We had the good fortune of connecting with Lara Gott and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lara, do you have a budget? How do you make lifestyle and spending decisions?
Yes! We have a budget and it has been a game changer in the health of our business. It all started out with a transformation of our personal finances, and that carried over to our business. Money management has never been a strong point for us, and in 2018 we finally decided to bring some financial health for our family by taking a 3 month financial course we had heard so much about. We followed the steps, and we were able to get out of debt (we paid off $18,000 in one year!), start an emergency fund (which is so helpful as a cushion when you are self-employed), start a detailed monthly budget, eliminate all credit cards and become committed to staying debt free.

We decided to take the same principles and apply them to our business. We had spent so many years buying ingredients and supplies for big orders on credit, saying it was fine because we’d pay it off when we fulfilled the order. Well, surprise surprise, that never really seemed to happen. So we we’re seemingly doing well as a business, but all the while accumulating debt hung over our heads like a black cloud. Well, we stopped taking orders we couldn’t front with our own capital, and if a product is out of stock because we don’t have funds that month to replenish it, we just let it but out of stock until we’re ready to purchase.

After we switched our business to run off of cash on hand and not credit, we we’re introduced to the profit first system. which I would highly recommend! This is a system which makes sure you are paying yourself (and even making a profit!) from your income before it gets used up on business expenses. There are a few books out there, but we read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz and it was really helpful and transformative.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Mr. B’s is a natural bath and body company. We stared with candles and then added our first body product: soap. We also now have lip balm, deodorant (it’s so good), face serum and hydrosols. From the beginning, we have been committed to using plant-based, natural, simple ingredients and we have always sought how we can make our goods the very best. We are about to reach our 10 year anniversary as a business, and while it has had some amazing moments, the road has not been easy. Being able to run this business as a husband and wife team has meant that when one person is burnt out or lacks energy or inspiration, the other person is there to help. We have had to face some big challenges along the way, but we have learned so much through working things out together, and we wouldn’t take back what we have learned even if it was hard fought. We’ve learned that it’s ok to be vulnerable, to ask for help, to not have it all together, to make mistakes. We’ve learned to not put the cart before the horse and take on too much too soon, and that sometimes (a lot of times) less is more. We spent a lot of wasted time, energy, and funds, working on tangents and elements of our business that we’re not worth the effort.

Lately we’ve been learning that it is important to run our business with even more integrity. Even though our business is so so small comparatively, what we do still has weight. So we have been in the process of switching our packaging from plastic to paper where possible, and to be conscious of where our supplies and materials are being sourced from, and to not exploit anyone, including ourselves and our time. As a family our time is precious and we never want to be slaves to our business. We are the owners, not the other way around. We have so much more to learn, and we are up for the challenge.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As a self-professed home body, I might not be the best person to plan a week of fun. Some of my favorite things in our area are sometimes very simple. A long low tide walk on the beach in the morning. A coffee at Revolution Roasters or Seaborne Coffee (both of these places are so good and I don’t have a favorite between them). Lola’s in Carlsbad has the most delicious bean and cheese burritos. Get the green salsa. And maybe take them to go and enjoy them down at the beach for an evening picnic and sunset watch.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that have propelled us along the way. The business started 10 years ago (wow that’s crazy to say!) when we used some leftover baby food jars from our son and turned them into candles as gifts for friends. We had some of those friends encourage us to take it to the next step by starting to sell at Farmer’s Markets. Being entrepreneurs was never, ever on our radar, and we had zero (and I mean zero) business know how. We wouldn’t have even gotten off the ground if it wasn’t for our good friends Jacob and Christin (you can see their amazing work at www.weheartphotography.com) who shared their insightful business tips with us, and our friends Cody and Chelsea. Cody is a very talented graphic designer (www.codyiddings.com), and an excellent friend, and we spent countless splendid evening at their home working on branding and our logo. We have had so many others that have helped along the way, so many that I can’t think to name them all here. People who have encouraged us, prayed for us, stayed up late fulfilling orders with us, and supporting our business through buying our goods. And shoutout to Julie Ellis (www.raiscase.com) for being brave enough to open our first little corner shop together that grew to be such a special partnership. You inspire us and we love you! Thank you to all who have helped big and small, we are truly grateful.

And all thanks be to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior – without whom we could do nothing

Website: www.mrbsecessities.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrbsnecessities

Image Credits
Deodorant photo by Christal Pashaian

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.