A member of the reSET Retail Incubator inaugural cohort, Ital Creations LLC creates natural and handmade body care products using ingredients that are safer, better for the environment, and easier on the skin than traditional lab-created products. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Owner Audrene Dias about her experience launching a startup and why she became involved with reSET.
NAN PRICE: What compelled you to start a natural skin care business?
AUDRENE DIAS: In the past, I suffered from health issues that landed me in the hospital a few times. I’ve been prescribed many medications, but I found that the side effects were worse than the issues I was having. On top of that, I started to develop skin rashes. I had no idea what was causing them, so I continued to seek treatment and was prescribed different medications, including steroids!
I was so tired of taking medication that I decided to deep dive into research and found holistic, homeopathic, and natural methods for treating or alleviating my symptoms. I also changed my diet and started to make my own products. I went as basic as I could to find some kind of relief, so I turned to natural ingredients.
I finally started to see results from my handmade body butter, which I gifted to a few family members and friends. I was elated with the response back from one friend in particular, who had eczema. She told me she had struggled in the past with finding products that work for her and my body butter was a saving grace.
NAN: How did you develop the business concept and when did you launch?
AUDRENE: Additional feedback I received pushed me to get started with Ital Creations, which I started in January 2020. The idea is to make products that are good and healthy for our skin. Chemicals from our skin care products seep into our bloodstream, build up over time, and can potentially cause skin issues, worsen skin conditions, or contribute to health issues related to inflammation.
NAN: Why did you become involved with the reSET Retail Incubator and what do you hope to gain from your involvement?
AUDRENE: I saw this incubator as a great opportunity to learn more about laying out the foundation of my business. I struggled with outlining my plan, purpose, value, vision, and business model and this incubator has given me access to tools I didn’t even know existed. I even gained knowledge in areas I didn’t know I needed.
My hope is to gain access to reSET’s resources so I have a better chance of succeeding as a business. I believe that reSET creates a space for startups to gain visibility in the community and I hope that going through this program will give me the opportunity to grow.
The adage, “You must learn to crawl before you can walk” means you have to learn the basics before you can move forward. I was trying to walk and run without learning how to crawl first and I believe that reSET has given me the knowledge and tools needed to crawl first so I can properly run as a business.
NAN: Aside from funding, what is your biggest startup challenge?
AUDRENE: My biggest challenges so far in my business are hiring the right individuals given financial restraints and marketing and branding. Currently, I do it all. It’s been a challenge to do everything on my own, so finding the right person is hard without having to drain my profits.
NAN: Any advice for others starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
AUDRENE: My advice for new entrepreneurs is to continue to push forward. There will be times when you feel like giving up but don’t. It will be hard and sometimes trying but celebrate the small wins. I would recommend talking to as many individuals as you can to gain knowledge or gain access to their resources. There are genuinely good programs available for us to get started and good people who want to see us succeed.