Join Dean DeBiase and Meghan Maupin - an MIT graduate, created Atolla to target customer skincare concerns at a very personalized level. Atolla sales have skyrocketed, reaching more consumers, and increasing revenue monthly.

On this episode of The Reboot Chronicles, I took a look at startup Atolla, a custom skincare subscription company created by Co-Founder and CEO Meghan Maupin to dive into the insights of AI in skincare data and technology.

Solving a Problem

Meghan, an MIT graduate, created Atolla to target customer skincare concerns at a very personalized level. Her background lies in design, mass customization, 3D printing, and manufacturing. During her time at MIT, she struggled to take care of her skin and figure out the best products to target her skincare needs. With her creative background, she assembled a team where she and her fellow co-founders tackled skincare concerns through design, data science, and dermatology. After graduating, she began working with her team to build the technology, secure a patent to apply to their custom formulation process, and eventually launch in 2019. Atolla sales have skyrocketed, reaching more consumers, and increasing revenue monthly.

Startup Challenges

Like any company, startups face unique challenges, and Meghan shared that during the start of Atolla, the brand struggled with the e-commerce site as it is a niche concept it could not be built out in a Shopify and needed to be more custom. After lots of trial and error, they launched a website that lacked an automated setup, hindering the first few months of growth. Although Meghan mentioned this set the company back, she believes it is crucial to test, specifically automated and swarm testing. These are prime examples of challenges that have turned into lessons that entrepreneurs can learn. During the coronavirus, many brands have been faced with challenges, specifically in the manufacturing side, due to shutdowns. Atolla, in particular, was faced with the relocation of its fulfillment center. Moving quickly, the center was moved from New York City to upstate New York before the city shut down. Luckily for the company, they were able to continue the fulfillment process, mostly uninterrupted.

What’s Hot What’s Next

To continue fueling growth, Atolla is looking to partnerships, for example, with spa chain Face Hous to create an ultra-personalized experience. This will allow customers to receive in-store service using Atolla’s skincare analysis tools to identify skincare needs and join their subscription service. They are also ideating on kiosk platforms to embed in retailers.

Entrepreneurial Advice

Meghan has done a stellar job navigating the market to establish an ecosystem while launching her company and not letting COVID get in the way of its momentum. She gives some critical advice for entrepreneurs:

1. Establish brand positioning and find white-space. In an age of over-saturation, this is key to establish company values and positioning while communicating this to consumers.

2. Data analysis qualitative and quantitative, these two research types are necessary to hone in before launching and through the lifespan of one’s brand.

3. Authenticity, now it is essential to be authentic more than ever. Besides or instead of traditional means of advertising, entrepreneurs should focus their attention on user-generated content, such as Tik Tok and various channels, rather than investing tons of money in those traditional channels. Establishing a lasting foundation and positioning one’s brand different from the rest is sure to ensure success!

Listen in or watch it here https://youtu.be/A2RlzTsy28I or tune in wherever you listen to podcasts.

About The Reboot Chronicles Podcast

Hosted by Dean DeBiase, The Reboot Chronicles is a popular no-holds-barred podcast on iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and YouTube that has been bringing together CEOs, entrepreneurs, authors, and global leaders, for over a decade, to discuss how organizations are rebooting their leadership-competitiveness of everything from growth, innovation, and technology to talent, culture, and governance. Tune in wherever you listen to podcasts or at https://www.revieve.com/rebootchronicles

Named a “Growth Guru” by Inc. Magazine, Dean DeBiase is a Faculty Member at Kellogg School of Management and Silicon Valley serial CEO, where he has served in chief executive and chairman roles of more than a dozen emerging growth companies, CEO of Fortune 500 subsidiaries, and a director on public, private, family-enterprise, CVC, PE and VC boards. He is a Technology Fellow at Northwestern University, a Board Leadership Fellow at The National Association of Corporate Directors, and an Advisor to the National Science Foundation. A Forbes Contributor and co-author of the best-selling book The Big Moo, Dean is working on his next book, Dancing with Startups. Connect with Dean here: www.linkedin.com/in/FollowDean

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