Episode 137 – Coffee N5 – Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary with Andrea Lisbona

Get ready to feel the entrepreneurial spirit on this week’s episode of Coffee N° 5! Join Lara Schmoisman as she chats with Andrea Lisbona, the innovative founder of Touchland, about revolutionizing an outdated product into a personalized beauty experience. Discover the power of merging fashion, beauty, and personal care as Andrea shares her unique journey and fearless approach to entrepreneurship. Explore the intersection of fashion, beauty, and personal care, and learn how to leverage the power of design in creating exceptional products based on the consumer’s experience. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a personal care enthusiast, this episode will ignite your creativity and challenge your thinking.

We’ll talk about:

  • Maximizing Kickstarter campaign benefits
  • Navigating the demands of entrepreneurship with joy
  • Leveraging the consumer experience to create new products
  • Why community trends are effective

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About Andrea Lisbona

Millennial entrepreneur Andrea Lisbona is setting out to disrupt the stale personal care industry with her innovative brand aimed at elevating everyday experiences, which has been in the works for more than a decade. Inspired by great innovators and the marriage of great function with great design, Andrea founded Touchland, an award-winning lifestyle brand that has set out to elevate mundane routines into self-care skincare rituals. Starting with a new approach to hand sanitizer, Touchland bridges fashion, beauty and personal care.

Lisbona ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2018, which resulted in the brand reaching 450% of its initial fundraising goal and more than 1,500 pre-orders for the product in just one month. In Touchland’s first year of business, the brand enjoyed success largely driven by their community of social media followers. In that first year, Touchland landed retail distribution with ULTA, Urban Outfitters, Revolve, Bloomingdales & many more.

Touchland’s innovative design and superior quality were instantly embraced by celebrities and influencers alike; the brand now counts Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, North West, Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Kesha, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyra Banks, and many more as fans!

Now, Touchland has been expanding into new retail partnerships with Sephora, Target, Ulta Beauty, Amazon, Aerie and many more.

Andrea is originally from Barcelona and relocated to the US in 2018 in order to manage the growth of Touchland from the US. She currently lives in Miami with her husband and Chippy and Coco, their beloved schnauzers. In her spare time, she networks with other female entrepreneurs to share resources and advice.

This is Coffee Number Five. I’m your host Lara Schmoisman. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to Coffee Number Five. And today, we’re thinking about starting, starting is hard. And it’s not only hard to, to have that idea, that concept that he wants to develop on is where you start, when you have that idea. The idea is really, really important. And something that I always say is make sure that it’s not out there are so many people come to me with ideas all the time as a video, make sure that this is not has been done. And if it hasn’t, you need to go for it. Because it’s so unique to be able to find something that it’s only you. And because you know, after you put your idea out there, others will come map with something similar, or even something very similar. So today, I’m super excited because I invited someone I honestly didn’t know that she was Latina. But now I’m even a lot more excited. And so Andrea Lisbona, welcome.

Andrea Lisbona 1:18
Thank you for having me.

Lara Schmoisman 1:20
So Andrea is the founder of Touchland, and Touchland started in a very unique way. And so you want to tell us a little bit how you started with all these concepts? And And how did he go from -. And to make it happen, because your story’s super unique.

Andrea Lisbona 1:42
Thank you. So it was a it’s been a lot of years in the works. I come from an entrepreneurial family, my father was an entrepreneur all his life. And I really learned from very, from the very beginning when I was a kid how hard it is to be an entrepreneur. And I think I became familiarized with what it is like the least that taking decision was like the not knowing you were going to make it till the end of the month, that sort of feeling of that being comfortable with the uncertainty which not a lot of people likes to not know if you’re gonna have funds to be able to keep paying the rent or keep paying anything. So I do think that, that being able to see it from the very beginning and see how how exciting it is to really define your life and be able to create something of your own always excited me since I was a kid. I always wanted to create to reinvent something I’ve been a big fan since I was a kid of, of companies like Apple, like Tesla Nespresso companies that you need to commoditize industry like Nespresso is a very good example. And they took a category that was commoditized, outdated, had to warm the coffee and wait for some time until the coffee was available. And then someone decided to make this experience much better and user friendly and clickable and a coffee with a quality of cafeteria and you’re

Lara Schmoisman 3:04
It’s all about it’s about experience is exactly about making it I always tell all my clients, we don’t sell products, we sell a lifestyle.

Andrea Lisbona 3:15
Exactly, exactly. And I always feel like as you said, when you have a good idea, there is always going to come a lot of people trying to copy you and imitate you. And other than when you sell products, and when you sell functionalities and bench identities that can always be copied, everything can be copied. But if you sell on experiences, if you sell on emotions, that you cannot, you cannot replicate that you cannot when you when you died, someone’s hard. That’s a very hard thing to do for someone that is building products. And that’s why we invest so much in really creating a lifestyle, creating an experience and really thinking not just on how our products look, but really how they make everyone share.

Lara Schmoisman 3:53
Oh, that’s just a second because not everyone in the audience might know what their products are. So thanks. So what’s the product?

Andrea Lisbona 4:02
So we I think, to give the main vision of the brand, we want to reinvent personal care experiences and turn them into returns on skincare that people he’s excited about. We started with the hardware software as less sexy category out there which is the hand sanitizer and we did it with COVID we really believe that keeping your transplant is clean is the easiest way to stay healthy. But everything out there pretty Dutchman was very commoditized you apply like ketchup in your hand mouse like the key lights very sticky. Like that whole experience is from the beginning till the end, a very awful experience. So we set up ourselves to really change that experience from the product design, the form factor, the formula, the sense everything and we have been able to reinvent them and really take an industry pre-COVID and post-COVID into our growth that is faster than skincare brands. And the reason why is big There’s again, one that category of cancer and it either has been decreasing post COVID, our blank has been going, because ultimately, people will still have to clean their hands, people would still have to brush their teeth, because it just you really want to create a product that is not just important during, like a certain moment in time, like it was during COVID. But really a product that becomes an ally, for the day-to-day of everyone. And that has been our vision in and that’s how we started. We’re right now working to reinvent other personal care categories that I have a personal vendetta on because they are in the same state and situation of hand sanitizer. And I’m shocked to believe that no one has really thought of truly reinventing those experiences. So we’re very excited about that now.

Lara Schmoisman 5:43
Oh, okay. So you had the concept in new that he wants you to do something different. And you want to reinvent the the way of using a product, you weren’t trying to create a new category, you weren’t even trying to create a new product, they were trying to create a different experience of how using the packaging of the product. And also, I mean, you know, in what the ingredients that we need for the hands. And in sanitizer part, you were trying to get a different scent, maybe different texture, but you knew what you were looking for. But then you had to go and look for money.

Andrea Lisbona 6:22
So yeah, it’s it’s been a quite an IT. I think, for us, the whole process has been I mean, it’s like almost like a movie because we started in Barcelona. We started not in most traditional way, we started distributing hand sanitizers. And I think some enterpreneur does have a very good idea. And then it just go to my thing with that idea. We really wanted to understand consumers and their pain points and experiences and all that before we assume that what people want, because I think like, you can always have a false reality on that, like, that’s what people needs. And then you launch it. And that’s actually not appreciated. So we started distributing hand sanitizers, and then we develop a series of products in Barcelona was very successful, but we knew it, we really wanted to be successful. There was one market that it was going to be our platform to success. And that was us. So in 2018, we decided to move to the US market. We left our families in Europe, which has been also very painful experiences, because being an enterpreneur comes with a lot of sacrifices. And there’s all kinds of sacrifices. And I think for us, like be experts moving to a new country, which is 10 hours away in a plane. It’s not it’s a really hard thing to do. And we do. Yeah, exactly. You know, you know, I’m sure about it, and, but it’s ultimately worth it. And I kneel, you only live once and we want to create something that has like a legacy to go

Lara Schmoisman 7:48
when you have it in you that Your Will you want to make things happen. You need to know more about when things happen. You need to be in the room that it happens.

Andrea Lisbona 7:57
Yeah. And you need to enter in for as it was in 2018. And we did that Kickstarter campaign, which was like a good way to get a market validation. And we it’s kind of like a way to see this is my reality,

Lara Schmoisman 8:11
How much money you got from the Kickstarter?

Andrea Lisbona 8:15
So the campaign goal was I think around, I think we put $30,000 as a goal, and we ended up doing $75,000. So we need 450% funding on the campaign. So it was very successful.

Lara Schmoisman 8:29
And did you offer Okay, let me let’s play in a little bit to the audience what a Kickstarter campaign is because it’s not that easy. Like you. Thank you both a. Okay, I want to do something, it takes a lot of efforts.

Andrea Lisbona 8:43
Oh, so strategy and planning. Yeah, I mean, we, from a fundraising standpoint, we got an investor that believes in the project and enabled us to remove to the US whippersnappers bit expensive to do the change and set up operations in the US so that we did prior to get started. And then we did the Kickstarter, really, to understand like, Are there items? Or are there areas of our product that people would like to see the show and I think started allows you to really get that feedback immediately. And basically how Kickstarter rewards is like, it’s very, it’s a very good platform because it enables you to set goals and every time that you hit goals of revenue, you get some somehow works to your backers. So in our case, for example one once we hit the goal that we had for bad Kickstarter, we asked people Hey, what would you like us to launch more like any accessory and all that people was like, be great. I keychain like a silicone base or something to.

Lara Schmoisman 9:40
What do you offer to people that they give you money? What did you offer?

Andrea Lisbona 9:43
So usually the way that Kickstarter works is like people believe in your idea. They buy the product at a discounted rate. And then you can also offer many things you can offer merchandise you can offer like VIP access as you can give there. And I think you start building a community that they They not only believed in you when the product was ready, they gave you the money when the product was not ready waited for six months to make this happen. And again, it was, it was a very good initiative for us because we got to see like what sense people wanted, what accessories we could create, what colors we could create. So where’s all the money in order to get market feedback, really good way to get to test our product. Everyone was excited for us. We were fully funded in 24 hours, and 50% of the backers were in the US. So we knew that we had taken the right decision to move to the US.

Lara Schmoisman 10:35
That’s amazing. That’s really amazing. Yeah. Now, what are the challenges that you face in changing? First of all, you had to design a package because your packaging, your bottle is not something standard that it’s out there. So the process so decide this is this is the for broadcast, there are so many, I mean, I go to loops back and all the events all the time, and there’s so many packaging out there options. It’s so overwhelming. So yeah. Where do you start? Getting ready? Okay, this is a kind of package I was the what were your did, you had a wish list. And then,

Andrea Lisbona 11:18
Yeah, I think we started I want to design button is from 2014. So we we did it now almost 10 years ago. And I am a big fan of design and apple and their design strategies. So one of the things that they do is they use the golden ratio and everything that they do, which is a way to really have the proportions in a way that it looks good to the human eye. They are in the nature, they are like a very common element of golden ratio that exists in everyone’s handbag and pocket is a credit card. So if you hear research on that, you will see that the shape of our bottle is the same of a credit card, which is a golden ratio standards. And then again, you do a lot of trade offs and a lot of things that you want. So we want an accomplice experience because bottles of hand sanitizer, open the cap. And then like you can see all of the hand sanitizer inside the bag. We want it to be me. So we wanted the knees that had like special pores that it was not too strong for people to use, but it would not release inside a bag. We wanted that polarization pattern that really was super smooth and micrometers. So we did a lot of things that go beyond just the outer shape of the product. But really the whole thing, we did a transplant in like Bravo, which I think this was not a very common thing specifically for like a spray, and sanitizers, which usually weren’t like that, like our opaq plastic. So you could not see how much trouble was left into the, into the container. So we need a transplant window that it’s like kind of a design element that is super unique to touch land in the way that it’s enclosed into this frame. So there was a lot of things that we need, that we need to do this process and we learn and we’ll find over the years. But definitely the design of our product is something that we take very seriously. And as we think of new categories we spend for the next category that we’re launching next year, like a good three years of work. And so it’s not like something that is a coincidence. It’s a lot of like thinking process and like seeing the product into the into the palm of your hands and really thinking

Lara Schmoisman 13:24
Takes a lot of time to develop a product in the beauty industry if you want to do it. Well, it’s got an iminium on a you can expect the senior. Yeah, minimum. But then if you want to do things, right and between packaging design website getting old and a lot of time. Let’s talk about price point, because you were in a competitive market the word products there, how did you see came up with a price point that you can sell for?

Andrea Lisbona 13:57
Yeah, so I think first of all, of course, our packaging and our product has like a need for then quality materials and all that ultimately for us because the automated beauty experience actually and our partners are like this before as of the world, the old days of the world. When you walk into a Sephora or you walk into an Ulta you go with a mindset of buying theory and judgment is a beauty experience without functional benefit of personal care. But ultimately people that you start to learn they are not buying just to keep a 90 99% of the time they are really wanting something that doesn’t cut their skin that hydrates their skin that is gentle on skin and that smells great that you want I mean there’s a lot of people that use our product like so many times throughout the day and it’s almost like a like a moment like a KitKat moment where like you’re stressed out and it’s almost like an aromatherapy moment because our smells are our challenge is out of the battle by perfume house very well known perfume, house divan, and so the price point for us is because we deliver At high end beauty experience, we decided to go at that price having a very high cost on the on the product itself.

Lara Schmoisman 15:08
That’s when we were thinking about that, that you have a much higher costs in producing your products than your competition in the market. So, and people are still buying it.

Andrea Lisbona 15:24
Yeah. And I think the reason why is again, I think you fall in love with the design, then you try then to see, okay, my hands are not like paper, like, like stripping with every time that I use this, then it smells great. And all they ultimately delivers 500 spades, which is 10 times more than that $2 $3 solution. So all together,

Lara Schmoisman 15:45
I was so much product with my kids and in person, oh my god that they will open and I will refuse to use those metal plastic things fall from my bad from the outside. Yeah, that’s something that I will never do.

Andrea Lisbona 15:59
Yeah, and I think that that’s why like, for example, we got a lot of people that said, a lot of mothers that come to us and said, What did you do? Why is my kid asking hand sanitizer for their birthday, like what’s going on, and it really became a problem that it has become a problem that and anyone on Tik Tok is talking about and the kids go to school, and I look at my quilt salon. So I do think that that being able to reinvent that experiences, you can see like you can change completely the size of the market. Because again, you take a look at the market sites of Nespresso, read Nespresso. I mean, the coffee industry was like that. And this guy’s created an experience of everyone that never consider preparing coffee at home, boom, they increase the market to a place that they change the use case of that product. And I think that’s what tonight is doing is turning people that never would use, I personally would not use anything else like that. Because that stickiness, it’s not a good experience,

Lara Schmoisman 16:55
you’re into it something you don’t want to change something that works for you.

Andrea Lisbona 16:58
Exactly.

Lara Schmoisman 17:01
And there is a lot of people that when you start with as an entrepreneur with a new business, I think one of the biggest challenges as an entrepreneur, is that you don’t have the data that you don’t have that information of who is that consumer that eats after your product? Have you seen that you had a set? Because we all do when we are thinking about the product? We’re thinking this is going to be the target audience, when you now get the data of who is your target audience? Do you see any discrepancies of what he thought it would be? Or where you align with?

Andrea Lisbona 17:37
So I think that’s one target audience is very similar. And I’m not saying it’s very similar to the Apple audience, but I think you can have some like, who is Apple audience, at the end of the day is people that appreciate user friendliness experiences with technology. And that can be a 10 year old, an 80 year old like it just something that it doesn’t it’s not about me. And it’s not. It’s about like what do you know, on a product? And I think,

Lara Schmoisman 18:04
Why do you feel like there’s any one you ambition the brand didn’t work? What target audience? Were you thinking that you will go after?

Andrea Lisbona 18:12
I think for us, it’s always been like, the Gen Z is that like the younger generations, because I do think like, once you once you are cool to the younger generation, everyone else really believes in it. And I think that that’s very similar to Apple, Apple always invested in being in schools and like being very early on and getting to this Coburn, like bettering the experience that the products had. And so for us, I think there’s always new generations, like Denix, and all that. So I think for us, it’s really staying on top of the trends of being the coolest brand, for the younger generations. And I think it really is like that, ultimately, I think they are the early adopters, and then everyone else, like we have all their target demographics at that as well performing as others but I think the early adopters definitely are like the social media generation that the younger generation that really that really looked for experiences not just like products and

Lara Schmoisman 19:08
I’m sure that you guys work with content creators influencers and in in order to create a social media interaction with your community, how do you feel like what was the most powerful tool or the most powerful campaign that you did using these influencers or content creators?

Andrea Lisbona 19:29
So we have had a lot of campaigns and some of these campaigns have started organically with influencers I think one of the the funniest trends that we’ve seen that I was amazed when the creators did it this much in my thoughts line to my outfit, and it’s like candlesticks have been years that is like they take a product that is like the pure lavender that is lilac and then boom, they ornate, actually this line and then I think that was because it really shows that it’s a lifestyle product and that you’re matching to your vibe and your aesthetic. And that was to me something that we was very exciting. We do have other trends going like we have that trend right now that we are adding, like we’re humanizing and like adding personality to our niche. So if you go on our Tik Tok like people is starting to put eyes, googly eyes. So the problem is that they choke and all that. So it really is becoming much more than, again, at the user experience. It’s like really a lifestyle brand that people feel super connected to that they want to go on social and talk about it. So I think it’s also being being comfortable with allowing the community to create those trends in data. And a lot of brands are once again, strict briefs and embarrassing, we really want to see the potential of the community and how each community sees

Lara Schmoisman 20:44
A very friendly brand.

Andrea Lisbona 20:46
Yeah, yeah, I think it’s just fun brand knit. It’s approachable. It’s a brand that really, we always come and everyone we always I mean, you can tell that that that DNA of the brand is in the socials and in the team, like everyone is really good humans. And ultimately, you want to have fun. And I think social media, you can tell we do a lot of tiktoks with the team. And we work hard, but we have fun along the way. It’s not. It’s not fair. Really, I know that a lot of people are stressed out, we have a good stress. But then we also get to really reassign and test

Lara Schmoisman 21:21
friendly in my company. That’s what we do. I think that that’s why it makes it tolerable to work every day and to keep going because y’all been with the people that you work with every day. Exactly. To the word all over again. What is something that is said? Oh, I wish I knew this before.

Andrea Lisbona 21:43
I sometimes I get this question. But I always think and, and I think that’s my response. But I think everything happens for a reason. And I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I eat a lot of rocks. But they have gotten me where I am. So I’m concerned like, you know, like the movie, the butterfly effect and you change one thing, and then everything else changes. I think what I actually learned through these errors has gotten us where we are. So I would not change anything. I think like of course, as you as you grow, you want to make sure that you surround by good people that sometimes I was too optimistic and belief in that people have the best interest for the brand when ultimately they had their personal agenda. So I think it’s a little bit more like, like an annual. I don’t know how to say that to analyze and innovate a little bit more cautious, because I think when you’re young, then you have like a lot of opportunity. And a lot of people approach to your with opportunities and all that I think you never know what what is the real intention. So I think being more cautious and having learned from from your mistakes and being able to do a little bit more of betting on opportunities. I think when you are inside that growth more you you don’t get the chance to do a small deep analysis prior to embark on some initiatives and by automating that it’s part of the journey. So that’s why I will not change anything, I really value

Lara Schmoisman 23:14
Something that it came, I take away from our conversation and that you were willing not only to put in the work, but also the time and understand that the ROI is not going to come immediately and that you have to keep investing in your company and to generate I mean, you can see how many and if you see me looking on the side is because for those that are there on YouTube, is that Amazon keep looking at their website and your product. And I see how many different products you have on how many different that you are really trying to match it different consumers not only with a hand sanitizer, but also with that experience of what their preference.

Andrea Lisbona 23:59
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it takes time. And I think like you planning on business is not a screening. It’s a marathon. And you have to have that mindset because I think ultimately, if you follow the man that if you follow your advice of the money will come if you follow the money, you may not find it. And I think when you’re being hit left and right as an intrapreneur always that you always celebrate and there’s something that a new fire that arises. You have to deal with a mentality on the lock land.

Lara Schmoisman 24:28
Yeah, all the time. And that’s thank you so much for having coffee with me. I really really enjoyed it for having me. And to you guys, thank you for being here. One more time. And I will see you again next week with more Coffee Number Five. Find everything you need at LaraSchmoisman.com Or in the Episode Notes right below. Don’t forget to subscribe. It was so good to have you here today. See you next time. Catch you on the flip side. Ciao ciao.

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