My Startup Experience

Samantha Burkart Employee, Entrepreneurship, Founders

When someone finds out I’m an entrepreneur, full-stack developer, and have had 3 years of internship experience in UI/UX Design, Finance, and Operations as a freshman in college, they usually think I’m borderline insane. And quite honestly, it hasn’t been the easiest thing to do.

I was intrigued by product packaging since my first internship at 16 as a UI/UX designer at a Chicago startup. Since then, I’ve made logos and websites for countless other companies. In July after high school, I decided I wanted to experiment with making my own logo, brand, and products. I chose skincare because I’ve always struggled with acne and discoloration, and found drugstore products to all have the same active ingredients. After doing my research, I invested my savings into a partnership with a cruelty free lab that sells wholesale vegan products. That’s where it all began.

From there, I bought the proper equipment and labels for my first prototypes of my skincare line. I pulled two all nighters to create the ecommerce website, and had my first amateur product shoot in my bedroom, with my iPhone.

I tried to run some facebook ads, which turned out to be unsuccessful. Discouraged, I left Neferte alone for a month and didn’t work on it at all. When I started learning about instagram ads and why they are so effective, I did my own research and tried to apply trendy advertising concepts to Neferte.  Eventually, I had my first big boom of sales in August. My $20 Instagram ad had generated over $5,000 in revenue, which I was not prepared for at all! Since then, I’ve had numerous instagram ad campaigns, generating tens of thousands of dollars in revenue, all while helping people with their skincare problems and saving animals suffering in cosmetic testing labs.  

The moral of this story is: learn from your failures. If one thing doesn’t work, don’t let it stop you from trying again, or trying something different. Do your research, and stay on top of emerging trends.