Ahead of our next IMAGE Young Businesswomen’s Forum on Wednesday, March 15 at The Westbury Hotel, we sat down for five minutes with panellist Ruth Hetherington, CEO & creator of Miss Fit Skinny Tea.
What made you think of Miss Fit Skinny Tea?
Well, I have a background in nutrition and was working for a vitamin and supplements company, so I knew how natural ingredients could have a positive impact on your health. I also noticed the Teatox trend was on the rise in other countries, however they all contained laxatives, which can be extremely harmful to your body. I was also conscious of the fact that there was nothing on the Irish market that offered a long term sustainable approach to weight loss. From there, Miss Fit Skinny Tea was born.
How did you manage to secure the amazing distribution that you’ve achieved?
It’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of. I managed to personally secure all of the large sales deals myself personally and we are in every large pharmacy and health food group in Ireland. I’ve also secured a deal with 500 Lloyds UK stores on the back of the Irish success. I knocked on doors, I built relationships, I was persistent and relentless and it served me well as it meant I didn’t have to give away a % of the margin to a distribution company and I have full control of our sales strategy as a result. Because I kept that margin internally it allowed me to hire a team of full time sales reps who work directly on Miss Fit products and nothing else.
Tell us about the digital strategy that supports the product, and the sort of feedback you’ve got from it?
Our digital strategy is actually quite simple. We work with key influencers in the marketplace who have an audience that matches who we would like to attract as consumers. We work extremely hard on figuring out whether those influencers have depth with their audiences i.e., do their followers care about the influencer enough to make a purchase based on a recommendation. We have also created a private Facebook group called the drop a dress size in 28 days challenge. It’s a group of supportive women all using my meal plans, exercise guides and tea to help them achieve their weight loss goals. To date we have over 18,000 women and the success stories are incredible. We use these stories as ads and are in the process of creating engaging video content based on their success stories. The feedback from this group alone has been staggering!
When and how did you realise you were on to a winner with Miss Fit?
I kind of knew from when my first order came on. I ordered 350 units as that was all I could afford at the time. As soon as they landed I had sold 300 to one small pharmacy group and 50 online. It just grew from there really.
What are your own personal interests and passions?
I’m passionate about business first and foremost. I’m a bit sad really, I don’t have a huge life outside of Miss Fit for now as it’s all I have time for but I love it. I’m also passionate about nutrition. I really want to get to a place where I can start mentoring up and coming businesses.
If you were starting out again, what would you do differently?
I’m generally quite good at trusting that my gut feelings are right but I’ve gone against them on occasion and it turned out to be the wrong move. So I would have trusted my gut more if I had to do it all again. I’d also move a little quicker than I did from an international growth perspective and worked with more international influencers.
What’s next on your ‘to do’ list?
Well I have created a new product called Crave which will hit shelves in May, it’s to help with sugar cravings and I’ve 2 more supplements on top of that which will be out before the end of the year, all under the Miss Fit Brand. We have begun conversations with some international distribution companies too so that’s exciting. I’m also starting a new business not related to Miss Fit and I’m also excited about that. More on that in the future.
Hear Ruth and fellow panellists Nicki Hoyne and Amy Buckeridge talk about their businesses and how they started up at our IMAGE Young Businesswomen’s Forum next week.
WHEN Wednesday, March 15
Drinks and canapés from 6pm
WHERE The Westbury Hotel, Dublin 2