Air Force veteran and mom start Clean Beauty brand Cashmere Moon

When Air Force Veteran Tisha Ayers was pregnant, she searched for a skin care solution with clean ingredients. Dissatisfied with the options, she created her own. And Cashmere Moon was born. In this week’s Small Business Spotlight, read about the story of this one-of-a-kind founder and what sets her company apart.

What the company does

Offer clean body care products.

The company’s product line currently includes body creams and body oils made with high-quality, vegan ingredients.

Business niche

Using clean, eco-friendly, vegan and pure ingredients.

How the company started

To solve a specific problem.

While Ayers was pregnant, she and her husband searched for dry skin solutions with clean, safe ingredients. Since there were no suitable products on the market, they decided to make their own. They perfected a formula, shared it with friends and family, and then decided to open a business.

Biggest win

Collaborating with 13L and JC Penney.

Ayers told Small Business Trends, “After months of contacting entrepreneurs, we were able to connect with 13L and pitch our products to them. They decided to take a chance on our company. And it means the world to us! We are able to expand our reach and share our products with more people across the country. We’ll be in 600 JCPenney stores nationwide!

Biggest risk

Entering into that great partnership early on.

Ayers explains, “??We had to get the raw materials and send them over 10,000 products! That was a lot for our small business and we didn’t have the resources to do it initially. We finally got money. But our creditors needed the money before we could get paid. We had to figure out how to keep up with daily expenses and fell behind.

“We had to fire a number of our employees, partly because we could not pay. And we couldn’t get another loan because we exhausted those efforts earlier. We were able to survive because the owners invested more money in the business. When we finally got paid, we were able to learn from those mistakes and move forward.”

Lesson learned

Pay for professional help instead of doing everything yourself.

In particular, Ayers says she’s struggled with tasks like labeling and bookkeeping.

She adds, “We ended up paying twice as much to fix mistakes.”

How they would spend an extra $100,000

Perform a number of important tasks.

Specifically, she says, “Pay off some of our debt, expand our product line, hire more employees.”

Fun fact

They are family owned AND family owned.

Says Ayers, “Our business is currently family funded and operated! We were able to get some loans from relatives to keep afloat and relatives to keep us afloat, even though we were unable to pay on some days.”

favorite quote

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

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Image: Cashmere Moon, Tisha Ayers