to understand just by reading. So, we’ve learned a lot from our mistakes during visits from the Food Standards Agency and similar, when they’ve been by to help us correct our missteps. Luckily, we haven’t experienced anything extreme, but we did experience that this has been one of our major challenges in HairLust.
Tell us a bit about your best day at work.
A really good day at work at the HairLust office is when we sell a lot. We have a dashboard, live dashboard, where we can track our sales, B2B, in all our online shops and in all our countries. And of course, a good day is when sales are great. When the spirits are high, and we’re many people at work to share this small daily success. That makes a day really great.
Tell us a bit about your worst day at work.
When we have a bad day at the office, it’s usually when we’re developing new products. Maybe we just received a new sample on our packaging, or maybe we received a sample on one of our new products, but it doesn’t live up to our expectations at all. Unfortunately, this happens quite often. Typically, we get 20 samples on new products and new packaging when we’re working on something new. And it’s not a lot of fun, especially when we have a deadline on the other side. When we promised our resellers that a new product would be ready be this deadline, and yes…
How has e-Commerce changed since you started selling online?
One aspect of e-Commerce that has changed a lot since we started HairLust in 2016 is the use of and advertising on social media. We started using influencers and bloggers early, already in 2016, when almost no blogger networks existed. There weren’t any official influencers that actually made money from it and made a living. Whereas today, the reality is very different. Influencers and bloggers were much more effective for us in the beginning. It was also kind of the way we got started with HairLust. The reality was completely different. It didn’t have advertising texts plastered all over to like, clarify to the consumers that this was an ad, which of course have a negative effect on our advertising, but of course it’s to protect the consumers. But back then, it just didn’t stand out as much to the consumers as it does today. The prices were very different. We got influencers very, very cheap, which of course gave us a better return on our advertising.
Luck or hard work - what makes an entrepreneur successful?
Luck or hard work, what makes an entrepreneur successful. I think it’s a mix of both. It has a lot to do with the timing in the market. Like, how well does your product fit, product-market fit, the current tendencies and consumer behaviour etc. Of course, this can be combined with the ability to actually spot this timing, but most often I think that it’s a mix.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to start an online shop?
At least when I try to advice friends who want to start something, or at least consider it, I always try to inform them about how much time it requires if you really want to be successful with your business. You need to give up a lot of stuff, and not everyone is willing and ready to do so, to give up a lot socially, and time with friends and family. Because if you really want to get out there and outmatch your competitors, to get in front, then you need to work harder than them, work more than them, and be better than them, and that just requires you to give up a bunch of stuff.
Did you discover any hacks along the way?
If I could share one hack that has been beneficial for us in the beginning, it would be using freelancers a lot when we didn’t have the competencies to develop websites, develop features, or do some translations, or create a design. We used Upwork a lot in the beginning, and it was really great and useful for us, because we didn’t have to hire anyone, interns, part-time, or full-time in these areas. Because we only had sporadic needs for these different things, and we could find really good labour on Upwork and for fair prices.
Why did you choose Clearhaus?
We quickly discovered Clearhaus, as they stood out everywhere we looked. In forums, where other people would give recommendations, they often pointed at Clearhaus, and when we searched on Google to read up on the topic, what to look for, what an acquirer is, we found a lot of content and information on Clearhaus. It made us feel comfortable with our decision. And one of the primary reasons that we chose Clearhaus was the service we got when we contacted them for answers on some of our questions, the application, what this and that was, and why. They were quick to give us an answer that we understood. They could answer us in Danish and they were quick to respond. They met us at eye-level, so we all understood what they meant. It was definitely some of the main reasons that we chose Clearhaus. And of course the fast setup-time.