When faced with the decision to continue her steady job or chase her dreams, Lydia Randolet took a chance on herself. Lydia was a manager at a catering company, where her coworker taught her how to make soap in 2019. Lydia caught on to the process quickly, and several months later she was selling soap on Etsy on the side. After juggling her full-time position as a manager and her part-time position making and selling soap, Lydia had to decide in spring of 2021 whether she would continue her stable catering job or invest in her business. Lydia invested in her business and herself, moved home, and makes soap full-time.
Milk + Body is a home based business in Midland, where Lydia makes her soaps. Upon moving home, Lydia expanded her sales to Etsy and wholesale. Her full-time commitment to Milk + Body boosted her sales from $5,000+ a year to $6,000+ a month. Lydia’s growing business caused her to begin thinking of the near future: business expansion.
Lydia contacted the Michigan SBDC in April 2021, where she was connected with Stacie Scherman. Stacie helped Lydia with financial planning as she started her business full-time. A few months later Lydia was connected with Chris Vieau, where he helped with scaling up Milk + Body. Lydia is now working with Karlie Robinson, who is helping her develop a strategic marketing plan and identify her target audience.
With her educational background in marketing, advertising, and public relations, Lydia rebranded Milk + Body in February 2022. She is currently working on expanding her social media presence on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok along with her website.
Lydia’s background as a business owner did not go much further than her educational experience. Milk + Body is her first business, where she is still learning about the industry.
“When you’re running a business by yourself it’s not just creating products and fun marketing, it’s the administrative part of it too. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t leaving my job for an expensive hobby.”
Lydia shared that one of her business challenges in learning about the industry is imposter syndrome.
“I have to make sure that I give myself recognition for how far I’ve come. I just completed the numbers in November and hit a new record for sales. December is lined up to be a good month, too.”
When reflecting on her biggest successes in her business journey, Lydia shared that her mission is one of the greatest. Aside from online sales and wholesale, Lydia attends markets throughout the state. She shared that the markets are rewarding, as she is involved in a community of women business owners.
“It is so cool to see women establish themselves and have an independent source of income. It’s a route that I want to take with the company. There’s this new drive to try and lift up as many women as I can on my way to success.”
Lydia shared that she will be starting a line consisting of 3 scents, where proceeds will be donated to charities supporting women.
The main piece of advice that Lydia would like to offer small business owners and entrepreneurs is to “just give it a try!” Lydia shared that she suggests using the resources that are available and trusting the process.