“Building a business I’m proud of”

Three Amazon sellers share what it means to be proud of their business.

What does it mean to build a business you’re proud of? For the Amazon sellers featured in episode four of “Hi, I’m an Amazon seller,” it means building a business you can pass down through generations, connecting with family and customers, and having fun along the way.

Jeannell Darden, Moisture Love

Jeannell didn’t always love her curls. In fact, she hated them for a long time, but after she had a disaster experience getting her hair colored, she grew out her natural hair and dropped the self-destructive beliefs she had about beauty. She struggled to find hair products that were formulated for her hair, so she used her engineering background to make her own hair care products.

Jeannell ultimately launched her brand, Moisture Love, because she understands the number one challenge for women with natural hair is dry hair. Moisture Love solves that problem by providing high quality, pH balanced products to help hair maintain its moisture and hydration for days on end. Moisture Love helps women experience a higher love for themselves and their hair, so they can live their best life with hair that looks and feels great consistently.

Learn how to validate a product idea and choose a niche for your ecommerce business

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Alfred Mai, ASM Games

Alfred Mai and his wife love to host game nights with their friends, but felt disappointed with the lack of fun card games on the market. Alfred took matters into his own hand and created ASM Games in 2017. Alfred and his wife watched YouTube videos to learn about graphic design, manufacturing, and how to import and distribute to customers.

ASM Games are designed to be fun and engaging, while encouraging players to build meaningful connections. When ASM Games began selling in Amazon’s store, they found success thanks to Fulfillment by Amazon taking the packing, shipping, and delivery needs off their hands.

Learn about your options for getting products into the hands of customers

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Shawn McGowen, Leather Honey

Leather Honey was invented in the early 1960s when businessman David McGowen met with a retired chemist to discuss the potential benefits of an effective sole treatment for shoes. David, who had taken over his father-in-law’s Philadelphia-based manufacturing company, worked with the chemist to perfect a conditioning sole treatment that was water-repellent and non-toxic. By the 1970s, David’s son Jim discovered the product can rejuvenate and condition any leather—from shoes and jackets to couches and car seats.

In recent years, Jim and his son, Shawn, led Leather Honey to become a best-selling leather conditioner in Amazon’s store. In 2016, after years of testing, they launched a non-toxic, concentrated cleaner that quickly followed their leather conditioner’s success and became a best-selling leather cleaner in Amazon’s store.

Explore Amazon best sellers and sales rank trends

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Video transcript key excerpts

00:09 – [Jeannell] Amazon has a ton of resources and support. I am literally learning something new every day. I would certainly get connected with the support team and start looking at webinars and just learn the insider tidbits to how to best use Amazon versus just having your products listed there.

00:37 – [Shawn] Don’t expect instant success, and even if you have instant success, don’t take it for granted. I’m trying to build a business that maybe someday I can hand over to my kids or that, you know, I’m just going to be proud of.

01:01 – [Shawn] Amazon and the ability to shop online and the Amazon customer experience. That’s really what compelled me to ensure that our brand and our products would be available to be purchased by Amazon customers.

01:17 – [Alfred] I didn’t initially seek out to be an Amazon seller. Initially, I wanted to see my products in physical store shelves. And so I called every retailer that I could, and nobody would get back to us. And Amazon was an awesome alternative because I didn’t need a connection. I didn’t need a contact. All I needed to do was create an account, and launch our products, and have customers validate whether they like our products or not.

01:42 – [Jeannell] We started getting all kinds of questions about free shipping, reduced shipping, faster shipping. And no matter how I tried to do it from our website, it was like we can’t do it. And Amazon has set the tone for how fast you can get your stuff. We were like, let’s just work with Amazon. Let’s get on Prime so that they can get their products in two days or less.

And it gives us more distribution across the map without having to worry about increasing shipping costs.

02:15 – [Alfred] My one-year-old just fell in love with dogs out of nowhere. I went on Amazon and I, naturally, and I bought all the dog toys and plushy toys that I could. And so when he woke up in the morning, he was like, like he couldn’t, he couldn’t believe it. And he didn’t want to brush his teeth, he didn’t want to change out of his PJs, he just wanted to run straight to all the little dog plushy toys and stuff like that. Just remembering that brings a smile to my face.

02:42 – [Shawn] My wife and two amazing kids. And, you know, that’s who probably I care most about impressing. You know, I don’t lack a lot of energy, especially after my first cup of coffee. But if I ever do and I ever need an inspiration, it’s thinking about, you know, Sylvie, Benji, and my wife, Rachael.

03:06 – [Jeannell] My nine-year-old was like, “Mom, I want to try my process for doing my hair, and I want to leave my hair out. I don’t want to put it back in braids.” And she took one of our products and was like, "... I’m gonna put it this way, different than what you said. And I want to try, and I want to do a video, and I want to share with your customers how it worked for me.” And that is really warmed my heart that they’ve become a part of the business. They are learning to embrace their hair and then they want to share it with the customers as well. It’s like, it doesn’t get much better than that.

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Donovan Woods
Donovan Woods
Donovan is a Content Manager & Producer who loves to bring seller stories to life through video. Prior to Amazon, Donovan spent 20 years in the nonprofit sector as director of communications, social media, and tradeshows. Outside of work, Donovan volunteers within his local community and is always listening to music.