Research shows that the way we sleep can add wrinkles to our face. Called sleep lines, these wrinkles eventually become etched on the surface of the skin and no longer disappear when the head is not resting on the pillow.
Elizabeth Bloch knows about this extrinsic aging problem first-hand. As a young child growing up in Mumbai, India, she was told that sleeping on one’s side was the best position for restful sleep. Her culture considered sleeping on one’s back to be the source of harsh nightmares. After years of heeding this Indian myth and sleeping on her side, nightmares were not a major cause for alarm for Bloch; sleep wrinkles were.
When she was young, her facial creases or “morning face” would disappear in minutes. In her 40s, Bloch noticed that the sleep wrinkles were no longer bouncing back completely and were etched into her delicate facial skin. When expensive moisturizers and eye creams proved futile, Bloch took matters into her own hands. She eventually developed the Mumbani(TM) Fresh Face to protect the skin and avoid developing wrinkles while sleeping. The name is a play on the inventor’s native homeland.
We talked with Elizabeth Bloch about her anti-wrinkle sleeping product, and the challenges she faced when starting the business:
What is the Mumbani™ Fresh Face product? Can you describe what it is used for?
The Mumbani™ Fresh Face pillow is an anti-aging, anti-wrinkle sleep product that helps women and men of all ages lose that bothersome “morning face” while promoting healthier, smoother skin! “Morning Face” (a term I coined) can be best described as the sleep wrinkled face with lines and creases seen more notably when we wake up in the morning. They are caused by sleeping on our sides and stomach with our face constantly pressed against the pillow or bed surface.
What inspired you to create the Mumbani™ Fresh Face product? What need do you see in the market for the product?
I developed Mumbani™ Fresh Face in 2008 after experiencing deep lines, wrinkles and creases caused from sleeping on my side for hours and hours every night, for over 40 years – I called it “morning face”. When I was young, my facial creases or “morning face” would disappear in minutes. In my 40s I noticed that the sleep wrinkles were no longer bouncing back completely and were etched into my facial skin. When expensive moisturizers and eye creams proved futile, I took matters into my own hands. I eventually developed the Mumbani™ Fresh Face.What has been the customer feedback so far?
Customers are thrilled with the product and the visible results. Not only are our customers preventing new sleep wrinkles but the old ones are becoming smoother and therefore, their facial skin looks years younger. Sleepers like me are also experiencing improved breathing and better rest as the Mumbani™ lifts the head and opens breathing passages.
Additionally, Mumbani™ users say they feel refreshed and well rested in the mornings. Some customers are reporting less acne breakouts since their facial skin is no longer rubbing against their pillow or bed surface. Others are saying that since the Mumbani™ helps their face float rather than be pressed against the pillow it has alleviated their jaw and ear pain “I used to get sleep wrinkles and ear pain from sleeping on my side. But now that I use the Mumbani™ I no longer have hurting ears in the morning and I wake up well rested!” expressed Kim Scena from Newark, DE
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced when starting this business?
Time — I need ten more hours in a day, and crash course in business management is really what would have been most helpful to me in the early stages of starting my business. I have been an educator all of my adult life. Working a full time demanding job as an educator, maintaining a well balanced family life, and building a start up business from the foundation up all at the same time have been some of my biggest challenges.
The product is patent pending. What tips can you give other entrepreneurs who are thinking of patenting their products?
First, develop the total concept so it’s clear in your head and do not share it with anyone; it would not be fair to ask even family and friends to keep your idea a secret. Second, research if the product you are thinking of exists in the market before you spend time and energy working on an already patented idea/product. Third, make a prototype and test it out while keeping a log and making adjustments. Finally, when you are satisfied with the results seek a patent attorney. This is not an area to cut costs and it is the best way to proceed with a serious business.
Where can customers get the Mumbani™ Fresh Face product?
Currently Mumbani™ Fresh Face can be purchased online at www.Mumbani.com , Marcus John Salon in Havertown, PA, and coming soon on one of the home shopping channels.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far as an entrepreneur?
Perseverance, ambition, drive and determination can make any dream come true. Perseverance is my biggest lesson. While we hear about overnight success stories, we don’t always hear about the struggles on the path to getting to that overnight success. Likewise, hard work, quality product and great customer service is increasingly empowering my business.
How has the economic downturn affected your business? What strategies are you using to survive these tough economic times?
Sales have actually been steadily rising; the fact that the Mumbani™ Fresh Face is very cost-effective has really gotten people’s attention. Global Industry Analysts, Inc. anticipates expenditures in the U.S. market for anti-aging products that enhance appearance to be more than $5 billion by 2015. Mumbani™ is the right product at the right time. It proves to be a cost-effective tool in preventing and smoothing out existing sleep wrinkles, a cause of deepening facial wrinkles.
How are you marketing your business? Do you use social media such as Facebook and/or Twitter?
Our recent press releases have generated a buzz with newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations as well as on the internet with numerous new blogs writing about Mumbani™ every week. We are on Facebook and Twitter but have not been using it as much as we should.
What are the challenges of working and running a business from home?
I am fortunate enough to have a larger home so I can use the entire lower level as my office and inventory storage space. The challenge in a growing home-based business is keeping business hours. Exceptional customer service is a top priority for me. So I check every email as soon as my cell phone alerts me I have new mail, fill orders as soon as they come in and answer every phone call etc. even long after normal business hours.
How are you balancing your personal life and family with the demands of your business?
Family has always been the single most important thing in my life. My personal life is my family and very few close friends. I was born into a very loving and close nit middle class family in India. When I was five years old my father died unexpectedly, which left my mom struggling to raise three little girls on her own. Soon thereafter we were poor. Yet I had an entrepreneurial spirit from a very young age. In my late teens I took my ideas to relatives for funding but was unsuccessful. In college I discovered the world of teaching which I also loved and chose as my path and calling until recently. As my business started growing I knew I had to make some tough choices and step away from my well paid job. I work hard and am on my computer almost the entire time that my daughter is at school. I am glad to be home when she comes home from school and spend time talking about her day and anything else that is on our minds. I do miss the parents and children that I was used to being surrounded by daily for over two decades but I make it up by meeting with close friends every other week.
What are your goals for your business? How do you see the business five years from now?
I established OmP3 LLC as a brand that will bring high quality, luxurious yet affordable beauty and comfort products to our customers. I see us having a whole line of such products in five years.
What tips can you share to other women entrepreneurs?
- Choose to work on something you absolutely enjoy working on and love.
- Write a business plan and think big.
- Surround yourself with good people and tap into friends and family’s expertise.
- Take calculated risks and always engage in ethical business practices.
- Check out small business information sites regularly for helpful advice.
- Have a quality product/service and provide the best possible customer service.