Kathy Lockard didn’t set out to change the skincare industry, but like her natural products, it happened organically. Lockard was astonished to find the number of chemicals used in her young child’s expensive baby products. Through her own due diligence, Lockard found that major skincare brands used by millions of people around the world, pack their products with potentially cancer causing ingredients.
Her research led to the creation of Lockard & Co. Skincare, and a chance to give others healthy, beautiful, radiant skin naturally. Lockard’s small team has developed some of the coolest products available and all using simple ingredients. Thanks to the natural ingredients packed inside each product, Lockard & Co. sells its highly effective skincare products for a fraction of ‘Big Skincare’s” prices.
The family owned business was founded in 2013, and in just a short time, Lockard & Co. has developed a reputation as an up and coming brand delivering high-quality products. Lockard recently took time out of her busy schedule of running a company and taking care of three children and three dogs to tell us about her dynamic business.
Kathy, your company Lockard & Co. Skincare is just five-years old. Tell us how you started the business and why you decided to go into the skincare industry?
Initially Lockard & Co. was born into existence by pure happenstance shortly after having our last child. Oddly enough, it was like any other day, and my curiosity got the best of me as I started to read the ingredient list on the back of his rather expensive baby products. Now, I am not going to lie. I must have been a researcher in a previous life, because I can go down the rabbit hole faster than anyone I know. They say, “the devil is in the details.” Well, I am all about details. What I discovered was in the United States specifically, the FDA does its best to protect consumers; however, let’s just say some shady ingredients that may or may not have lasting effects on our health are alive and well in products. This disturbed me so much so that I did the only thing I could think of, which is why I threw every cancer-causing product out of the house immediately. Trust me when I say, my husband thought I had lost my mind, but then I began creating and pouring products right out of my kitchen. He was stunned at the difference and could not believe it. We should actually thank him. He pushed me to create Lockard & Co. and so three years after building the website myself, we happily replace our customer’s chemical laden products with pride everyday.
What were some of the challenges in starting a small, family owned skincare business?
Honestly, I do not care for the word “challenges.” However, there are numerous “opportunities” to starting a small business including capital investments, web building, SEO, branding, marketing…it is a laundry list!
“Opportunities or obstacles?” A very wise Colonel in the USAF once said this to me during my time with the Department of Defense. I never forgot it and I carry it with me everyday. I have had my fair share of successful collection launches and utterly disastrous launches. Through it all, my husband (aka “The Family Cheerleader”) remains a positive voice of reason, so I feel lucky because it is not always easy to remember “opportunities or obstacles” when you have poured your heart and soul into something for months only to see it fail. The thing about it is, you have to pick yourself up and figure out where you went wrong. I believe that this path is the path for me and take every situation as an opportunity to grow, become better, and do better. I will never have all the answers, but I will never forget the opportunities I have found along the way.
You focus your brand on being natural and organic. Why is it so important to follow this direction in the 21st century?
Given the technological advancements we have seen in in the 21st century, consumers have actually cultivated a need for information. They are extremely educated and can easily find any answer to their questions by doing a simple Internet search or just asking their smartphones. Our brand focuses on natural and organic skincare, because consumers realize that their skin is the largest organ they have. Scary enough, about 70% of what you put on it gets absorbed into the body and travels to other organs like your liver. Hence, it is important to take great care of your skin. Our Skinhalation Nation Tribe is made up cancer warriors, chronic disease soldiers, and people who battle with skin conditions and allergies everyday. These individuals have tried “everything” and are literally seeking a natural alternative to help them solve a skin condition that nothing else has been able to fix – at least not long term. People deserve great ingredients with lasting results. Educated consumers will always choose quality over quantity every time. With Lockard & Co. they get both. A long-lasting quality product with demonstrated and confirmed results.
A lot of chemicals go into the beauty and hygiene products people use every day. Only a few chemicals are banned by the FDA. Right now, is there a movement in the United States of people using more natural products for themselves and their families?
Absolutely. Consumers are done with using products that simply cause other health issues without their knowledge. Now, there is a significant increase of product searches for all natural skincare. The current market trends include products that contain no parabens, synthetic fragrances, petroleum, or animal by-products. Frankly, I think this is amazing. If the FDA will not ban these chemicals then consumers need to be careful and do the research. And that is just what they are doing… research. They know what they want not just for themselves, but that new baby in the family, their teen daughters/sons, and their aging parents. All these individual skin types require special care and for this reason, the natural skincare movement is alive and well in the United States.
Can you tell us about the holiday “Favorite Things Collection”?
Sure. I am a completely nostalgic person and adore family traditions. As a child (and even now as an adult – don’t judge me) I watch the movie, “The Sound of Music” every winter and obviously, my all-time favorite song in that movie is “Favorite Things.” I thought it was only fitting to create a limited edition collection inspired by our Tribe’s Favorite Things of 2018 and add some of my very own new favorites, because what makes a better gift then a few of our favorite things? I pride myself as the “Ultimate Gift Giver” and my family is always amazed at my ability to find just the perfect gift for someone, but I will tell you a secret. Gift giving is all about listening. The Lockard & Co. Tribe always has input for me and not just because I ask, but also because they know I listen and follow through. Greatness happens when you stop talking and hear people. Hence, the Favorite Things Collection is full of recommended skincare products from our loyal Tribe members. All I did was follow their lead, take their advice, and added some special additions to our normally simple and elegant packaging to make gift giving stress-free and convenient this holiday season. Who knows, you could be like my hubby and suffer from wrap-i-tis (can’t wrap a gift to save one’s life). In all seriousness, I have to thank our followers for helping build this collection and making it such a smashing success. At any rate, our Tribe will tell you themselves – when you order from us, your ordering a skincare experience that starts the moment you open your box and I personally wouldn’t want it any other way.
Most people assume women purchase skincare products, but in actuality, more men are buying items these days. Do you see a large customer base of men or is this an area that is still growing?
It is true. We are seeing an increase of men in our customer base. This year alone our male consumers increased 10%. Now, obviously this is not a big increase, but it is an increase. I often have to defer to my husband in this area, because it is one of the most difficult demographics to break into for us. But I will share a funny story. My father is an old crusty Marine Corps. veteran and very set in his ways. When I asked him about his skincare routine he said, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” This made me chuckle, so I sat down with him and explained why he needed to try our Men’s Collection. Not going to lie – it was like pulling teeth. In true fashion, this old marine was not going easy on me (daughter or not). Long story short, when he visits now, he always pulls me aside and whispers stuff like, “hey ummm, I’m running out of shave soap or solid lotion, can I get some more?” I now lovingly refer to him as my undercover natural skincare addict. It just goes to show, it may take a little more effort to convince men of the awesome we throw down, but it is definitely worth the effort.
What are some of your favorite products and how can they help customers achieve the look they seek?
Our Signature Flawless Collection contains all of my favorite products formulated for normal and mature skin types. At 40 years young, each morning my skincare routine includes the Green Tea Yogurt Cleansing Bar, to help even my skin tone and reduce the hyperpigmentation on my cheeks. Then, I always follow this with the Flawless Serum to replenish nutrients my skin needs to stay healthy, but most important to give my skin that gorgeous glow I absolutely have to have. As a general rule every few days, I use the Green Tea Polish to remove dead skin cells from the surface of my skin to keep this glow alive and well. For my knees, elbows and toes I always reach for my Green Tea Solid Lotion. It lasts forever with crazy moisture without leaving a greasy residue. This is why you can always find me with this lotion and our Green Tea Lip Balm. Sure, it is awesome for my lips, but that little guy is versatile just like our lotion. I have used it to tame little flyaway hairs, sunburns, and minor cuts. What is better than that? I love products that can do double duty and are safe for all ages.
As a small family owned business, what are some of the lessons you have learned from working with members of your family? Is it difficult being the boss?
Thankfully, we decided to keep the family involvement to a minimum, so Lockard & Co. is more of a team effort. I work closely with my husband (our CEO) Tye Lockard, and I think I am pretty lucky. He and I are both Lean Six Sigma Black Belts. In a nutshell, we are trained in statistical process improvement. Given this background, we both understand the importance of each process the business has and as a result, we speak the same language, so very rarely is there any confusion. One of the best lessons I have learned working with him would be the importance of communication. We have daily conversations on company statuses, goals, and directions to keep us on the same page and moving in the same direction. Now, do not get me wrong, this is not all rainbows and butterflies. Communication, I have found, really requires excellent listening skills. Obviously, we do not always agree; however, we have learned to take a step back and see from the other’s perspective.
Kathy, tell us about expansion. Are there plans to take Lockard and Co. Skincare into major stores or overseas in the future?
Definitely. As we continue this journey, we are working hard to find a cost-effective method to ship our products overseas. We already have fans based in Denmark, Canada, and the United Kingdom excited to get our products or more of our products, (in some cases). So, the urgency to expand our shipping capability is real. As for major retailers, we always welcome new opportunities and look forward to them as they come our way.
What is the most important piece of information you can give to other women looking to start their own businesses?
I wish someone had told me this five years ago, so I will tell you now. If you are looking to start your own business – get a mentor or business coach. Save yourself, all the wishful hope marketing strategies, and crazy aunt advice and just find yourself someone who can mold and mentor you towards your success in a truly authentic way. I myself stumbled upon my business coach, Renae Christine of Cupcake Trainings, LLC. three years ago just by chance when I was looking to create my own website. It was the happiest moment of my life. I had no experience and absolutely no knowledge about website building. Somehow, I managed, but only because of her. I graduated from her Ultimate Architect Training and like magic – launched and continue to run my own website to this day. The best part, my training continued with Handmade Titan University, so that I could learn and understand the building blocks of creating a successful business. It is not easy, but it is possible if you have someone willing to show you the ropes.
Kathy, what is a day in your life like?
Always interesting, never boring. Between my five-year-old son jumping off furniture playing super-hero, my 20-year-old son attending college, our 18-year-old daughter preparing to enter the United States Air Force, and the three (always helpful) dogs, my life is an adventure. I could possibly be living in my very own zoo, but I strive to accomplish my juggling act by waking up with the sun everyday and living my days with various alarms going off on my phone to tell me not to forget the little things. I am a list person, so a daily household chore list, a daily business to-do list, a meal planner and recipe list, shopping list and an appointment planner just for business meetings, collaborations, and launch schedules. It can get a little insane, but it definitely an always fun.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I have suffered from clinical depression most of my life. It is a tough path to walk and sadly, most people feel shame about it. You can be perfectly fine for months on end and wake up one morning feeling like the world is falling around you. Definitely not my idea of “fun.” It has taken me awhile to face the reality of what this diagnosis means to me as well as my family. It is important for me to stay healthy, not just mentally, but physically. I have to know and understand my daily limits while creating and maintaining a healthy environment. Most importantly, I’ve had to add daily meditation sessions for myself to keep my mind clear and focused. Because the reality is – a lot of noise can happen in the brain of someone who suffers from depression. Once I accepted this fact, I was able change what I needed to make real progress for myself. In addition, at the end of each day, I make a list of accomplishments. I know it sounds weird, but it helps my mind focus on all the positives I have done for those around me and myself. Depression will never really go away for someone like me, but I know now that I don’t have to feel shame. I just need to continue my daily journey to love myself, live my truth, and accept that I do the best I can each day to win my battle against depression.
What makes you smile?
The little things make me smile. I know it sounds cheesy, but I love to sit on my back porch and watch the hummingbirds fly by, stop, and proceed. Yes, I am that person. I love watching sunsets and my little man learning a new life skill. I also think my little yorkie’s face is the absolute best joy anyone can find, because he has no teeth and his little tongue hangs out funny.
What scares you?
I always get scared before a new collection launch. The nervous energy that happens is out of control while I wait for the Tribe’s response. Will they love it? Will they hate it? What if nobody buys my products ever again? Yes, all that crazy, just like that, in my head. Therefore, I have to repeat my own little mantra to myself every time we get ready for a launch just to get through it.
Do you have any hobby?
Does sleeping count? I am just kidding, although maybe not. Aside from sleeping, I adore traveling with my husband and exploring different cultures. As a Filipino-American, I’m always up for discovering local food and traditions. I guess that’s why I love to cook. I am slightly obsessed with fine dining and the culinary arts, but I have learned never to turn down a meal at a dive establishment, because it may just be the best meal of your life. I just adore the limitless exploration that food has to offer. All-time favorite culinary masterpiece of my own invention: grilled portabella mushroom with sautéed crab meat, onions, garlic, and rainbow bell peppers topped with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. I also dig on green tea and hazelnut French macarons.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Hands down, Maya Angelou. Such an inspiration. Her poetry and writing taught me the difference between living as a victim or standing as a survivor. She inspired me to move away from my own shadow, come into the light, and stand tall with all my beautiful imperfections.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou
“Happiness is a choice.” – unknown
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
Perspective. I think it is a powerful thing. Perspective makes us happy or angry. It makes us believe we can accomplish something or nothing. It seems so very insignificant, but I believe that it has the power to change so many things that we, as a human race, need to be better at. How we evaluate and assess our surroundings can divide or unite.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’d just like to thank the editor and staff at Totalprestige Magazine for reaching out to me and providing this amazing opportunity to share our company’s story. As a small family owned business, it is often difficult to find the perfect platform to tell your story and so, I am humbled and honored (and a little giddy) that you wanted hear more about us.
To learn more about Kathy Lockard or to buy Lockard & Co.’s amazing skincare products, please visit https://lockardandco.com/.