One of four cofounders, Melissa Strahan, is the heart and soul of Joovv. Her desire to connect and love on each of her customers is something that makes her truly special and the reason why she thrives as head of the relationships team. Melissa is best described in two words: compassionate and resourceful. She has overcome many health issues and loves sharing the wealth of insight she has gained along the way. Melissa’s first love is spending time with her husband and their 6 children, but coming in at close second, is sharing her passion for health and wellness with the world. Fun fact: Melissa has a true love for theater and dance. And in her next life (wink wink), she plans on taking the stage to fulfill her dreams of acting and dancing. But for now, she enjoys living vicariously through her children.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Great question! I’ve always been fascinated by alternative therapies that actually work. After initially trying red light therapy at a local salon, I searched for an in-home solution that could treat my whole body. When I discovered that there really was no such product that existed, the light bulb went off (quite literally!). If I could come up with an effective device for home use, the possibilities were endless.
Tell us about your business.
I’m passionate about health and living life to the fullest. And I love helping others do the same. Joovv is a direct result of this passion. We offer medical grade, LED-powered red and infrared light therapy products that are extremely simple to use. Best of all, the results of our devices speak for themselves. We are e-commerce company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most of our employees are family members that help with things like product packaging, order fulfillment, and customer service. We market to both medical professionals and consumers, and we ship our products all around the world.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We’re not planning on running any contests or giveaways in the near future. We operate our company in a “lean and mean” type of fashion. It’s one of our greatest strengths. Because of our minimal overhead, we can afford to keep our prices reasonable year-round, especially when you compare them to semi-comparable products that are being sold for nearly 6-figures.
We’ve been featured on:
- Elucid Magazine
- and CW6 News, just to name a few.
But the accomplishment I’m most proud of is the never-ending flow of customer reviews we get about the impact our products have had on their quality of life! In addition, despite offering a 60-day, no-hassle return policy, less than 1% of our customers actually decide to return their orders. In fact, most customers that return their product do so because they want to upgrade to a larger size!
Where is your business based?
We are based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
We’re big believers in confirming product-market fit. Nothing else really matters unless you have a product that solves a true need. One of our cofounders has a sister that is an esthetician and runs her own practice. Fortunately, we were able to use her base of clients to help us refine our approach to the market. After some minor tweaks, we wanted to further test product-market fit. So, we built a very basic website on Shopify and by the end of the first month, we had a handful of orders from complete strangers, which served as initial validation that our product truly fulfilled an existing need in the marketplace.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Over the past year, we’ve tried to follow the Bullseye Method, popularized by Gabriel Weinberg in his book Traction. In the spirit of this methodology, we’ve tested multiple channels like paid advertising (via Google and Facebook), content marketing, PR, etc. But by far, our most effective way of reaching our target demographic has been to establish relationships with influencers that openly promote alternative health, beauty and fitness options that are rooted in science. People like Dr. Mercola and Ben Greenfield. By encouraging folks like this to try our product, they can see for themselves the benefits of full-body light therapy. Then, of course, we reward them for helping us spread the word about Joovv!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Our biggest challenge has been trying to keep up with demand! We strive to ship all orders the same day, but our sales keep outpacing our forecasted production. We’re lucky to have customers that are patient as we build up our inventory, while keeping a meticulous focus on best-in-class quality.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We are still working through this issue, but we recently made a significant investment in increasing production and inventory. To help with this, we’ve tried to do our best to over-communicate with our customers. The overwhelming majority of people have really appreciated our proactive, transparent approach. By simply empathizing with our customers, we’ve been able to make it through some of our early growing pains.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I honestly love what I do. Even when things are stressful, I remember that those times will pass. I’ve also been really encouraged by the emails and reviews that we get from our customers. I never get tired of hearing how we’re changing people’s lives!
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
There are several ways we try to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. But ultimately, there are probably a few things that really stand out. First and foremost, we provide a truly unique product that fulfills a real need. Second, we’ve doubled-down on customer service. Doing things that don’t necessarily scale, but are highly valued in the eyes of our customers has been paramount in our early success.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” I love this quote by Johann Wolfgang Von Goesthe because I’ve realized that the only person that can hold me back is myself.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
The best way to predict the future is to create it! All too often, we have great ideas, and even the drive and work ethic to make them a reality, but we succumb to our doubts and never realize our potential. Interestingly, it’s our fear of failure that makes us decide to never pursue success.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
My top three would be:
- Active Campaign – Provides a unique combination of marketing automation and CRM through an all-in-one system.
- Shopify – There are a lot of different e-commerce platforms, but Shopify takes the cake because of their service and app marketplace.
- Drift Messaging – Customers expect instant answers. Drift is an affordable chat solution.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I love Naudi Aguilar’s book Power of Posture. It’s full of amazing tips that I have found incredibly beneficial. It has also been eye-opening to find out how significant of a role our posture has on our health and quality of life.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
We are always looking for affiliate partners to help educate and spread the word about the amazing benefits of red and infrared light therapy!
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
We plan to double our sales by the end of the year and are taking steps to build a solid foundation in order to handle that type of growth. By continuing to invest in R&D, streamlining fulfillment, and building out an effective plan to provide the absolute best service to our customers, we can prepare for the growth that we expect over the next year.
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