Growth & Customers

What to do when you hit breaking point

With one TikTok video, discover how Melanie Blane and her brand White Rabbit Skincare went viral and ended up drowning in new orders.

Melanie Blane

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After snowballing debts made Melanie Blane realise her business was in trouble, she took to TikTok to ask her followers to spread the word on her skincare brand, White Rabbit Skincare.

This one very candid and vulnerable video went viral and she found herself inundated with orders that she couldn’t keep up with or fulfil.

Despite the outpouring of love for her and her business, Melanie also faced a lot of online trolls, accusing her of being fake and insincere—this is something she has had to learn how to overcome.

In this episode, learn how best to prepare your business for a surge in demand, how to deal with online hate and, most importantly, how to ask for help.

Here is her unfiltered advice below:

Creating a skincare brand to soothe psoriasis

Bex Burn-Callander:

So, want to start though with the background to White Rabbit because, you created this skincare line because some of the skincare products, the traditional ones out there, were aggravating your sensitive skin.

Can you tell me a little bit about how you came to create this business?

Melanie Blane:

Yeah, certainly.

And also I’ll just introduce Jack. This is my cat.

Bex Burn-Callander:

Yeah, Jack, you’re welcome.

Come and join the podcast.

Melanie Blane:

He forms a big part of the company.

So White Rabbit Skincare has been going for nine years, and it was literally about a month before its ninth birthday when I put out that video.

So I had been at university studying history, of all things, and whilst I was there, I was diagnosed with stress-related psoriasis, and I went to the doctor, and I was told that there wasn’t a cure for psoriasis.

There are different causes because it’s an autoimmune skin condition, but mine is primarily stress related.

So, when I found out there wasn’t a cure for it, I was prescribed steroid creams and things, but you’re told to only use these for a few weeks at a time and me being me, I’m a bit of a research geek, so I was like, why is that?

Like, why would I want to use a product on my skin that’s potentially not going to help me long term, and it’s not actually going to really help me individually.

So I went away, I started using really natural, simple ingredients that you can buy even from the supermarkets, things like coconut oil, shea butter.

And then I bought a make your own skincare book and I thought I’m just going to try, just as like a hobby, I’m going to try making products for myself.

So I started doing that and my tiny little, I wish I had a photo of it, actually. I’m not very good at measurements, but it’s this tiny little galley kitchen in my flat.

And, you know, I had my pots and pans on the stove making things, and it wasn’t until my friends and family started taking an interest in it, that I thought maybe there’s something here.

I’m vegan myself, and I’m really passionate about knowing what’s in products, what they’re made of, making them as natural as possible.

That was sort of the beginning, and it wasn’t until I was let go from my very, very last job, I think it was just before Christmas actually in 2016, that I got into it full time.

And then I worked on White Rabbit for a good couple of years and had many ups and downs, but nothing quite like this year.

So last year when things had started quieting down, because we actually fared quite well over Covid and lockdown, because I think people were at home, you know, they were shopping online.

But it wasn’t until maybe the end of, I would like to say mid-2022, where we started seeing a real slowdown in sales.

And then 2023 was just the point where I actually thought, I’m at rock bottom now, I don’t know where to turn, and I literally felt like I’d exhausted all my resources and when I put that video out, there wasn’t any.

I didn’t set out to put out that video. I was just literally at the end of my tether because in between times I’d actually started, I’d got like my personal trainer qualification and because I’m very passionate about health generally, and I had been in doing my personal training.

I had come out of the gym to a message from one of my other clients saying, “You know, I think we’ll need to stop working together,” because she couldn’t afford it and this, that, and the next thing.

I panicked.

I thought, there’s just nothing coming in for White Rabbit. Now what other potential income sources are going to stop as well? What am I actually going to do?

And at that point, it was a bit of an implosion and an explosion at the same time. That’s when it all came out and I never genuinely in a million years thought that it would reach as many people as it did.

Last time I checked the video had over, I think it was two million views on Instagram and the opportunities and the people who have reached out to me since, including yourselves, has just been incredible.

And if you had said to me at the beginning of March, would I have envisioned myself here compared to what, where I was then, I wouldn’t have believed it or I wouldn’t have thought it was possible.

But it just shows you what can happen basically.

What are the signs that your business is in trouble?

Bex Burn-Callander:

So I want to delve into what exactly was the moment that you realised that you were in trouble? So was it an empty bank account?

I want you to tell me about that, but I also just wanted to go into your background a little bit to show that most people who start businesses.

They’re not accountants, and they’re not leaving a job in the city to go and create a business. They’re doing something that starts as a passion and grows.

So you don’t have your MBA, you don’t have your finance qualification. So, what was it, what was the kind of final straw?

Melanie Blane:

Oh God, I had an overdue return. It might have been two, actually, to be honest. Goodness, what else? It just felt like there were debts that were just snowballing.

It was like one thing on top of the other. I’d got like letters saying that my business overdraft facility was due for review. And I just panicked because I thought if I don’t have that sort of thing to fall back on, what am I going to do?

I had asked, like previously I’d been very lucky that, you know, family and friends and things that had kind of given money to support the business.

But I had exhausted those resources, so I didn’t want to ask any more, and it was just sheer panic. I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t, I just thought not enough people know about the business.

That’s why I put out the video and I asked for people to share because I just thought, if I could just get even like a couple of hundred people to see, you know, find out about the business, then around millions, it might do something.

But again, there wasn’t any agenda behind it. There wasn’t any motive. There have been a couple of moments, as does happen online where people think that I had gone out and pre-planned it, and it was all fake, and it was fake crying.

And I’m just thinking nobody wants to be seen ugly crying on the internet and I have just done that.

The viral TikTok video that changed it all

Bex Burn-Callander:

No, that was what struck me was how authentic it clearly was. Like there was just nothing, you weren’t holding anything back.

You were literally having a breakdown and just wanting to show, I think how people put their heart and soul into building these businesses.

Business owners listening to that litany of pressures from the back returns to the overdraft review. I mean, I can already feel like cold chills going down my spine.

Anyone would totally understand how you must have felt at the brink at that point. But can you tell people who haven’t seen the video what is it, and what happens in this video?

Melanie Blane:

So basically, I’m sitting in my car outside the gym. I get in the car, and I couldn’t face, I should’ve just driven home, but I couldn’t face driving, you know, the way you just sit in your car, and you just don’t know what to do.

And that’s basically how it starts off, so I didn’t intend to make this video, which was true. I didn’t intend to be sitting there in all my gym gear with no makeup. And I wasn’t crying at that point.

But as the video went through, basically I was explaining the mounting pressures of things like the VAT bills because previously, at this point, we weren’t making enough turnover in terms of a VAT threshold, but we had previously registered for VAT for a few different reasons.

At one point where we were at the threshold and also some of our bigger stockists that we were working with at the time required it. So you know, I was talking about VAT, I was talking about how I feel like it’s so frustrating that a lot of the bigger companies are doing a lot of greenwashing.

So they’re making all these environmental claims or things like veganism, which has become very much mainstream, which is amazing. But at the same time, it used to be our USP, as it was for a lot of businesses, and now it’s not because vegan has become so expected.

So, I was saying we’ve been muscled out by all these bigger companies, and it can be really difficult and frustrating when it comes to the sort of social media and influencer marketing side of things.

Because of course they have to make money as well, but a lot of influencers charge a huge amount of money to talk about products. So it can be difficult to get that sort of recognition or get people to talk about your products or your brand.

And as I was talking, the more and more upset I was getting, because I think I was almost giving myself a small therapy session. I was talking, and it was the reality of what was actually happening was coming out as I was like vocalising it.

And then I just said if people could comment, if they could share the video, just to try and get a bit more recognition for the brand and that was it. I put it together with some other clips.

So at the moment in the business, it’s myself, and it’s actually my mum that work together. So she and I make all the products, and she packs the orders. So I’d put the video together with some clips of us working together and the business over a certain amount of time and I just uploaded it.

And I came home, I was actually sitting here, and I remember, all of a sudden, because I’ve got Shopify, so it’s like when you get an order, it makes a little chime noise and all of a sudden, this chiming was constant, and I was like, what is going on?

And then people were messaging me going, I’ve just seen your video, and I’ve just shared it and of course my family and friends were messaging going, “Are you okay? I’ve just seen your video.”

And it was one of those things where I was sitting here, meant to be getting on with my day, I could probably still find my to-do list for that day, and you can just see how I’d scrapped like any notion of doing anything that day because it just went from like zero to a hundred so quickly.

Just before I came on here actually my mum was asking how many orders we’ve had since. So that was the 30th of March.

So since then, up till today, we’ve had, I think it was something like 1,876 orders. Which, when you consider, literally up until that point there were some days I wasn’t getting any orders at all, or the average was maybe like two or three orders a day.

So to have that many orders in that amount of time has just been incredible.

And the support I’ve had from people who message me, and they go, “Sorry my order isn’t very big, but I wanted to support you.”

It makes my heart, I could cry again because it doesn’t matter what your order size is, you don’t even need to order, just being aware of the brand and sharing the video and whatever else, has just been incredible.

So it’s been the most you, you know when they say a roller coaster in business? I can 100% attest to that. That’s what it’s been. It’s been mental.

Coping with the aftermath of a viral video by putting your products on pre-order

Bex Burn-Callander:

But I mean, how did you deal with the aftermath?

Because then you’ve got the orders coming in, the ping, ping, ping. But then you’ve also got all these people messaging.

So presumably it becomes almost a full-time job just trying to respond to all the messages and stuff on social media.

So how did you deal with the kind of unintended consequences?

Melanie Blane:

Well, funnily enough, firstly, I remember saying to one of my mentors a couple of months back that I had written on my vision board that I wanted to receive more orders than we could handle.

And I can say that’s definitely happened now.

But it’s been a humongous learning curve because as I say, we went from zero to a hundred in the space of a very short amount of time. So there have been a lot of mistakes.

There’s been a lot of things that I definitely want to improve. There’s been times where I’ve really struggled because in the meantime, I actually had a lot of things happening in my personal life as well, which isn’t ideal.

When you get really horrible emails you want to email back and be like, “This, this, this and this has happened I am trying my hardest,” but I don’t.

When you’re a small business, there’s only two of us, you have to be a jack of all trades, and you just have to manage everything.

And I’ve not gotten around it, but what I’m trying to do is trying to be as accountable, be as open and honest as I can and also keep our customers and our followers as up to date as possible.

So, at the same time as getting all the orders, our social media following grew from 10,000 on Instagram to, I think we’re now at 41,000. Which feels like a huge responsibility as well because again, there’s that added like accountability.

I had a really bizarre experience where a couple of people from where I live, have messaged, and said, “Oh, I saw you in the supermarket,” and I’m like oh gosh, I’m going to have to start watching how I look when I go out.

And one girl messaged me, and I messaged her back, she just asked me a query, and she went, “Oh my goodness. I didn’t think you would see my message, I’m fangirling right now that you’ve replied to me,” and I’m like, I’m not a celebrity,

Bex Burn-Callander:

That’s a shame. No, but you are now.

Melanie Blane:

Well, I am having to put a lot of, like, processes and boundaries in place. That’s been a big thing because where I do feel that sense of accountability and wanting to give back to the customers that have helped me so much in terms of ordering, I also have to remember that I don’t want to be back in that same burnout space as I was previously, just for another reason.

So where I was close to burnout before, well, I think I did burnout from stress relating to financial issues. I don’t want to burn out in the sense of trying to get everything done and also from a mental viewpoint.

Because there’s been a few times, and I’ve actually been going to counselling about this, but there’s been quite a few times where I’ve felt like I’m not doing enough.

There’s that hustle culture, and I’m like, I feel like a failure because I’m not getting everyone’s orders processed in a day. So it’s definitely been an eye-opening experience. And as I say, we’ve just tried to keep everyone up to date.

I started a series on my Instagram views called Saving My Small Business, which initially I was doing a video every day just saying that we’ve had done this amount orders, and this is what we’re doing, X, Y, and Z.

I don’t do it as frequently now, but it was just a way of like keeping people up to date about what I’m doing and how their support is helping me.

So, for example, I’ve been able to buy new equipment to help make the products. I’ve now got, talking about social media, I’ve got an external firm or company who are going to be running all that for me. They schedule all my newsletters and things, which is going to be a massive help.

My next goal is to think about what else I can delegate, like, how I can outsource. Because I want to take on people who are better than me, who know more than me, because as I say, I’m a jack of all trades at the minute and literally master of none.

So I feel like I’ve not had a minute to actually sit down and work that out.

I haven’t been able to see literally beyond my nose. I’ve just wanted to, you know, get the products made, get the orders out as quickly as possible. But again, I just checked with my mum before I came on here, and I’ll be able to now take the products off pre-order.

So we should go back to normal with our stock and things. Because it was getting to the point where people were, well a few people were wanting to know where their orders were and stuff.

The majority of people have been incredible and have been like, “We know that you’ve been snowed under with what orders, we’ll wait for it, it’s not a life-or-death situation.”

But I chose to put them on to pre-order so that there wasn’t that sort of extra, but we’ve now got down to, I think we’re down to 16 orders left to fulfil.

Make sure you’re prepared for a surge of orders if you do big name collaborations

Bex Burn-Callander:

I don’t know how you can feel like a failure because you had the smarts to actually turn your ordering system to pre-order.

So you’re still taking their money, but you’re letting people know that there’s such a backlog because you’re so in demand. That’s really smart.

Like a lot of business owners would just kind of crumple and think I can’t do this, so that’s a really smart way of dealing with a massive barrage of orders.

And yeah, I mean, when you go viral, you’re not expecting to go viral. The unintended consequences are intense.

And I’m just wondering whether you feel like you now have to keep trying to create hit videos and how on earth do you follow a video that is showing you at such an extreme when you never want to be at that extreme again?

Melanie Blane:

Yeah, exactly. I wouldn’t say I necessarily want to create more viral videos because how do you go about doing that? Especially when it was so unintentional in the first place.

And I feel like a lot of the time, a lot of these viral videos are quite contrived, which is maybe what some people thought about mine, I don’t know.

But I very much, I do want to make the most of this, if I’m honest. Like, that’s why I’m really keen to get back to normal orders instead of pre-orders. And that’s why I didn’t want to just close the website temporarily until we processed the orders.

Because I thought, I don’t want people coming to the website, seeing they can’t order, and then just forgetting about us.

It’s staying at the forefront of people’s minds, and we’ve also been so lucky with the amount of people who have been sharing on social media and tagging a lot of big influencers.

I’ve been really fortunate to be put in touch with quite a few different people who I hope will help me continue that momentum.

So [Caroline] Hirons, who again was also on my vision board, she’s like the skincare guru of the UK and beyond. She reached out and said, “How, how can I help you?”

And I was just like, oh my God, this is it, my life has been made.

So there’s that opportunity there as well. I haven’t sent her products yet because I know for a fact that when she talks about the products it will be another massive, big boom and I want to be prepared this time.

Because with the video before, I wasn’t prepared because I wasn’t expecting it to take off. Whereas now, I sort of have an idea if and when Caroline talks about the products, that there will be a massive surge in orders.

And it’s things like people keep saying to me, “You need to get on TikTok and do TikTok livestreams,” and this is when I feel really old because I’m like, right okay.

But I want to start doing that as well, but again I was waiting until we got through the bulk of the existing orders before I start doing that. And it’s just been amazing because it then opens up more scope.

So at the minute we are literally working out of my house because over Covid and lockdown, I moved out of the unit that I was in before, just because it wasn’t worth the rent I was paying.

Because as I say, when you’re only getting a couple of orders in a day, it wasn’t worth it. But now if these orders continue, I’m really keen to try and find a commercial unit. I would love to potentially find investors or something like that just to help me take the business to the next level.

Because I’ll be honest, when I was in those days of negativity, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the business anymore. It wasn’t making me happy just because I was so stressed.

But since then, it’s sort of reunited my love for it again. And I’m really excited to see where we can take it and what we can do, but I do definitely feel like I need some help now to do that.

I sort of feel like I’ve reached the end of my capabilities, in terms of maybe my ideas and things. Sometimes it would just be good to have some external eyes and ideas.

So that would be the next step, ideally.

Find influencers who genuinely use and love your products

Bex Burn-Callander:

Because you don’t know what you don’t know.

So you don’t know what advice someone might give you about having better cash buffers or how you could manage some of these amazing shout-outs from celebrities and skincare gurus and stuff.

So it’s useful to have a sounding board and presumably some cash as well, just so that you know you can react quickly to take advantage of these opportunities.

I’d love you to tell me, though, Melanie, some of the pressures when you are a sort of up-and-coming skincare brand.

Because, for example, talking about influences, that was one thing that struck me, was that you’re only really as good as the before and after pictures that someone has recently posted about like, “Oh, look, I had bad eczema, and I’ll use these products and look how beautiful it is now.”

But the pressure to keep those sorts of endorsements and the before and after stuff coming in must be just exhausting.

So how do you navigate that influencer review promo video landscape?

Melanie Blane:

Good question and it is quite a difficult one, especially because now, don’t get me wrong, I have got hundreds upon hundreds of customer reviews, seeing how much the products have helped them.

Which is incredible, and I love reading through them, but when it comes to actually getting real results from people, because a lot of the time, and similarly, I don’t know if I would think to do the same, but when people are starting to use a new product, they maybe don’t think about taking a photo of their skin.

And then, in order to then do the comparison, we’ve got one incredible one that I’ve pinned to the feeds of our Instagram page, where a girl’s skin was literally bleeding, I think it was psoriasis she had as well, and she’d been taking like progress pictures, which have been amazing.

When it comes to the influencer I think I’ve maybe, in the whole time White Rabbit’s been going, I’ve paid for one post or relationship or something, but if I’m honest, I find it quite superficial, and you’re not always guaranteed results from it.

I was speaking to one of my friends who’s got a makeup brand here in Scotland, and she was saying the same. It’s so frustrating that one influencer was looking to charge thousands of pounds for a post and some stories.

And when she’d asked this influencer for her statistics, so things like, what’s your typical level of interaction when previous brands have worked with you? How many orders have they got out of one of your posts? And so on and so forth, and she couldn’t provide that information.

So when you’re a small brand, it’s a pretty massive leap of faith to be expected to pay for something that you might not get anything back off of.

So I’ve been so fortunate again, I’ve developed some really good relations with some influencers and brand ambassadors who very kindly do post about my products.

It’s more of an exchange in terms of like, if they’re needing products or their favourite products, I’ll send them the products to use and things. But that means I know when they talk about the products, they’re genuine about it, and I think that comes across more.

I personally, as a consumer myself, I’m more likely to trust posts and people like that, because now they’re legally obliged to write down if it’s sponsored or whatever.

Because in my mind I’m always thinking they’re going to say positive things about it because they’ve been paid to.

Bex Burn-Callander:

They can’t say this is rubbish, I hated it, it smells like cat pee. They can’t say that if it’s literally their living.

Melanie Blane:

Yes, yes. But because it’s such a huge and rapidly developing market and a self-influencer market, you have to be involved in, in some extent.

And I’m still learning about it, so I think I’ll still be learning about it in 10 years’ time.

The best marketing hack is authenticity

Bex Burn-Callander:

But what other ways can a small business, like you, but anyone else who’s got sort of a small brand, what other ways can you be smart about your marketing and your PR to kind of bite back at the big established brands with huge marketing budgets?

So one is like going the authentic route, as you say, making sure that you work people that genuinely love your product. You’re not having to pay them to say that they love your product.

But what other things have you done in terms of marketing, that have worked that you think small brands should leverage?

Melanie Blane:

Well, one thing is authenticity from yourself and the personal aspect.

So I know we were laughing about Jack the cat coming on this podcast, but honestly, everyone that follows my Instagram especially seem to love my mum, my dad, and my cats more than they do me and the products.

So I would say, don’t be afraid to show, it sounds really cheesy, right? But don’t be afraid to show the real you.

So similarly when I put that video out. I wouldn’t say hundreds, but quite a lot of other small business owners messaged me, including a couple who, from the outset, when you look at their social media, you would never know there was anything wrong.

But then they’ve opened up to me and said that they’ve been experiencing similar things, like various cash flow issues, legal issues, and I think social media is such a show and of course everyone just wants to show the good.

But since that point, since I uploaded that video, I almost made a promise to myself to always be honest. I kind of struggle in terms of where to draw the line.

So when I mentioned the personal issues that I was going through, I was like, now, how open do I want to be? Do I actually want to talk about these things?

But then I was also very wary that I didn’t want to come across as if I was giving excuses. I think it’s something that I’m going to struggle with for quite a long time.

That is one thing I would say to other small businesses, is just literally be yourself.

Because if you think, say for example, let’s be honest, you could buy any skincare product, there are hundreds, upon hundreds of skincare brands out there, if not thousands.

You have the choice of them all, and for all the reasons that you might want to buy certain products for, a big chunk of it, especially if you’re following them on social media, is the people behind the brand. I think it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s the whole adage of people by people is so true.

So if you’ve got someone’s social media page, and it’s very like clinical, and it’s just photos of products there’s nothing. You don’t know the why behind the products.

So for example, imagine I never spoke about why I started the range or why it’s called White Rabbit Skincare. People would just be like, “Hmm. Okay, what’s so unique about that?”

So it also makes things a lot easier. I love the fact that I can just be me.

I’m like the biggest geek going, and I’m so lanky and uncoordinated, and I like talking to people about what books I’m reading, and it makes it a lot easier than trying to be super professional, always having to have my makeup on and look put together type person.

So I would say just be yourself.

Be less reactive to online hate and put boundaries in place

Bex Burn-Callander:

But to play devil’s advocate, is there not a part of you that feels like the more you open up and the more vulnerable you are, and you show all the parts of your life, the more you sort of open the door for people to lash out at you?

Like you said, people accused you of making up that video and that you weren’t really crying. There is a horrible place on the internet as well where people can be quite vicious.

Trolls exist and the sort of more vulnerable you are, you sort of let some of those people in.

I suppose, do you have to also, while being vulnerable, have quite a thick skin for when you do get the negative comments?

How do you manage that?

Melanie Blane:

At the moment, I don’t really know.

Bex Burn-Callander:

That’s an honest answer.

Melanie Blane:

I think this has been the ideal opportunity for me to do that.

So, as I mentioned earlier, like, I’ve started counselling for various different issues. That’s another thing as well.

I mentioned on my stories one day, I was like, “Oh, my mum’s packing orders at home. I’m just on the way to my counselling,” because I feel like for some reason, it’s a big taboo and people don’t really talk about it.

But then so many people reply back to that story saying, “Thank you for sharing that. Like I’m going to counselling as well or you’ve made me think that I’d like to start going and so on and so forth.”

And yes, you do get the people who, touch wood, I’ve been so fortunate that they have been in tiny, tiny minority but yes you do get the people, like the ones on that video commenting and saying just various horrible, horrible things.

And my initial reaction was, because I’m an Aries, I’m quite reactive, as you might have been able to tell. My initial reaction was to say something back.

But number one, a lot of the time now, people will react back for you, they’ve got your back, and they’ll say something.

Or, now what I’m trying to do is, I just delete and block those people because I’m sorry, I don’t care if they say that everyone’s entitled to their opinion, not when it’s horrific, and it’s making someone feel terrible about themselves. Like, you don’t have the right to say that to someone.

And if I’m being honest, similarly when it comes to people who have ordered, if they send me, I’ve had a couple of really, really horrible emails that have had me in tears.

Whereas before I would engage in a kind of back and forth, back, and forth. I now just cancel their order and refund them because I just think I don’t want that kind of person as a customer.

And also that doesn’t deserve the right to take up space in my head. I’ve got too much, I’d rather focus on all the good and all the amazing people and all the amazing customers.

So you do have to draw boundaries.

I really struggle with boundaries in work and in my personal life, but it’s one thing that, as I say, I think this has happened for a reason, for me to work on that.

So yes, it’s like in every aspect of life you’re going to have good and bad. It’s never going to be all shiny happy. But that’s how you develop as a person.

The inspiration behind the brand name

Bex Burn-Callander:

And you mentioned, sharing everything about why you started the business, and you’ve shared why it’s called White Rabbit Skincare.

Now I actually don’t know this story.

Are you a massive Jefferson Airplane fan? Where does the story come from?

Melanie Blane:

No, so it’s a mixture of different things. So, Alice in Wonderland was one of my favourite films when I was growing up, and actually we’ve got a new product launching next week.

It’s a set of four tinted balms and because of copyright, I couldn’t name them exactly formally from Alice in Wonderland, but it’s kind of a theme we’ve got going on.

But also the rabbit aspect, I’m vegan, I love animals, they’re pure and innocent, and I love the idea that on the first of the month when you say white rabbit three times, it means good luck.

So it’s like a combination of different things, and it’s just something a wee bit different.

Because initially I thought of going down the route of what could be considered more bog-standard skincare names.

Bex Burn-Callander:

Just like lovely vegan skincare.

Melanie Blane:

I just thought I wanted something a wee bit different. So yeah, that’s what I’m waiting for.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help

Bex Burn-Callander:

And just finally, Melanie, I could keep you on the phone for a million years. It’s such a fascinating story.

But just some advice to other business owners who reached breaking point.

Because obviously the route that you took, the social media route, ended up providing such an amazing surge of support. But it’s quite tricky.

You can’t guarantee that that would be the response, but you also mentioned going to counselling, for example, which is another route to kind of managing your emotions and trying to get support when things are really hard.

So what, what would you say to any other founders, entrepreneurs, business owners who are at that point, they are in crisis, and they don’t know who to turn to, like what steps should they take?

What, what would you tell them to do?

Melanie Blane:

I guess the biggest one that’s come out of that video the most for me is to ask for help, whether it’s in a personal or a business capacity or both.

Because for the longest time I was very stubborn, and I was too proud to ask for help. And that video in itself was a cry for help, whether or not I realised it at the time.

So, and I know that there’ll be a lot of people in similar situations who will be the same, but don’t be afraid of being seen as a failure if you ask for help.

But if you think about it, there’s no way you can do everything yourself forever, there’s no way of moving forward without getting some sort of help.

Whether its counselling or financial help or business mentoring or anything like that. I would say that would be the biggest one for me.

Just don’t be alone. I would say, because it can be such an isolating experience, especially if you’re like a solopreneur, try and do this yourself.

So that would be my biggest one, I would say is just ask for help.

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