Angie Trelastad and her company, Solerra recently sponsored sunless tanning products at The Startup Princess Academy at Disneyland for the speakers and attendees, so I’ve had the chance to learn about Solerra and try their products firsthand.
I’m getting ready for my first triathlon so I thought it would look nice to look a bit sunkissed, fortunately there’s products out there like Solerra to help fair skinned-skin-cancer-proned girls like me. I was really happy with the natural look of Solerra and thought the products were easy to apply and the color has lasted for several days. The products felt smooth and wonderful on my skin.
I love that Angie and her company are promoting healthy skin care and are involved in the campaign to help increase awareness about the damaging effects of the sun. This month is Skin Cancer Awareness month and Solerra is active in the campaign through http://www.skinaf.org. Congratulations Angie for creating a great product and for raising your voice for a good cause! Here’s more about Angie and her company:
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
Current Residence (City, State): Colorado Springs, CO
Education: High School Graduate followed by the University of hard knock entrepreneurship. While my high school graduating class was hitting the books, I was starting my own business.
Professional Background (brief, please): Restaurant owner (I owned 2 restaurants before the age of 30) Writer, short stories, articles, book Queen of the Urban Jungle. Personal protection instructor to women as a passion, but have worked with men and women, celebrities, law enforcement and civilians. Started in cosmetics, sunless tanning, eight years ago and have enjoyed creating the latest technologies for the perfect self tanner and working with the Skin Cancer Awareness Foundation www.skincaf.org .
What you wanted to be when you grew up: A librarian
What you are: Writer and cosmetic executive
Brief Summary of your Start Up: The company was started with the patented Invisicare® tanning formulation and the patent pending tanning mitt. These two new technologies brought a perfect blend of beauty and science to self-tanning. I started with company after they had worked on the mitt technology for two years and was recruited to come into the company and help to perfect the manufacturing process and build the brand.
Company Website? www.solerra.com
What inspired you? As a red head, I have never had great luck with self-tanners. I had pre cancer removed from my face at the age of 17, and my sister was diagnosed with melanoma 2 years ago. I was working in the self tanning industry and developed a passion for being a part of creating the “perfect” self tanner that was affordable yet luxurious and could be used in the privacy of your own home.
How long have you been in business? Solerra® was incorporated in 2004 and I came on board in 2006
How did you fund it? The majority partner recruited me to come in and add my expertise to Solerra; the founder is funding the company.
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? My mom has always been an inspiration to me. If there is someone I aspire to be like it would definitely be my mother.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? Linked In and Plaxo are the two I use most. I am starting to use twitter, but am still learning. I serve on the advisory board of the Skin Cancer Awareness Foundation
Current Business Challenge? When building a new brand the biggest challenge is market penetration. It is a challenge to get stores to stock an unknown brand. In the current economical situation, rather than being the first to carry a brand, stores want to wait until you have notoriety, and to get notoriety, you have to have penetration.
What are you doing about it? We are doing more online marketing and have been very fortunate in the “buzz” and “word of mouth” advertising. Once people try Solerra, they love it and come back again and again. We are blessed with loyal customers and really appreciate the fact that they share with all of their friends, who then become loyal customers. Celebrity branding, creating a customer base to create a demand in the mass retail sector. Creative marketing and advertising.
Favorite motivational quote: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.” Helen Keller
Family? Yes! Two daughters 24, and 29 two sons 27 and 31 and 3 beautiful grandkids…2 girls and 1 boy.
If so, how do you balance family and business? Very carefully, I feel it is important to maintain priorities, God, Family and business.
Favorite book? The Bible, and of course, I have to plug my book, Queen of the Urban Jungle
What do you do to relax? Spend time with my husband who happens to be my best friend. I like to ride dirt bikes, write and read.
What do you want to change most about your world? I would like people to care more about one another.
What are you most proud of? My son James, has served two tours of duty in Iraq and I am very proud of him and very glad to have him back in the US.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses? Whatever you do, do it with passion. Don’t ever feel like a failure, when something doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, consider it a learning process. If you fall down seven times, get up eight.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? The internet, what did we ever do before the internet?
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? If I were to design a tiara I would use rough coal, hematite and diamonds, set in sterling silver. Reasons? The most precious diamonds start as rough coal and at the mid-point of perfection I imagine appear as hematite (often called black diamonds) and upon completion transform into beautiful, sparkling diamonds. Sterling silver is beautiful when shiny and clean, however, if not maintained, it will tarnish. This Tiara to me, seems to be a true reflection of life and success. Life, like success, is achieved through pressure and polish and the sterling silver, if not maintained, will tarnish.
Thank you Angie, and welcome to Startup Princess! Leave a comment or question for Angie here.