If you think your career is over once you’ve hit 60, think again! Linda Gomez is the perfect example of someone who reinvented herself at 58 by starting fullips, a lip enhancer product designed to give women a fuller pout.
She’s a devoted wife, mom, and grandmother who loves to spend time with her grandkids, but she’s also a savvy businesswoman who has worked hard to make her dreams a reality.
What type of work did you do before you started selling your own product?
I was a full time mom (my five children are all grown now) and I did real estate investment because it was something I could easily do with my children still at home. As life changed, however, I had the fullips product idea. I have always liked the challenge of learning something new, and so with my family’s encouragement, I jumped right into the deep end.
What were some of the challenges that you faced in getting your product mass produced?
Time, money, and knowledge are obvious hurdles for any business. There are a lot of steps involved when taking a product from the idea stage to one finished and ready for the shelf. Understanding the process and what is next on the horizon, along with being cost effective, is challenging.
How did you secure the startup funds in order to create fullips?
Like many other small business owners, this dream was funded though savings and pinching pennies. The costs for legal work, manufacturing, marketing, etc. all add up fast, so the process is much slower than if we had a big venture capital firm behind us.
What is the primary way that you market your fullips to others?
We are an online based company and so we use everything from social media to free give-away campaigns. We also don’t underestimate the power of good old-fashioned customer service!
What does a current day in your life look like?
I’m up at 5am and grab a cup of coffee (or three). Then I answer back any customer e-mails and begin the long list of phone meetings: PR, manufacturers, tech, packaging etc. If I’ve had a productive morning/afternoon, I treat myself to some quality time with my granddaughters. After everyone is asleep, I may get in another couple hours of work and around 1AM call it a day. It’s busy, but I love every minute of it!
What advice do you have for other women who want to follow in your footsteps?
Be patient, enjoy the process, and don’t get discouraged! You’ll hear and read a lot about the rate of failure, especially in the startup stages. However, you will also hear a lot of amazing success stories. Let these be the fuel to your fire and the motivation to keep going!
How do you stay motivated when business is slow?
I try to keep in mind that there will be good days and bad days; both are challenging in their own right. If things are slow, I look at it as an opportunity to find ways to improve upon my current plans or possibly create new ones. I also always remind myself that challenging times in my world may not begin to compare to those in someone else’s life, so I try to always be thankful.
What is the best financial advice you can give?
Determine your short and long term goals, both personally and for your business. Things add up fast, so move slowly in the direction of where you want to be, and keep careful track of your finances along the way. If you don’t expand too quickly, there will be fewer surprises. It is better to be cautious and move a little slower, than to put your personal finances at risk.
What’s the best financial advice that’s been given to you?
Don’t pretend to be something you are not. If you are a small business, do not misrepresent your business as one of the giants out there–it won’t be possible to keep up with that image! If you try to come off bigger than you are, companies you deal with may expect more from you financially, like a longer turnaround to pay you, or sometimes they may want more product than you have readily available, both of which are often hard for a smaller company to handle.
Big or small, each company has its strengths and weaknesses. If you are smaller, you probably don’t have endless funds, supply, or 1,000 employees… and that’s ok! Use that as a strength to promote amazing customer service and as an opportunity to get to know your clients.
What are your future personal and professional goals?
My top personal goal is easy: spending as much time enjoying my children and grandchildren as I can. Traveling with the family has always been a top priority as it’s a wonderful learning experience for them, so I’m anxious to take the grandchildren to some fun places.
Professionally, I’m having a lot of fun with the idea of adding new beauty products to our fullips line and continuing to share information with women, especially geared towards older women, so that we can age gracefully while still looking and feeling the best that we can.
To learn more about Linda Gomez’s business, please visit fullips.com.