We had the good fortune of connecting with Unique Gilbert & Joann Taylor-Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Unique Gilbert & Joann Taylor-Clark, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is a part of life. If you aren’t taking risks, you have truly not lived life. We took a risk in starting our own business which in itself is a pretty daunting and scary task. We knew we had a great product but obviously trying to navigate through an industry that is so saturated we had to plan out how to separate ourselves from the rest. One of the things we discovered during our market research was that there wasn’t too many products like ours that was all natural and organic. A lot of the products contained so many ingredients that consumers may not even know that are harmful for their skin. We knew our product was going to shake things up. We have simple ingredients that are not harmful or damaging to the skin. We only use quality organic and all natural oils. Targeting this sector of consumers was definitely a risk as some consumers prefer to go with what they know and not be concerned as to what is contained within the scrubs they buy and how it will affect their skin. We are glad however that we took the necessary risk and not go with what everyone else was doing. We have a great product that we stand behind and one that we use ourselves.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We both come from professional backgrounds. Joann (my mom and co-founder) has been in the retail/beauty industry for over 25+ years and has seen the beauty trends change so much over the years. Her knowledge of skincare and beauty is just absolutely unparalleled. She is the go to or guru per se for all things beauty and fashion. She started in the industry at a department store as a cosmetics manager and has held multiple roles within the cosmetic, beauty , and retail industry. Thorough all of the roles she has had as department store manager, store manager and district manager she brings a wealth of knowledge of trends that are occuring within the industry and her passion for beauty allows her to really connect with our consumers. Of course, there have been some obstacles that have occurred in her career from layoffs and store closings in the past, but she has definitely persevered and came back stronger than ever and has played a significant part as to why stores that she oversaw become profitable again. Unique (my daughter and co-founder) background has spanned several different industries. Her BS and MS degrees are all in business. She has worked in Banking, Transportation, Logistics, and Commodities. This skillset has definitely allowed Unique to utilize her skills in her previous background to contribute and grow our business. She knows where to source materials and how to get them to delivered to us for the most cost efficient way as possible. She is a tough cookie as some of the industries that she has worked in has been male dominated and she has definitely proven that she is more than capable of doing her job and excelling at it while oftentimes being the only woman in the room. Unique is definitely one that when presented a challenge, she will break down the obstacles and find resolutions to overcome them. She definitely doesn’t stay down for long.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We are both such homebodies so this would be interesting. We would definitely take them to one of our favorite restaurants such as Pappadeaux since we both are such big seafood foodies. We would also take them to the Fish Shack. One of Unique’s favorite lunch spots is Dock Local for their delicious lobster grill cheese and crab queso. My mom (Joann) is definitely a shopper so she would definitely take her best friend shopping. We both enjoy museums, movies and live music so of course we would definitely take our friends to museums, movie theater, and to a lounge to enjoy some live music and good glass of red wine.
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 individuals that have contributed to our success. Our extended family, which is our customers who keys to our success. WIthout them we would not even be here to tell our story. Our close family and friends have definitely been our rocks through the ups and downs. They have been genuinely encouraging and willing to step in and assist at any given time.