How Dirty Lamb Grew From 5 to 13 SKUs & Handmaking 10,000 Products
Dirty Lamb is back in the house with an amazing product and we are so thrilled to partner up with them again this June. We talked with founder Ahlam about her brand progress, their plans and life.
I remember the first time we smelt your Invisible Body Milk - we just knew we wanted to feature it in our summer opening box. Its texture is super silky and it does wonders to dry skin. When we teamed up with you the first time, you talked about some of the difficulties that came with running your own business. What has happened since we last met?
I am so excited to be back! Lots of changes. Dirty Lamb expanded into more TJ Maxx & Marshall’s stores nationwide. We are working closely with another wonderful beauty subscription box. Dirty Lamb has gone from 5 SKUs to 13 and we are consistently creating more natural products that are customers request to see.
“Our newest product “Tea Tree Wand” has been our best seller and has caused our online sales to triple compared to last year.”Did you have to compromise product quality due to this massive change in your production process?
Everything at Dirty Lamb is still handmade, we find that this is the most important part of our process and what makes our products so special. We have found some new powerful ingredients that we plan to take full advantage of. We are getting into more infusions, for example our Tea Tree Wand is infused with real cinnamon sticks that give it a distinct smell and potency. Many customers have said it has significantly helped them with their acne in just a couple hours! For our original Coffee Scrub and Turkish Coffee Mask we source our coffee beans from a local coffee house (Akron Coffee Roasters) and grind the beans in our facility which makes our coffee products the freshest on the market.
As your company grows, I’m sure you’re looking out for retail options. How successful has this side of your business been?
Retail has always been our main focus at Dirty Lamb and I am proud to say we have been in retail since we officially launched in 2017. My favorite thing about hitting retail is that our customers reach out to us and let us know what they think of our products. Communication is key when it comes to a brand and I feel like it’s so important for us to stay in touch with them. We really try to make an effort to do so and I think they see that.
I am always learning something new about how to improve our process and make it more efficient. Quality control is the most important thing at our facility.
“When you are still handmaking and hand-jarring products, you need to make sure your team deeply cares about the quality and process of each product. It comes down to details, label application, how it’s packaged, boxed, etc… There is so much that goes into one product alone, but when you are making 10,000 of one product it’s a totally different story.”
We have worked with many small-batch/starter beauty companies in the past and we feel that encouraging brands that create vegan and cruelty-free products is essential to what we do. What advice would you give those businesses wanting to share their love for natural beauty to the world?
My advice would be similar to what I have done. First, make sure it’s something that you want, you have to want it more than anything. You sacrifice a lot to be an entrepreneur and it’s not always what some people make it out to be. I have always worked and had my business on the side. Even when it wasn’t up and running it was always on my mind and I think that’s the most important step. Envisioning and manifesting your idea and where you see it in the future.
“Have a positive attitude about it and don’t listen to people who are filled with doubts. I once had someone ask me ‘You think you’re going to make money off of coffee scrubs?!’”
Stay around supportive people and if you don’t have them around, keep to yourself and work hard. It doesn’t happen overnight but if you want something long-lasting it will. You have to know where you want to go with your business and learn from others.
“I told myself I would quit my job when I got a big wholesale account. When TJ Maxx placed their first order, I quit my job two weeks later. It was the best decision I ever made. Don’t wait for it to be perfect because it never will be. Bet on yourself. Stay fearless.”
Now you can find Dirty Lamb at various TJ Maxx & Marshall’s nationwide. Zulily, an online platform, is currently testing our full product line. We hope to hold online events with them very soon. If you do find us let us know, we love hearing from you!
How does Dirty Lamb give back to the community?
Health care lies very deep in my heart as I used to work as a registered nurse before I launched Dirty Lamb. Every year Dirty Lamb donates a gift basket to PCRF (Palestine Children’s Relief Fund). Being 100% Palestinian I feel like it’s really important to help spread awareness and relief to Arab children in the Middle East. I am hoping, in the future, to do a volunteer medical mission and have more of a hands-on approach. We also donate a self-care basket to sponsor “Nurses Night Out” for Akron General Hospital. Each year the proceeds benefit a healthcare worker who is having medical issues. I also donate products to women retreats that encourage & uplift women. I am currently working with “Together We Seek Retreats.” This retreat gives women the chance to energize, connect with other like-minded women, and give themselves time for self-care.
“Being conscious with the ingredients & materials I use is very important. We are taking a “no box” approach and will keep this going as long as we can.”
Our current retailers have been very supportive about it. I feel like it’s a waste, if you can get all the information you need on the jar then let’s just forget the box that’s not providing a lot of purpose. Dirty Lamb currently uses glass bottles and recycled PET jars. I am currently working on new packaging to help decrease waste and overall give it the look and feel I have always wanted since Dirty Lamb launched.
Which exhibitions have helped you as an indie beauty brand and what press have you garnered recently?
I recently attended Natural Product Expo West and it was amazing. I wanted to get a feel for the show and see if I should invest in setting up a booth in the future. The energy at the show was really incredible, it made me want to get back home and work harder than ever!
“This year, I plan to go back to my home base show Indie Beauty Expo and relaunch once my new packaging is complete. They are always a pleasure to work with and their shows are beyond beautiful. They appreciate Indie Beauty Brands and their buyers are like minded.”
As for press, Fox 8 New Day Cleveland recently reached out to me and asked me to come to their studio to showcase Dirty Lamb and talk about my company! I am really excited about it because this is how big things start. You spread the word on something great until everyone knows about it and hopefully loves it as much as you do. It’s an incredible feeling when you start getting recognition for something you have always believed in.
Dirty Lamb would like to give Nourish Beauty readers one FREE 2 oz. travel-size coffee scrub with any purchase (limited time only) at www.thedirtylamb.com with promo code “loveyourskin”.