Ep. #950 - The Value of Self-Care
In this 950th episode of Startup Hustle, Lauren Conaway speaks with Veronica Baesso, CEO and founder of Ambrosia. Their conversation reminds us that self-care is a necessity, not only a reward, for all people. Tune in to gain insights on how we can integrate self-care into our daily routine.
Covered In This Episode
We should never underestimate the value of self-care in our lives.
To emphasize its importance, Lauren and Veronica show us how to take health and wellness to the next level. They also talk about the Ambrosia box and how it empowers us to care for ourselves.
Prioritize self-care and your mental health – listen to this Startup Hustle episode now!
- Get to know Veronica Baesso (01:59)
- The beauty tradition Veronica found in her travels (05:41)
- What is the inspiration behind the Ambrosia box? (07:29)
- Encouraging women to prioritize self-care and mental health through Ambrosia (09:05)
- How does Ambrosia curate the products? (11:37)
- On connecting the theme to a sensation or feeling (14:48)
- Here’s how easy it is for men to engage in self-care (17:10)
- On being inclusive with the products within the Ambrosia box (19:24)
- The process of starting a subscription box (22:29)
- Veronica learned these valuable lessons as an entrepreneur (23:05)
- Taking customer feedback into account when curating the next subscription box (26:12)
- The greatest challenges Veronica encountered while building Ambrosia (30:35)
- Why choose Ambrosia? (33:14)
- Veronica’s vision for Ambrosia (34:50)
Generally, there is this idea in the beauty and wellness space that you need to keep up with all the different trends. What we definitely don’t want to create is this sort of wellness or beauty fatigue. Where you’re always running to discover or try the latest trend.– Veronica Baesso
When we think about beauty, self-care, and health and wellness, we often think about women. Particularly that beauty piece, that self-care piece, I can’t tell you how many articles I have on my face all the time. The women’s publications I follow are like, self-care, do it.– Lauren Conaway
I think as you said, there is this idea that men are not really into wellness or self-care or beauty. But from an industry perspective, data has shown that men like to take care of themselves.– Veronica Baesso
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Lauren Conaway 00:01
And we are back. Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host, Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateHER KC. And I got to tell you about our very, very special episode sponsors today. I know you hear about them a lot but it’s because they are absolutely worth it. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Full Scale knows that hiring software developers is difficult. And they can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. They have a platform that will help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. We certainly love Full Scale on the Startup Hustle; they help us out, they keep us going. And they have an amazing team that helps us promote the show. So gotta love them. I also have to love today’s guest. I’m very excited and honored to invite Veronica Baesso here with us today. Veronica is the founder and CEO of Ambrosia as well as a thought leader in the wellness space. And we’re going to be talking about all kinds of fun things. Particularly because, I think, this particular guest has a little bit of a focus on women, which I think y’all know I like. It’s one of my favorite things. So welcome to the show, Veronica. Thank you so much for being here. It’s so great to see you.
Veronica Baesso 01:21
Hi, Lauren. It’s so great to be here. I’m very excited about this conversation. And yeah, so a little bit about myself. As you can probably tell from my accent, I’m from Italy. I come from a small town, Verona, which is between Venice and Milan. Probably many of you know it for Julia. Yeah, exactly. Right.
Lauren Conaway 01:44
Yeah, right, or corona, where we lay our sea.
Veronica Baesso 01:47
Exactly, exactly. And, you know, I spent, like, almost 20 years of my life. After that, I moved to London to pursue a masters in international marketing as well as business. And I started working actually for a few publications in the fashion and luxury industry. All of this was before social media and Instagram. So basically, I had the chance to travel very often to cover Fashion Week and to write about it. And while I was traveling, you know, that was such an eye opener. It gave me the opportunity to see many different places, get in touch with different cultures, different people, and basically started writing about my travels in my diaries. That’s how I created my content platform called Ronnie Spirit, which was focused on solo female travelers. And that gave me definitely great opportunities to work with different fatality brands. And also travel and live in different places like Amsterdam, Berlin, and ultimately New York, where I moved. Actually, seven years ago, long story short, I started a corporate job for a travel magazine that was actually my last corporate gig that I had. Then the pandemic happened and that was a really big eye opener. In a way, I always wanted to have my own business. I always felt there was an entrepreneur in my heart. And it was like, okay, this is like the right time to do it again, wellness and beauty. It’s always been a big passion of mine. I’ve always been an avid consumer. And also during my travels, I always love to see and understand where women and, you know, different cultures are focused on wellness and beauty. On the other side, there has always been a fan of subscription boxes. And so that’s why I took the leap and decided, okay, let’s start my own business. And I found that Ambrosia basically got launched this past June and it’s our wellness subscription box. And yeah, and we are actually about to launch the second box.
Lauren Conaway 03:59
Well, so I want to back it up just a little bit. And I want to ask you what do you love most about traveling? Because I want to talk about your core, like who you are, Veronica?
Veronica Baesso 04:10
Yeah. Traveling thing is definitely one of the best experiences any human can have, you know, it’s so enriching in so many on so many different levels, you know, and it really depends on what you like and want what you want to do is like a blank canvas in a way you know, particularly for me, I use travel actually to express my my passions and see what they really like, in different places. They go beyond, of course, architecture, history, and all of that, but literally to get in touch with people with their cuisine. Again, their beauty habits wellness, you know, understanding how women you know, behave or you know, they’re like accepted into different cultures and places. That’s definitely like, the best thing I get so often.
Lauren Conaway 05:02
I’m curious. So what? Tell us about an interesting beauty tradition that you found or encountered on your travels? Yeah.
Veronica Baesso 05:11
You know, when I travel, I had many setup meetings that were like bigger brands and all of that. But surprisingly enough, and I think that’s a very common thing is actually the experience that they had, that they were not planned in a way. So for example, going to a soak in Marrakech and interacting with, you know, those mole stands that they have, and you know, discover, or like, get familiar with their perfumeries. And, you know, they’re different creams and ingredients they use, along with their mom, for example, you know, or even like going to Thailand to several beauty parlors, you know, it was definitely very enriching and nice. And also to see the menu, these businesses were run by women. That was great for me.
Lauren Conaway 05:56
Well, and I love the fact I find that, at least in my experience with traveling, it unites people, like it’s so interesting to me that you have all of these different cultures that are very, very different. And yet, we all have come to our own understanding of beauty and women across the world for you know, millennia have engaged in beauty and health and fitness regimes. And I mean, that’s just really cool. Like, yeah, it’s something inherent in human nature, you know, we want to make things prettier. And I just, I find that really, really interesting. So I absolutely love that story. Yeah. Well, so you mentioned that you, you kind of you, you started Ambrosia, what was the, I guess, inciting incident? Or what was the inspiration? You know, I love sort of subscription boxes. We talked about that before we even did the recording section of our chat today. And I love them, but what mate? What drew you to them specifically?
Veronica Baesso 07:01
Yeah, so you know, I think that inspiration moment came during the pandemic, as I mentioned, because, you know, it was very much a time for everybody, that was pretty stressful. And, you know, everything happened around your house in a way. And it was especially hard for women, you know, how our house became our office, the place we live, if you have children, also, where you have school, diamonds, everything. And so that’s why Ambrosia felt like a mission to me to be an opportunity and invitation for women to take time for themselves. Anytime that they receive the box and literally, you know, indulge in these new finds in beauty and wellness, that they will, in a way encourage themselves again, to take moments of me time, you know, I think that nowadays, we always think about wellness and beauty as something that is like a luxury or something that we need to deserve. When actually it needs to be like a daily ritual, it needs to be something that we integrate in our life with, with small little habits that we can integrate, you know that it doesn’t really take a lot of time to just switch off and like do a face mask or, you know, some cream on your face or whatever. And that’s what we really want to do as a mission with Ambrosia to invite women to relax and indulge and find time for themselves. Which is really important. It’s unbelievable. Our little things make such a difference in your daily life. Yeah,
Lauren Conaway 08:28
is it well, and you know, nowadays, I don’t know, you know what it’s like globally, but here in the States anyway, like, we’ve started talking about self care and mental health and prioritizing yourself. And so you’re really Ambrosian is bringing self care to the people, you know, to these very, very busy people. And that has to be such a blessing. Have you heard from any customers who love what you’re doing? Who are grateful I imagine you have but this is your time to brag on yourself a little bit.
Veronica Baesso 08:59
Yeah, and you know, it’s always nice to hear that, you know, I’m a perfectionist by nature, which is also pretty bad.
Lauren Conaway 09:07
And with any entrepreneurs out there like I feel like next to like entrepreneurs, you should also have perfectionist in the dictionary, like I know, it’ll be out of order, but it just fits.
Veronica Baesso 09:16
So you know, literally from the inception to the execution of the Ambrosia box, I wanted everything to be perfect, or at least in line with what they wanted a subscription box to be, you know, as I mentioned, I subscribed in the past too many subscription boxes around. But some of them I felt to be frankly, you know, pretty repetitive. They were very commercial or some sort of sponsorship opportunity for brands and they didn’t have the wow factor that we actually implemented. We didn’t have a brochure box, you know. So for each box we have it first of all quarterly so we have four per year. We have four full size products and that’s a big distinction actually for traditional boxes, which are usually you know we’d sample travel size products. And for us sustainability and quality is really crucial, you know, so again, we chose, like full size products, because that’s, that reduces in a way, you know, a waste of packaging, we partner with an incredible packaging company that basically, they create these packaging boxes, they’re not the traditional cardboard boxes, but they’re made of specific plastic in a way. And so through a QR code that you find inside the box, you can return them to one of their Yeah, to one of the drop off locations, which is generally a lead by UPS. And basically, that contributes to the Circular Economy, so many other ecommerce businesses can then reuse these boxes. So that’s definitely great and it took a lot of time actually to find something different. Because let’s say that, you know, we receive so many packages in our daily life so often this is overwhelming.
Lauren Conaway 11:01
Very cyclical and definitely Earth conscious, you know, you’re very thoughtful in what you’ve put into this box, what how do you curate the products?
Veronica Baesso 11:14
Yeah, so, it’s you know, a lot of curiosity, you know, research, again, be knowledgeable, also, the trends and the industry. So obviously, subscribing to many industries, you know, magazines going into, you know, industry shows, all over, you know, networking with different groups, and also, you know, social media, you can see you can find different new brands. So in different ways, I will say, and the response has been incredible also from brands in a way, because I think they saw, you know, we just launched basically the box in June, the first one, and now we are about to launch the second one in the next couple of days. So it needs September. And, you know, many brands have come to us as well, because we work predominantly with women-led businesses that are also small, and so they’re not out in the biggest marketplaces like Alta Sephora or Amazon. And so you know, we are like a community in a way we help each other. And we are all you know, intrapreneurs and small businesses are starting are like, you know, or they have started, like, for a few years, so it’s definitely great to, you know, help each other and support each other and get to know all the wonderful brands that are out there, that again, maybe you don’t find them generally in bigger places, but they are incredibly high quality, with great values behind the graph, great founders. And we love the fact that we can put them on display on our Ambrosia boxes, because again, we want to create this wow factor to our subscribers and, you know, consumers, and the response has been really great. You know, as I said, before, you know, I wanted to create something great, but it’s always like, surprising in a way to hear that people love it, you know, so receive great feedback from, especially from people that you don’t even know, you know, yeah. So yeah, so that’s our journey, basically.
Lauren Conaway 13:17
Well, I love that. And so you have the box, you’re about to launch another one. That’s really, really exciting. Yeah, again, I kind of want to pull us back just a little bit. And I want to ask, how do you engage in self care? I feel like you’re gonna have a lot of really good ideas, since you think about this so often.
Veronica Baesso 13:37
Yeah, you know, small things I would say generally, and again, I think, you know, generally there is this idea and the beauty and wellness space that you need to keep up with all different trends. And while we definitely don’t want to create these, this sort of wellness or beauty fatigue, where you’re always running into, you know, Discover or try the latest trend, but for us, it’s more like enjoy, you know, whatever you have whatever makes you feel happy. Through our Ambrosia boxes, we are here to curate them for you and to give you certain feelings especially because our boxes also have a specific theme that connects also to a sensation or a feeling. So for example, the first one was around the theme of wonder. These next one is around the theme of nourish and in along to the curation with the of the products we also basically work with illustrators that they didn’t create intention card for us and a tote bag that again have these this role of encouraging, you know, subscribers to reflect on the theme and express themselves you know, so it could be really small rituals for me. I’m really methodical in a way so you know, when I wake up, I do my skincare routine. When I go to bed, I do that Again, but you know, it’s like simple things. It’s not like a two hour, or whatever. But you could equally choose to be like, I don’t know, I had meetings all day and I just want to have a mosque, or I’ve mentioned it’s gonna get like a manicure or I’m just gonna even go like for a 10 minute walk, you know, it doesn’t need to be materialistic in a way this idea of self care, or closer be okay, I have my intention card. You know, we always have a question that literally wants you to reflect on a topic. And you know, the back writing, like an intention. So literally small things help. It doesn’t need to be, again, this chase of the latest trend. And it’s more a feeling rather than an idea of looking in a certain way. You know, that’s definitely well, what we want to spread with our wellness rocks.
Lauren Conaway 15:52
Yeah, well, I love that. And I love that you found ways to integrate this so seamlessly into your life, like I mean, like you said, like, it doesn’t have to be this big thing that disrupts your life, it can just be like, a very simple act. Now one of the things that I have, that I’ve noticed, and it’s something that I kind of think about is, you know, when we think about beauty, and we think about self care, and we think about health and wellness, often we think about women, particularly that beauty piece, that self care piece, like I can’t tell you how many articles I have in my face all the time from the Women’s publications that I follow that are like do self care, do it, do it, do it. But what we don’t talk about very often is self care, and how men can engage in self care easily. So I’m gonna ask you as an expert, can you give our guys in the audience at home? A little, a little guidance there? Like what are some ways that they can engage in self care because they’re, they’re not necessarily going to run out and get a mani pedi? Although if that is something that you want to do? Hekia do it because we ladies, we like those groomed nails and toes for sure. But what are some ways that men can engage in self care?
Veronica Baesso 17:01
Yeah, that’s really actually an interesting question. Because I think, as you said, there is this idea that men are not really into wellness or self care or beauty. But actually, from an industry perspective, data has shown that actually, you know, men, you know, like to take care of themselves, you know, they like, you know, creams as much as women, they’re probably less outspoken about that. Yeah. But they definitely, you know, they’re pretty vain, I think, at least the male vanity.
Lauren Conaway 17:31
Like, because I know that when I, you know, put effort into my appearance, which, which I certainly have not done today, Veronica had to see it. When I put in effort into my appearance, when I do my hair when I’m dressed it doesn’t even have to be like a fancy ball gown, or anything. I’m dressed in clothes that I feel comfortable in, and I think I look good. And I always feel more confident. It’s not just a physical thing, though. It’s a mental thing. Like, honestly, that’s kind of how I arm myself to do hard things or go into tough meetings, you know, yeah, I’m gonna make sure that I look polished, that I feel strong, and how I look and how I feel. And then I can walk in and I can go and kick ass, right? Yeah, I love finding that men engage in self care. And as an industry expert, you know, I’m just dealing with anecdotal data. So thank you for that.
Veronica Baesso 18:23
Of course, you know, I also noticed, like in my life, you know, maybe even my husband, he wouldn’t necessarily buy a cream, but then it will use mine, you know, if I do, like, facemask, he will be like, what about me?
Lauren Conaway 18:38
Sometimes, my beauty care products, particularly as they age, get more and more expensive. I don’t know how happy I would feel about that.
Veronica Baesso 18:47
And, actually, what we have noticed, also among our subscribers is that many men purchase, you know, the box for the women in their life, but also they’re using products. So it has been reported back by, you know, this community of women that we have that even you know, guys like it. So, you know, again, we want to be as inclusive as we can, like, it’s literally a box from any for anybody, especially because, you know, there’s less distinction right now of products or like merely for women versus for men, you know, as long as you have quality ingredients, and, you know, quality products, they’re pretty much universal.
Lauren Conaway 19:28
Sure, well, well, thank you for that. And I, like I said, like, I just it’s always so interesting to me, because as you said, I you know, I have this perception. And you know, seeing that the data kind of defies that makes me really happy. And I’m glad that more and more people are coming to you and understanding the importance of self care. Now, really quick, it would definitely be a bet it would be terrible. If I didn’t tell you about somebody else that takes care of you somebody else they can take care of you and that’s Full Scale. Finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io. You can build a software team quickly and affordably. They have a platform you can use to define your technical needs, see what available developers, testers and leaders are ready to join your team. They make it so easy. And I’ve actually talked to some Full Scale clients and their feedback has always been just remarkable how happy they are with the service they received from the Full Scale team. I just love that the whole team is amazing. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Friends, we are here with Veronica Baesso. She is the founder and CEO of Ambrosia and we were talking about self care. And we’re talking about subscription boxes. And I want to get back into subscription boxes. Because I feel like it’s such an interesting revenue model. And it’s such a fun and inventive way to put products into the hands of people and expose people to new brands and new companies and new names and new products. What is your favorite? Do you have a favorite box that you’ve put out?
Veronica Baesso 21:03
So we have, you know, one out right now launching the second one in a few days, but we have a really like plan out like a schedule.
Lauren Conaway 21:11
We’re really looking forward to it.
Veronica Baesso 21:13
I always say the next one. So the one does still have to be invented, you know? And that was also my answer with all my troubles when people are like, Oh, what’s your favorite, you know, place that you visited our towers. I’m always like, the next one is the one to select and you know, you know, it’s hard to choose, you know, obviously, I personally curated them with my team, of course. But I love all the products that we have, you know, I can be like, Okay, I love the first one because it was like my first baby. I love the second one, because it’s the second one. But then, you know, how can I not love them all? You know?
Lauren Conaway 21:50
Okay, I will take that as an answer. Because I feel Yeah, like you’re kind of birthing your babies to the world. So I will take that as an answer. Absolutely. Tell us more about the process. Because I feel like we probably have some listeners right now who are thinking to themselves, I want to start a subscription box. And I want to make sure that I do it the right way. So what is the right way? I mean, we’ve talked a lot about being very intentional about packaging, choice and products, choice and messaging. You know, and so talk to us a little bit about that. If you were one of our listeners, and you had never, you hadn’t started a subscription box that you wanted to, what are some of the things that you’ve learned along the way that might help our friends at home?
Veronica Baesso 22:37
Absolutely. So first of all, I will say understand, thoroughly like your industry that you want to be in, you know, whether it’s like, you know, food, beauty wellness, you know, there are really millions of subscription boxes out there. So understand the market, your competitors, and also who your audience is going to be. So those are like, certainly, you know, the trifecta of any business, I will say or, you know, branding, but even more importantly for the subscription box, since there is a lot of competition out there. Second, you know, try to be organized on our operation and logistic perspective. And that definitely means so, so do a lot of you know, errors down the line, because then interpret every intrapreneur intrapreneurs does that, you know, you learn by doing things in a way, which is great. You definitely need to have a strong, you know, ecommerce, like a platform to track your orders and everything. You know, again, you learn by doing things, so I will say everyday you get better, you know, and again, as I said that being a perfectionist, I always wanted to have like answers in advance, you know, even before launching, but certain answers are actually coming. You know, while you’re doing things, and you know, be gentle with yourself, generally, you know, being an entrepreneur is very exciting. It’s great for me, I listen, I love it, but you know, it’s also challenging. So, again, you have to be gentle with yourself and give yourself time to learn, make mistakes and get better. And, you know, again, for subscription boxes, you know, I would say, Brandon, in terms of audience, understand your market, get ready logistically, and in terms of operation, join as many you know, networks, as you can, you know, like industry shows, you know, there are so many different platforms online as well that you can join, where they collaborate. So tutorials or guidelines on how to do things like a subscription box, those are incredibly helpful. And then, you know, just a fun, you know, a curating song. And you know, to me, what was really helpful is having a background in fashion and publishing. I’m literally using like The same calendar that we will use to, you know, publish like a magazine. So you definitely need to be ahead of the game in, in plan at least like six months in advance or so. Because you know, every it’s a subscription box is a cycle, you know, yeah, the time in which you choose your products, and then you need to create like a web page or like all the marketing material that goes around it, the promotional part, and then it needs to be out and you need to be ready to ship and, you know, customer service and all of that. And then it repeats itself. With all the boxes. So, yes, so being prepared and organized is definitely helpful. Yeah, for sure.
Lauren Conaway 25:41
Well, and I want to ask, you know, we talked a little bit about what it’s like when things go right, you know, when customers are clamoring for your product? What happens when things go wrong? What if someone doesn’t like something that was in their box?
Veronica Baesso 25:55
Yeah. So we haven’t had this scenario, yeah.
Lauren Conaway 26:00
But equally is very, very good at curating.
Veronica Baesso 26:02
You know, I’m saying, we are also at the beginning. So I don’t want to be so arrogant to say everything is perfect. You know, it may be that you have different preferences, you know, first of all, is great to have like feedback generally from customers, and also understanding where their dislike towards something comes from, like, is this like a specific fragrance or, you know, is like the consistency, the texture is like really asking, What didn’t you like, and you know, dialogue is crucial for customer service, you know, and again, whenever you subscribe to a subscription box, obviously, the Wow, and surprise factor, it’s part of the game. So also be open to products that you wouldn’t expect in a way. But, you know, obviously, if there is like a product that you really hate, what I will do, generally, probably, I don’t know, maybe give you a gift in the next box in a way or you know, like to please you, obviously, if there’s a product is damaged or broken, we can definitely replace that. But you know, I think it needs to be like a win-win situation. So one side, the subscribers need to understand that you need to be open to the discovery process of getting new products that are vetted by us. And as our trusted subscription box, you know, the new fines you will have are good, you know, and they are obviously high quality. And you know, the good thing about subscription boxes is also stability, because you know, you have like a box with four products, they definitely cost much less in comparison to what you will pay if you have products exactly individually. So you know, there’s also that to think of a bargain, if it’s something you’re like, Oh, I hated or whatever, you know, it’s always great to have feedback, and then take it from there and see what you can do. You know, obviously, you can make happy, everybody you know, it’s very similar to when you go to a restaurant, you know, you may choose something on the menu, you may not like it, but even if you didn’t like it, that you’re gonna leave the restaurant without paying for it
Lauren Conaway 28:11
right? Well, and the person sitting next to you might love it, because tasty, serious objectives, and everybody has different stuff that they’re looking for. So that makes sense. I’m curious, though, for folks who I feel like I’m asking for you to correct a misconception if, if you need to, but I feel like part of the novelty of subscription boxes is the surprise factor, like you never really know what you’re gonna get. And you get to kind of explore and you get to try new things. And so I feel like maybe not liking a product in the box. Like, that’s just the cost of doing business, you know, when you take a chance like that, you know, not such a big deal if there’s something in there that you’re just not in love with. But is that true? Like? Is it kind of like unwrapping a birthday present for customers? Is that the feedback you’re hearing?
Veronica Baesso 29:01
Yeah. So far, yes. And as you know, subscription, you know, consumer as well, in the past that has always been led I even know the idea that you receive something they need to wrap, you know, literally our tagline is wrapped indulge care. So we want to have literally this idea, you have a gift or for yourself, you know, just take time for yourself, you know, lock the door behind you and just enjoy right. Yeah. So yeah, I will say, generally, the wow factor is really important in this idea of discovery. And you know, trust as well, as I mentioned before that you’re in good hands with us, and we are definitely going to give you the best that’s out there and that probably you don’t know about this product yet.
Lauren Conaway 29:47
Yeah. All right. Well, soon. Next up on our list of questions. I really want to delve into your story a little bit more. And so I’m gonna ask you as a founder what has been The greatest challenge that you’ve had to navigate as you have attempted to build this business.
Veronica Baesso 30:06
Yeah, so I would say generally it is like being on the right mindset, you know, which means for me letting go of my perfectionism in a way, so to be like, it’s fine to make mistakes. So if things are not perfect 100% as you want them to be, just do it, you know, and surf the wave in a way and and also let it go in a way, you know, letting go of your fears, or you know, ODM. No, now the problems problems wouldn’t be the right word about all the worries you may have, or so you know, when you’re like an entrepreneur, just, you know, do it. So basically, pretty much was training myself in my mind to be in this state of mind and attitude to be like, just with obviously, you know, and intrapreneurs out there, they know what, what it means to be something from the ground up. And, you know, you literally give everything you have, but sometimes you always kind of doubt yourself or so. So we’ll say little by letting yourself go of your worries, or, you know, second guessing yourself or what you’re doing, and letting go specifically of perfectionism if it’s something that you generally have. And you learn by doing things, as I mentioned before, and there’s no greater school than that, you know, like to be very empirical.
Lauren Conaway 31:34
What was your biggest win?
Veronica Baesso 31:35
I don’t know. Because I don’t know, I really like a big launch. I would say even just, you know, to have the box out there receiving feedback, you know, to have even small things like, Oh, the website looks exactly as I want it to look like, everything is going smoothly, you know, it’s not falling apart. So it’s just like, it’s such a Yeah, we are at such an early stage that there’s a lot of excitement. Yeah, but you know, being also very ambitious, I can’t really say we have reached a big win yet. We had a lot of excitement by, you know, influencers feedback from clients. And that’s actually probably, I would say, a great win, you know, many opportunities to be out there and get the word out of Ambrosia. Yeah, I would say those.
Lauren Conaway 32:33
Okay. How did you come up with a name? Ambrosia?
Veronica Baesso 32:37
Yeah. So I definitely love the definition of Ambrosia in the sense that, you know, in Greek mythology, it was definitely considered like, the nectar of the gods. And something that if you will take you will become immortal, in a way. Yeah. And so I like the meaning of the word for two different reasons. So one way, I think, you know, especially mythology, was considered one of the most luxurious and most sustainable, you know, ingredients out there. And so that definitely connects to our idea of having great quality brands and products as well. You know, sustainability is the core of our business, in terms of, again, quality packaging, and all of that. And secondly, because we want, you know, our subscribers to feel like goddesses and Gods when they try our products, and to give the sense of immortality in a way.
Lauren Conaway 33:34
I love that Nate Silver symbolism and well, and I like the word Ambrosia. Like, it’s just fun to say. So, Mark, if you haven’t done well, Veronica, well done. So tell us this. What do you see, you know, you’ve you’ve mentioned that you’re in early stages. And that’s always a really, really exciting time. But I’m sure that as a founder you have a vision? Or what is the kind of longer term, maybe like the five year plan or the like, what do you hope to see come out of Ambrosia over the course of the next few years?
Veronica Baesso 34:10
I love this question. So we definitely want to be the leading subscription box in the US market, specifically in the wellness and beauty space. So that’s definitely the main goal, you know, we want to be a recognizable name and brand out there, be true to our values and, you know, to what we want to do for our subscribers and customers. And then, you know, that will probably be in the five year, you know, run if I have to think about seven or 10 years, we would definitely love to expand geographically in Europe. You know, being from Italy, I would love to have an office there and have an operation, you know, in Europe and expand over there. You know, I think that Europe is a great market. You know, they’re definitely very mindful when it comes to sustainability. You know, beauty and wellness as well, they’re a little bit behind in terms of ecommerce is because I think they still prefer brick and mortar experiences. Yeah, I see there is an interest. So that will be another move. And then another expansion and that can be also in the shorter term as well would be to move more towards experiential opportunities as well. So create like wellness events or retreats. So it’s not just about you know, the products and the physicality, what you find inside the box, we will be more you know, traveling to certain places and a holistic wellness experience.
Lauren Conaway 35:44
I cannot even imagine the kind of swag that you would give out at a wellness retreat because you have all the cool stuff. Yeah. Okay, Sign me up. I’m a conference swag, by the way, like, it’s really weird. I have like 20,000 Different kinds of phone chargers and stuff like that, because I collect this stuff wherever I go. The man and Ambrosia conference. Whoo. Yeah, let’s do that. Yeah. session that’s like, hey, time to get into the bathtub. Do your bath bombs.
Veronica Baesso 36:18
That would be great. I’m ready.
Lauren Conaway 36:21
Awesome. Awesome. I love it. Well, so I’m going to ask you, I’m going to ask you the human question. And you are actually unique. Veronica, you. When I ask you human questions, I really usually only have one in my head. And I kind of you know, think about it and pop it out there on a whim. When that is you I have like five that I want to answer. And I’m not going to or I want an answer to but I’m not going to do that. I’m going to ask one. But like, I was like, I could ask her. Where’s your favorite place to travel? What’s your favorite beauty product? Like they were all in my head that I was like that? Alright, what I’m going to ask I mean, I think I’m going to ask the travel question. And I’m gonna say, Money is no object. You can travel anywhere in the world, you can spend any kind of money, you can do whatever you want. Where are you going? And who are you taking?
Veronica Baesso 37:14
That’s so hard.
Lauren Conaway 37:15
Veronica Baesso 37:16
I know. The word is so beautiful, you know. So I’m just gonna go with my instinct and tell you like the first thing that comes to mind. I will probably say like a tour in Asia, Japan, China, India. So let’s say maybe spending like, four months there, and I will take my husband and yeah, my family.
Lauren Conaway 37:41
Okay. Okay. I like that you would take your husband, that’s a good sight. So is there any experience that you would want to have in particular on this tour of Asia?
Veronica Baesso 37:53
No, no, really, like, you know, I would just go with the flow in a way. I’m a big planner. You know, generally my views are traveling, like, you know, obviously exploring so do any, you know, the main sites in general. I’m a big foodie. When I travel, get in touch with the culture, and literally, like getting lost in the places is the best thing you can do. So
Lauren Conaway 38:18
Oh, for sure. Yeah. I love those days, like on travel when you kind of feel like a local. Like, you’re like, I didn’t do anything that was tourist Trappy. Today I lived like one of my favorite things. Yeah. All right. Well, I gotta tell you, this has been super fun. And not only am I inspired to sign up for an Ambrosia box, but I also still want to start my own subscription box. It’s gonna have Yeah, I’m gonna put this offer out here. And then I’m gonna be buggy about it. As soon as we hit like, hit the record button, stop recording. But you know, I actually happen to know a lot of women owned brands, if you would ever like to chat, I would love to chat with you about that. We have a whole bunch of members of innovate her Casey that would love to be featured in a box and they have beautiful products.
Veronica Baesso 39:05
Absolutely. I would love that.
Lauren Conaway 39:07
Awesome. Awesome. Well, again, thank you. Just thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. You have an inspiring story, and I have loved getting to hear it. Thanks for being here.
Veronica Baesso 39:18
Thank you so much, Lauren. This was great.
Lauren Conaway 39:21
Good, good. I’m so glad. And you know what else is great friends because he knew that I had to tell you about the greatness of Full Scale. If you need to hire software engineers, testers or leaders Full Scale can definitely help them have the people and the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. They do it all day long, and they are really really really good at it. When you visit FullScale.io All you need to do is answer a few questions and then let the platform match you up with fully vetted highly experienced software engineers, testers and leaders and Full Scale they specialize in building long term teams that work only for you. Learn more when you visit FullScale.io friends also want to point you to To our top startups episodes, these are actually my favorite episodes to record. No offense, Veronica, I loved recording with you. But in these episodes, Matt DeCoursey and I, we go all over the country and we talk, we target cities and we learn about the amazing startups in them. So keep an eye out for top startups. If we just did we actually have St. Louis coming up? We’ve done let me see who else have we done. We’ve done Phoenix. We’ve done just cities all across the country. So definitely keep an ear out. For those. We love sharing those stories with you and learning about the inventive, disruptive new startups out there. Another thing that we love friends, we love that you keep on coming back and listening to us week after week. We are extraordinarily grateful that you listened to us as we helped tell founder stories. We invite you to keep coming back. Give us a listen. We will catch you on the flip side.